There are many factors to consider when choosing the ideal horse rail, most importantly being design and material. The design of a fence can help enhance specific paddocks or spaces for the particular use cases that are needed, increasing the effectiveness of your training programs, or just generally improving the wellbeing of your horses. The material choice of horse rail can have a variety of factors, from improving the look of your farm, the safety of your animals and the overall cost of ongoing maintenance.
When choosing the material for your horse rail fences, there are 3 main options: Wood, metal and plastic. While each material has their advantages and disadvantages, for areas with a high level of activity, or with frequent human presence, we recommend plastic as the best overall material choice for horse rail.
Plastic is slightly more expensive than wood, however it is easier to maintain and can withstand the elements without rotting, splitting or warping. Plastic also has a smooth, rounded surface, with no nails or potential splinters to harm horse or riders.
Metal horse rail fences are stronger than plastic fences, however they are not flexible. This means any potential collision with a metal fence will be a hard impact, without any flex or give that a plastic fence would provide. Metal fences also have sharp corners, and nails.
Depending on what the particular enclosed space will be used for, would determine the ideal type of horse rail fence.
For in and around stables and high use paddocks:
The best horse rail in and around stables and high use paddocks are a post and rail system. Usually available with a customizable number of rails, from 2-4, the post and rail system is a sturdy and eye pleasing design to enclose working spaces.
For perimeter paddocks, a post and 2 rail system may be sufficient, but in areas where both sides of the fence will see traffic, adding more rails, would be safer. Areas that have children, foals or other smaller animals will also benefit from the extra protection that more rails will provide.
For running tracks or walkways:
The best horse rail for running tracks or walkways are running rails. Running rails are usually on swan necks to create a smooth uninterrupted rail that hovers above the ground. These fences are designed to flex in case of contact and have no protruding edges to snag rider or horse.
Running rails are also great for walkways as their overhanging rail helps to guide horses in the right direction, and also ensures that their legs are clear of any of the fence posts.
In areas of high traffic, this overhang also ensures that any horses or people on the other side of the rail cannot come too close to the horses being walked.
For areas with many people.
The best horse rail for areas with many people are spectator rails. These rails have a smooth flat top that allows people to rest their arms on. These rails can be considered if you have any viewing galleries near show paddocks.
For large fields
While plastic post and rail fences will work for large fields, as foot traffic will be quite low, their cost may not justify the added benefits. More economical options like wood or wire fences should be sufficient on these larger fields, just ensure when using wire fences that the animals can perceive them clearly as to not run into them.
If you are looking to improve your equestrian farm with plastic fencing or have further questions when it comes to horse rails, our fencing experts at Duralock are at hand for a free consultation. Please simply fill out the form in the link below to book a timeslot.