The reasons for needing a temporary fence are numerous. Camping, hunting, or endurance racing with your clients, perhaps. Or when you need a small turnout area for a horse recovering from an injury, or when you need a round pen. Then there are instances where you might like to divide larger pastures to facilitate rotational grazing.
Whatever your reasons, there are a variety of choices in portable fencing. Some are electric, some made of steel, and others are collapsible. You can choose from plenty of sizes and shapes. Factors to consider include your purpose, size of the area, price, visibility and portability (especially if you plan on carrying it with you).
The different fence systems described here do not constitute a comprehensive list, but rather a sampling of the types of products out there. The accompanying sidebar lists contact information for 15 manufacturers. If you have questions about your particular situation, you may want to contact these businesses or your local extension specialist.
Behlen Corral Panels
Behlen Country designed its roundpen/corral panels with the horse’s safety in mind. When put together, the panels form square corners. This, along with smooth tube braces and chain hookups, are all safety features. Products come in utility, medium and heavy-duty styles to suit a variety of needs and are an economical choice for round or portable pens. The panels are available with a durable powder coat finish and in lengths of 10 to 16 feet. Arch gates come 6 feet wide and 9 feet high or 4 feet wide and 8 feet high. Behlen also has entrance panels with or without gates built inside them.
This system is most suitable for overnight trail rides or temporary stabling. Made in the USA, the panels, which are 4 or 5 feet high and expand to 6 feet long, collapse down to one-fifth their original size. This makes them easy to store and/or transport. A complete corral can fit in the back seat of a truck or your truck bed. The panels are made of high impact engineering grade resin. They are UV stabilized and crack- and freeze- resistant. Eight panels put together form a 13’ 2” round pen or a 12’ x 12’ stall. The system has locking pins, which lock the panels into place so they won’t collapse or uncouple during use. This fence can stand alone or be secured to your horse trailer.
Cart a Corral System
The Cart a Corral System consists of 8 panels in a storage bag with all accessories. Once assembled, it forms a 10’ x 10’ stall or 13-foot round pen. When disassembled, panels are only 36” x 29”, but expand to 4 feet high by 5 feet long. The panels are made of 1 ½ inch galvanized steel for strength and durability, and the entire set weighs 125 pounds. Steel feet dig into the ground to keep the corral from moving or collapsing. You can connect more than one set to increase the size of the corral. Two sets will make a 25-foot round pen and 3 sets will make one that is about 40-feet.
Electrobraid is an electric fence created specifically for horses. It can be used both for permanent and temporary installations. Copper wire conductors are braided into the high-grade polyester fiber, which looks like braided yachting rope. It is highly visible and durable—manufacturers claim that when the fence absorbs energy, it will bounce a horse back. The Electrobraid fence is easy to install with hand tools.
Fast Fence Trail Kit
The Fast Fence Trail Kit is just that: a portable, quick-to-assemble kit created for temporarily housing a horse. Experienced horse owners and agricultural university personnel were consulted to help with the design. The basic trail kit comes in a canvas tote bag and forms a two-strand fence about 330 feet long. (Buy extra posts, and you can construct a single-strand fence 660 feet long.) The trail kit consists of one or two lines of highly visible white or orange electric tape, and can be purchased with or without a portable fence charger. The kit is so small and light that it can be tied across the back of a saddle, and takes only 15 to 30 minutes to set up or tear down.
Gallagher Portable Fencing
Gallagher has two types of temporary fence. The first is ½-inch electric tape that is easy to install and remove and is re-usable for years. It contains a reel system, portable fence posts and electric tape that comes in green or white. This type of fence is useful for subdividing larger pastures. A second horse corral kit, which includes 10 tread-ins that step into the ground, 165 feet of 3/8-inch white EquiBraid, ground rod and insulgrip gate handle, comes complete in its own bag. Once put together, it makes a 40-foot-square corral.
