Fortifying Your Horse Fence
By Jason T. Atilia
Came across an article of Bob Kingsbery, ranch owner and horse fence expert, the other day. I have to admit that he does know what he’s talking about. The man knows his fences and had given horse fencing seminars worldwide for the last couple of decades. The man talks with sense that I feel obliged to share with you nuggets of knowledge from Kingsbery. But before doing that, let me give you the lowdown on fencing your horses. Fencing is probably the oldest trick in the book for keeping animals safe. In the old days, plain wood and rope were used to fence animals in. But common sense tells us that wood and rope are no match for horses. Thus, the evolution of the lowly wooden fence to electric fences and high-tech barriers. These modern fences come with a heavy price tag, something which Kingsbery abhors. According to our fencing expert, the price of a fence does not determine its capability to protect your horses.
Kingsbery shares some helpful hints for us horse fencing dummies. These tips are very practical and common sense that Kingsbery finds it funny that people forget these. He asserts that it is significant to follow standard instructions and specifications in constructing the fences. Even if you bought the priciest fence money can buy, it is still bound to fail if it is improperly installed. For example, if the measurements indicate a height of 5 meters, anything less or more can injure your horse or let it escape. Let me remind you that not following standard specs can land you in jail or command you to a heavy fine.
Perimeter security is another aspect usually overlooked by fence builders. With his history of long experience, Kingsbery claims that unbroken and continuous fences are the best for this purpose. The uninterrupted barrier leaves no open spaces for horses to escape to. In installing a continuous horse fence, Kingsbery reminds builders to provide a gate. As idiotic as it may seem, forgetting the gate is a regular mistake in fencing history. For added security, depend on horse psychology. Make your fence and security marking highly visible because horses are hesitant to cross stark obstacles without prodding.
Kingsbery also highlights another mistake most horse owners make: leaving the gates open. Most animals escape by nudging an unlocked gate and running out. Train your handlers, yourself, and anyone in contact with your animals to lock gates always. If you must, post signs on every entrance or exit points and install automatic latches that swing doors shut. It is important to choose fence materials that are horse-proof. How to test? Kingsbery suggest testing the locking mechanisms with a child of two years. If it is not sufficient to lock a kid in, it’s certainly not going to keep horses in either.
There are many methods to keep horses in. Likewise, there are also ways by which horses can get out of your horse fence. Review your horse fencing technique and try to think of ways by which horses can overcome it. By the way, this advice is from me and not from Kingsbery.
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