horses and fencing don't mix

Horses and fencing don’t mix!


  • If you can stomach gross pictures – do a quick internet image search for “horse through fence injury”. While there are dozens of cute internet memes and cartoons and sayings about the grass being greener on the other side. If your horse puts his neck through the fence he’s doing himself and your fence a great disservice. The chances may be slim (or not) that he will spook while he’s poking through, but the results are devastating. Don’t even get me started on legs poking through either.


horse with head through wire fence

I cringe every time I see this.


How do you prevent your horse from getting tangled in fences?


  • Hot wire, hot tape, electric fencing. Hot fencing works in conjunction with all types of wood fencing to create a barrier. You may find that a strand between fence boards is needed. And just to clear up any false information – the shock delivered is much less than that static shock you accidentally give your horse pulling off his blanket.


  • Maintain the other side of the fence with shrubs, mulch, rocks, etc. Take away all neck poking through temptations!


horse poking through a fence to eat grass


  • Keep the inside of the fencing as tempting as possible. When pasture is scrubby, add a slow feeder for hay. If you are working with a dry lot, also use a slow feeder and perhaps add some toys.


  • Use fencing materials that create a physical barrier. I’m not always opposed to wire fencing, you can use it safely in conjunction with wood fencing. This involved the wire on the outside, off the ground, meticulous installation, and constant monitoring. (This is a lot of work. Always.) You can also go from a three-plank fence to a four-plank fence. You may find that the hot wire is the most economical and easiest to install.


  • Pay attention to your horse’s behavior and notice when and where he likes to poke through. Address those areas and times – more exercise? More friends? More distractions?


horse eating the bottom rail of a fence

And hello… no more wood chewing! YIKES!! Not to mention wood chewing is expensive and time-consuming to fix.