How To Repair an Electric Fence:

  1. Think it through. 2. Unplug the electric charger. 3. Wear rubber boots.

It amazes me sometimes how, when we start a project, we neglect to consider even the basic rules. This morning, while feeding, I heard the sound of the electric fence charger sizzling intermittently. I finished my chores, and headed off to see what was causing it to short out. Because I hadn’t planned on going in the pasture, I just wore my regular shoes. Since my mind was wandering, I just opened the gate to the weaning pen, slipped under the wire and headed to a starting place. I wasn’t thinking about all the rain we’ve had lately, or just how muddy the weaning pen was going to be. As I walked, I could hear as well as feel the squishy ground under my feet. I dodged puddles, leapt over streams and did my best to stay a good distance from the hot wire. I was fortunate today, but there have been other times when I wasn’t. And being shocked by electric wire hurts – like being stung by several wasps at once. Standing in water just makes it worse, and if you aren’t careful, it could be fatal. I walked the entire length of the pasture before finding where some vines had draped across, causing the shortage. Of course, it was in a location where I would have to climb a gate and a fence, then duck under more electric wire to reach it. With a sigh, I continued my circuit until I got to a place that was so muddy I had no choice but to either wear mud shoes the rest of the day or turn around and retrace my steps.

Fifteen minutes later, I had changed into rubber boots, grabbed pruners and made my way to the vines, having to reroute myself to the far end by coming up through a back pasture. Within seconds, I had clipped the vines and cleared the wire. Another few minutes and I had made another complete circuit of the pasture before turning the power back on. The job took 30 minutes, when it only should have taken me 10. Had I only followed the basic rules, I would have saved myself some time.

All too often we want to take shortcuts to get a job done. When we research a new project, we skip and choose the sections we want to read, bored by all the ‘details’. The problem is, we often have to go back to the book to find the part we skipped, because it ends up it is an integral part of getting the project off the ground.

The same principle applies when advised to measure, then measure again before you cut. Once you cut a board, you can’t glue it back together and have the same structural soundness as you would have had you measured twice and cut once. I can’t tell you how many building projects we have done that have been measured at least three times prior to putting the wood on the table saw. It usually only takes us one time to make a mistake before it is ingrained in our heads.

Got a project? Then take some advice from my own experience. Think about what you are about to do first. Then, unplug that electric wire. And wear rubber boots. It just may prevent you from getting the shock of a lifetime.