The Grazier system can be used to create a small, portable corral or for fencing in many acres to aid in rotational grazing. The system is electric, and everything you need for setup comes in the kit. If desired, it can be used with a solar or 110-volt fence charger. The setup is designed to be simple and easy enough for one person to do alone. The sturdy rods penetrate only about 5 inches, which makes it suitable for most types of ground.
HorseGuard electric fence now has a bi-polar fence tape. Designed by a horse breeder, this is an electric system that works without a ground rod and even in frozen or dry ground. The electric tape is a physical, visual and mental barrier and works well as a temporary fence. The tape’s open weave construction allows air to flow through and decreases movement in high winds. In addition, metal parts are all stainless steel. HorseGuard sells a 320-foot kit that has everything you need to set up a small, temporary area, as well as a larger paddock kit.
Kencove Electric Fence
Kencove makes an economical, highly visible electric rope and ribbon fence that is quick and easy to install. It can be used for a temporary fence or to separate larger pastures for rotational grazing. The rope does not require braces, and it is easy to hand knot. Further, it does not whip in the wind, but it will still break away in the event a horse becomes entangled.
Noble Panels and Gates
Noble panels and gates are constructed of galvanized steel tubing and can be used for just about anything—round pens, small paddocks, temporary stalls and even pasture fence. They come in lengths up to 20 feet and heights ranging from 4 to 6 feet, with 3 to 4 rails or 5 to 6 rail panels. These panels also use a unique steel fence post system that fits together for a more permanent fence, although they are still simple to take apart and adjust.
Premier1 Supplies markets electrified tape or rope suitable for temporary fence to further subdivide pastures, prevent access to hazardous areas or to separate horses. The line posts are step-in plastic, which makes them light and easy to install, and the two strands of tape and rope come in contrasting colors for excellent visibility.
Premier1 also makes an economical trailer paddock kit that comes ready to assemble. This kit makes a 40-by-40-foot pen with 2 electric strands. It consists of an energizer with ground stake, 5 step-in posts, a gate handle, IntelliTape, a wind-up reel, and a bucket (that keeps smaller parts together but then can be used for feed, water, etc.). Tieback ropes on the outside corners increase stability. A larger 80-by-80-foot paddock can be made with one strand and additional posts.
This well-known company makes metal panels for round pens or temporary fencing. Its 50- and 60-foot roundpen systems are available in several different colors and panel weights and include a 6’ x 9’ arch gate. The panels have square corners that align smoothly across the top. Ramm also sell panels and gates individually to meet any size and configuration needed.
Ranchers’ Town and Country Fencing makes portable horse travel panels suitable for a temporary corral. Constructed of steel tubing, the lightweight and versatile panels form square corners for safety. Each panel is 5 feet high by 5 feet long and weighs about 25 pounds, making them easy for one person to maneuver and put together. They are easily loaded into a truck or horse trailer.
In addition to travel panels, Ranchers’ sells three other styles and weights of metal panels that can be used as temporary or permanent fencing. Some panels have legs that fit over tee-posts for added strength and stability. The panels are 5 or 6 feet tall and 10 or 12 feet wide.
Red River Panels
Red River panels are also popular portable panels. Some are lighter in weight, making them easier to move, but they also come in heavier, more durable varieties. The interlocking panels range in height from 5 to 6 feet and 10 to 12 feet long, making it simple to create the exact size and shape you need. Walk-through gates come in widths of 4, 6, 8 or 10 feet with an outside frame that is 7 feet tall. Combination gate-and-panel sections come with a 4-, 6-, 8- or 10-foot gate.
Safety Pen Corral
Endurance riders developed the Safety Pen to create a simple confinement area. It consists of 65 feet of UV-treated polygrid farm and ranch fence on a hand-cranked spool. This allows you to reel the fence out and back in, as well as take up slack and pull the fence tight.
When using the trailer as one side, it forms a 21’ x 21’ pen. The fence looks similar to construction barrier, but is much stronger and sturdier. While it can be set up around any type of post or tree, manufacturers recommend using their self-driving posts, which are easy to drive and remove, even in rocky ground. Ropes are tied on the outside for corner braces, and electric can be threaded through the fence for added protection.