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A Guide to Fencing a Horse Property

with Ben Duncan

Photo: [Duncan Equine Group](

Imagine your perfect horse property; fences in pristine condition, paddocks lush and spacious, no detail spared! The journey from dream to reality is paved with planning, foresight, and often, a few lessons learned the hard way. This guide aims to navigate you through the do’s and don’ts of setting up your horse property, sparing you from common pitfalls and guiding your steps towards a property that not only meets your needs today but grows with your ambitions.

The first step is to figure out what you need now, then try to anticipate what you will need in 10 years. Read below for some handy questions to help with this essential first step.

What type of fencing should you choose?

What type of horse are you fencing for? And how many? This will give you an idea of the type of fencing you will need, as this narrows down your specifications regarding height, rail spacing, size of paddocks, and amount of paddocks.

To further narrow down your fencing options, ask yourself what you will be using the property for. Are you a professional rider who needs safe paddocks for performance horses?

An option to consider here is a 1.5m four-rail, flexible rail fence to keep your horses and clients’ horses safe.

Are you a hobbyist that needs to prioritise your budget? Coated wire is where safety and affordability meet for you.

Duncan Equine [Stallion Rail]( and mesh.

Duncan Equine Stallion Rail and mesh.

All the different reasons we have horses will lead to different fencing and facility needs. For example, a Miniature horse may only need a 1.2m fence with three rails, whereas a breeding facility with Thoroughbred stallions may need a 1.8m fence with four rails. If you intend to have a large paddock of broodmares, consider fencing with a top rail and three wires to keep the budget down. When it comes to fencing materials for your specific needs, it can help to speak to a professional property planner who has probably designed more than one property with your use case and can identify the minimum you need to spend to get the maximum safety and security for your horses.

Another key point that people often overlook is: What do you want to keep out of your property? Are you okay with wildlife entering your paddocks? Do you live on a lifestyle block with the possibility of neighbours’ dogs getting onto your property? Your answers to these questions will also influence the type of fencing you choose.

Once you have decided what your current needs are for the property, it’s time to look into your crystal ball and anticipate what you may need in the future. What do you plan to be doing with horses in 10 years? Will you have kids? Will you need a pony-proof yard? Will you breed a foal? Anticipating these needs in advance may save you a lot of money in the long run.

Holding yards built out of Duncan Equine [Stallion Rail Ultra](

Holding yards built out of Duncan Equine Stallion Rail Ultra.

Practical considerations and future planning

When it comes to layout and design, start your plan with what is already there. Base the fencing around the position of the house, shed/s and arena. If you are starting from scratch, plot out where these key areas will be first and go from there. Always ask yourself, will I build more infrastructure? This will ensure you are not needing to pull down fences and make more work for yourself in the long run.

Think of how you will use your property on a daily basis. What is going to be an efficient way of laying out your paddocks? Look for smart patterns for your feed run. Look for what will make it easier to move horses and minimise time for essential jobs. Consider building a catching or holding yard in a bigger paddock and save yourself the nightmare of chasing horses around in 40 acres when the farrier comes.

Nearmaps planning. Photo: Duncan Equine Group.

Nearmaps planning. Photo: Duncan Equine Group.

Common mistakes to avoid

Tree lanes. People often make the mistake of using the minimum amount of land for tree lanes. Ask yourself, how big is your tree going to get? Planning with the future in mind can save you from additional expenses due to trees damaging your fences.

Laneways. Make sure you have ample room for vehicle access and that your vehicles can turn around in the laneway if need be — 6m is wide enough for a quad bike or buggy, and 8m is wide enough for a 3-point turn in a car.

Gateways. Make gates wide enough for any machinery you need to get into your paddocks – this will save you from cutting a fence or getting stuck. When it comes to placement of gates make sure not to place them in wet areas and save money by putting your gates in corners.

The Duncan Equine [Heavy Duty Black Horse Safe Gate]( on an angle.

The Duncan Equine Heavy Duty Black Horse Safe Gate on an angle.

What about aesthetics?

After planning some huge properties and studs, our biggest takeaway for aesthetics is to choose a type of fencing and keep it consistent across the whole property – you may need some different arrangements for a foaling down area vs a broodmare paddock, but keep the materials the same. This is particularly important concerning the overall roadmap of your property – you want someone to drive onto your place and not pick which parts have been done in different installations.

Another point to consider here is the longevity of your materials – choose high-quality materials that have been tried and tested for the time you want your fence to stand for. Beware of fads and trendy products that are new to the market – they may sound great, but there is nothing like time to iron out the quality investments from passing fads.

Tree lane with Duncan Equine [Stallion Rail Extreme](

Tree lane with Duncan Equine Stallion Rail Extreme.

The importance of selecting high-quality materials

The biggest mistake that we see in fencing is buying low-quality materials to save money. The issue with this is that cheap isn’t always cheap in the long run. Choosing inferior fencing materials may allow for quicker, larger projects, but soon leads to costly maintenance and repairs; it’s an all-too-common story. We have had people come to us in as little as three days after purchasing cheap material and ask for our help.

The problem with inadequate fencing materials is that you will fall into a cycle of having to constantly maintain and repair the fences – increasing long-term costs and wasting time.

The biggest risk for purchasing poor-quality fencing is the safety of your horses. Cheap materials can splinter, expose razor-sharp wires, droop, and lose electrical conductivity... just to name a few things that can compromise the safety of your horses.

Our advice is to look for companies who are experienced in the horse fencing business, whose products have stood the test of time, and who are experts in the way horses behave, and because of this know how to safely manage them.

Meticulous planning, combined with the foresight to anticipate your future needs, are the two top tools for developing a successful property. Use this guide to help you make informed decisions about fencing, layout and materials. By prioritising high-quality materials, efficient design, and the safety of your horses, you’re setting the stage for a property that will serve you well for years to come.

Duncan Equine Group - Specialists in Equine Fencing Solutions!

You might also want to check out these horse fencing products:

Heavy Duty Horse Safe Gate
Premium PVC Round Fencing Post

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