Horse Fence Ideas

A 2007 survey by the University of Kentucky found that 22% of horse owners reported their horses escaping a fence at least once. While we love our pets, they can be curious creatures, and it’s our responsibility to protect them from any danger they run into. This is the case for horses as well; the best way to prevent horses from getting out of their corral and into dangerous territory is with a high-quality fence. To ensure your horses stay contained and safe try out one of these following horse fence options.

Common Horse Fence Options

1. Wood Fencing

Wood fencing is the most common horse fence because of its natural, rustic look. Wood fences use a mix of vertical and horizontal boards to support them. With a wood fence, you can easily install a gate to allow your horse in and out of your property.

Pros of Wood Fencing

Wood fences are strong and can take a lot of impact from your horse without breaking. They look great and blend well with the outdoors. Pressure-treated wood fences can last 15-20 years with proper maintenance.

Cons of Wood Fencing

You will need to regularly stain wood fences to stop them from rotting or warping. They are usually more expensive than wire and vinyl fences.

2. Woven Wire Fences

If you want a clean looking fence that will be sure to keep your horses from getting out and other animals from getting in, look no further than a woven wire fence. Like the name suggests, the main component of a woven wire fence is wire that’s woven into squares. Woven wire fences are a great option for horses because even if a horse does try to escape, this fencing option will ensure they’re not injured in the process. The woven wire should be attached to sturdy posts to appropriately handle the weight of the wire and any impact the fence may receive.

Pros of Wire Fencing

Wire fences are less expensive than wood fences and allow you to see through them easily. They are also easy to install and take care of. With proper maintenance, woven wire fences can last around 20 years.

Cons of Wire Fencing

On the downside, wire fencing can hurt your horse if they get caught in it.

3. Horse Rail Fences

If you were to think of a horse fence likely the first image that would pop in your head would be of a horse rail fence. Horse rail fences are completely composed with wood – often cedar – and involve horizontal planks and vertical posts. In a typical horse rail fence, three horizontal pickets are added to the vertical posts with gaps in between. The gaps will allow you to see your horses, and them to see out, but they aren’t large enough for escaping or posing a risk to the health of your horses. 

Pros of Horse Rail Fences

As with all wood fences, horse rail fences are extremely durable and relatively low maintenance.

Cons of Horse Rail Fences

You’ll want to stain your horse rail fence periodically to prevent premature decay and brighten its color.

4. Horse Rail – Crossbuck Design

While we described the standard horse rail fence in the section above, there are also popular variations of this classic style. One of these variations in the crossbuck design. A horse rail fence with a crossbuck design uses horizontal planks and vertical posts as in the standard design, but as opposed to simply three horizontal planks throughout the line of fence, four boards are used with a cross or X-shape on the top. Two of the four planks are placed horizontally, while the cross is placed on top. Not only does this provide an extra dimension of visual interest, but the extra planks further limit any gaps.

Pros of Crossbuck Fences

The crossbuck design adds extra support, making the fence more stable. Crossbuck fences are more decorative than your everyday wood fence, making your property look nicer.

Cons of Crossbuck Fences

A horse’s leg could get stuck between the X-shape design. This design can also catch leaves and debris, requiring more maintenance.

5. 8-Foot Fences

Although many of our fencing options can be designed to be eight feet tall, we most commonly create wire variations of these extra-tall fences. Our chain link fence options, including horse wire, woven wire, and barbed wire, offer dependable containment to ensure the safety of your horses.

Pros of Tallers Fences

While an eight-foot-tall fence isn’t necessarily a specific type of fence, if you have a jumper on your hands, having this extra height could certainly be beneficial. 

Cons of Tallers Fences

Because of their height, they may not clear trees on your property. Also, they can be more expensive because they require more lumber to build.

6. Electric Fencing

Electric fencing uses a low electrical charge to keep horses away from the fence.  This teaches horses to stay clear of the fence without hurting them. It’s an effective way to contain horses without using large fences.

Safety Concerns and Installation

We recommend hiring a professional fence company to install electric fences to make sure they’re installed correctly and safely. Regularly check your fence is working properly, and use clear markers to show others where the fence is located.

7. PVC/Vinyl Fencing

PVC or vinyl fencing is a minimalistic type of fence that’s easy to take care of and looks good. It works well for areas where horses might roam freely, like paddocks.

Pros of Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl fences require little maintenance and can be easily washed with a garden hose. Because of their minimalistic look, they will give your property a tidy, modern look.

Cons of PVC Fencing

While vinyl fences might cost more than other types of fences, they will save you money in the long run because they require less maintenance.

Other Horse Fence Options

While less common, live fences or hedges can also be used to contain horses. These natural barriers not only look good but also offer an environmentally friendly option.

Additional Considerations for Horse Fence Design

When choosing a horse fence, keep a few things in mind. 

Fence Height and Spacing

Make sure the fence is tall enough, usually 4.5 to 5 feet, to stop horses from jumping over them. Make sure to provide enough space between rails and/or wire to see through your fence, but not allow for your horse to get stuck.

Post Strength and Depth

Strong posts are essential for a sturdy fence. Make sure to bury posts deep enough in the ground that they can withstand pressure and movement.

Smooth Surface on Horse Side

To prevent your horse from being injured make sure the smooth side of the fence is facing your horse.

Gate Design and Safety

Gates need to be wide for ease but secure enough to keep horses in. Consider self-closing gates for added convenience and safety.

Tips for Choosing the Right Horse Fence

When choosing a horse fence, consider your budget and what you need the fence for, like keeping horses in. Also, consider how it looks and whether you can see through it. Consider your horses’ size and behavior; bigger, active horses might need stronger fences. Check local regulations and get any permits before you start building. It’s also a good idea to talk to a fencing expert for advice on what type of horse fence will best suit your horse and your property.


There is no one-size-fits-all solution for your horses or property, a fencing professional can ensure proper fence installation and answer any questions on the right horse fence for your lifestyle.