HorseGuard recommends at least 2 strands in most fencing applications to provide a safe visual and physical barrier for the horse. In an area vulnerable to weeds, the bottom tape should be a minimum of 22 inches (0.60m) off the ground.
3 strands and more
3 strands of tape is very popular and has a more traditional appearance. 4 strands might be necessary for delicate situations, like an excitable stallion, a busy road, deer, alpaca…
But remember never to set the tape too low.
While many stallions respect a 2 strand HorseGuard fence, 3 strands provides an extra measure of safety. The ideal tape height in this situation would be 28″ (0.70m), 44″ (1.10m) and 60″ (1.50m).
Many ponies are persistent and will escape if the shock of your fence charger is not strong enough. 3 strands is a good solution. 48″ (1.20m), 32″ (0.80m) and 16″ (0.40m).
One strand does not work to enclose young horses or ponies. To be on the safe side, 3 strands fencing is better for young horses. 52″ (1.30m), 36″ (0.90m) and 28″ (0.70m).
Next to a road
Some people prefer 3, or even 4 strands of tape for fencing, it makes them feel that the enclosed horses or cattle are safe.
Mare and foal
The smaller the enclosure, the more contact the horse has with any fence. Foals could easily roll under a fence but 3 strands at 52″ (1.30m), 36″ (0.90m) and 20″ (0.50m) will reduce that risk. If they do manage to get under, their instincts to return to their dam are so strong that the foal will fight to get back through the fence.With HorseGuard tape, the foal can and will return through the fence, despite getting zapped by the electric tape.Unlike other fencing, the foal won’t sustain potential injury while returning to the dam.
The lower tape is actually the more important of the two strands. Every time a horse puts his head down to crawl under the tape or graze beyond the perimeter, he will get a shock across the top of his nose or on his ears or neck. This strand should be set at 28″ (0.70m) or at 24″ (0.60m) for ponies. Any lower tape will tend to ground on long grass and weeds.The top strand of tape is a visual barrier to stop a bolting horse. It should be set up at 52″ (1.30m) from the ground..
For an adult horse behind one strand, the height should be at 35″ (0.90m). This will not eliminate all the risks, but your horse will no longer be able to get close enough to the fence to scratch himself or to overhang enough to paw through the wires. In some fencing situations it is advisable to put two or more strands on the existing fence.
A single strand may be used to keep horses from a certain area to protect the horse or protect the area.
Other uses for one strand of HorseGuard tape include rapidly erected temporary enclosures and movable cross fencing. Or when you need to move your fence frequently for a daily rotation of horses between fields.
All horses enclosed by a single strand must already be familiar with electric fencing tape.