Just got back from Kentucky and noticed many of the horse ranches have separate fencing for their horse pastures. I’m used to seeing two pastures separated by and sharing one fence; but the norm here seems to be two completely separated pastures with a lane between two separate fences. WHat is the purpose of this more expensive option?
From Kentucky Equine News:
I’ve also heard it’s a way for a farm to display wealth. They double fence when they can afford it.
probably made into law after a big push by the fence lobby.
It’s primarily done for the welfare of the horses, .
- Stops two horses, particularly stallions getting in close contact and fighting over/through the fence.
- You can drive around and check/show off the livestock without getting in the same paddock as the horses. Animals who are selected on the basis of how fast they can gallop can be very temperamental and either get spooked or get in close contact with the vehicle.
- If you are driving around by yourself, horses are the one domesticated farm animal who are familiar enough with humans to escape through the open gate while you are driving through it.
I just thought they were a handy controlled lane one can ride their horses on.
penultima thule has it. Horses fighting at/through a fence is extremely dangerous to the horses, and destructive of the fence. Busted fences allow escapes, which may bring harm to horses not involved in the original fight.
Double fences also allow you to put horses into Pasture B without going through intervening Pasture A and the horses already in A.
My father had a horse for a year or so when I was a kid. The horse would get bored, jump the fence, and go find some kids to play with.
I suspect the double fences help keep the horses in.
Even if the alley between the fences is wide enough to drive through, it is probably only 12 or 15 feet wide. I don’t know how much of a running start a horse needs to clear a fence, but I’ll bet it is more than 15 feet. I don’t know how much space a horse needs to slow down enough that he can turn after jumping a fence, but I suspect it is more than 15 feet.
Now, a particularly clever horse who is also a good jumper might try jumping the fence at an angle. But … no system works 100% of the time. I would think a double fence with a 15 foot gap will keep most horses in just fine.
Then again, my father (who grew up on a farm, so he should have known what he was doing) felt a 5 foot fence topped with barbed wire would keep a large Chincoteague Pony in, and was decidedly wrong about that.
And it does solve the problems of not being able to keep certain animals adjacent to each other. (Which is usually because they will fight through the fence, as others have noted.)
BTW: This is not limited to Kentucky horse farms. I’m sure nobody though this was exclusive to Kentucky, but I can say that I’ve seen the double fences in MD and CA.
Double fences are desirable and are used in lots of places besides Kentucky. The main inhibition is expense. Fencing will cost anywhere from $6 - $8 a running foot to $20 or more a foot. Obviously, double fencing will cost twice that. When you have large pastures, you’re talking about thousands of feet, maybe tens of thousands of feet. So double fencing requires deep pockets.
First up, as everyone has noted, there are a lot of good reasons to have separate paddocks or pastures, particularly with a larger operation.
Holy sh*t. Barbed wire and horses are a terrible combination. What happened to your pony?
Probably most important in thoroughbred country is preventing any through-the-fence fucking. Very serious money involved there.
Thoroughbreds are very high strung, valuable animals. The double fencing will allow stallions to see one another but not fight amongst themselves, which they would inevitably do.
As I said, he was a particularly good jumper. He’d get bored when nobody was home, jump the fence, then go 1/4 mile down the road to some apartments with kids.
He would bit through the dog’s rope so the dog could go with him.
And dad would return from work to find a message on his answering machine from one of the parents in the apartments asking him to come collect his horse and dog.
As for the actual barbed wire: the horse seemed to feel it was annoying, mostly. I never once saw him with a visible injury from the wire, but the barbs usually had some of his hair in them from him rubbing against them. I think he used the wire to scratch places that itched.
Thanks to having a salt lick for the year we had the horse, we had a family of deer that slept on the property for decades.
I’ve heard of a race called the Kentucky Derby
These horses are valuable and some quarantining of them may help stop the spread of sickness through them ?
These are race horses which are going out to race all over the country and any may bring back disease … so they have a high risk of getting a contagious illness in their number.
Really? I can’t imagine what thoroughbreds you could find worth jumping two fences for there…
Lots of horse ranches here in Texas, mostly quarter horses and Arabian mixes rather than thoroughbreds, but I’ve seen the double fencing too. Again, it’s for the Fancy Rich Folk ranches, with their high-falutin’ half-million dollar animals, and is a way to both avoid several security and safety issues AND proved a bit of conspicuous consumption.
It is done in many other countries too.
I live in Australia, on a horse property - with double fences. Wouldn’t keep my horses any other way. Made the mistake once of having horses sharing a single fence line and one horse kicked out at another (they were “friends”), horse ripped off skin, ligaments etc to the bone and was put to sleep.
It is safer to have horses together in a pasture than separated by one fence. They are social animals and no matter how fancy the fencing is, they are likely to interact over the fence and potential injuries result.
The white double fencing seen in Kentucky is more obvious than other forms of fencing, which might be doubled. It also keeps your animals separate from your neighbours if you have your own internal fencing rather than relying on shared boundaries.
The use of laneways and tree plantations between pastures is also beneficial.
I live in podunk nowhere SC and I’m planning on putting up a second fence along the roadside because people drive like IDIOTS on this road, and if they were to plow through my fence my horses could get out and go gallivanting off on that same road where people drive like IDIOTS.
And I do have a double line of fence already on one side (it was a driveway between properties at one point). It came in very handy when my nice but clueless neighbors brought home 2 horses. Both horses turned out to be intact (stallions). Said stallions had never really been around mares. I have 2 mares. My horses were very interested in the screaming newcomers, who were running their crappy fenceline like wild things. The bigger one did eventually push through his fence, and I looked out to see my horses kicking out at the now single fence trying to protect his woman. It could have gotten VERY ugly if I had not had that second fence. As it was it was a scary situation, and getting their mannerless and overexcited horse back where he belonged was NOT a fun thing.
Double fences are not a useless display of wealth, they help ensure the safety of both horses and humans.
Ever seen a car that has hit a horse? It ain’t pretty. Doesn’t do the horse much good either, usually.