By Ashley Reynolds of Centaur Fencing
Temporary and permanent fencing have their advantages and disadvantages. The type you choose will depend on a variety of factors.
Temporary fencing is generally just that, temporary. This type of fencing is not meant to be used on a long-term basis. Temporary fencing can be easily installed, moved, or taken down when you are ready to build something that is stronger and more permanent. There are two major variations on temporary fences: 1) temporary wire, lines, or braids that come in a spool and are built to set up across posts or steel t-posts, and 2) ready-to-use kits like Gallagher SmartFence. You can also use temporary fencing options within a permanently fenced in enclosure if you need to protect certain areas of your property or protect your horse from issues with the land such as the following:
- Water sources
- Sink holes
- Eroded areas
- Rocky terrain
If your grazing strategy incorporates rotational grazing, temporary fencing such as tape or braided wire fencing is a good choice. Rotational grazing is an economical and easy way to feed, that maintains pasture ground cover and reduces the risk of overgrazing.
Temporary fencing is generally made with lightweight yet fairly strong materials like braided wire, tape, and bare wire. These types of materials are most often electrified because a horse will not respect the material on its own. It is very easy for a horse to lean on, tear down, or become tangled into these fencing materials if they are not electrified. The risk for entanglement is still there even if it is electrified, but the risk is not nearly as significant. If a horse is properly trained to respect the electrified temporary fencing, potential for injuries and problems decreases significantly.
Permanent fencing is better suited for long-term use and can hold horses in much more effectively. A few permanent fencing choices include wood rails, vinyl rails, and electrified rails. You have the option of incorporating temporary fencing materials such as wire or tape fencing along with wood or PVC/vinyl rails in order to create a much more respected barrier for the horse. An alternative option is to select a fencing material that incorporates electrically conductive materials in its construction, like Centaur Fencing Hot Rail or similar options. This type of fencing is used when you do not need to move fence rails and plan on having a stationary fenced in enclosure for long term use.
Permanent fencing takes longer to install but makes for a more solid fence. Unlike temporary fencing, permanent fencing generally requires posts to be concreted into the ground. Since there are nails involved with wood rail fencing, the fencing must be maintained frequently. Permanent fencing is a good choice for the following reasons:
- The horse is less likely to get out.
- Wildlife is less likely to get in.
- It can more effectively withstand impacts.
- If can withstand almost all weather conditions if built properly.
- It can be painted to that it is highly visible.
- It can be electrified or non-electrified.
Permanent fencing is not necessarily any safer to use than temporary fencing; it is simply stronger and can withstand more of an impact. There is still the risk of a horse breaking through the fence and becoming injured. Wood fence rails can have sharp protruding nails, and if the wood slats break the horse can get splinters or become impaled on the broken boards. PVC/vinyl rails can shatter and puncture a horse should they break through the vinyl railing.
It is a good idea to have a secondary fence line of permanent fencing in case a horse does break out. If they break through the first line, they are unlikely to break through the second fence line. The second fence line adds another element of security, since the horse will be less likely to get out, and wildlife will be less likely to get in.
In addition to a great selection of fencing supplies, we offer professional fence installation. Call us at 603-358-3001 for a free estimate or to book a job.