Should I choose 3 rails or 4 rails for my fence?

Question:

I’m planning to fence my horses’ pasture and would like your advice on whether to use a three rail vinyl fence vs. a four-rail vinyl fence. Which do you recommend and why? Darlene. ~(From Horses & Horsemanship column, July 2009 issue of “The Horse”)

I have worked on farms that have both three rail and four rail vinyl fences. I have found that the extra railing on a vinyl fence is unnecessary for horses in a pasture setting, but can be helpful when other animals are present. For instance, pigs and young cattle are notorious for pushing their way under fencing to root and can push through vinyl fencing, making it necessary to add more railings.

3 rail vinyl

Regularly scheduled farm work is another reason that additional railings are helpful. They can be used to attach tarps for shade, or other items that are needed in the pasture but would otherwise have to be moved each time you go out into the field. I have found that in general, it is easier to work around additional railings than to cut through them.fence supply online 4 rail

What to think about when choosing a fence.

There are several factors that come into play when deciding which type of fencing you need for your horses. For example, what kind of pasture rotation plan will be used? Will the horses be in this field year-round or only seasonally? Will you be introducing mares and foals into the pasture this spring? If so, will you be using a paddock system to manage them during turnout time? Will your horses live in the pasture 24/7 or only at night—and if they do need to come inside at night, what type of shelter will they need—a three-sided shelter such as a run-in or a four-sided barn? Will you be using electric fencing in the pasture and what type of posts will you use—wood, vinyl, metal T posts? These are all questions that need to be answered before deciding on the kind of fencing you will need.

Although it may seem like more work initially, I believe that a four-rail vinyl fence is the best choice for horses in a pasture setting. It provides more stability than a three-rail fence, which can be helpful when there is wind or cattle present. The extra railings can also come in handy when doing farm work in the pasture.

Although it may seem like more work initially, I believe that a four-rail vinyl fence is the best choice for horses in a pasture setting. It provides more stability than a three-rail fence, which can be helpful when there is wind or cattle present. The extra railings can also come in handy when doing farm work in the pasture.