We found one of our mares caught in the fence a couple weeks ago.
By the time we got to her she had cut her hind leg pretty bad. It wasn’t into the tendon. We’ve been through that before. But the cut was deep and large and I’m still doing dressing changes.
She walks fine, and I’m sure she’ll be back to work soon. But it got me thinking about fences. We have noticed that the horses will use smooth wire to scratch where they itch. This they won’t do with barb wire. Cows and horses both appear to respect barb wire.
The problem is at night when they get spooked and run into barb wire, or when they play “horsey tag”, then the injuries can be bad.
So, we use net wire some places, but occasionally a horse will kick into the web, and get hung up there. Also not good.
Then there’s electric, but what about when the power goes out?
PVC looks good but it does have a tendency to break when a thousand pounds of red meat plows into it, and it deteriorates in sunlight.
Never mind wood, I can’t afford the maintenance.
So, my mind wandered back to a time before fences, back in the open range days. Buffalo herds passed through, eating and tearing up the turf, leaving plowed, fertilized ground, then the grassland was left alone for months to recover.
Fires swept across the dead grass, opening up space for new fresh grass to grow, and eliminating the brush that invades so much of our land nowadays.
Grassland prairie is much more fertile than forest land, since the grass constantly turns organic matter into soil, so the fire was really helpful. And it didn’t require the use of controversial agricultural chemicals.
Maybe Charley Goodnight was right!
We should have stayed with open range!
Sometimes i wonder if the worst plague to happen to ol’ Mother Earth hasn’t been the human race with all that fencing wire!
But then again, when I need a horse I’d like to know that I can find him without sending out a search party!