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Q3)  What is safe fencing?  What are the options?

There are many alternatives for fencing.  They range from wood fences to plastic to wire fencing.  All have advantages and disadvantages.  The primary requirements for any type of fence are durability and safety.  All fencing should be inspected regularly for maintenance and repair.

Wood fencing can be constructed in a variety of styles such as split rail, post and rail, or board fencing.  A strand of electric wire can be run over the top rail for added security and to discourage chewing.  There are a few basic rules that apply to all wood fences:

- the board or rail should be secured to the inside of the post so that a horse can't bump against it and work it off the post;

- the top of the post should be cut off at a slant so that rain water runs off and doesn't sit on the top of the wood and cause it to rot.

Electric fencing is less expensive than wood fencing and also less attractive.  Easy to install, it is relatively maintenance free.  There are certain rules that apply to all electric fencing:

- nothing can touch the wire or tape or the electricity will be grounded and loose its charge; weeds, tall grass, nails or posts are objects that often touch the wiring;

- the wire should be clearly visible and marked with flags or a warning sign for easy identification; wire-woven plastic tape is usually a bright yellow and is easily seen;

- attach a metal ground rod to whatever type of transformer you use.

- check the wire fencing after electrical storms to make sure it didn't ground out.

Barbed wire fencing is very dangerous.  A horse can easily snare a leg on this type of wire, panic and tear himself to pieces.  

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