In a warm climate like Georgia, it’s not unusual to keep your horse pastured all year round. A free-range horse is a happier horse, since he has room to exercise and grass to munch whenever he pleases. Horses kept in a stable full-time are more susceptible to allergens in the hay, which can cause lung disorders. Digestive issues also are common in stabled horses. Pasturing a horse eliminates these problems.
However, a pasture requires a fence, which raises the question, “What kind of fencing is best for horses?”
Here are some guidelines to consider for a horse fence.
- A good horse fence should be somewhat flexible, so that playful horses can’t injure themselves on it.
- Your fence must be visible. A horse can’t avoid what it can’t see. If your fence is not highly visible, you should tie bright cloth along the fence.
- A bad fence is one that can trap a horse, either by sharp barbs, narrow openings, or corners. Remember this when installing gates as well. A cattleguard is a life-threatener, because a horse can break a leg stepping through the holes.
So, with so many dangerous fences, which fences are best? There are two options: wooden fences and vinyl fences.
Wooden fences are excellent, as long as they are sufficiently tall, with a bottom board 6-8 inches off the ground. This prevents foals from rolling under the fence and escaping, and larger horses from sticking their heads under the fence to graze. Wooden fences are sturdy, and visually attractive.There are few things more picturesque than a field of grazing horses and a white wooden fence. The downside of wooden fencing is that it may require the replacement of boards as weather and horses teeth weaken the fence.
Vinyl fencing takes away the maintenance hassle of wooden fences, while retaining the attractiveness. However, a three-boarded fence may not be the best choice for ponies or foals, since the bottom board tends to be a wee bit high off the ground. We suggest you choose a four-board fence to prevent little horses from escaping, and larger horses from being injured.
Both fences are excellent, and will serve your pasture well. Determined by your price range, the level of upkeep you can handle, and personal preference, it is for you to decide which is best for your pasture.