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How to Install An Electric Fence For Your Horse

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Electric fence wire, rope or poly tape.

  • Fence insulators

  • Corner insulators

  • Electic fence charger

  • Hammer

  • Wire cutters

  • Splicers or clamps (optional)

  • 5 foot grounding rod

An electric fence can keep your horses from chewing wood leaning on the fence. Here is all the information you need to install an electric fence.


First determine the amount of supplies you will need. You will need to measure the area you want to fence. You will need to multiply that number by the amount of strands you want to install. If you are putting up electric fence in conjunction with a wood fence (this is the preferred application), two strands of electric fence is usually sufficient.

You will also need a post insulator for each post (multiply this number by the number of strands you are installing). You will also need a corner insulator for each corner, and a gate fastener for each gate (optional). There are many options for fence chargers (solar powered, battery powered and electric), but whatever type you chose make sure it has enough amperage to charge the amount of fence you are installing. Most fence manufactures will include this in the description of the fence charger. Drive your grounding rod all the way into the ground right by the fence charger - leave only 1 to 2 inches above ground to attach the grounding wire.


Nail an insulator on each wooden post. It is helpful to position them in between the wooden rails. (see picture)


Next install the corner insulators. You will need to use wire or twine to attach these to the posts. They will hang loosely at first, but once you run the electric wire through them they will be pulled tight.


Install the fence charger and attach the ground wire to the grounding rod.

Run your fence wire working backward (start farthest away from your charger, and run back towards it so you can connect the end to the charger. Start by wrapping the wire around the first insulator until it is secure (splicers or crimpers are optional - they can help create a tight connection). Run the wire to the next insulator, and so on, until you reach a corner. Run the wire through the corner insulator, and then continue on down that side running the wire through each post insulator until you get to the next corner. Repeat until you have run the wire all the way back to where the fence charger us located; pull the wire fairly tight. With the fence charger set to "OFF", connect the wire to the positive terminal on the fence charger. To run additional strands of wire, splice a new piece of wire onto the main string of wire - you can splice wire/rope/tape by twisting the two strands together tightly, or you can use splicers.


Some special tips - *To work around reverse corners (corners that intrude into the pasture/paddock instead of protruding outwards, try this cheap fix - cut a length of hose and run the wire through the hose - this will keep the wire from touching the wood and grounding out.

*If you are putting up an electrified fence that will not be used in conjunction with a wooden fence, there are post insulators that are made to go on the metal "T" posts. I must warn you that not only are these posts dangerous for horses, but electrified wire alone is not the safest fencing option for horses due to limited visibility. This option should only be used as a temporary fencing option and you should take additional safety precautions; get the plastic caps that go on top of the metal "T" posts, and tie ribbon onto the fence to make it more visible for horses (or consider using the electric fence tape - it is easier for horses to see).

*To check the charge of your fence, you can purchase a fence tester for under $5.

*To deal with the gates, you can use a special electric gate fastener (see picture), or you can run the wire under the gate (bury a piece of hose in the ground, so that it runs from one side of the gate to the other and sticks up out of the ground apx. 1 inch, and the run the wire through the hose) or you can run it over the gate. Attach a long(5 to 6 foot tall) piece of wood to each side of your gate at the posts, so that the wood extends into the air 5 feet above the height of the gate. Attach a insulator to each piece of wood; run the electric wire up and over the gate to keep the continuity of the charge.