Best Electric Fence Charger for Horses

Best Electric Fence Charger for Horses

Last updated on July 8th, 2023 at 04:39 pm

Best Electric Fence Charger for Horses

Choosing the Best Electric Fence Charger

Fences don’t charge themselves. If you have an electric fence keeping your horses in the pasture, you are going to need a quality charger. For this reason, we have composed a list of the best electric fence chargers you can install yourself to keep your horses safe. 

What is the Best Electric Fence Charger For Horses? The best electric fence charger for horses is the Parmak Df-SP-LI Solar Pak Fence Chrarger. It has everything you need to make sure that your fence stays electrified and your horses are safe. As a boarding facility owner I know first hand what needs to happen when it comes to electric fences, and reliability and safety are paramount.

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There are a few different kinds of chargers. To pick the best one, you need to know a few things about what you’re looking for in a charger, like the type of power, the voltage rating, and the current rating. You have low-impedance, continuous output, and solid-state. Each type is a little different.

When it comes to chargers, some are powered using DC and some are powered using AC. DC-powered chargers are much simpler because they use a battery. With AC Chargers, you need to connect to the electricity grid by plugging the charger in. This could be a hassle as you need to run a cord from your charger to your socket. 

And finally, you can purchase a solar-powered fence. These are great unless you live in a place with very little sun. Solar-powered chargers can also pretty expensive to buy. But if you don’t mind spending the money, solar power is definitely the way to go. Even better, try a dual charger that offers battery power and solar power.

Keep in mind that when dealing with horses, the minimum recommended voltage on your fence line is between 2,000 and 3,000 volts. It’s also recommended that you use high-tensile wire between three and five strands.  

Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak Low-Impedance 6-Volt Fence Charger

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This is one of the best electric fence guards you can buy. It is so much more than a simple charger. It comes included with an integrated performance meter to give you information about your electric fence. It uses a battery and a solar source to charge your fence, and is strong enough to give a shock through brush and wet weeds. However, it does require a 6-volt battery to charge the fence with low impedance. 

This charger works to cover about 40 kilometers of fencing. It’s great for small and medium pastures. The charger also ensures computer precision for your wiring system. And it works even when it gets wet. Wet weeds and bushes mean nothing to this charger, you can always control your horses. When it comes to the solar charging, it stores maximum energy during sunny days and then consumes the energy as necessary, though it can still work during cloudy days. With a charged battery, you get 21 days of continuous service. 

Zareba ESP5M-Z Solar Electric Fence Charger

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I can vouch for this charger as we have used it on the ranch. It doesn’t cover a lot of area, as most horse boarding facilities know 5 miles isn’t very long. However if you are anything like us you can’t always extend the electric fence from your main controller. You need different zones. We have a north paddock that needed it’s own unit and this thing did the job

As a side note, Zareba actually makes a lot of different types of electric fence chargers.

They are an extremely well-respected company with hundreds and hundreds of positive reviews online for their products. If you are looking for a DC or an AC charger, they have you covered. They also offer different levels of coverage depending on what distance you prefer.

Zareba also have this video to help you choose which kind of fence charger you need, AC, DC or Solar.

Fi-Shock EAC100M-FS AC Low-Impedance Fence Energizer

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The product shown above is a shorter version, but essentially the same thing. Sometimes retailers have both. Best to check and see. Essentially they work the same, just have different lengths that they cover. The 5 mile one is a little cheaper if you only need the 5 miles, if you need it to cover a bigger area then get the 100 mile one.

The Fi-Shock Energizer is one of the best you can buy. This is the big boy, offering a massive 160 kilometers of range with this single unit. It works in wet conditions, it pushes electricity through your fence even if it’s heavy with weeds, and it has a bright indicator light so you can always see if the controller is working. It outputs 6 joules at 75 ohms, is 115-volt, 60-cycle, and has a pulsed output at 1-second intervals. The energizer comes included with a 2-year warranty that covers lightning strikes, but you can upgrade it to 3-year if you register online with your proof of purchase.

This is an ideal energizer not only because it offers great distance, but also because it works well in any weather, it consumes less energy, and it has pretty solid storm protection. It also uses a fuseless connection and digital timing. For people who aren’t super skilled at installing things like this, the Fi-Shock Energizer is surprisingly easy. Plus, it’s insanely affordable! 

Electric Fence FAQ

What are the Types of Chargers?

What are the Types of Chargers?

Charger Glossary

Low-Impedance – This term refers to a fence charger with less resistance, or impedance, thereby enabling more power to flow through the wire. The latest and most effective technology for areas with weeds is the low-impedance electric fence charger.

Solid State – Solid-state fence chargers emit a medium-level shock in pulses of medium length. They’re best suited for managing shorthaired livestock, smaller animals, and pets in areas with light weed conditions.

Continuous Output – This phrase indicates a consistent charge on the energized wires, as opposed to pulses. For smaller enclosures and dairy stalls, continuous current systems are recommended.

