Fencing is one upgrade that can dramatically improve safety and enhance a horse property’s appearance. When Nicholl Lockwood purchased her barn, the property came with a one-acre field fenced with no-climb fence attached to wood posts. A second one-acre field was fenced with electric fencing strung on metal T posts. Four smaller paddocks were divided with board fencing, some painted, some not.
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“All of the fencing was neglected and a major eye sore,” she said.
Repairing and painting the board fencing was a cinch. Replacing the square wire livestock fencing with Electrobraid was also a relatively easy project. She soon discovered the biggest challenge was removing the metal T-posts and finding a company to install the remainder of the fence.
She called about 10 fencing companies, but most didn't return her call. She and her husband started the project themselves and that’s when an even larger problem surfaced—rocks.
“We were using a tractor with a front hydraulic auger and had three feet of solid rock in some areas,” she said. “We chipped away at it before I got too pregnant to work on the fence with my husband and we finally found someone to complete it the next year, his soonest availability.”
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Researching the soil before starting a fencing job is most important, according to Lockwood, especially if you plan on doing the job yourself. Knowing the ground and what’s below the surface gives you an opportunity to line up the right tools.
“An auger on the front of a decent sized tractor or skid steer will make the job easier,” she said.
For those looking to hire a contractor, her advice is to start searching as soon as you begin considering the project. In her area, agricultural communities are shrinking and she found many residential fencing companies do not install electric fencing. Stables surrounded by more agricultural activities might have an easier time finding an installer and could ask local farmers for advice.
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