Living Fence

dnotcyFebruary 10, 2011

Hi I live in Central WI zone 4. I have horses and want to put up a living fence to keep my stallions from striking at my fence and to keep my donkeys from chewing on my wood fence posts. I want something that can in no way poison my horses, something with short thorns will probably detour them better without harming them.

Here is my criteria: at least 3 ft tall, up to 6 feet tall, likes full sun, thrives in clay, can handle standing/running water in the spring, something that does not spread or at least spreads very slowly so it does not become invasive to my pastures, finally it has to be affordable - I have 40 acres to fence ;-)

Any help with this will be greatly appreciated! Please include places to purchase your suggestions, that is if you know of any.

Thank you Tracy

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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Horses won't go through Himalayan blackberry. You'll need to have field fence installed first and then the blackberry grows up and over it and forms a thicket.

No stallion is going to stay inside any fence that is only 4 feet tall. Forget that idea.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:34PM
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Thanks I will look into the Himalayan blackberry. I do not have field fence installed so it may not work.
I do have my fences up. They are 6 ft tall throughout my farm so that I can put my stallions in any pasture. The problem arises when they get excited and threaten each other or try teasing a mare. It is not always possible to keep them a pasture away from other horses. I need something to keep them off my fencing. I am afraid that they may get hurt if they catch a foot on it.
If I plant something with thorns they have to be on the small size so that my guys don't cut up their legs. Basically I want to add a live fence to my existing fence to add width to help keep them further from other horses - about 3 ft wide 3 to 6 ft tall. The living fence won't have to be all that tall because I do not plan to take down my existing fence just add width to it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:30PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Sorry, I think your expectations of a fence, bushes, are unrealistic in relation to horses. Especially for stallions, mature, used for breeding. Maybe you could run a second set of electric set back from the larger, visible fence, to prevent ANY horses being able to touch noses and strike.

Personally, if you can't pasture the stallions with a pasture or paddock separation, you will be dealing with Vet type problems. One or the other will be reaching over, running thru, to eat the other. Injuries inflicted by fence, other horses, could be severe. I SAW what a couple TB stallions at an EXCELLENT facility, well built barn, did to each other after one tried dragging the other thru the 3ft vent hole 15 feet in the air by the roof!

Even a 6ft fence, but only one layer to keep them apart is nothing to stallions, and you have SPRING hormones coming on with longer daylight!!

You can plant the bushes, but they probably won't survive unless fenced away from the horses who will be pacing the fenceline. Again, you will then be doing the 2-layer seperation, so many issues will be dealt with right there. Can't reach over, touch noses to incite striking or biting.

I know my horses only stay out of bushes WHEN THEY PLEASE, so I would not consider them a useful barrier. Donkeys LOVE bushes, even thorny ones. You have to constantly apply no-chew products to protect wood posts and buildings, or muzzle the donkey. I CERTAINLY would not be planting thorns where horses could get damaged. Even "little thorns" of an inch or so can put out an eye, puncture tendons in a leg, and thick ones could puncture a hoof sole to lame one. I really keep after the local self-seeded Hawthorn, cut them ALL down to nothing in my fields!! Thorns are actually spikes, very hard, make bad holes in anything!! Damaged horses are hard to sell or use, not much desired by anyone buying.

As a plant person, those bushes will need attention to survive, like watering in dry times, again keeping horses off them to allow growth. Never heard of the bushes mentioned, so can't comment on how well suited they are. I don't think this is a realistic project for your desires, and it WILL take a few YEARS to get going well. Bushes could be poison to horses, something to check out.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:49PM
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We used to raise horses years ago...I agree w/goodhors!
Have you tried stabeling one while the other one exercises?

Personally, I wouldn't have more than one stud at a time on my land...but that is just me!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 9:26PM
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I wouldn't have more than 1 stallion either, however if I did and I had the OP's situation, I think I would opt to keep the stallions in smaller, manageable, stallion-proof pastures, moving as needed, even keeping a companion mare depending on his temperament. Our QH stallion was with the mares 24/7 with no issues.

It would be far better to restrict 1 or both stallions in their respective safe areas than stallion proof 40 acres, hoping the fences hold or not get damaged (intentionally or by nature) to the extent of them getting at each other. As an added precaution I would probably run electric netting between the mares & the stallions paddocks, just in case of an escapee.

2 raging hormonal stallions is NOT something I would want to deal with, but to each his own.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 7:35PM
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