Bay of Plenty miniature horse breeder Colleen Phillips reckons the Gallagher SmartFence is the most versatile and practical invention ever devised for lifestyle block owners.
Until they bought their SmartFence two years ago, Colleen and her husband Shayne were struggling to keep the ten miniature horses on their 8ha block behind a temporary fence.
Good fencing is essential for miniature horses, says Colleen, because they can get fat very easily. “Our problem was that our paddocks were so big we had to use pigtail standards and a single tape to break the paddocks down. But when the grass got low the miniatures would just walk under the fence.” But at a Farmlands Expo two years ago Shayne and Colleen found the perfect solution to this annoying problem – the Gallagher SmartFence.
Made from high quality components, the SmartFence is an all-in-one four-wire, 10-post, 100-metre long fence that provides an extremely effective stock barrier for small animals in a wide range of farming situations. Unlike the traditional temporary fencing systems that utilise multiple reels and standards that can be difficult to handle and clumsy to install, the SmartFence is easy to transport and simple to put up, even for users with no prior experience of temporary fencing. After the product was demonstrated at the Expo, Colleen and Shayne knew it was exactly what they needed. “Our problems were fixed instantly with the Gallagher SmartFence. It’s higher than a conventional temporary fence and because it has four wires, our miniature horses can’t walk under it.”
Though it is not recommended as a permanent fencing solution for larger horses, Colleen says even the 17-hand Clydesdale on their farm respects the SmartFence and will not step over it. “Problems solved, and we had more grass!” The SmartFence’s integrated and ready-to-go four-wire system means the user simply needs to pull the standards out one at a time, placing them in the ground at their preferred distance. A self-tensioning system in the unique single reel ensures that tension is evenly maintained on all four wires. This prevents tangles when the fence is being set up or reeled back in.
Colleen says the SmartFence, which weighs less than 6kg (excluding the Energizer), is very easy to use. “It’s nice and light and compact, so it’s just a matter of picking it up and away you go. There’s no more struggling with tapes and standards. The tapes unwind out to make a premade fence and you can place your standards as far apart as you like.” Colleen says the SmartFence is the ideal solution for lifestyle farmers wanting to improve stock control and pasture management. “It’s fantastic because you can divide a paddock in no time at all, and give stock as little or as much grass as you want. It’s great for miniature horses and we’ve also used it for keeping horses temporarily contained at shows.”
Colleen and Shayne bought their SmartFence through Farmlands Rotorua. “The team there were extremely helpful and the Gallagher representative at the Expo was brilliant. He even gave us a demonstration outside!” Gallagher Territory Manager Darrell Jones says the SmartFence is becoming a very popular tool for lifestyle farmers.
“People love it because it’s a very effective four-wire fence that can be put up or taken down in just minutes.” While principally used for controlling farm livestock, the SmartFence also has other potential applications that include vineyard grazing, tree protection and dog control. Colleen Phillips is certainly sold on the SmartFence’s benefits. “The Gallagher SmartFence is a fantastic asset to have. Once you use one, you will never look back.”