Brittany Oracheski

If you are actively showing horses, trail riding frequently, or even hauling your child’s pony to 4-H events in the area, you are probably familiar with portable horse fencing options. There are a few to choose from, such as electric tape/rope, metal panel, and PVC panel. Having access to a corral can make your horses “home away from home” a lot more comfortable, as well as benefitting their mind and body. Along with those benefits, however, come certain risks. If you are considering your boarding options for the coming show season, it will be advantageous to be aware of some of the major benefits and risks of portable horse fencing.

If you are considering a permanent solution to your fencing needs instead, Centaur Fencing carries several high-tensile polymer products that may fit your needs. Start by checking into the Cenflex rail product.

Benefits of Portable Horse Fencing

  • Ease of use
  • Portable horse fencing like the Gallagher SmartFence tends to be lightweight and easy to lift. It often fits well into the back of a truck, or secures to the side of the trailer with ease. Setup on this type of fence is meant to be quick and easy, as no one wants to spend hours constructing a paddock when they arrive at their destination.
  • Healthy for mind and body
  • Even a smaller sized portable paddock allows a horse more freedom of movement than being tied at the trailer or housed in a small stall. After performing in the ring or on the trail for the day, a horse will typically enjoy rolling on the ground, and being able to walk the perimeter of the fence. A portable paddock allows a horse more space to roll without becoming cast next to a solid stall wall, and the ability to take in the various stimuli that the new setting offers. Communication with other horses in the vicinity may provide a horse with immense comfort away from home.
  • Observation
  • A portable paddock can ease the mind of the owner or handler, especially in cases where the owner or handler is also staying on site in living quarters or a tent, as they are able to check in on their horse at any time.

Portable Horse Fencing Risks

  • Lack of strength
  • Unless you bring metal panels on the road with you (which is a great alternative if you have the means to transport them), you will probably be dealing with a fence that doesn’t offer much for strength. PVC portable fencing is not very strong, and can be jagged and dangerous if broken. Electric fence mounted on small stakes will break quickly upon impact, although the electric current running through it may convince your horse to think twice before going through it. Unless your horse is very respectful of fencing, many portable fencing alternatives may not be a good fit for you.
  • Space Requirement
  • Unless you are renting a private site, fencing your horse by your trailer can encroach on space that other exhibitors or riders may think would be better suited as a place for others to exercise their horses or get from one place to another more efficiently. Special care should always be taken to check with the event organizers to see if personal paddocks are permitted at all, or if boarding at the provided facility is the only option.
  • Exposure to the elements
  • Portable horse fencing leaves your horse exposed to any adverse weather conditions that may roll through. Electrical storms can be very frightening for a horse, especially in unfamiliar surroundings, which could lead to the horse running into or through the fence. White legs are much easier to keep clean in a barn with fresh bedding, than in a muddy paddock after a rain storm. Portable fencing is easy to take along with you, portable shelters are not. A trailer is not a safe place to house a horse overnight in adverse weather conditions, but can provide some short-term security if a horse is acting nervously due to weather.