FAQ

ABOUT THE BIG PRAIRIE STORE

Q) Where are you located?
We are located between Water Valley and Cremona in Alberta Canada. We do not have a physical storefront; however, we do ship across Canada! 

Q) Can I pick up my order in person?
Certainly! You are welcome to pick-up your order if you are in the area or, if schedules permit, we sometimes drop off to local areas such as Olds, Airdrie, Cochrane, Calgary, etc. Contact us at customercare@bigprairie.ca if this is something you would like to consider.

Q) Can I place a custom order?
We try our very best to meet all our customers needs!  If there is something that you are looking for that is not listed on our Products Page, please contact us at customercare@bigprairie.ca and we will see if we can get it for you.

Q) Can you help me plan and install my fence?
We are more than happy to share our ideas with you! We have been there, done that and have lots of experience to pass along. To help with installation, a fantastic resource is the ElectroBraid Installation Manual

ABOUT ELECTROBRAID

Q) What is ElectroBraid horse fence?
ElectroBraid is a permanent electric horse fence designed especially for horses. It is both a physical barrier and a psychological deterrent. It is highly visible to horses, strong, durable, and resilient.

Q) What does it look like?
ElectroBraid looks like high quality braided yachting rope. A double helix of copper wire conductors is braided into the outer jacket of the electric fence rope. Two to four strands of ElectroBraid of ¼ inch diameter are mounted on insulators on fence posts which may be wood, vinyl, or steel and spaced 30 to 50 feet apart. ElectroBraid comes in white, checkered, or black; however, The Big Prairie Store only stocks checkered as we believe this colouration has the best visibility.

Q) Why is ElectroBraid different?
Traditional electric horse fence uses small diameter steel wires, which are hard for horses to see. The ropes of ElectroBraid are highly visible. ElectroBraid can absorb the energy of a panicked horse and will typically bounce the horse back into its pasture with no harm to horse or fence.

SAFETY

Q) What makes ElectroBraid a safe horse fence?
There are no impact injuries, no sharp points or hard edges, and no wires to cut or puncture. There are no boards to break or splinter; horses crib on board fences and rub against them and even minor cuts can become seriously infected. The worst potential injury with ElectroBraid is if a horse is able to wrap a strand of ElectroBraid completely around a leg and struggles. The prospect of such an accident can be virtually eliminated by wiring and grounding the fence correctly and by keeping the ElectroBraid taut.

Q) Is the electric shock harmless?
The electric shock from a UL or CSA approved fence energizer is completely harmless. The shock is extremely low amperage for 3/10,000 of a second, once a second, but it is an immediate and unpleasant psychological deterrent. Once shocked, neither you, nor your horse, want to touch the fence again.

EASE & SIMPLICITY

Q) How does it work?
ElectroBraid horse fencing is both a physical barrier and a psychological deterrent. Once a horse receives a shock, he will not go near the fence again. He will not rub against the fence nor will he crib on it. He will not try to jump over it, go through it, or go under as he doesn’t want to get shocked again.

Q) Can I really space posts up to 50 feet apart?
The manufacturer states that you can place posts up to 50 feet apart; however, from our experience, spacing really does depend on your weather and terrain. The standard spacing we recommend is 20 to 50 feet, staying closer to 20 foot spacing if you have high snowfall or rolling hills. Regardless, this means fewer fence posts, less work, less cost, and less maintenance!

Q) Can I use any energizer with ElectroBraid?
Please ensure your energizer is low impedance and certified safe by UL or CSA. It is vital the energizer you choose be powerful enough to meet your needs. In the competitive market of energizers, manufactures considerably overstate the length of fence each energizer is capable of electrifying. A simple rule of thumb is to match your length of fence to 1/10th the energizer’s rating. The Big Prairie Store only stocks Patriot Energizers as we believe that these are the best quality and most reliable.
 
