Clipping your cool
Horse operations: Agriculture?

Fencing fracas: Tips for sanity

Twists - the WORST way to splice or link electric horse fencing.
A jumper-point on the fence, where we had connected another pen to the circuit. Never just twist the wire.
The other day I answered my cell phone -- my first mistake -- to learn that the horses had ripped down the hot wire in Turnout #3 and several boards were broken along the fence line. This was only about the four-kabillionth time. I groaned and made nasty remarks about horses and wood fencing, which was actually my first real mistake. 

We should never have built with wood back in the olden days when the fence first went up. Wood beats pipe for looks, but horses will trash wood fencing in an instant. Horses are worse than the beavers that plague us. It would be an interesting speed contest: a beaver with a tree v. a horse with a wood fence.

Anyway, a contributing factor to the problem of our fences was that, over time, band-aid repairs to our hot wire, aka: electric fence, had reduced it to near total failure. The wire no longer carried much, if any of a charge.

The horses scoffed at the wire, and since two of the horses on the other side of the fence are mares, everybody likes to flirt, play, kick down and chew boards when bored. Grrr. And you thought you wanted to board horses. Note to self: House geldings only or build a pen in the hinterlands for the mares.

Gregg, a wonderful guy -- I may someday share our story -- peeled me off of the ceiling and said not to worry, it would just be work, not rocket science, to get this right.

Electric horse fencing tips:

  1. Turn off the fence while working on it. (I have forgotten this little detail.)
  2. Never splice two broken wire ends together by twisting. The space between the twists just shorts things out.
  3. Never use baling twine as an insulator. (Don’t laugh.)
  4. Support your sanity by spending a couple hundred bucks now to get the right tools.
  5. Build a pipe fence.

Guess what? It worked! About 10 days later, the fence remains intact!

You might also enjoy the story about the retired nuclear physicist who started a 1,348-acre brush fire with his fencing experiment.

Check out our photos, below, for more details. If this helped you, please:


Clamp - the better way to splice electric horse fencing.
Instead of twisting wire for splices, use proper clamps.
Fence stretcher - like having two, really strong extra hands to hold and stretch the wire in your electric horse fencing design.
A fence tensioner tightens loose wire, and holds ends in place for splicing with clamps. I would not recommend this brand of tensioner. I cannot find a brand name on it, but avoid it if you can. Wire slips when using it, and the stiff mechanisms lead to pinched fingers.

Clamping tool pinches the wire splicing clamps, which helps prevent shorts in electric horse fencing.
A clamping tool tightens splice clampsand prevents electrical shorts.

Nails or staples - the WRONG way to secure corner insulators in electric horse fencing.
Do NOT staple or use nails to secure corners.

Long screw-eyes - the strongest way to secure corner insulators in electric horse fencing.
Long screw-eyes are best for anchoring corners.

Plastic corner insulators - a different model we at Poudre River Stables are trying for our electric horse fencing.
This type of plastic insulator does not roll around in your hand like others.

Solar charger - more expensive than plug-in chargers for electric horse fencing, but requires no electricity, and therefore not vulnerable to power failures.
Solar chargers like this one are more expensive, but they pack a punch and don’t require electrical runs.