The Ins and Outs of Temporary Horse Fencing


This transportable and cost-efficient barrier comes in handy once managing pastures, traveling with horses, and more.

If you’ve ever driven by a large pasture during which horses are solely grazing atiny low, roped-off plot of grass, you might’ve guessed what they were up to—rotational grazing—but you’ll have found yourself curious what keeps these horses from barreling through the flimsy-looking strands of tape confining them.

This pasture management situation is one amongst the foremost common uses of temporary fencing, however you’ve got to try to to it right and with the proper materials for your horses, land, and management vogue. during this article we’ll describe sorts and functions of temporary fencing, a way to set it up, and what to think about within the method.

Getting Started
With motion grazing setup, external or perimeter fencing is typically permanent, whereas interior fencing—that that divides the expanse into smaller sections—is temporary and usually electrical.

Jim Gerrish, of yank Grazing Lands Services LLC, in Patterson, Idaho, has over thirty five years of pasture management expertise. Twelve years agone, Gerrish, once a faculty member in scientific discipline and crop ecology at the University of Missouri, moved together with his mate, Dawn, to Idaho. whereas in Missouri they’d operated a 260-acre grass farm with cows, sheep, and horses. In Gem State they manage a 450-acre irrigated pasture unit with cows. They’re presently enjoying roaring careers teaching and consulting within the pasture management business.

Picture Associate in Nursing acre and a [*fr1] with 3 horses, touched short with weeds,” says Jim Gerrish. “If you’re taking temporary fencing and visualize thirty very little blocks, then move the horses each day to a replacement block, the health of the pasture can improve dramatically.”

Give every block twenty nine days to rest and acquire before golf shot horses back thereon. “Dividing a pasture space into smaller fields and rotating horses through them will encourage horses to graze additional equally, keep pasture grasses from changing into overgrazed, and guarantee recent grass for a extended amount of your time throughout the season,” he says.

Allow the horses to graze the grass right down to three to four inches, then move them to the following grazing space. Move temporary fences together with the horses and water sources or, if you’ve got enough provides, set all of your fencing up at the start of the summer therefore you don’t need to move it.

image imageid=”6285″ includeTitle=”false” includeSummary=”false”]Dividing a pasture space into smaller fields and rotating horses through them will encourage horses to graze additional equally, keep pasture grasses from changing into overgrazed, and guarantee recent grass for a extended amount of your time throughout the season.

Portable electrical fencing is light-weight, cheap, straightforward to maneuver, and needs very little maintenance. “I apprehend plenty of horse homeowners don’t suppose that temporary fencing can contain their horses,” says Jim Gerrish. “I would disagree a thousandth with this.”

Horses are maybe one amongst the best animals to coach as a result of they’re therefore sensitive,” adds Dawn Gerrish. “Once they contact an electrical fence, they’ll most likely ne’er ever sleep with once more.”

If horses are utterly naive to temporary fencing, “it is best to introduce them 1st to that at intervals the compass of a corral, with the posts spaced at thirty feet,” she suggests. “Once outside of the corral, still keep the posts spaced at (no additional than) thirty feet to assist support the tape, particularly in windy or snowy conditions. This helps horses visualize the fence higher and makes the fence seem to be additional of a barrier.”

Materials and strategies
The horse person unfamiliar motion grazing and fencing instrumentation will begin out by contacting a business that makes a speciality of electrical fence merchandise, says Jim Gerrish. Sales clerks at feed offer stores usually don’t have specific product information. “The client has to perceive there are separate fencing merchandise, one set for permanent fence and another for temporary fence,” he says. “Don’t confuse the 2.”

While perimeters and main subdivision fence are often electrical fencing, perimeter fencing is typically a physical barrier made from materials like wood posts and diamond v-mesh “horse fencing.” Again, temporary fencing, that provides a transportable barrier with electricity, is most frequently accustomed divide the inside into smaller segments.

