Does PVC Fencing Make A Safe Fence For Horses | Horse Fences

February 7th, 2011

PVC railed fencing has been on the market for approximately 20 years. In its beginning, this innovative product was made specifically for residential use only. Since its beginning, horse owners have ‘caught onto’ PVC fence and it is frequently used for horses.  However, the big question is: “Is PVC a safe fence for horses?”

Years ago we became more aware of the impact of using wood for building materials as well as fencing. Alternative composites were being developed to help lessen the demand for wood.  Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) had been used to make thousands of products. With new technology and the addition of Ultra Violet (UV) inhibitors, whitening additives (titanium dioxide), and fungicides, a whole new market began in decorative residential fencing as well as railed fence.  As residential owners began using PVC as an alternative to wood, horse owners liked the look and benefit of never having to paint their fence again.

Proper installation is very important, always follow manufacturer’s instructions.

The internet is loaded with articles leading a horse owner to believe that PVC is a very safe fence and that it will break without injuring a horse.  That ‘may’ be true in some instances. However, before purchasing a PVC fence for your particular horse/horses, there are some important facts that need you need to know. Proper installation is critical – as with every fence that you install. Since PVC is light weight, all posts need to be concreted.  If not, after a short time the posts will lean from the wind, ground conditions or horses leaning on them.  The locking end of the rails slide into the 4 x 4 post and should have about a 1/4 ” gap inside the post.  When both ends of the rails are in the post properly, there is approximately 1 3/4″ of rail in the post (not leaving a lot of room for error).  It’s important to be exactly on 8′ centers with your post holes (rails are 16′ in length).   Setting posts straight will allow the optimum amount of rail to be in the post, making the fence stronger and helping if an impact occurs.  Rails should be ‘staggered’ on posts, meaning that every other rail goes through a post and every other rail meets in the post. This also helps to give more stability on impact.

“With horses there is no fence that is 100% fool proof.”

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