Sisters Win With New Fencing System Success
The quality of a horse farm is often only as good as the fences around it, and the Wilson sisters appreciate that fact more than most.
The sisters Vicki, Kelly and Amanda have had more than their share of horses injured after being caught in fences and gates, and spent many hours tending injured horses and putting the offending fencing right.
But in the past year they have had some welcome relief from the upsetting and stressful encounters between horses and fences, thanks to having their property made far more “horse friendly” using Gallagher Equine Fence systems.
Working with Gallagher and the Fencing Contractors Association of New Zealand the sisters have fenced well over two thirds of their Northland property with the Gallagher system that incorporates specially designed Equine Fence Wire, gates, outriggers and now the innovative new Insulated Line Posts.
With a year’s experience having the system in place, Kelly says they have come to realise how stressful and unnecessary horse injuries from fences and gates are when avoided by having a good system in place.
“In the 12 months we have had the system in place we have had no wire cuts or accidents from the fences or gates where we have the Gallagher system in place. But we have had seven on the remaining conventional fences, and one horse had to be retired from riding because of the injury she sustained.”
Other horses have also sustained small wire cuts requiring attention to avoid them becoming infected.
“I think what we have learned is that we now know it is preventable, they are accidents that with the right fencing, you can avoid.”
The sisters are working over coming months to replace the remaining traditional wire fences with Gallagher Equine Wire. The wire has a unique electrified polymer design with wide diameter and smooth coating that reduces the risk of it becoming entangled with a horse’s hoof, leg or head.
This has avoided the injuries Kelly has witnessed where the high tensile wire becomes entangled between the horse’s hoof and shoe, at worst electrocuting the animal.
Similarly, all the gates have been replaced with Gallagher Equimaster Gates, designed to minimise any risk of horses getting their heads or hooves caught in the gate’s railings.
Grid mesh welded to the gate frame eliminates the risk of mesh separating and providing a means for hooves to become caught between it and the frame.
“We have had horses go over gates and get their back legs caught, or get their heads caught between gate railings. We changed the gates over and in the past year have had none of those accidents.”
Kelly is particularly impressed with the newly released Gallagher Insulated Line Posts.
Designed to be easily transported around the farm, and set up with minimum fuss, their adjustability means they can provide a tailor made solution to containing horses, sheep, cattle and deer.
“We found they were extremely easy to set up, the three of us laid out a whole paddock ourselves in only about half an hour. The fact you can move the snap on clips up or down means to you can set up the fence and the wires exactly as you want them to be.”
The sisters have used the fence system to subdivide a larger paddock, and alongside the river bank to keep horses out of the water.
At present the sisters are running a wide variety of horses, ranging from three different breeds of wild horses, the horse Vicki trained and won in the World Championship of Colt Starting event in March, and a number of Olympic standard show jumpers.
Kelly said she has much more peace of mind knowing all are well contained, and less likely than ever to injure themselves around the family property.
“We have come to realise with the fence system just how avoidable some of these injuries are, and we are working hard to remove the last of the old fencing.”