Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gonna Give You All A Headache Today!

Barbed Wire Fencing.

Three words to make any responsible, knowledgeable horse owner squirm in discomfort and instantly suffer from a panic attack while seeing visions of torn bloody skin, shattered bones, puncture wounds, dead horses, and horrific vet bills. 

Today I ask the question... 

Who the hell still uses barbed wire fencing to surround their horse pastures?

I guess some people in North Kentucky haven't yet gotten the message about how stupid they are to still be using barbed wire. 

To the right is the mare being sold in the ad. The ad states: 3 year old quarter horse - $600 (nky) Great 3 year old filly has had extensive ground training and is ridding very well no vices or problems best mannered young horse I've ever been around comes up to you in the field you dont go to her smooth light trot and canter will consider trade for TWH

NOW, if you lovely readers can actually manage to look at that picture without screaming at the horse to get away from the fence (Its a picture.... she can't hear you. I Promise.), you will see that we have a semi-fugly, nondescript quarter horse mare that might very well be on the lower end of the herd totem pole. 

Why is it that we usually see this lower level of care out in 'the sticks'? OH WAIT... because its almost always people that quite frankly don't have a lot of money to spend. 

But they ALWAYS have farm animals. AND that is what makes me want to scream. I can't help but wonder how they treat their KIDS if its ok to put an animal behind something that is now mostly used to keep federal prisoners within ranks!!! 

How many times have you seen a horse just happily playing in his/her pasture? I have video of a mare I no longer own running in a smaller arena, and slamming on the brakes reining slide stop style at the fence. She USED the fence to help her stop. 

I don't WANT to imagine what would happen should any of those horses do the same thing with this fence. I don't WANT to imagine what would happen if one of those horses in the background were to suddenly get terrified of a leaf blowing at them, and *KABOOM* go headlong into that deadly wire. I say leaf because I'm also a sarcastic biotch, but you ALL know its the silliest, stupidest things sometimes that send our horses into freakazoid mode.

I have to start giggling a bit here to myself because I am suddenly reminded of a now hysterical story a college equine science instructor told in class one day. She was the prior Stallion Manager of what was Chauncey Arabians, was while out in the pasture, doing her daily check on the pastured horses. Her habit was to bring some basic medical supplies with her, to treat on the go, so to speak. Included with her kit was one of the large rolls of basic cotton, (the kind to wrap legs up in) with the paper outer wrapping. She told the story with great enthusiasm, describing the events quite vividly, and with a great sense of humor about the situation. 

There was a yearling Arab, in the pasture, (can't remember if it was colt or filly), and thus being curious critters, this particular one decided to try to eat the purple paper outer wrap of the cotton bandaging. As you can imagine, immediate chaos occurred, as the yearling took off like a bat out of hell spooked by the crinkling purple paper that was *all of a sudden* trying to eat its chest and legs. Yearling would stop running for a few minutes, and then the breeze would suddenly move the paper, and off the horse would go again, terrified of the flapping thing that just wouldn't go away!

The poor foal ended up running itself to a lather because it never once realized that it had the paper in its mouth, the same paper that was trying to attack it from the front. It took several workers standing in the field to make sure that the yearling didn't run itself into the fence in its blind panic. They didn't attempt to try and catch it while in panic mode, just waited until it ran itself out, and then tried to calm the horse down enough to approach and try and pull the paper out of its mouth. The story was originally told to demonstrate that horses don't open up their mouths very easily during a discussion on proper bitting techniques.

I mention the story now, not just because remembering it is amusing to me, but because if it weren't for the 5 or 6 stable hands that got called to watch the foal to make sure it didn't run smack into a fence there could have been a very different ending than what it was. So- Lets just all imagine that same situation, but modified to fit our quarter horse mare up there. 

Horse sees something its curious in, lowers head to sniff it, maybe even see if its edible. Suddenly the strange object MOVES! (Doesn't matter what the strange object is. Use your imagination. Paper cup, plastic bag, a odd shaped tree limb, heck maybe even a downed bird or animal.) Horse spooks, and runs. Some horses have sense, and go only a foot or two away. Others, don't have sense. And they are the ones that go running madly into fences. The LUCKY ones have horse safe fencing that don't massacre your horses! The unlucky ones run into barbed wire and get unnecessary and potentially life threatening injuries that cause at minimum the ruin of their entire riding career - and thus leaving the mare for breeding use only.

See a pattern yet?

Why hasn't this fence been replaced yet? I'm sure the seller can come up with all sorts of fascinating excuses. Would I be willing to listen or believe them? HELL NO. 

These backwoods rednecks (and yes I CAN say that because I LIVED in South East Texas, about 45 minutes from the LA Bayou/border with some of THE most ignorant that live among us. Not everyone that lives near Beaumont qualifies for that label. Yet.... wayyy too many do.) can't spend a few afternoons putting up even a cheap rail fence. I'd rather see THAT then this uneducated, outdated, and dangerous crap.

Again, we have another example of a horse owner that is too damn cheap and lazy to get off their ass and take care of their horses properly. 

*passes out Tylenol/Advil/ibuprofen/whiskey/whatever to those that need it after that ad*


  1. I don';t have a problem with one strand of barb ver woven wire fencing (that or electric is the only way to keep a horse from smooshing it) but ALL barbed wire fencing is idiotic.

    my barrel horse was kept in such fencing before I go her.. who knows WHAT happened but a strand got broken and when she was a weanling, I showed up at the stable to find her front legs and chest gaping and still tangled with barbed wire. This mare is 12 years old and still has the scare, the way her chest hair lays funny, from this incident.

    *shakes head* people won't learn until a horse has an accident and sometimes even then

  2. Most horses, once they figure out what the deal is with the barbs, tend to keep a respectful distance day in and day out. Its when the shit hits the fan that things happen...

  3. We have our horses in a barbed wire fence,and havenever had a problem. It is 5 strand and tight. The horses know their boundaries and steer clear. I have had the horses injure themselves on the hot wire (2 strand), cattle panel fencing and the horse panels but never the barb wire. Our pastures are 80 acres, 40 acres and 10 acres. Please don't judge all barb wire fencing by the few people that have poorly maintained fencing.

  4. I respect your decision to maintain your farm as you see fit.

    I just see no need whatsoever to house horses in something that there are literally tens of other choices that should the horse get tangled up in - won't rip them to shreds.

    Thats my Personal opinion though, and as we all know, blogs are all about the personal opinion of the writer. :)