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6 Types Of Horse Fencing: Which Is The Best One? (Pros & Cons)

Dean Eby

July 4, 2021

A lot goes into caring for horses. These giant creatures eat a ton of food, drink massive volumes of water, and they need an abundance of space to exercise. You’ve got to have stables where they can sleep and pastures where they can graze.

Of course, you also have to find a way to keep them closed into the pasture, so they don’t just run free and disappear off your property. This leads to the necessity of quality fencing. After all, a 1,500-pound beast of a horse can accidentally stumble through sub-par fencing, so you need to choose something sturdy.

That said, some types of fencing are definite no-nos when it comes to your horses, as they’re unsafe and potentially harmful. To simplify matters, we’ve put together this list of the six best types of horse fencing, and we’ll even discuss the types of fencing you should never use with horses, just so you know what to avoid as well.

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6 Best Types Of Horse Fencing

1. Wood Fencing

wooden horse fencing
Image Credit: Pixabay

Tried and true, wood fencing has a long track record of making excellent fencing for horses. It’s hard to go wrong with some thick wooden boards of oak or something similar. This material is extremely strong, so your fences are sure to hold up if you build them right. Plus, wood is very visible, and your horse won’t accidentally run into it. Granted, it’s not the cheapest material, and wood prices have been climbing quickly recently. Wood also wears out due to weather and the chewing of your horses, which means you’ll have to replace boards often and do a good amount of general upkeep and maintenance.

Pros
  • It’s highly visible
  • Makes for strong fences
Cons
  • Wood tends to wear out
  • Can be rather costly

2. PVC Fencing

pvc fencing
Image Credit: Pixabay

Unlike wood, PVC fencing won’t wear out with the weather and your horses can’t chew it up. It’s essentially weatherproof, and it can even have the appearance of a wood fence, minus the maintenance and hassle. Of course, you can get PVC in all white and even some other colors, allowing for very elegant looks with minimal maintenance. But this is one of the most expensive ways of constructing your fence. Worse, these boards are designed to break under pressure, and once your horses learn this, they’ll probably walk right through them, which is why most PVC fences are combined with electric fencing.

Pros
  • Elegant looks
  • Minimal maintenance required
  • Weatherproof
Cons
  • Designed to break under pressure
  • Very costly

3. Electric Fencing

electric fencing
Image Credit: Pixabay

It’s said that if you tie a baby elephant to an object and later, leave the rope on the elephant and remove the obstacle it was tied to, the elephant will stay in place, believing it’s still stuck. An electric fence works on a similar psychological premise. Once your horse experiences a shock from the fence, it will learn not to touch it again for fear of receiving another shock. These shocks aren’t dangerous though; they won’t harm your horse, and they offer a great deterrent, even if they are uncomfortable for your horse to experience.

The problem with electric fencing is that it’s all one system, so if something damages the system, none of it will work. Also, you’ll need a professional to install electric fencing, unlike wooden or PVC fencing, which you can easily do yourself. In general, electric fencing combines well with other types of fencing.

Pros
  • Provides a physical and psychological barrier
  • Combines well with other fencing
Cons
  • Requires professional installation
  • Damage anywhere incapacitates the whole system

4. Pipe Fencing

horse pipe fencing
Image Credit: Pixabay

Pipe fencing is a bit industrial in appearance, but it’s incredibly strong and offers top-notch durability. On the downside, it’s so strong that it has no give. If your horse runs into steel pipe fencing, it could sustain serious damage. Thankfully, this fencing tends to be pretty visible, so this shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, pipe fencing has a rather costly install and purchase price, so it’s certainly not the most economical option. Unfortunately, it’s also rather difficult to install, which is why the installation is so costly, and this may prevent you from installing pipe fencing yourself.

Pros
  • High-strength and great durability
  • Great visibility
Cons
  • Has no give—could cause injury
  • Can be difficult and costly to install

5. Wire Fencing

wire fencing
Image Credit: Pixabay

Wire fencing is one of the cheapest types of fencing that is adequate for horses. It’s also very easy to install, making it even more affordable for most people. Granted, it’s one of the weaker fencing methods, and horses will often lean on wire fencing and cause it to lose shape. Additionally, wire fencing has some of the worst visibility of any fencing on our list, and if your horse runs into it at full speed, it could spell disaster. For these reasons, wire fencing is often combined with PVC or wood fencing to provide more visibility, and with electric fencing to prevent horses from leaning on it.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Poor visibility
  • Not the strongest fencing

6. V-Mesh Fencing

v mesh fencing
Image Credit: Pixabay

V-mesh fencing is a particular type of wire fencing that’s much safer and more effective. Also known as no-climb fencing, V-mesh has smaller holes that a horse’s hooves can’t get stuck in. Plus, it’s designed to absorb the energy of your horse, so if it runs into the V-mesh, it won’t get as injured as if it ran into any other type of fencing. Still, it’s effective at keeping out predators and pests. As you might expect, this type of fencing is rather costly, though it’s only about the same price as wood fencing. Considering the fact that it’s one of the safest fencing materials for horses, V-mesh is one of our favorite options.

Pros
  • One of the safest materials for horse fencing
  • Absorbs a galloping horse’s energy
  • Keeps out pests and predators
Cons
  • Excessively costly

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Fencing You Should Never Use For Horses

1. Barbed Wire

Barbed wire might be effective at keeping unwanted guests out, but it’s a terrible idea to use it for keeping your horses in. A horse can easily get hurt by barbed wire, even just by leaning on it. Should your horse run into barbed wire at full speed, it could cause severe harm.

2. Square Mesh With Large Openings

While some mesh fencing such as V-mesh is great for horses, fencing with large openings is not. If the openings are larger than 3 inches, your horse’s hooves could get caught in the openings, causing damage to the horse and the fence. Make sure any mesh fencing you use has holes that are smaller than 3 inches.

Combining Fencing Types

While most of these fencing types are effective on their own, maximum effectiveness is often achieved by combining more than one type of fencing. For instance, PVC fencing is attractive and holds up well against weather, but it’s breakable. When combined with electric fencing, you can prevent horses from breaking it, though you’ll only need a single strand of electric fencing, keeping the costs lower. These fencing types can be combined in a myriad of ways, so think about what each fencing offers and how different kinds of fencing can complement each other.

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Which Fencing Is The Best For Horses?

In the end, we can’t tell you which fencing is the best for horses, because the answer is different for everyone. All six types of fencing that we’ve discussed in this article are great options, and you won’t be disappointed with any of them, though many could be improved by simply combining them with other fencing types. You’ll have to factor in things like your own budget, space, and tastes to determine which kind of fencing is the best fit for your space and horses. We’re fans of the V-mesh since it offers one of the safest types of fencing for horses, but we think each type of fencing we’ve listed has a time and place where it’s the best bet.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Dean Eby

An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan.  He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning.  An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.