Charger Types

When it comes to choosing the right fence energizer, you’ve got three main options:

  1. AC (Plugin) Powered
  2. DC (Battery) Powered
  3. Solar Powered

Think of it this way: the type of power source you have handy will determine what kind of charger you need. Each of these has its own unique advantages depending on your situation.

Choosing the right charger is absolutely essential in ensuring the safety of your animals. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Where’s your power source coming from (AC, battery, or solar)?
  • How much power does the charger output (measured in joules)?
  • What kind of animals are we talking about here?
  • How long is your fence?
  • Got any vegetation creeping up on the fence?

Here’s a handy tip: if you can access AC power, go for the AC models – they’re the most convenient and usually give you the most power, making future expansion easier.

So let’s dig a little deeper:

If you’ve got a reliable source of 110-volt power, AC-powered chargers are a great choice. You’ll find options that can cover distances up to 200 miles! Usually, these guys give the best output, making them the top choice for permanent electric fence systems.

DC-Powered (Battery Operated)
Now if you’re out in the boonies without an AC power source, battery operated chargers are your go-to. They come with a variety of batteries: the standard 12-volt, 6-volt, 4-volt, or D-cell. In general, the bigger the battery, the longer it lasts and the more volts it can produce.

But remember, you’ll have to get the batteries separately, and while some can be recharged, others will need replacing.

A common question we get about these battery or DC-powered chargers is, “How often do I have to charge the batteries?”

Well, that really depends on how often the fence is grounding – that is, if your animals are coming into contact with the fence often, or if weeds or limbs are touching the fence and the ground. More touch, more drain. And when you’re first training your animals to stay away from the fence, expect the battery to drain faster.

For these types of chargers, we usually recommend 6-volt or 12-volt rechargeable deep cycle batteries (which aren’t included with the charger, by the way).

And don’t forget to frequently check and recharge your batteries using a voltage meter to keep that fence secure!

If you’re dealing with a fence in a remote area with no power source, or if you need the fence to stay “hot” constantly, solar-powered chargers are your best bet. They’re light, easy to move, and perfect for rotational or strip grazing systems. These usually come with a battery for storing the energy collected by the solar panel.

The lead-acid batteries used in solar fence chargers typically last around 3 years or about 1,000 days of charging. It’s always a good idea to keep some back-up gel-cell solar batteries and trickle chargers handy to ensure your fence always has power.

What Voltage do I need for Horses?

At the ranch, we would run our electric fences a little higher than the recommended amount. The reason for this is because of all the blankets. Horses don’t feel the low voltage through their blankets, especially in winter. We like the electric fence to be a deterrent, especially for horses that are in adjacent pastures because they will play, fight and socialize over the fence. As you know this is a recipe for injury and damage to the fence.

The voltage of an electric fence for horses typically needs to be between 2,000 and 3,000 volts. This is a relatively low level of shock that is generally considered safe for horses, but it’s enough to deter them from trying to push through the fence or damaging it. We usually go for closer to 4-6000v

Keep in mind that it’s not the voltage that causes harm, but the amount of current (measured in amperes, or “amps”). Electric fence energizers are designed to control the amount of current that can flow through the fence, ensuring that the shock a horse or other animal receives is unpleasant but not harmful. The voltage is what allows the shock to penetrate through the animal’s fur or hair.

This recommendation may vary based on individual horse behaviour, the type of fence, the environment, and other factors. Always consult with a professional or a trusted source of advice before installing an electric fence. Also, ensure that your horses are trained to understand and respect the fence.

Here is a guide from Zareba.

What Size Fence Charger do I need for Horses?

The size of the fence charger, or energizer, you need for horses depends on several factors. Here are some considerations:

  1. Length of the Fence: You need to know the total length of the fence for your electric fence charger. As a general rule, one joule of output from the charger is recommended for every mile of fence. If you have a 5-mile fence, for example, you would need an energizer rated for at least 5 joules.
  2. Type of Fence Wire: Different types of wires (polytape, polywire, steel, aluminum, etc.) have different resistance levels and can impact the power you need from a charger.
  3. Number of Lines: If your fence has several strands or lines, this will require more power as well. Each electric fence charger is rated for a different amount.
  4. Vegetation: Plants touching the fence can ground it and reduce the effectiveness of the electric charge. If you have heavy vegetation along the fence line, you might need a more powerful energizer to maintain an effective shock. Your fence charger will not be as effective if it is grounded out on weeds.
  5. Animal Type: For horses, a voltage of 2,000 to 3,000 volts is usually effective. This is less than what’s needed for some other types of livestock, but enough to deter horses.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and specific situations may require different solutions. It’s always recommended to consult with a fencing professional or supplier to determine the best energizer for your specific needs. Also, it can be beneficial to choose an energizer that’s slightly more powerful than what you think you’ll need, to account for any future changes or expansions to the fence.

Fence Chargers come in various sizes and strengths. Fence chargers, as mentioned above also have different types of operating systems, either AC, DC or solar, or your electric fence charger could have a combination. When purchasing fence chargers for your horses or other animals it is critical that you understand which does what.