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    Re: [RC] electric fences - Heidi Smith

    > It's whatever you conscience tells you is right. Bottom line, it's
    > TRAINING and good judgement. I teach my horses to hobble; I teach them
    > that "when you get hung up, STOP AND WAIT FOR ME TO GET YOU OUT OF IT.
    > It's not hard...just basic training.
    Jim, I agree.  But no matter how much homework YOU do, the other guy usually
    hasn't.  The wrecks I've seen from electric fences at rides (and I've
    patched up more injuries from electric fence wrecks at rides than virtually
    all other sources of trauma combined) have virtually ALL occurred because
    ONE horse got loose, and then freaked out and ran through camp wiping out
    the electric pens in several other camps.  The other horses didn't
    misbehave--and in most cases where they got hurt, they didn't get caught in
    their electric fence, but rather were turned loose when their electric fence
    vanished in the wake of another freaked-out horse, and they subsequently got
    hurt on some hazard far removed from their own camp.  Several of the
    "liberated" horses (who were well-trained to their electric fences, but at a
    loss what to do when the fence disappeared) that I've had to patch up have
    had serious barbed wire cuts from running through perimeter fences around
    camp.  In one case, it took all the next day to FIND some of the horses, and
    one was badly injured in a barbed-wire fence several miles from camp.  One
    incident at a ride I vetted involved 21 loose horses, all "liberated" by ONE
    freaky horse that got loose in a windstorm that had all sorts of things
    sailing through the air.
    While electric fences and pipe pens are nice for turnout at rides while you
    are personally there to watch your horse, I care too darn much about mine to
    leave them in such an enclosure while I'm off at a ride meeting or asleep in
    my camper.  Again, proper training at home will teach them how to cope with
    a rope long enough to allow them to reach the ground, and any of mine that
    were campaigned for any length of time learned to lie down and even roll
    while tied to the trailer without getting hung up.  Just like what you
    describe, we teach our horses to hobble and stake out, so if they get a foot
    over the rope, they really don't care too much.  They can either calmly
    figure out a solution, or they wait for help.  But they are still safely
    tied to the trailer.
    I agree with you 100% that there are too many folks who CONDITION but don't
    TRAIN.  That said, I'm not going to leave my horse at the mercy of the
    unfortunate horses belonging to such folks.
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    [RC] electric fences, Laura Hayes
    Re: [RC] electric fences, Jim Holland