This is the most commonly asked question of all customers.
The short answers is that it is your choice. We do sell a range of fence posts for horses that are often used with our rail, see horse fence posts.
However timber, in particular treated pine, is the most common material used we will base the rest of the comments based on that kind of post. If using other materials you will need to ask your supplier for posts of equivalent strength and properties to what is described below.
Interim Horse Fence Posts
The most commonly used post for interim posts are 100-120mm round treated pine or hardwood. Whatever post you chose to go with should be equivalent to or have greater strength than a 100mm round treated pine. (Be aware that for their size round posts are stronger than square or rectangle posts as they benefit from uniformity of pressure). So wherever you buy your posts from advise the merchant of this requirement and please do not rely on a comment like “people have been using these posts for horses for ever”.
The length of the post required is a little more subjective. Obviously the first factor is how high you want the fence to be, which is usually between 1250mm and 1500mm. This will be determined by what kind of horses you are keeping, obviously height is not critical if you keep miniatures but if you keep thoroughbred, Clydesdale or draft horse stallions it most certainly will be.
The second factor is how deep the post needs to be installed. In reasonable soil conditions which do not have problems with water and or sandy compositions a depth of 450-500mm can be appropriate. A general rule of thumb for fence posts is 1/3 depth to 2/3 above. In certain soil types and given our interim posts support little weight, merely vertical and horizontal alignment of the rail, a depth of 450-500mm to 1300-1350mm above is sometimes appropriate. However we suggest that industry guideline of 1/3 below and 2/3 above be followed to ensure a lasting fence line.
This makes 1800mm or 6ft posts quite adequate in most circumstances.
However the general rule can not always be followed and a decision regarding your soil conditions is required. We are aware of customers using 2.4 metre posts with a 50/50 ratio of depth to post height.
Straining Horse Fence Posts
Straining posts are used at the ends of runs, corners and where runs terminate at gates. These posts bare the pressure of the horse rail and are a critical component in our fence system.
We specify 200mm round as the minimum for any timber posts. This will provide both the strength and the girth to cope with the strained rail. Additionally these posts must be properly braced. Obviously steel posts and some of the laminated posts will flex less under strain and therefore need not be quite so large.
We also specify a hole depth at-least equal to the height of the fence for straining posts. Commonly customers used 2400mm (8ft) posts for this purpose. Unless posts are rammed in, concrete must be used for all posts.
Occasionally we hear stories from customers that timber merchants have advised that straining posts can be quite a lot smaller than we have suggested above. From time to time this is correct, based on their knowledge of local soil conditions. However at other times this answer results from the customer not explaining the nature of the rail to be applied. Our rail will be far tighter than most wire fences and this must be considered. Our rail can also be tensioned to a higher level than some similar products in the market that use different straining mechanism. If you are to spend a little extra money to be sure of a good installation we suggest the straining posts is definitely the item to spend upon. The industry rule for straining posts is 50% below and 50% above and we believe this minimum should be adhered to.
For further information on posts used with our system you might like to view our video on Horse Fence Posts – Youtube or Horse Fence Posts – Vimeo.
If you have any questions about posts that are not answered in this article feel free to contact us for horse fencing advice. .