The Horse

SEP 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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56 TheHorse.com THE HORSE September 2018 centers with heavily braced posts on each end. I would not suggest using this fence with fractious or hot-blooded horses. Safety Poor without a visual barrier, such as high-tensile tape, across the top. Initial cost Moderately low. Long-term maintenance cost Low. Aesthetic appeal It doesn't look like horse fence. Other Options Steel pipe fencing This is a very safe type of fence used primarily in arid regions out West where rust is less of a problem. It is expensive but extremely strong and is sometimes used on farms where strength matters, such as in bull pens. Because it involves welding of joints, it is rarely installed by amateurs. PVC post and rail This type of fence is designed to mimic four-board wood fence without incurring the long-term main- tenance cost of repairing and painting. When installed properly it looks very neat and attractive. The problem that has de- veloped in many places is the UV degrada- tion, along with normal PVC outgassing, compromises strength over time and, when damaged, the material can shatter, leaving dangerously sharp edges. PVC fence's popularity on horse farms seems to have waned due to safety concerns. Barbed wire Again, this fence material, while low-cost and -maintenance, is not safe for horses. It's also unattractive on horse farms. Electric As a standalone system, electric fence is generally an inappropriate per- manent containment system for horses. It is usually installed with temporary posts and often subject to damage from wildlife and storms. High-visibility electric tape can be useful as a temporary paddock di- vider that allows escape without disaster. Poly wire and mesh tape are commonly used electric fence alternatives to solid wire. They incorporate fine strands of conductive wire and will break before seriously injuring a panicked horse. Take-Home Message Choosing a fencing type is one of the most important and expensive horse management decisions you will make. Find reputable fence contractors in your area, and ask for options and pricing for installed systems, even if you are plan- ning to build yourself. Fencing material suppliers or farm stores are typically bet- ter sources for components than big box building supply stores. Finally, remember to choose something you will enjoy look- ing at for years to come. H FARM & BARN Sugars and Starches in Horse Diets: They're Not All Bad! TheHorse.com/17160 10 Hot Weather Horse Care Tips TheHorse.com/117663 Not All Horses Think Alike in Spatial Reasoning Tasks TheHorse.com/159041 How Healthy Horse Hooves Help Arthritic Joints TheHorse.com/110605 Get the most-viewed content from TheHorse.com delivered in a convenient weekly digest with the FREE Reader Favorites Newsletter! Last Month's Most-Read Articles Sign up now at TheHorse.com/ReaderFavorites

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