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Old 04-24-2010, 10:59 AM  
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Electric fencing and children

Hello,

I know, another fencing thread.. lol.. But I have 8.5 acers and getting ready to fence it in strictly for horses.. Iv never had my own horses and was first ready to use barb wire for my fence but from reading all the fencing threads on here and seeing the injuries it causes.. My common sence kinda kicked in and said that wasnt the way to go.. Now iv read about barbless wire and thought that could be a viable solution but then people say the horses dont respect that kind of wire and that you would need to electrify a strand or two.. Now comes my next concern, my 2 young boys. One is 4 and the other is fixing to be 2 and they love to be around my friends animals and horses.. If I electrify the fence and my kids walk around the fence and they touch it.. So whats a good and affordible option for horses plus my little ones running around? Im kinda stumped at the moment. I absolutly dont want to do somthing to injure my animals but at the same time my children.

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Old 04-24-2010, 11:10 AM  
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My kids have been around horses since they were 3 and 4 and they've never touched the hot wire. I explained to both of them what would happen if they did. It helped that we boarded and I could remind them each time we went to the barn.

My horses however have such a healthy respect for the hot wire that they won't even go near it. Perhaps shut the wire off when kids are out playing?
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:14 AM  
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Hello,

I know, another fencing thread.. lol.. But I have 8.5 acers and getting ready to fence it in strictly for horses.. Iv never had my own horses and was first ready to use barb wire for my fence but from reading all the fencing threads on here and seeing the injuries it causes.. My common sence kinda kicked in and said that wasnt the way to go.. Now iv read about barbless wire and thought that could be a viable solution but then people say the horses dont respect that kind of wire and that you would need to electrify a strand or two.. Now comes my next concern, my 2 young boys. One is 4 and the other is fixing to be 2 and they love to be around my friends animals and horses.. If I electrify the fence and my kids walk around the fence and they touch it.. So whats a good and affordible option for horses plus my little ones running around? Im kinda stumped at the moment. I absolutly dont want to do somthing to injure my animals but at the same time my children.
Your kids will only touch it once It will not permanently hurt them, but they will feel it and be surprised (I was going to say shocked, but I guess that is obvious) Electric fence pulsates, so it is not like they would grab it and couldn't let go, or something horrible like that. Warn them thoroughly before hand, of course.

I think electric fencing is the best option for horses, either by itself,(depending on the situation) or along with some kind of more solid fencing. Once a horse learns about it, they don't tend to mess much with it. Otherwise, you get horses that learn to walk down fences, lean against them until they break, or other wonderful tricks.

I have only electric fence, and my horses stay put. But I don't have foals, or really high strung animals, that might also require something solid with an electric wire or two.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:26 AM  
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My fence is mostly board fence, but we do have electric along the top on the perimeter, and some cross fence is all electric. I've had both my kids growing up on the farm (son from age 3, daughter from birth), and they listened when I told them NOT to touch the fence! The idea of getting shocked was scary enough.

Also, I think it's important to teach the kids boundaries when it comes to being around the horses, never mind the fence. At our house, no one goes in the fields with the horses without adult supervision. They don't feed treats over the fence without an adult. By age 6, I let my daughter go pat the horses over the fence on her own, but usually within my sight.

Honestly, getting a shock from a fence is way less dangerous than getting bitten, kicked or stepped on by a horse, so I wouldn't worry about the electric fence.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:49 AM  
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Our place had wood fence and some barbed wire. They say the safest fence is the one your horse never touches so we had an electric line across the top of the fence, along the inside.
I was able to grab the electric line and could just stand there and hold it. For me it was never worse than a shock from a carpet. My husband and daughter acted like it was a bad shock. I don't know if they were playing it up or it was somehow less shocking for me.
I'll tell you one thing, though. Never hold it and then touch a horse while you still have your hand on it. I did that to my daughter's horse and he shot backwards at an astonishing speed and then wouldn't go near me for weeks.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:25 PM  
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Our place had wood fence and some barbed wire. They say the safest fence is the one your horse never touches so we had an electric line across the top of the fence, along the inside.
I was able to grab the electric line and could just stand there and hold it. For me it was never worse than a shock from a carpet. My husband and daughter acted like it was a bad shock. I don't know if they were playing it up or it was somehow less shocking for me.
I'll tell you one thing, though. Never hold it and then touch a horse while you still have your hand on it. I did that to my daughter's horse and he shot backwards at an astonishing speed and then wouldn't go near me for weeks.
Or don't let the chain from the gate touch the fence while you are bringing your horse in or out. Equally shocking.

I am wondering if your fence is at full power - perhaps weeds touching it or something? Mine is quite uncomfortable if it is at full strength!
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:25 PM  
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I've never owned my own property, and have only owned a horse for five years ... boarding all that time.

I think if I were going to win the lottery and have my own place, I would do boarded fence with a top line of hot wire. Mostly I make that judgement from reading this forum.

A distant second would be a wire fence that had multiple strands, topped with electric. I've seen at my boarding places both ones that were composted of three or four high tensile strength strands strung horizontally, as well as one that's kinda sorta like chain link fence, only bigger horizontal+vertical squares (not diamond like chain link).

The thing to keep in mind is not just a horse's "respect," but also the way they move in a pasture. They are a grazing animal used to flight reactions. As they go about their grazing business, they may be wary of movements around themselves, but also can get sort of lost in the wandering from blade to blade. Thus they wander close to a fence. They get bumped by another horse, or startled by a bird, cat, kid, any kind of movement nearby, and they can end up sending a lot of force toward a fence, even if they don't "mean to."

I like to think of horses a giant super balls milling about in a pasture. You know those really bouncy little balls that you send one off down a hall and it can hit all over the place before coming to a rest ... a horse herd is like that. One jostle, spook, or kick, and next thing you know someone's flying into something whether he means it or not.

