Is barbed wire fencing okay for horses? The answer to this question is a resounding no! While barbed wire figures prominently in Westerns and the American imagination, it causes nothing but high vet bills and tragedy on a horse farm. Horses need fences that are easily visible and incapable of trapping them. Here are five better options for horse fencing in Carlsbad, NM:
- Smooth wire: This is like barbed wire, but there are no barbs. It’s the least expensive option, and many properties use it until they can upgrade their fencing. Many designs involve three to eight wires, and sometimes the fence is combined with electrical systems to further discourage escape for those horses always seeking a way out. However, visibility is an issue, and if a horse is scared, they can run into it and get tangled. You can avoid this by choosing a manufacturer that wraps fence wire with color PVC coatings.
- Wood board fence: If you have a large budget and seek an attractive and traditional option, wood is likely a good bet. It offers visibility and strength, but keeping it attractive takes work—horses chew on wood fencing, and bad weather can compromise its structure and appearance. If a horse spooks dramatically enough, they can crash through the fence and face injuries due to nails and splinters. While it will work well for most farms, reconsider wood if you have a horse who does not respect fences and spooks easily.
- PVC board fence: PVC is a favorite in ranch communities because it offers the painted wood appearance without the maintenance issues. It is expensive, costing up to $10 per linear square foot. You can install internally ribbed PVC, which resists most breakage, but it will fail if a 1,000-pound animal runs through it. That can be avoided if you add an electrical wire system to it.
- Pipe steel: While strong and long lasting, you risk catastrophic injury to your horse if he runs into pipe steel fencing. However, since it offers high visibility, this possibility is vastly reduced. It is expensive to install, since each pipe must be cut and welded to your specifications. Once done, it is nearly impossible to modify. Many horse owners find the lack of maintenance worth these shortcomings, especially if their horses already respect fences.
- Electric fencing: Often used in combination with other types of fencing, electric fencing also works well on its own. Visible electric wires deter escape attempts by their presence, and the electricity provides a psychological disincentive. Normally, it only takes one shock for horses to respect the fence. They are inexpensive, at 15 cents per foot, but you want them professionally installed to reduce chances of failure and ensure they operate safely.
Now that you know barbed wire fencing is not okay for horses, contact Guadalupe Mountain Fencing LLC in Carlsbad, NM to discuss alternatives. Ranch fencing is within our experience, as we are a local fencing contractor who is knowledgeable about that community. Contact us today to find better horse fencing!