There are many sorts of temporary fencing posts on the market. select a complete that’s straightforward to step into the bottom and hook the electrical tape to. “Temporary posts ought to be made from self-insulating material like plastic, plastic-wood composites, or fibreglass,” he says.

String between every post one or additional strands of tape or wire. styles of temporary fencing filament include:

Tape that is that the most typical material used for holding horses. “There are 2 basic styles of tape,” says Jim Gerrish. “The half-inch-wide tape is usually used for movable fences that require to possess high visibility. Tapes 1- to 1½-inch wide are used additional usually for semi-permanent fences—but each approaches work well for horses.”
Dawn Gerrish says it’s vital to use a tape that has 2 different colours, like black and white, blue and white, or red and white, which can be additional visible to horses. “Avoid solid red, yellow, and inexperienced colours,” she says, as these colours tend to mix in with the pasture background and may be troublesome for horses to determine.

Braided polywire, string-sized merchandise comprised of plastic and wire filaments twisted along into a skinny strand, regarding the diameter of string. “This is that the lowest grade of fencing product with less conduction, less strength, and poorer visibility than the opposite merchandise,” Jim Gerrish says. it’s not typically suggested for horses due to its poor visibility.

Polyrope a filament with a bigger diameter than decorated polywire, offers bigger visibility and strength. It comes during a form of diameters up to 3 quarters of an in.. “Braiding the wire filaments into bundles together with plastic filament enormously will increase each conduction and breaking strength,” says Jim Gerrish. “Visibility is additionally increased.” He suggests exploitation the larger diameter polyrope just for horses accustomed to temporary fencing as a result of it doesn’t break simply if a horse bolts through it. once 1st coaching horses to temporary electrical fencing, begin with tape.

Metal wire, that isn’t as visible as tape and not as transportable. as a result of wire won’t break simply, several horse individuals don’t advocate it as temporary fencing. “Horses are rather more possible to be seriously contusioned by wire,” says Dawn Gerrish.
A meshed reel, for completing and paying out the tape, is that the icing on the cake, creating temporary fencing straightforward to use and transportable. “We like a 3:1 meshed magnitude relation as a result of it permits tape to be tense quicker with less effort than nongeared reels,” she says. “We conjointly like a reel which can hold 660 feet of half-inch tape.”

The final piece of equipment—if your fence is electric—is the charger, or energizer, for power. “The charger has to be fittingly sized for the work to be done,” says Jim Gerrish. “Most chargers are rated on a joule basis. primarily you would like one joule of output energy per mile of fence on the farm. Battery units will have even as abundant power as plug-in units, as long because the battery charge is bigger than fiftieth.”

Always use a low-impedance fence charger for transportable fence,” adds Dawn Gerrish, “because the old-style high-impedance (charger) can heat up and soften the plastic in tape.” A low-impedance charger maximizes the number of current on the length of the fence, therefore you finish up with a major quantity of charge at the tip of the fenceline.

Jim Hawkins is a teacher at the University of Gem State’s Lost stream Grazing Academy and a retired eutherian consultant for the University of Idaho living close to the root of the Salmon in fabric, Idaho. Since the first 2000s Hawkins has been grazing as several as eighty horses on regarding fifty acres of irrigated ground. “Outfitters WHO primarily use their horses throughout the autumn season want some place to board and keep their horses the remainder of the year, in order that they pay ME to stay them throughout the summer months,” he explains.

Hawkins uses management-intensive grazing to rotate horses through set pasture areas, filler them therefore horses graze every space right down to no shorter than three inches in a couple of week. He sets every space up therefore horses have access back to the corrals. Horses are out grazing for twelve hours in the dark and are within the corrals for twelve hours throughout the day—“the same approach outfitters are exploitation them throughout season,” he explains. “Or, the approach any horse owner WHO needs to ride would use them, as we have a tendency to don’t usually ride when dark.”

