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5 Common Problems with Horse Electric Fencing - And How To Solve Them

5 Common Problems with Horse Electric Fencing - And How To Solve Them...

These 5 common problems with horse electric fencing occur with many different types of electric fences but here we have specifically focused on electric fencing for horses.  We look at the 5 most common problems with horse electric fencing and give some solutions on how to solve them.

1. Poor Earthing

Problem: An electric fencing is a circuit. Not that the fence has to be in a circuit but more that if a horse touches an electric fence the current goes through the horse, through the ground and back to the earth stake. If your fencing doesn’t have a good a good earth stake set up the fencing will not be as effective as it could be.

Solve it: When earthing isn't working check the following:

  1.  Make sure the earth stake is pushed as far into the ground as you can get it. At least half of a 1m earth stake should be in the ground (push it all in if possible).
  2. When the ground is very dry and stony it is a good idea to water around the earth stake.
  3. If the climate is very dry it maybe worth putting a few earth stakes in series – i.e. lining up some earth stakes in a row and joining them with lead out cable and connecting to the energiser.
  4. If you are still not getting good earthing it would be possible to add an earth line to your fence. This is a line of fencing that is either connected to the earth stake or an end of it is buried in the ground. The earth line is run along side the other lines of fencing but not touching the live lines. When an animal touches both lines it gets a good zap.

2. Energiser Not Powerful Enough

Problem: Energisers are built to have different levels of capacity. If you use an energiser that is not powerful enough to power your fence you will have low voltage on your fence which means your horses will not respect it.
Solve it: When you are planning your electric fence make sure you measure it out before you buy. If you have two lines of fencing make sure you include both lines in your measurements. When you have the total distance to be covered look for an energiser that can cope with this distance and a little more. Your energiser needs to be able to cover some shorting and also you may want a little bit of extra power in case you want to increase the length of your fence.

3. Bad Connectors

Problem: Many long fences are tied together or connected badly. This can cause problems on the fence as the power doesn’t transfer properly through to the next part of the fence. The current travels along the metal filaments in the fence and if there is a break or there is no metal touching metal you will not get consistent power around your fencing.

Solve it: Because electric fencing runs along metal filaments there are many metal connectors that can be used to make sure the current can pass easily. There are joiners that connect all sizes of tape, rope, polywire and wire. There are also line to line connectors to connect the individual horizontal lines. These little bits of kit are brilliant at keeping your electric fencing working at its optimum level.


5 common problems with horse electric fencing 5 common problems with horse electric fencing

4. Shorts On Fencing

Problem: One of the most common problems with electric fencing - shorts can be caused by many different things.

Solve it: Test and check your fence regularly. There is no need to test your electric fencing with your finger … you can use a tester! Test along your fence checking the voltage on your tester at the same time checking for shorts. Shorts might be caused by a broken insulator, grass touching the bottom line of the fence, a branch on the line, tape touching a wooden fence post etc. If electric fencing touches foliage, wood or metal it will take the power out of the system.


5. Power

Problem: It maybe that the energiser has stopped pulsing or ticking in the way it normally does.

Solve it: If the energiser is running from a battery or solar/battery system check the battery hasn’t run down. Check the connections of the solar panel to the battery. Give the battery a long charge for 24 hours. Sometimes if the 12v battery has been left to run down too low it will not charge back up again. If mains or battery operated check the energiser by unhooking the energiser from the fencing and testing the output with your tester. If no volts at this point it maybe a problem with the energiser.

Electric fencing is an excellent way to keep horses and ponies contained. It does, however, require maintence. Looking after your fence will ensure your animals are safe.

We have ready made kits on line - check out our shop but if you are not sure what you are looking for...We love to talk electric fencing… so get in touch and we can talk you through your options.

Meriel Younger

About Meriel Younger

Farmers daughter (my mother was the farmer!) with many years experience of farming, equestrian and electric fencing. Living the 'good life' and forever trying to find the perfect work/life balance!

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