Our homestead came with almost no fencing for horses – in fact and the fences that existed would not have held in any type of animal and most of the field fences were fallen over. We started off using temporary electric fencing using T posts and some temporary push in posts. The process taught us a lot about how to make electric fences work well – and you can see our electric fences for beginners information here.
This summer we decided to make a start replacing our temporary fences with more permanent fences. We wanted to find something that would be safe for horses, low maintenance, cost effective and easy for us to install. After much research, we decided to go with a polyester line fence (2 strands) and a top line of electric tape.
Fencing for horses – polyester EquiLine Star
The polyester line (our choice was Equiline Star but there are a few other brands). It is a stiff line, around 3mm thick (0.15″) with a star-like cross-section. Its flexible, so if a horse runs into the fence line it stretches rather than break or cut the horse. It is UV safe and will last a long time. Better still, it is easy to work with. It comes on 2,000′ rolls and costs under 0.14c a foot – so with out set up with two strands it was very cost effective.
Fencing for horses – posts
One struggle for us was to find cost effective fence posts. We wanted something treated to help with insect attack and yet not be overly expensive. We found 8 foot ‘landscape’ timbers at our hardware store were perfect. They cost around $4 a post although we have seen them on sale for less than $2. We also bought some round treated 6 inch posts to use as corners. We sunk these posts down 30-36″ into clay and with a rocky layer and tamped them all by hand. All the holes we dug with a post hole auger on our small tractor. This device was absolutely worth the cost…and we found we could not even rent one locally. At the end of the process, the posts we cut at 54 inches above ground level using a chain saw.
Fencing for horses – installing the line.
We had a couple of options for installing the line. We could have drilled holes through each and every post the threaded the line through the holes. Instead, we decided to use hammer-in galvanized staples. To stop the metal staple rubbing and cutting the line, we bought some cheap water tubing which we cut into 1 inch lengths and ‘pinched’ in with the staples.
The line then threaded through the tubing.
When the line had to go around a post we just cut longer pieces of tubing.
Fencing for horses – ending the line.
To end the line off we used anchors bought from the same supplier. These are one-way devices that the line pulls through but will not allow the line to slide back.
You drill a hole in the end post that fits the anchor then feed the line through the hole into the anchor. Pull the line taught through the anchor and it hold the tension. Its easy to do and easy to adjust the tension along the line. You really don’t need a tension pulling tool for short runs. You can grab the line once through an anchor and just use your body weight to pull the line to the desired tension. You can easly increase the tension over time in the same way.
The final job was mailing insulating tape holders onto the posts and running electrified tape back to our existing charger.
I have easily installed hundreds of feet of fencing now using this line and system – and not only does it look great, it was far easier than other options we considered.
I don’t know how this would work for other animals, and would be concerned that some would just chew through the line…it would be tough but then goats chew tin..right?
We would love to hear from other horse owners about what they are using and why…in the comments below.