Monday, August 4, 2008

Horse Keeping 101!




OK, This post has been inspired by our fun friend out west in Arizona, Mikey, who has an animal lover friend with a dilemma. Here is Mikey's post with a link to it entitled, Need Your Opinions. There are a variety of opinions posted on this nice person's blog and I decided to post about this as well. So here it goes.........
Folks, Horse Keeping 101......plain and simple "Do Not Use Barbed Wire Fencing!" I may piss some people off here, but at the risk of doing so, I'm stating it. If you cannot afford to fence your horses properly, then perhaps you should not own horses. Now in saying this, I do understand 40 acres or so with a herd and perhaps some barbed wire here or there, but really, horses get injured on barbed wire! A Lot! In my opinion, there is no excuse for the use of barbed wire and it behooves me when I see morons do it and then stand back and scratch their head in wonderment, "How did this happen?". The horses pictured on this blog are not hers, but her neighbor's. They clearly are scratched up and bleeding from leaning over the barbed wire fence. Anyone who doesn't think that's a problem, is well, a moron. There, I said it.

17 comments:

Kathy C said...

We've been slowly converting our barbed wire over the years. The first area not having barbed wire was our horse pens. I learned the lesson the hard way at our old farm.

Callie said...

Kathy C., It probably was an expensive one as well. I was able to start right because I didn't have any fencing and only have a couple of acres, so it was reletively easy. I know old farms are full of it and it's hard work to change it over, especially if you have decent acreage!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well you said it, anyone who uses barbed wire anywhere there are horses is a moron. Nothing good can come of this. One cheaper alternative might be the electric tape fencing to replace the barbed wire. It keeps them in and it is safe and easy to put up. We use it to put up temporary paddocks when we need one. It goes up easy and comes down easy too.

Callie said...

Arlene, I have a combo fence. Some of it is electric tape, some PVC four rail, some non-climb horse frence with electric cord at the top, t-posts are capped and my training fence panels.

Andrea said...

Well, I will be the black sheep here. We have barbe wire, I think we have talked about this before on your blog, or maybe is was somewhere else.

I looked at those horses, on that other blog, and that is horrible!! Those horse owners should be shot. We have barbe wire and our horses NEVER have had cuts like that all over their necks and shoulders. That is horrible.

We have cows out with our horses and we rotate our horses and cow pastures so we use barbe wire to keep cows in. Our horses are really good at staying away from the fence. We don't get too many injuries from the barbe wire, if any at all. We do have a pen that has the square fencing and that stuff is horrible. That fencing can rip the skin right off of a horse's leg, if the hoof gets stuck in the square. But the square fencing keeps our goat in.
I think there are worse things out there that horse owners can do or not do than to have babe wire. I would rather see fat and happy horses in barbe wire than skinny unfed horses in pretty fencing. Just a thought.

Callie said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Andrea, I think you've gotten lucky, personally. But you also have cows and that means to me anyway that you must have a lot of acreage which allows for enough room to move without injury. I personally think barbed wire and horses is a bad combo and I stand by it. Yes a skinny horse in an appropriate fence is just as bad. Fencing doesn't have to be pretty, just safe.

Mikey said...

Amen to all of it. Those pics make it hard to tell without seeing it in person. I know she'll do something about. It's sad if it is just flies, that the owners don't spray. I watch my neighbor's horses who NEVER get fly sprayed and they are covered in bumps and itchy as hell. I swear if I thought I wouldn't get shot, I'd sneak over at night and spray them myself!
In the pics you do see the horses leaning into the fence, but in that pic, the fence looks good and tight. So makes me wonder. What would be interesting is to see their backside. If the horses are itchy and rubbing on fence, they'd be rubbing butts too.
Or maybe it's something else entirely. Who knows!
Barb wire is bad news, IMO. T posts too. I lost a horse last year to a t-post and it was the most horrible thing to witness. Mine are now capped (my perimeter fence is t-posts, my horse fence is pipe rail, but 2 got out and got running, tried to jump the fence)
But no barb wire here. I agree, if you've got acreage, barb wire can be acceptable. But know the risks..

Callie said...

Thanks, Mikey, Hope ya don't mind me linking to you on this matter but I couldn't believe what I was seeing. And they look so sweet too. Anyway, I agree! Sorry you lost one to a t-post. I have mine capped and I cap any of them that lose the PCV covers of the ones with the equine tape.

