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5 Tips for Installing Electric Fencing

Owning a horse is a big responsibility and something that should be taken seriously. If you own a horse, safety should be one of your primary concerns. Here at Prime Stables, we design, build and install durable and quality horse stables to keep your horse safe and secure. However, out in the paddock your horse can roam free and often get into trouble! One of the best ways to prevent this and to keep your horse safe is to install electric fencing.

What is Electric Fencing?

Electric fencing is a system that surrounds a paddock or area – either temporarily or permanently – to ensure your horse is safe and cannot escape. Electric fencing has numerous benefits and is commonly used to protect an existing wooden fence from damage resulting from cribbing or chewing of the top wood rail. Whatever reason you have for installing electric fencing on your property, make sure you follow our 5 tips for installing electric fencing to ensure the safety of yourself and your horse.

How Does Electric Fencing Work?

Electric fencing works by an energiser putting out a high voltage in the form of a low current pulse, approximately once every second, and conducting the fence line. An electric fence can be either a high tensile wire, electric fencing polywire, stranded wire, electro-tape or electro-rope.

The fence line of an electric fence must be completely insulated from the found so that there is no dangerous leakage of the current into the earth. When your horse comes into contact with the electric fence that is live, it will feel a shock as the current flows through its body. Over time, your horse will learn to remember that the shock causes him discomfort, creating a psychological barrier, and he will learn to respect the electric fence and stay away from it.

1. Keep Your Horse Safe

First and foremost, your main concern should be the safety of your horse. An electric fence is a barrier and, once trained how to, your horse will learn how to avoid it. If your paddock has traditional wooden fence posts, it is likely your horse will use them to scratch against or chew on, causing the fence to weaken over time. Installing an electric fence prevents this prom happening and helps protect your horse from harm whilst also prolonging the life of the fence.

2. Earth Your Electric Fence Correctly

In order for your electric fence to work correctly and safely, it is important that you make an adequate earth. This ensures that the shock circuit is completed when your horse comes into contact with the electric fence. It is best to use a one metre or two metre galvanised earth stake to ensure effective earthing. It is worth remembering that an electric fence placed in dry conditions allows the current to flow less easily than electric currents in wet conditions and, therefore, the electric fence may require the use of additional earth stakes for effective earthing.

3. Use Mains Electricity

When installing an electric fence, there are two options: using mains electricity or a battery energiser. Of course, this depends on the availability of a power source on your property. However, if you have the choice we would recommend using a mains energiser for the following reasons:

–       Low cost as there is no need to replace or recharge a battery.

–       It is secure as normally a mains unit will be installed in a building.

–       It is convenient as there is no need to check the battery on a regular basis.

If you decide to use a charger box or energiser, ensure it is certified as safe to use for both horses and people.

4. Check the Fence Voltage Regularly

To keep your horse safe and ensure your electric fence is working properly, check your fence voltage regularly by using a voltmeter. The voltage of your electric fence should be between 5,000 and 9,000 volts. By checking the voltage of your electric fence regularly, you can ensure that it is working effectively and keeping you and your horse safe.

5. Do Not Place Food or Water Troughs Next to Fencing

To ensure the safety of your horse in the field at all times, it is extremely important you do not place water troughs and feeding pails near the electric fence. Instead, place feeding troughs well clear of electric fencing to ensure your horse won’t get shocked while trying to eat or drink.

Call Prime Stables Today

Do you use electric fencing for your paddocks? We would love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below telling us about your experiences and what you would recommend when it comes to electric fencing.

If you would like to know more about horse care, why not check out our blog? We have a variety of informative articles with helpful equine advice from the professionals available at the click of a button. Alternatively, call us today for more information. Our team at Prime Stables would be more than happy to answer questions you may have.

Sarah Macey is the owner of Prime Stables, a family-run company who manufacture and install equestrian buildings throughout the UK and parts of Europe. Read more here.