Fencing: Geographic Differences

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Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

Specific geographic regions across the U.S. are known for the type of fencing used at horse facilities.

Idyllic, four-rail, post and board fences in black or white follow the gently rolling hills of Kentucky and Virginia horse farms. Metal pipe fences house cattle and horses alike on many farms in Texas and other western states. “I would also say in regions where predators are a problem woven wire is used, but that is not always the rule,” added Debbie Disbrow, president of Ramm Stalls and Fencing.

Tradition and personal preference heavily influence a stable owner’s decision. “We see a wide variety of fence choices being used across the country with 'pockets' of a particular kind of fencing,” she said, “I think horse owners see other horse owner’s fencing and say ‘that's what I want.”

Aside from aesthetics and functionality, weather impacts the type of fencing selected. “The environment has an effect on certain materials,” said Scott McKendrick, coordinator for Statewide Small Acreage & Equine Programs at Utah State University Extension. High water table affects the longevity of wooden posts driven into the ground and damp climates encourage wooden materials to breakdown more quickly.

Soil type and terrain also determine the type of fencing at some stables. “The typography, if it includes rocky terrain, might require a buck and rail system where the fence sets on top of the ground with three or four poles connecting cross points, McKendrick added.

The materials, costs and labor needed to install various fences also will be determined by geographic location. While you can probably build any fence, anywhere, if you have enough money, using the type of fencing common to your geographic area will no doubt save you time and money on materials and installation.

While geographic location might limit your fencing options, remember to choose a fence that is safe and functional. “It should be visible, is not prone to causing injury, inhibit a horse from trying to through or over it and inhibit injury if a horse gets caught in it,” McKendrick concluded.