Because he grazes mules together with horses, Hawkins uses 2 strands of polybraid—one knee-deep at twenty four inches and therefore the different chest-high at forty eight inches—instead of only 1. Explaining why, he says with amusing, “Mules are simply plenty smarter than most horses and the majority, as well as me!” Hawkins uses a kind of temporary fencing and metal T-posts, that he sets up at the start of the summer and leaves throughout the grazing season.[/sidebar]

And what regarding star chargers? These are fence chargers that convert the sun’s energy into electric power and store it during a battery. “Solar chargers can work most anyplace as long because the charger is satisfactorily sized to handle the work,” says Jim Gerrish.

Finally the most effective temporary electrical fencing instrumentation is useless while not correct grounding; poor grounding is that the leading reason behind temporary fence failure—when your temporary fence isn’t “hot enough” to stay horses from strolling all through it, trying to find greener pastures. The “shock” in an electrical fence has to be enough to discourage your horses from testing the fenceline.

In an electrical fencing system, electricity has to complete a circuit to try to to its job, wishing on ground rods as a route for the electricity to come back to the energizer. Inadequate grounding limits the number of electricity that may flow through the system. To ground, drive one 3- to 4-foot metal rod into the bottom close to the charger. Attach the grounding rod to the charger consistent with your fence manufacturer’s specifications.

Other Uses for Temporary Fencing
There are apparently endless uses for temporary fencing. one amongst the foremost sensible is to confine a horse that’s rehabbing from injury. With temporary fencing, provide your rehabbing horse a stall-sized, but usable, pen therefore he has a chance to graze furthermore as a modification of scenery. this may stop him from athletics around a field, any exacerbating Associate in Nursing injury.

With visiting horses, use temporary fencing to divide giant paddocks into smaller areas to accommodate your equine guests. ensure there aren’t any shared fencelines if you don’t need them to possess contact with one another.

Some homeowners use temporary fencing because the interior fencing for track paddocks—long corridors that circle the perimeter of a pasture or different space to encourage horses to maneuver regarding additional freely and act with one another. A track pen is usually founded with permanent fencing on the skin and temporary fencing on the inside—temporary fencing permits you to regulate the breadth and form of the track. (To read a slideshow of track pen styles, visit

Temporary fencing is usually used as a transportable corral once tenting on a path, once overnighting at a bivouac whereas traveling, or at a show or event.

Other doable uses for temporary fencing include:

To keep horses from cribbing, chewing, or leaning on permanent fencing and thereby destroying fencelines. String one strand of electrical tape across the highest and another regarding tierce of the approach off the ground;
To separate horses for reasons aside from pasture management (e.g., activity problems, a mare with foal, etc.);
As a backup for broken fencelines till they’re fixed;
To rope in a region (e.g., to safeguard trees or different plantings, facilitate horses avoid holes, etc.) wherever you don’t need horses to wander;
To create a buffer or biofiltration strip on creeks, ponds, ditches, or wetlands—keeping horses and eutherian out of those areas permits vegetation to flourish and act as mud managers;
When commutation a foal from his dam, though be ready for them to check the system’s limits.
Final concerns
When putting in place temporary paddocks on your farm, it’s typically best to determine solely as several as you’re thinking that you’ll want first—you will forever attach additional temporary electrical tape if you would like to subdivide any. If you wish to stay fencing and instrumentation prices down, you’ll move temporary fencing (and water) with the horses as you turn them from one grazing space to a different. ensure teams of corralled horses get on well or that pasture areas are giant enough to suit their personalities so a dominant horse doesn’t pin another during a corner.

Place gates therefore you’ll lead horses simply from stall to pasture and back. keep in mind to possess a supply of water for every pasture; this may be a separate water supply for every grazing space or one water supply accessible from over one space. Also, contemplate putting in place pastures in such the simplest way that horses will have access to shade or shelter, particularly if summers in your space are very popular.

Your pastures can many thanks for exploitation motion grazing and temporary fencing, as well. Healthier pastures mean additional forage production and lower fodder bills—and, of course, happy horses.

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