One of the most important things to consider as a horse farm owner is how to keep your horses where they should be! Horses that escape from their enclosures put themselves at risk for injury, colic, laminitis, being hit by cars, or simply never returning home. For these reasons, fencing, gates, and stall doors all need to be horse-proof. Here are a few tips to make sure your horses don’t become houdinis:
-Make sure all gate latches are easily-undone by human hands, but tricky for horse lips to open. Trigger snaps or spring-loaded pins are good options.
-Pasture fencing should be high enough to discourage jumping; 5ft fences usually keep most horses from attempting the leap.
-If you have horses that like to test the fencing, pull out boards, or lean on the fence, install electric wire or tape around the inside of the top rail.
-Secure stall doors, especially Dutch doors or other doors with sliding latches that horses can easily figure out how to open. Double-ended snaps are a cheap but effective way to keep curious muzzles from letting themselves out.
-If it’s in your budget, build a perimeter fence around your entire property to ensure that your horses don’t end up on the road if they do manage to weasel their way out of a stall or paddock.
-Check fencing regularly and replace any boards, posts, wires, or tape that are broken or loose.
-Keep an eye on your horses’ behavior and paddock and stall conditions. Make sure that where you put them is where they want to be by providing plenty of food, water, comfortable shelter, and pleasant companions.
-Store feed in secure containers, or even better, in a room or stall with a door that horses can’t open. If a hungry horse does manage to get loose, this will lessen the risk of over-indulgence and the illnesses that come with it.