When building a pasture for horses, one of the first things you'll need to decide on is the right fencing material. There are certainly a lot of choices, from electrical rope fencing to natural wood. These days, some horse owners are turning to aluminum fencing for their pastures. However, as with most materials, whether or not this one is right for your needs really depends. Here's a look at aluminum fencing's pros and cons when it comes to enclosing a horse pasture.
Pro: Aluminum discourages cribbing.
If you have a horse that cribs, he can do a lot of damage to a wooden fence in a short period of time. You may frequently be replacing boards to keep your fence from having that wood-chewed look. While there are some dedicated cribbers who will crib on an aluminum fence, it is much less likely than with wood.
Even if you do not currently have any cribbers, you may want to take the precaution of choosing an aluminum fence if you plan to take in boarders or add new horses to your herd in the future. This way, you won't have to turn down a possible boarder or a new horse because they are a cribber and you fear they'll ruin the fence.
Pro: Aluminum does not require sanding and staining.
Wooden fences require a lot of upkeep. You need to sand down the rough spots and paint, stain, or waterproof them on a regular basis. Aluminum fencing may require some painting now and then, but it's a much lower-maintenance material. This is definitely an asset when you have a whole barn to clean and maintain.
Pro: Aluminum won't blow down in a storm.
Horse owners who want to avoid fence maintenance and cribbing problems often choose electric fencing. However, the downfall to electric fencing is that it can blow down in a storm, leading to loose horses and the need for frequent repairs. Aluminum fence posts are buried deep into the ground, which makes them pretty stable. Your aluminum fence may not withstand a hurricane, but it will survive a run-of-the-mill thunderstorm or hailstorm without issues.
Con: If the fence becomes damaged, it can be dangerous.
When an aluminum fence is in good shape, it is smooth and safe for your horses. The secret is keeping a close eye on it so that you spot and repair any damage immediately. If the fence is damaged, sharp edges can be created, and these can cut your horse if it bumps into the fence. Make sure you always have some duct tape on hand so you can quickly soften the sharp edges when the fence is damaged. Then, you can call your fence company and have them come make permanent repairs to keep your horses safe.
Con: Aluminum can get hot in the summer.
Aluminum is a pretty good conductor of heat. So, in the summertime, an aluminum fence is going to get hot as the sun beats down on it. This is not a huge deal for your horses; they are protected by their coats and will know better than to touch the fence for more than a second or two. It may, however, be a problem if you operate a more public horse facility and have a lot of people visiting on a regular basis. They may need to be reminded not to touch the fence because it could burn their skin.
As long as you can keep your hands off the fence in the summer and keep a close eye out for damage, aluminum can be a very convenient fencing material for horse pastures.
I have loved cats ever since I was a child. My parents let our cat roam around the yard without a fence when I was a child, but when I adopted my first cat as an adult, I was much too afraid that she would run off to let her outside. After keeping her as an "indoor cat" for a few years, I decided to look into backyard fencing options that she might not be able to climb or jump over. I put a lot of research into those options, so I decided to start sharing what I learned on a blog to help other cat owners and anyone else who is looking for a fence for a specific need. I have been very lucky and my cat hasn't jumped over my fence at all and she now loves her fenced in back yard!