When you plan to construct a paddock area for your equine friends, there are several options available. However, timber is the preferred choice and is the most ideal. What are its benefits?
Timber fencing has been used by horse owners since the first European settlers landed on Australia's shores. Its benefits derive from the fact that it is durable, strong and is a lot more forgiving than the alternatives. The preferred method of enclosing these animals is still by post and rail. In any enclosures where the horses have plenty of room to move around this type of structure can frequently be erected with no additional safeguards. However, if the enclosure is relatively small and the horse tends to be of a somewhat nervous disposition, then post and rail fences should have electric tape added to keep the horses at bay.
Getting the Most Out of Timber Fencing
To ensure that the timber fence is as safe as possible the horizontal rails should be attached to the inside of the poles, so the fence line is smoother. Horses are less likely to bang their necks and shoulders into any protruding posts this way. All edges should be sanded and any bolts cut flush to the timber, or recessed in the first place.
It's important to conduct regular maintenance on timber fences to make sure they are continually safe. Otherwise, the wood can split, swell or warp and produce splinters. Also, if the horses are kept in smaller yards they need to be fed sufficient roughage, or they tend to chew on the fence, causing damage that has to be repaired.
It is possible to erect timber fencing using posts and wires, rather than rails. However, the wires need to be tight together and pulled quite taught, in order to be as safe as possible for the horses. It may be beneficial to add an offset electrical tape and plastic-coated strands to the wire in order to improve visibility. Hi tensile wire is not recommended as it can be very sharp and cause injuries during any contact.
What are the Timber Alternatives?
While PVC looks like timber, it is a little easier to maintain because it does not require painting or staining. However, it is slightly more expensive than timber and will shatter under pressure. The rails are somewhat less sturdy too, and can be knocked out by horses causing an escape hazard.
Steel piping makes a durable fence, especially if you choose a galvanised version. However, it is very unforgiving and has been known to cause serious injuries to a horse if it is contacted at high speed.
Chain wire fences are not recommended for horses, as it is possible to get a hoof caught quite easily. Also, if the animal tends to chew then the wire can easily get caught between its teeth.
For more information about timber fencing, check out companies such as Noble Works Australia.Share