WARNING: NEVER use an Energizer labeled “WEED BURNER” or “WEED CHOPPER”; they are unsafe and will damage ElectroBraid. NOTE: ElectroBraid uses pure copper, which is the third best electrical conductor next to silver and gold. Copper is 70 times more conductive than stainless steel.

Q) Do I have to stop weeds from growing up around ElectroBraid?
ElectroBraid is not significantly affected by grass growing up around it. The copper conductor is only a small percentage of the ElectroBraid surface area; therefore, you don’t have to spend a lot of time mowing under the ElectroBraid fence. However, heavy, wet tuffs of grass, bushes, or branches pressing against ElectroBraid can drain power and cause a loss of voltage. At least once a year, weeds, bushes, and tree branches should be cleared from the immediate fence area. Note: Routine voltage testing of the electric horse fence is a good indicator as to when to mow.
 
Q) What type of fence posts do I require?
You can use any type of fence post that you want, as long as the ElectroBraid is insulated upon attaching to the post. Most customers choose 7’ wooden fence posts – 6″ diameter for ends, corners, and gates, and 3-4″ for line posts. Fiberglass fence posts do not require insulators. T-posts can also be used.
 
ECONOMICAL

Q) Why is the installed cost low?
A professional fence installer is not required; ElectroBraid can be self-installed with hand-tools, by almost anyone… like stringing clothesline. Excluding cost of posts, ElectroBraid costs $1.00 to $1.50 per foot for a 3-strand fence with variability being post spacing (as this influences number of insulators). We recommend fence posts be set 20 to 40 feet apart depending on terrain and local snow conditions. By contrast, conventional horse fences require a post every 8 or 10 feet. Finally, to relocate your ElectroBraid fence, you don’t need a contractor.
 
Q) Why is maintenance cost low?
If you properly install your corner and end posts, they won’t move. Brass and copper components will not corrode. Occasionally an insulator might break and need replacement, but little else will need repair. ElectroBraid stands up to lightning strikes remarkably well. The double helix of copper in the braid functions in the same manner as a lightning arrestor, often preventing damage to the energizer. Typically, only a few hundred feet of braid may need to be replaced. If a tree falls on the fence, cut it off/buck it up and the ElectroBraid should spring right back. Horses don’t crib on ElectroBraid or rub against it. The fence is seldom if ever damaged by storms, including ice storms and tornadoes. Fence repairs are quick and easily done by hand.
 
Q) How does ElectroBraid compare to other electric horse fencing options?
Stranded electric rope “unravels” under tension and needs constant tightening. By contrast, ElectroBraid is dimensionally stable because of its braided-over-inner-core construction. Provided the braid is properly tensioned when installed, the fence will maintain its tautness with only occasional re-tensioning.

Woven electrical horse tape contains parallel electrical conductors. These fence wires take much of the strain and tension and the wires tend to break under windy conditions. By contrast, the copper wire conductors in ElectroBraid are formed in helical coils like springs, allowing both bend and stretch. The fiber strands take all tension. The copper wires will not break under tension. Electric polywire is lightweight and small in diameter, breaks easily, and can cut horseflesh like a knife.

Conventional high tensile wire (HTW) electric fence is good for cattle but not for horses. Unlike cattle, horses are excitable, high-strung animals. Horses often don’t see the steel fence wires. The wires can break under impact and wrap, cut, and puncture flesh.

Certain electric fence rail systems are especially made for horses. These are worth considering but tend to be expensive to install and may not be as safe as ElectroBraid.

Q) What fence maintenance is required?
Walk the fence line to confirm your fence has not been damaged. Check the voltage regularly. Mow weeds from under your fence as needed. In the spring, make sure no fence posts have been heaved by frost.
 
Q) Why does ElectroBraid specify fence accessories of copper, brass, and glass-filled nylon?
Quality… Quality… Quality… It costs a little more but saves a fortune in performance and durability. Brass is an alloy of copper and they are compatible metals. They don’t suffer the natural electrolytic corrosion that occurs when dissimilar metals come in contact with each other. Copper does not rust; it develops an oxidized protective coating called a ‘patina’. Next to gold and silver, copper is the best natural conductor of electricity. Copper is 70 times more conductive than steel. Telephone and power companies use only copper wiring. Glass filled nylon is the strongest available commercial plastic material for insulator construction.

