Electric Horse Fencing Explained

First Decisions

When selecting electric fencing the first decision to be made is whether it is be either temporary or permanent in construction. Temporary electric fencing is an ideal way of splitting up grazing areas and also quickly protecting your animals from any temporary dangers within grazing areas. Permanent electric fencing is ideal for field boundaries and, when added to timber fencing, protecting them from damage.

Temporary Fencing

Normally this would consist of two horizontal fence lines erected on plastic intermediate stakes which are pushed into the ground by hand.

The best choice for fence lines for temporary fencing is electro-tape in either a 12mm or 20mm widths. The choice of tape and tape width might depend on either the visibility required of the fence or whether the site is particularly exposed to high winds.

Height of Fence

There are three heights available 840mm, 960mm and 1220mm. The 840mm is ideal for ponies and paddock divisions. The 960mm post is suitable for slightly larger animals and the 1220mm for horses which are prone to jump.


Storage of Tape

By nature a temporary fence will be required to be taken up and down frequently. To accommodate this the tape or rope is stored on a reel. This reel forms an integral part of the fence and is left in position at the start of the fence. The size of reel chosen affects the amount of tape which can be stored and hence the length of the fence which can be constructed.

Colour of Tape

Horses can see green tape better than white. Therefore in the interest of visual amenity green tape is the obvious choice. To offer the customer the widest choice possible we stock both white and green.

Fence Posts

In addition to the plastic intermediate stakes which are pushed into the ground by hand at approx. 8-10m intervals, the fence also requires a starting post called a mounting post. This is for mounting the storage reel, corner posts and an end post (termination post).

What is Required

Items required

For intermediate posts use the blue poly posts and set these 8 – 10m apart. To start the fence use a metal mounting post for reels and to finish the fence a metal termination post (two strain insulators supplied separately are needed for the termination post).

For corner posts if applicable use the above termination post.

A storage reels for electro-tape is required for each line of the fence. The post mounting SI reels hold 200m of tape, for a larger reel use the jumbo reel which holds up to 400m of tape..

Tape can be purchased in several roll sizes 12mm width is available as a 200m only while 20mm tape is available as 200m and 400m lengths.

Permanent Fencing

Erected on timber fence posts at a spacing of 5-10m, apart for galvanised wire and electro-rope. Electro-tape requires posts to be placed at 3m centres.

The fence lines or conductors may be chosen from 2.5mm galvanised high tensile wire, 6mm electro-rope or a choice of 20mm or 40mm wide electro-tape. A mixture, such as one strand of electro-tape or rope plus one or two lower strands of wire, is also commonly adopted. The principle of erection is similar in all cases.

Electro-tape catches the wind so try and avoid this in exposed areas.

Fence Erection

Strain Insulators

These are required at ends and corners and are designed to hold the strain of each fence conductor. They are not a device for tensioning the wire initially, so an adjustable wire tensioner or method of straining the lines of the fence will be required.

Intermediate Insulators

Where the conductor passes the intermediate posts the conductor must be insulated from the wooden post. This is achieved with specially designed insulators which are fixed to the intermediate posts. The type of insulator will vary according to the type of conductor being used e.g. wire, rope or tape.

Electrically Bonding of Fence Lines

A method of joining the two or three lines of fence to each other and to lead out and under gate cabling will be required. Again this varies according to the choice of conductor in use.


Wire, tape and rope all require different methods of joining.

Strain Insulator - Items Required - Permanent Fencing

Our traditional strain insulator is suitable for all types of wire, rope and tape, these are used at all ends and corners.

Alternatives insulator options are available for electro-tape.


For 6mm rope use nylon easyway tensioners.

For 2.5mm high tensile wire use aluminium easyway tensioners.

For electro-tape there are two sizes of metal electro-tape tensioners for 20mm & for 40mm tape.

A special tool for winding up easy way tensioners is available called the easyway handle.

Insulators for Intermediate Timber Line Posts - Items Required - Permanent Electric Fence

Wire fence use black nail on heavy duty insulator for permanent fencing Code 15-121

Rope use black nail on super heavy duty insulator for permanent fencing Code 15-124

Tape use blue nail on heavy duty clip insulator for permanent fencing suitable for both 20mm and 40mm tape Code 30-170

All of the above require two galvanised steel wire nails size 65mm x 2.65mm

Joining Fence Lines - Items Required - Permanent Electric Fencing

Wire - use a medium gripple which is suitable for 2.5mm high tensile wire.

Rope - use 2no metal clamp grips. These provide less resistance to current flow then tying.

Tape - use stainless steel tape joiner for 12-20mm tape or 40mm tape.

Electrically Bonding of Fence Lines - Permanent Electric Fence

Wire fence line wire clamps are suitable for joining high tensile wire to high tensile wire and to lead out and under gate cables.

Electro-Rope - use metal clamp grips which are suitable for connecting wire of all types and rope together. It is normal to combine making the electrical connections with the clamp grips used to form the physical joint at the start or finish of a fence. Tape – join upper and lower tapes using tape connector link set and join the lead out or under gate cable to this link using fence line wire clamp.


In a permanent fence there is the choice of a normal permanent metal or wooden field gate. The alternative is to use a spring, rope or tape as a continuation of the fence line to bridge the opening.

An underground gate cable must be used to carry the electrical circuit past the gate position. It is best to duct this, a section of plastic water pipe is suitable for this. Note: On no account must the thinner lead out cable be used for this.

Gates - Temporary

Remember, when using a reel system to store and unwind the fence lines from, the gate opening for a temporary gate must be positioned at the far end of the fence run. For gate posts two timber stakes will be required. No under gate cable is required as this is a temporary opening at the far end of the run.

Powering the Fence - The Energiser

The first decision is whether you have mains power available to power a mains driven energiser. The mains driven energiser is the cheapest to run and most convenient to operate as you don’t need to remember to replace or re-charge the battery. The size of the energiser and the amount of vegetation which may come into contact with the fence causes battery life to vary considerable from approximately 3 – 12 weeks.

If you have mains power consider how far it will be away from the fence position to avoid reducing the flexibility of your system it may be necessary to think ahead. This is because if you are going to use temporary fencing you will need the power up each section of temporary fence. You don’t need to connect it directly to the energiser, as an alternative you may connect it to a conductor from a nearby permanent fence. This means that you may have to consider running at least one strand of galvanised wire along one side of each field to give convenient access to make temporary connections.

The other main decision is energiser power, this depends on several factors such as amount of vegetation which may come into contact with the fence, the distance the fencing will run as it is not unusual for field fencing to add up to several kilometres.


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