I have been in the fencing industry for over a decade now and one of the most common questions I am asked is whether vinyl ranch rail is a good horse fence.  After years of answering this question, I have developed a fairly candid boiler plate answer to this question.  Sometimes it satisfies the inquirer, sometimes it does not.

For those unfamiliar with vinyl fencing, vinyl rail fencing is a relatively new fencing alternative from that of traditional wood and iron fencing products.  Its popularity has grown and vinyl fence can be found on ranches, commercial and government projects, housing developments, farms and homes across the world.  Vinyl fencing is preferred by many for its clean look, longevity, low-maintenance, and affordability.  Vinyl is not always the cheapest product to purchase but when maintenance and replacement costs for a fence are taken into account, the reasons why many choose vinyl becomes more apparent.

Horse owners when comparing fencing products for their project find themselves asking, “Can a vinyl fence hold in my 1,000 plus pound animal?  Here is my boiler plate response.  I am a horse owner and I have vinyl ranch fencing around my corrals and pastures.  I have sold vinyl fencing to thousands of homeowners over the past decade and on one hand can count those that have had major problems with their horses and the fence.  I believe in these cases, these horses damaging the fence would have problems with any fence type the horse owner would have chosen.  Those with problems had a horse with a habit of excessively leaning and rubbing on the fence.  This type of horse would have caused damage to any fence we would have installed, regardless of whether the fence was constructed of wood, metal, or vinyl.  The end result with this type of horse is a crooked, ragged looking fence.  To prevent future damage, most of these horse owners installed electric wires along the fence and damage to the fence stopped.

For the majority of horse owners, vinyl ranch rail will be a great option for their fencing needs.  Sure, with 1,000 plus pound livestock you are going to have to repair the fence every now and then when you get a broken rail or post but the replacement of that post or rail is not a big deal and can usually be done in a couple hours with basic tools found in a garden shed.  I like to compare the fence with my pickup truck.  My truck is 4 wheel drive and I sometimes find myself in a position when that option is needed.  Sometimes a part breaks on my truck when I am roughing it up and I repair it.  A truck is designed to withstand normal driving conditions but occasionally when abused, it breaks.  The truck, as a whole will last a long time, and so will your fence, unless you have a horse that likes to abuse the fence.

Vinyl fencing is beautiful and offers wonderful long-term benefits.  When installed properly, the fence can last a long time; it requires maintenance when it is abused, and that is going to happen every now and then with animals, but the replacement of a post or rail is not brain surgery.  The majority of horse owners that I have worked with have vinyl fencing and love the choice they made.  You work with your horses each day and know their personality and flaws.  Vinyl is not always the solution and you may feel your horse is one of those with a rubbing habit.  If you are in doubt, seek advice from a horse owner that has a vinyl fence.  I have replaced posts and rails that were kicked by horses or hit by a tractor and I am still happy with my decision.  Be informed with the pros and cons of all types of fencing available in your area and you can rest assured that you will make the right decision.