Electric Fencing for Horses – Equipment Checklist


Electric fences are put up to serve one of two functions: keeping domestic animals in or keeping predators out. Electric fences are very efficient tools for performing both of these jobs, and are a popular option for containing horses.

Electric netting is the lightest and most flexible option for creating an electric fence. This is ideal for creating temporary pens or fence-lines which you plan on moving frequently.

However, netting is most suitable for smaller animals, like poultry, rabbits, sheep, and goats. Polywires are a reasonable alternative for goats and sheep. Electro-tape is, thanks to its high visibility, ideal for horses. For large, permanent fences, and those used for pigs and cattle, durable galvanized wire is the best choice.

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Tape or polywire for temporary fences can be supported with plastic tread-in posts. Tape, polywire, and galvanized wire can all be attached to wooden or metal posts for a permanent fence.

Each post connection needs to be supported by an insulator to carry the wire. A wide range of different types is available.

Your fence will be electrified by an energizer which either runs off of a battery or a direct hook-up to household power. The right energizer for your particular application depends on which power source you use and the overall length of your fence.

The general set-up process is relatively simple. Plant your posts and string your wire. Install the energizer – either close to its power connection or, if it will be running off a battery, close to the fence. Ground the energizer by planting its earth stake close to it.

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The energizer’s green clip should be attached to the earth stake; the red clip is attached to the fence wire. Once you switch the energizer on, your fence is up and running!

Equipment Checklist for Electric Fencing

Electric fences work by sending an electrical current through their wires at one pulse per second. If an animal touches the wire, it forms a circuit between the fence and the ground. This sends a frightening but harmless static shock through the animal. The energy discharged into the ground returns to the energizer via its earth stake.

Note that electric fences do not have to be laid out as closed loops; the circuit that makes it work is closed when an animal touches it. An electric fence laid out in a straight line would still function properly.

The following components are required for an electric fence:

1) Energizer.

This can be powered by batteries, solar cells, or a connection to household power. Energizers are often referred to as “fencers.” Besides their power source, energizers also need to be suited to the type of fencing you are using and the overall length of your fence. Energizers should also be sized appropriately for the type of animals you anticipate contacting the fence.

2) Fence material.

This can be electric netting, electro-tape, polywire, electro-rope, or galvanized wire. For multi-strand fences, you need connectors to link the strands. Alternately, the wire can be woven between insulators in a continuous loop.

3) Earth Stake.

This may or may not be built into you energize. Your fence will not work without one.

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4) Most forms of electric netting have posts and pegs built in.

This means you do not need separate posts and insulators.

5) If you use posts made of timber or metal, you will need insulators to hang your fence material.

If you use plastic tread-in posts, they may have “wire carriers” built into them.

6) If your energizer hooks up to a household or grid power source, you need insulated cable and crocodile clips to make the necessary connections between the energizer, the fence, and the earth stake.

7) If you are using a battery energizer, you need a battery appropriate to the particular model you’re using.

Most energizers take 12, 9, or 6-volt batteries. For a low-voltage fence, you may be able to power your energizer with ordinary household “D” cell batteries.

Is your fence not working? Check out DIY Electric Fence Troubleshooting for easy solutions.


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