Current Topic: The perimeter fence is our last defense against breakouts (and breakins as history has shown) so I want it big, strong and serviceable. Built with just basic materials and hard labor.
If You Start A Fencing Project You Must Finish It. Stuff Depends On It...
One of the frustrating aspects of this farm is the fencing. It doesn't work for the horses and it is always in the way. Aside from that most of it is designated as 'temporary'. A.K.A. Installed in desperation or during crisis. To make matters worse maintenance always requires working in the pastures with nosy horses to impede progress.
This practice has got to stop.
This Years Theme Is All About Form And Function...
After all our fencing efforts we were still 75 percent original fencing. Mostly consisting of original high-tensile 13-gauge smooth galvanized wire and two inch plastic tape with embedded electrical ability we are using 'temporarily' as replacement for original barb-wire we removed. Plus, there was a small percentage of lovely (although inadequate) wood rail fence. All only about three feet tall. Not really suitable for the powerful, athletic horses we are raising. And all were prone to problems.
What we decided was to create a set of large, well fenced, areas which we could section off (cross fence) using 'electrical-tape' and t-poles. A simple and movable temporary fencing. The additional electrical sectioning allows us to more effectively use the pastures through rotation. With this method the horses are always within the perimeter fence.
And then there was this one major location which we had repaired numerous times. This time we were determined to get it right. Surprisingly... moving the fence less then two feet over solved a huge amount of the problems we had here with the safety (hazard zone) and water (sharing). Our maintenance level was also reduced and we had better access. We went one step further in that we replaced the one fence with two separated by a rather large alley way.
This is where the form and function starts to play. Most horsey conflict transpires along the fence. But that's only true for common fences. Thus, if you separate the horses by a small distance then it removes the urge to kick the neighbor which can damage either or both horses or even worse the fence. This also provides an alley (pathway) between the two pastures which always helps with facilitation (moving, feeding, mucking. repairing, etc...).
The driveway was also heavily considered. It turns out that we move a lot of material from the front to the back of the property. And since we want to eventually tree-line it we made sure the separation of the fences was large enough for both purposes.
The fences we installed use eight foot long by six inch thick round treated poles. They were tapered (like a sharpened pencil) allowing us to use a rented hydraulic post pounder. We pounded in around 350 poles on eleven foot centers and used three courses of twelve foot 2x6 for rails. We also used the ever popular 5 inch Ardox nails. These nails are square, about 3/8 in. thick and twisted about two twists per inch making them drive in like pounding screws. It takes an extra heavy hammer to pound in these monsters. Yup! It's brutal work but we 'never' see a fence failure due to these nails. In fact when we repair a fence we grind the heads off the old nails, pull the old rail through the nails, grind the remaining nail off the pole replacing the failed rail (or pole) with new nails. It's actually less work then trying to pull one of these nails out.
The fence varies in height from about four and a half feet to five and a half feet with a strong average at five feet. Doing the math that's well over a kilometer or way over a half-mile.
For access to the new areas we were able to use a standard gate-panel designed for livestock management. These panels are ten feet wide and with a small bit of planning we were able to fit these between the poles of our new fence.
We mounted the panels to fence poles using eight inch 3/8 in. eye-bolts. The gate panels already have pins and sockets so with a small bit of effort we were able to install the panels in a removable fashion so not only do we have access for people and horses but the panels themselves are readily removable to allow access by the tractor. And. The panels are strategically located to make access as easy as possible.
Wow! This is really going to help me sleep at night. Our fences have gained two feet in height (big horses) and they are much stronger and you can finally tell what side of the fence the horse is actually on.
referer :The Metro Shed Area Gets A Facelift -->