Q) Copper is such a soft metal, will it break, or rust?
No. A copper wire on its own will break, but ElectroBraid is engineered to braid copper wires into a cushion of polyester fiber. The copper is braided into the outer jacket in two opposing directions that cross three times per inch. The copper wires form two helical coils like springs. This construction allows both bend and stretch, without putting strain on the copper itself. In fact, under extreme tension, ElectroBraid itself will break before the copper wires.

Pure copper oxidizes but only on the surface in the form of a dark green patina. Like paint, this thin coating of oxidization prevents any further oxidization. Surface oxidation does not weaken the copper nor does it reduce electrical conductivity. Pure copper, as used in ElectroBraid, has been known to last hundreds of years, such as copper roofs on buildings. Copper is, of course, the metal used in household electrical wiring.

Q) What makes ElectroBraid a secure horse fence?
ElectroBraid has the resilience and the strength to resist the impact of a stallion – it just stretches and then springs back. It is secure because, unlike conventional board horse fencing, ElectroBraid shocks a horse. The horse doesn’t understand what happened – it just knows it wants to stay clear in future. A horse has never voluntarily jumped any ElectroBraid Fence, to our knowledge.

Q) How durable is ElectroBraid Horse Fence?
The high-grade polyester fiber is the same fiber used in automotive seat belts and parachute harnesses. Polyester resists attack by ultra-violet light, salt, manure, and most farm chemicals. The copper develops an oxidized outer layer or ‘patina’ that protects the copper wire from corrosion. ElectroBraid carries a 25 year warranty.
 
Q) Will the sun affect the polyester jacket?
No. The high-grade polyester we use is virtually unaffected by sunlight. That is why it is used for seat belts, cargo straps, parachute harness, and other safety applications. Over time, the white braid will yellow slightly but this will not reduce its strength. An independent laboratory subjected ElectroBraid to a standard ASTM test for extreme ultra violet (UV) radiation and there was no product deterioration.

Q) How long can I expect the ElectroBraid Fence to last?
Based on the manufacturer’s independent laboratory tests, they confidently provide a 25 year performance warranty that ElectroBraid will not rust, rot, lose strength due to sunlight or weathering, or break in a normal permanent fence installation.
 
VERSATILE

Q) Is this a permanent, portable, or temporary horse fencing option?
ElectroBraid is versatile. ElectroBraid can stand alone as a permanent perimeter fence or it can be used as a portable, temporary electric horse fence; added to protect a board or wire mesh fence; or combined with vinyl or pipe.

Q) How can ElectroBraid protect an existing horse fence?
Mount ElectroBraid as a single strand on top of almost any fence. The psychological deterrence to horses is dramatic. Dell Hendricks, Top 10 Reining Champion, had a stallion that regularly jumped his pipe and cable fence, to impregnate a neighbour’s mares. When a single strand of ElectroBraid was added, the stallion never jumped the fence again. (Don’t use cheap high tensile wire or polywire fence options – they are both unsafe to horses).

Q) Can ElectroBraid be used as an electric fence for deer?
A 2006 independent study from the University of Nebraska and the United States Department of Agriculture/Wildlife Services found that ElectroBraid is a safe and effective electric fence for deer control. ElectroBraid is an effective deer fence to keep deer out of cornfields, and it is even being used as a deer control method to keep deer off airport runways.

Q) Can ElectroBraid be used for other animals besides horses?
Yes! In addition to serving as America’s safest horse fence, ElectroBraid can also be used as:

  • Goat fencing
  • Sheep fencing
  • Livestock and cattle fencing
  • Moose and elk fencing
  • Llama and alpaca fencing
  • Other specialty animal fencing