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    [RC] re: electric fence - Ridecamp Guest

    A. Perez walkergirl@xxxxxxxxxx
      Finally - one I'm qualified to answer!  I'm a big advocate of electric fencing as a means of keeping horses away from wire fencing (and baord fencing, to prevent cribbing).
    Yes, you can do electric fencing yourself.  It is not very hard.  And tape IS the way to go, or the 'string' type, as it can simply be cut with scissors and knotted - much less hassle than wire, and safer.  As far as solar goes, I talked to the salesman at my local Southern States about them, and he said they are not good for large areas and don't pack as much of a punch as plug-in or battery models, and of course won't work well in cloudy weather.
    The A#1 most important thing in electric fencing is having an adequate ground.  Get a real grounding rod (should be available where the fence chargers are sold), at least 4' feet.  If the ground is very dry, you may need several rods, each wired to the next (charger should come with instructions).  Of course if you have hard dry ground, planting the rods is a ^%^&$#@ pain, so you might want to get your hands on a post-hole drill to make a hole, then fill it back up and set the rid in the loose soil and tamp in down well.  If you have a choice as to where you put the charger, put it where the ground is wettest: you'll get a better ground, and it will be easier to plant the rod.  Also - a worth-while investment is a tester - they are cheap.  If lightening is common, spend the few extra $$ to get lightening protectors - it will save your charger from getting fried by lightening.
    #2 in importance is avoiding shorts: don't let ANYTHING touch the tape - grass, weeds, etc will all bleed power.  There are high-powered 'brush-cutter' chargers that will kill off any weeds that touch the fence but they cost more and (I think) only come in plug-in models (not sure they can be used with tape).  I think they'd be over-kill in this situation.
    There are insulators made to clamp on to T-posts.  I recommend the ones that hold the wire about 6 inches out from the fence.  You are less likely to get a short off the mesh should it sag out from the posts.  Running a second wire half-way down the fence should not be a problem if you can find the clamp-on insulators.  You can also use separate posts (they have step-in plastic and fibergalss posts.  They do not need additional insulators) that you install inside the mesh fence, but that is an added expense.  That said, I'd keep a dozen or so step-in posts on hand in case you decide you want to fence off an area where the wire fence does not run for any reason (to spare trees the horses might eat or the like).
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