Testing an Electric Fence for Safety

Electric fencing is one of the most effective and economical ways to enclose a horse pasture or turnout area. All types of equines and bovines have a great deal of respect for a properly installed electric fence, but the property owner must ensure it has been installed according to the guidelines. The danger of electric fencing is not from the electric fence charger, since it is intermittent and not strong enough to maim or kill. The risk is from the fencing material itself, especially smooth wire that may not be noticeable if not properly flagged.

Installing safe electric fencing involves buying the right charger to adequately electrify the fencing around the enclosure. An electric fence tester should be used to make sure the charger is providing a shock that is strong enough to discourage valuable stock from coming in contact with the fence. A weak current may not be enough to prevent animals from getting tangled in the fence while reaching for grass outside the enclosure.

There are various types of electric fencing material available including smooth wire and nylon cord or tape impregnated with metal wire. The safest kind of horse fencing is the tape or thicker cord because it is highly visible. The smooth wire is less expensive and easier to install, but serious deep cuts can occur if a horse accidently becomes entangled in the fence. According to Farm Supply Store, visibility flags should always be used on electrified wire fencing to prevent injury to animals and humans alike.