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Items To Consider When Building A Horse Pasture Fence

Updated on October 13, 2015

Four Rail Wood Fence

Four Rail Wood Fence Under Construction, No Nails Used
Four Rail Wood Fence Under Construction, No Nails Used | Source

A safe and practical horse pasture fence should accomplish the below.


  • Safely enclose the horse and prevent escape.
  • Be built in such a way as to reduce injuries when the horse comes in contact with the fence.
  • Be built with a minimum number of nails and screws, ideally with no nails or screws.
  • Be built and sealed with non-toxic materials (horses often chew fences).
  • Have no acute corners (horses can feel trapped in tight corners).
  • Be strong enough to not break when a horse leans or rubs on the fence.
  • Be built in such a way to not cause injury when a horse rubs on the fence.
  • Be of sufficient height and strength to prevent injury when a horse attempts to eat grass on the far side of the fence (rubs his neck on the top rail).
  • Have the lowest rail close enough to the ground so the horse can not roll under the fence.
  • Be built in such a way that the horse can not catch his hoof in the fence.
  • Be built in such a way so the horses head can not get trapped in the fence.
  • Be flexible enough to give when a horse kicks the fence.
  • Be built in such a way to minimize injury to a rider coming in contact with a fence, especially the vertical post, such as when riding along side the fence.
  • Conform to the land and not allow gaps under the fence due to terrain changes.
  • Have sufficient height to prevent a horse from jumping the fence.
  • Be visible to the horse during the day and night.
  • Have pedestrian and tractor access gates.
  • Be strong enough to support the weight of an adult climbing the fence.
  • Have minimum of maintenance and long life span.
  • Be resistance to termites, rot, mildew and rust.
  • Be visually appealing and complement the surrounding land and structures.

The Authors Favorite Fence Building Method

While there are countless ways to construct a quality horse pasture fence, this authors favorite fence type is the 4 rail wood fence using 2"x6"x8' horizontal boards and 8"x8"x8' vertical post (the post secured in place by a bag of concrete).

Rails are secured to the post by routing out the 8"x8" post to accept the four 2"x6"x8' horizontal rails. Board are then painted with a non-toxic paint.

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