White Horse Pilgrim said...

Barbed wire is a menace. I converted all the old riding centre's fields as quickly as I could, but even then had a near miss with a mare that got stuck in the fence - but fortunately stood still until she was freed. We also had a horse badly injured that jumped a timber post and rail fence then got caught on a neighbour's wire. That kind of thing is a nasty business.

In Britain, an animal welfare organisation would seize horses in the condition pictured on the link, thin and with untreated injuries.

Callie said...

WHP, I have to "ditto" Mikey's comment, "I agree, if you've got acreage, barb wire can be acceptable. But know the risks.." I personally have enough vet bills with the every day stuff, I don't want one that may include the cost of a Perfusionist for a surgery on a bad wound from barbed wire!

kdwhorses said...

I guess I am the black sheep as well here. Me and Andrea, but we have *gasp* barb wire fencing. But we make sure it is tight at all times. We have not had any problems with it. Our horses stay away from it. I in my own opinion believe that there is no guaranted safe fencing, if they are going to get hurt they will. There are some horses you could keep in a padded room and still have problems. I just know for us, we can not afford to put up any other kind of fencing, esp. running cows as well. So there is my 2 cents on that matter!

I did visit that site and hope the horses do get some relief! I too wonder what there backsides look like!

Callie said...

I agree, running cattle makes it a different story. Sometimes you have no other choice on a big farm with cattle, but if there's plenty of room and they stay away from it, then I guess it works for you. I personally wouldn't have it.

Twinville said...

We still have one section of our fence, in a third paddock, about 150 feet, with barbwire on top of 5ft high horse fence. It's probably one of the most mild barbwire though, with dull, rounded double barbs spaced at least 2 feet apart.
I'm planning on going down and snipping the barbs off soon. My horse doesn't spend much time in that paddock so I've not felt in a rush to do it.

Not all barbwire is the same either. Did you know since its invention in 1867, 570 different types of barbed wire have been patented and more than 2,000 different variations on those patterns are known to exist?

Here you can some of the hundreds of barbwire designs on a 'poster':
http://www.barbwiremuseum.com/Barbed_wire_collage.htm

Did you know there is a museum for Barbwire...
http://www.barbwiremuseum.com/barbedwirehistory.htm

and a Magazine for Antique Barb wire Collectors, too?
http://www.antiquebarbedwiresociety.com/overview.html

I agree that barb wire doesn't qualify as proper fencing for horses, especially on small acreage. But thankfully, not all barb wire are horse shredding monsters and can often be used on large acreage with no accidents.

Pony Girl said...

I have to agree that horses and barbed wire don't mix, but I do understand the larger ranches using it because of cattle.

Andrea, I did a post on barbed wire a few months ago and that is where you probably remember the discussion comments from. There is barbed wire at my mom's stable, with electic tape in front of it, and, some of the big square wire, too. My sister's place, where I keep My Boy, has a "goat" wire, small rectangles, they can't get a hoof caught it in. There is electric wire along the top to discourage them from leaning over or getting too close.

I did see that link on Mikey's post about the grey horses, and I am curious to see what the findings are!

Callie said...

Twinville,Thanks, I'll have to check out those sites on the different types of barbed wire. I know some of it is sharp like razors. Others dull.


Thanks, Pony Girl, I'm curious too as to the outcome of that.

Twinville said...

Yes, some of that barbwire in that poster/collage look like a Samuri warrior created it. If a horse even touched it, it would slice them open like a gutted fish. Terrible!

I don't know why the people we bought this house from used the barb wire they did in our back paddock, and only one strand at the top of 5 ft. horse fence, because you can literally rub it on your arm and it doesn't even leave a scratch mark.

And with the barbs being more than 2 feet apart, all a critter needs to do is just fit themselves between the barbs and lean over for some grass thievery.
:)

Shirley said...

The good folks where I keep my horses have replaced all the old corrals with plank fencing, and wire that looks like barbed wire without the barbs- a double strand twist. This is a great alternative to barb wire if you have a lot of distance to cover and are on a budget. I like it better than high tensile which can slice a horse's tendons- I know of more than one horse that had to be put down after tangling with high tensile. The only place that has barbed wire left, I have put electric tape on either side of it, at least 5 ft. away. I will never build a horse fence with barbed wqire; cow fence on the other hand, it's necessary as they will go through any other type.