Horse Paddock Fences: Important Things You Should Keep in Mind

Tierhalter vor Pferdekoppel mit zwei Pferden.

There are many benefits and reasons to use horse paddocks. Three main benefits include: Controlling the health of your land, controlling the safety of your horses and controlling the health of your horses.

However, creating your paddock is not as simple as just putting up some fencing. Here are some very important things to keep in mind when designing and building your horse paddock fence, as well as some great tips to increase the efficiency of your new paddock.

Horse Fencing

Fence Material

Electric tape and rope are the most effective choices for horse paddock fencing. 40 mm tape is a great choice due to its high visibility. Horses are an inquisitive species, and will test the limits of their new containment. 40 mm tape insures the horses see the boundary and learn to keep their distance. Thinner tape (20 mm) or rope is often used in conjunction with 40 mm tape, but always keep the thicker tape as the top strand.

Generally speaking, 4 to 5 strands for perimeter fencing and 3 to 4 strands for interior fencing is a good rule of thumb. 


Fence connectors are the links in your electric fence chain, and just like the saying says, your chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Proper, quality connectors are the key to a long lasting, safe electric fence. Litzclip® connectors insure proper continuity of electricity and are a breeze to install. For horse paddocks built with electric ropes, Litzclip® safety links are also highly recommended to help keep your horses safe in the event of an escape attempt.


There are many choices of charger types: 230V direct connection, 12V battery, 9V rechargeable battery, solar and hybrids. The important things to look for in a charger are the output power in Volts and the pulse strength in Joules. Horse fence chargers should have 3,000V of output (more for longer fence lines.) It is important to note that horses have very thin fur and skin which means the necessary shock does not need to be too strong. 1 Joule sends a strong enough shock to teach horses to keep their distance.

Fence Height

The height of your paddock fence can vary of course, depending on the size of your horse. Smaller horses will need around 140 cm (or 55 in) at top strand with around 50 cm between strands (smaller gaps will be required for more than 3 strand fencing). Larger horses will generally need 165 cm at top strand, again with 50 cm between strands. Your lowest strand should be well clear of any grass or weeds that may interfere with conductivity. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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Electric Fence Maintenance Checklist

Once you have your paddock fence up and running it is important to keep it running smoothly. Testing and maintenance checks should be carried out frequently and in some cases even daily. Here is a short maintenance checklist of what you should look for and where problems may arise.

  1. Look for and remove sources of “load.” This can be something as simple as grass growing too tall and coming into contact with the fence line. Walk the fence row and make sure branches and other debris are not touching the fence strands. These things can rob your fence of precious power.
  2. Check the fence tightness, and tighten when necessary. A bit of give is important, especially in windier areas.
  3. Check insulators, charger and connections. All of these things can cause loss of power. Make sure everything is secure and correct. Even something as simple as a spider web built between  the terminals of the charger can cause sparks!
  4. Of course, check the fence strands themselves. Look for frayed edges on the tape or loose and protruding metal fibres in the weave. These things can cause a lack of current flow. The good news is that they are quickly repaired with a Litzclip® connector.