I was at a function over the weekend and I was buttonholed by a lady who insisted that she had a horse that was immune to electricity and "laughed" at electric fencing. This was a challenge I could not resist and made an appointment to visit her yard.
The yard is well appointed and well looked after. It had an energiser from a well known company but the fence was reading 2500v - well down on what could be considered a competent fence. Quickly found a couple of faults so increasing that to nearly 4000v - getting better. In order to improve my chances of "fixing" her Houdini I substituted that with a HotShock energiser so increasing the energy in the fence to 7000v.
My next tactic was to attach little bait stations at regular intervals along the fence. Into these I dripped some treacle and apple cordial mix and asked for Boomerang (the horse) to be brought into the field. I walked it around the perimeter of the paddock and then released it in the middle of the field. He calmly followed me back towards the gate when his attention was caught by one of these bait stations. He walked up to it and as he did hold off the fence told me he DID have some respect for electricity. After about a minute he licked the bait and immediately jumped back with a snort, shook his head vigorously flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth. He had received the full 7000v directly onto his tongue and this highly enervated organ had given his brain a very strong message about the fence.
It only remains to be seen if this has "cured" our Houdini and I'll be updating this post as and when I get more information.
March 2014. 2 months since the original post and I can report that the tape was replaced to ensure the voltage remained high and she has added the Hotshock (not really necessary in my opinion but she is the customer after all). Boomerang is now secured in his field and has not escaped since - in fact respects the fence.