Basics of Effective Horse Fencing

Fences for Horses

Herd of horses in pasture
Taken from Fences for Horses by G. T. Roberson & R. A. Mowrey

Whether it’s a backyard pen for a single horse or a large equestrian center, a well-designed and maintained fence is an asset. While many people marvel at the appearance of attractive fences around pastures and paddocks,the appearance of the fence should be a secondary concern to the informed owner. A fence should be designed to protect horses, people and property.

A good fence should …

Types of Fencing Materials for Horses

Horse in pasture

There are many options in fencing material available to the owner. The most common materials are wood, metal, plastic, wire and concrete. Some fencing systems combine more than one of these materials. Examine the pros and cons of all materials before making a choice.

Wood

Wood is one of the most popular materials available for horse fences. Wood can be used for posts, braces, boards or rails. Wood will naturally decay when exposed to ground contact or weather, therefore pressure …

Types of Fencing Available to Horse Owners

Adequate fencing is a necessity of owning or boarding horses. Many factors must be taken into consideration when choosing or building a horse fence.

This resource covers a vast amount of information about horse fencing including:

  • Purposes of a Fence
  • Height of the Fence
  • Selecting the Fence
  • Fencing Materials
  • Gates
  • Construction
  • Maintenance

Types of Fencing for Horses (PDF) Click on the link to download the PDF.

Horse Fencing: Electric Fencing and Gates – Dr. Chris Skelly, Michigan State University…

Horse Stall Design

No matter what your management style or needs, the basics of a safe horse stall are the same. Many options that effect function and cost are available for horse stall features.

This fact sheet provides an overview of some basic stall features for a typical 1,000-pound horse. You should adjust the dimensions for significantly larger stall occupants.

Horse Stall Design (pdf) Click on the link to download the article.…

Stall Floor Materials and Drainage

The most suitable floor is highly dependent on management style, while personal preferences can have a strong influence. Fortunately, there are many options for suitable floors in a horse facility.

The objective of this resource is to provide information on stall and stable flooring materials, including flooring material attributes and options for overcoming some deficiencies.

Stall Floor Materials & Drainage (pdf) Click on the link download the article.…

Horse Stable Ventilation

We all know that the stable should smell like fresh forage and clean horses rather than manure or ammonia. Yet, failure to provide adequate ventilation is the most common mistake made in construction and management of modern horse facilities.

This resource covers common questions about ventilation, recommendations for providing effective natural ventilation and designs for improving ventilation in horse stalls.

Horse Stable Ventilation (pdf) Click on the link to download the PDF.

Drylots for Horses

Drylots, or exercise paddocks, provide an opportunity to move horses off the pasture during high stress periods to protect pastures from being overgrazed. Drylots can vary in size but should provide a minimum of 400-500 square feet per horse. The size should be increased proportionally as the number of horses increase. These paddocks are typically situated near barns, are used only to provide exercise, and generally contain a limited amount of vegetation. Drylots can also serve as holding areas …

Equine Facilities: Pasture and Paddock Area Requirements

Foal in pasture

The area requirements for pastures or paddocks associated with a run-in shed will vary depending upon the number of animals housed together; the soil type, fertility, and slope; forage types; and climate.

A general rule is to provide two to three acres per horse for year-round grazing unless the horses are supplementally fed. Provisions for winter hay feeding will be necessary.

Pastures or paddock layout should be planned to accommodate rotation of pastures. Depending upon stocking rate of horses, …

Equine Facilities: Farm Design and Layout

Horse Barn

Barn Functions

The primary requirements of a horse barn are to:

  • provide protection from extremes in weather
  • keep the horse free from drafts
  • provide plenty of fresh air
  • allow for care and feeding of horses
  • give the horse a dry place to bed down
  • avoid injury to the horse.

The horse barn should be well planned, durable, and attractive. There should be enough space in a horse barn for the well-being and safety of the horses and of the people …

Equine Facilities: Parking, People, and Equipment

Horse Barn

Highways, Entrances, and Parking Areas

Several issues must be addressed before the client steps onto the property. In either a public or private facility, visitors should be able to park fairly close to the office in order to avoid several potential situations, including: 1) vehicles endangering mounted riders, 2) unsupervised visitors around the facility, 3) overlapping horse and vehicle traffic areas, and 4) improper containment for unexpected loose horses. A loose horse should not be able to reach the public …