Point being - good and solid is what I would aim for, but budget has to be a concern of course.

(oh, and did I mention miy guy is a clydesdale? )
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:56 PM  
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I never even THOUGHT to worry about the hot wire fence when my kids were little, I was way more worried about keeping them safe around the HORSES! We unplugged the fence when working with the horses and by the time they were old enough to be around the horses without extreme supervision they had inevitably touched the fence at least once (even with being warned. They're kids, that's what they do! ).
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:03 PM  
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You said that these are your first horses. Have you had experience with other people's horses? Do you have someone experienced with horses who is helping you? I only ask because horses don't make a good "do-it-yourself project" even with online help from experienced horse people.
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:06 PM  
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They'll only touch the fence once


Not all electric fences pulse though, ours is always hot (well, not lately since I've not chopped weeds ).

But then again, hot fence may be a good thing, you sure don't want your little ones going out to the horses unsupervised.
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:08 PM  
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Iv ben around other peoples horses for a while. Just now being able to afford my own, yay for paying the land and house off. Was just concerned about hot fences and wanted peoples opinon.. Now what kind of wire would people recommend? I'm going to be fencing roughly 2400ft.. Could I use barbless wire on the first 4 rows then a hot wire on top? And can you attach hot wires to tposts?
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:56 PM  
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They sell all sorts of nifty things to attach the electric to the fence. I use tape. I like the visibility.

And, I do have to agree, they'll only touch it once. Unless they're like me...and forget to watch where you're touching.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:58 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernHorseGirl View Post
Our place had wood fence and some barbed wire. They say the safest fence is the one your horse never touches so we had an electric line across the top of the fence, along the inside.
I was able to grab the electric line and could just stand there and hold it. For me it was never worse than a shock from a carpet. My husband and daughter acted like it was a bad shock. I don't know if they were playing it up or it was somehow less shocking for me.
I'll tell you one thing, though. Never hold it and then touch a horse while you still have your hand on it. I did that to my daughter's horse and he shot backwards at an astonishing speed and then wouldn't go near me for weeks.
I bet you only touched the fence while wearing rubber soled shoes. Try touching it barefoot, you'll feel what your husband and daughter were describing.

We put in an electric fence last year. My daughter was 4 at the time and did touch it... Exactly once. She cried a little and then was fine - it scared her more than hurt her, and she's just as repectfil of the fence as the horses are.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:41 PM  
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LOL!! NorthernHorseGirl, I did that to Luna! I was leaning against the fence putting her halter on her over the fence (why?!) and I guess my big chestyness touched the fencewire (we have 3 round rail + a line of electric on the bottom pasture) and then I touched her poll and she flew back at lightning speed and wouldn't come near me for a week until I brought down some sweetfeed with me hahahaha...
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:41 AM  
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Hi I have always lived on a farm and had fenceing. The Kids will not get permanetly hurt but will listen better after touching the hot fence!! I also unplug it when Im out and have to open gates I just don't trust the handles are are always old cracked or the loop you put it into doesn't stay up. Your best fenceing is one that is HOT they respect it even young foals and calves learn also a good idea if your kids don't "listen" well is for them to see a animal get shocked we have a international 100 and super 100 fencers it makes a crack sound when they touch it. We use the barbless twisted fenceing for the cows and the horse pasture ( 5+ acers each) it is hard to keep tight use wood fence posts and 3 stapels (fenceing staples) per post per wire we have 3 barbless and 2 hot in between the use electric fence post insulators. If useing the white tape or other horse fenceing they have there own type of insulators for attaching the wires / tape. I like the hot wire on the inside not top you want them to stay away from the fence and sooner or later they will try to get to the greener grass on the other side of the fence.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:01 AM  
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No-climb fence with a strand of electic tape going across the top. It would be too high for you kids to reach it. We use it, and love it.

We also have it set up that at the first gate, you can unlatch the electric fence and deaden the whole fence. That way if I am doing something in a field there is no chance of getting shocked.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:30 AM  
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I have several small children and 2 horses... I will never do electric fence. When I was a little girl 3-5yrs ? I touched the horses electric fence and couldn not let go bc of the current. I screamed for minutes until someone unplugged it. I still remember it... it was horrible
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:50 AM  
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I don't think they make chargers that carry that much punch anymore!!! I've gotten hit once or twice, but never to the point of not being able to get away from it... Must have been awful!
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:16 AM  
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I also don't think they make fences like that anymore (well chargers) Most if not all chargers now use lower voltage and do pulse. I've had electric tape, (loved it, I've been shocked and so have my kids and it is just more of a surprise than pain) The horses respected it fine. Very safe for people and horses.

Now I have part of the field with board fencing with a strand of electric at the top to keep the horses off the fence because they are strong and have broken many boards by leaning over them and have escaped. Also one horse is a cribber. Also I have a strand down lower to keep the dogs in and keep dogs out.

The rest of the field is High tensile fencing 5 strands which is all electrified although some people do not like that because they think it can cause injury because it is strung too tight. (Difficult to break) But I have 2 mares and a pony and they are very respectful of it, they are also calm horses. For a bigger herd, or more aggressive horses I don't know.

My friends son is almost 3 and he is wild and I know for a fact he would walk right up and touch it after you told him not to, so I'd just unplug it if he was here. My dogs are 2 dobermans and a smaller mix breed and they also respect the fence, one or two touches and that's it, they now know where not to go.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:24 AM  
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The flex rail fence with electric is great fence. We had board but got tired of replacing rails as the carpenter bees ate it away...

Regarding electric fence and kids -- they'll probably only touch it once and it shouldn't hurt them. Regarding not being able to let go of an electric fence: that should not happen with today's chargers.
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