If you are concerned about the safety and visibility of electric wire horse fence, then you should look into electric tape and electric rope as an alternative.
Electric tape horse fence is a fence consisting of one or more strands (usually three to five for horses) of a polyester "tape" interwoven with metal powered by a specialized charging device. The tape is extremely strong and durable and gentle on your horse. This charging device delivers a painful shock to any animal (or person) that touches the fence while touching the ground. This shock is strong enough to create an aversion to touching the fence but not strong enough to cause harm.
Electric Tape Horse Fence Benefits
Electric tape horse fences are considered psychological barriers -- your horse can usually push past the fence, however the fear of shock prevents them from attempting that. This means that your horse will not scratch or push against the fence. This significantly prolongs the life of your fence. In fact, many people use electric fence along with their wood, vinyl or no-climb horse fence to reduce the wear and tear on the fence.
Electric tape horse fence is an economical fencing option. While more expensive than normal electric wire, electric rope and tape are very budget friendly. Materials cost for electric fence will often be under $2 per foot of fence. This is a tremendous cost savings over other fences that usually start at $5 per foot for materials.
Electric tape horse fence is easy to install, even on rolling and rough terrain. Metal line posts are often used and can be easily hand driven into the ground.
Electric tape horse fence is much more visible than electric wire horse fence. This increased visibility reduces the likelihood that your horse will run through the fence while playing or when spooked. Also, electric tape horse fence is unlikely to cut your horse if the horse runs into the fence -- a risk with steel wire.
Also, electric fence can be easily used as a temporary fencing solution, especially to cross fence pastures for improved grazing. Solar and battery fence chargers are available that make installation of temporary or remote electric wire horse fence easy. There are many electric tape and rope horse fence products specifically designed for temporary grazing. You can even purchase custom windup systems designed to help setup and take down your electric fence.
Electric Tape Horse Fence Negatives
Electric tape horse fence has its shortcomings. It is important to regularly check the voltage of the fence to insure that there will be an adequate shock if your animals touch the fence. If the voltage becomes too low, animals may ignore the fence, especially under pressure.
Since electric tape horse fence is a psychological barrier and not a physical barrier, horses, especially when spooked can run through the fence. This is considerably more likely when the horses are moved to a new area where they are not familiar with the boundaries of their paddock. This risk is reduced from standard wire fence due to the strength and visibility of the tape.
It is imperative to keep weeds from growing onto or over an electric wire horse fence. Vegetation, especially when wet, will drain the voltage from the fence causing inadequate shock potential. Regular maintenance to clear the fence of weeds is required.
In order for electric tape horse fence to be effective, your horse must be trained to respect the fence. If your horse is not familiar with electric fence, and you are not comfortable training your horse, then electric tape horse fence may not be appropriate for you.
Electric rope and tape horse fence is one of the least durable fences. The polyester fibers used to make the product degrade over time. Electric tape horse fence can be expected to last about 10 years. Electric rope horse fence is more durable with an expected 15 year life span.
Buying Electric Tape Horse Fence
When selecting your electric tape horse fence, one of the most important features is the charger. The electric fence charger is the heart of your fence and you need to purchase one that is appropriate for your situation. Always purchase a larger charger than your requirements reflect. An oversized charger will help prevent inadequate voltage from weeds pressure. Also, it will provide you with the capacity to add more fence, or more fence wires to existing fence without impacting the performance of your fence.
When selecting from electric tape or rope, you have many options. Fences makes each have their own blend of polyester cables and metal filaments that they use. Generally, look for a fence that uses both tinned copper and stainless steel filaments. Bare copper can corrode when it contacts other metals.
Ensure that your electric tape horse fence is coated with UV inhibitors. UV protection is essential to the life of polyester when exposed to the sun.