Electric Fence and Lead #3

When we moved my horses to our 5.1 acres, I wanted white board fencing, of course, until I saw the price tag! Electric fence got my attention really fast for cost, not to mention we fenced more than 1,100 feet in a matter of hours and divided it twice. We keep spare posts, electric wire and handles, and we capped the metal posts for safety.

In the driveway photo, the second section of fencing parallel to the pasture fence can be set perpendicular across the end of the driveway for treating Boaz and Noble to wandering at will around the house and garden for the best grass in winter. John planted grass between the raspberry bushes, very nice, keeps out weeds; it’s the first place the horses go. We also close the driveway and turn on all the electric when one of the neighbor’s cows gets loose.

While we have a standard issue fence chargers, we use car batteries for power because they are less expensive. We have wire fence around the blueberry patch in back, and the chicken coop annex (not seen here). I forget to turn it on often, and the horses do not test it. There’s a second battery behind the barn for that little pasture and another one at the blueberry patch. It’s inexpensive and low maintenance. In six years, we’ve replaced one or two handles and 5 or 6 posts, which usually snap from the cold, I think.

WRITING TIP: This is the third part in a five-part series on article leads. I’m using a story on Winterfrost Farm as the example. It’s a horse rescue in Radford, Va., known for the Ride-A-Rescue trail riding program which raises money to care for neglected, rescued horses. [www.winterfrostfarm.org]

You may only have a few seconds to capture a reader’s or editor’s attention and the whole success may reside in your lead. Here we’re looking at history for lead ideas. Let’s say you’re writing a story about the Salvation Army. You could begin: The Salvation Army was founded in 1865. Dull!

What about: The same year that the U.S. Civil War ended, the first train robbery took place, the first black man was awarded a Ph.D. [in Belgium], and Horace Greeley advised his readers ‘Go west, young man,’ a minister named William Booth started the Salvation Army in London. It was 1865. Lewis Carroll published ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and Booth wanted to reach out to the poor, homeless, hungry and destitute.

That’s a bit long, but you get the idea. Here’s the history lead for Winterfrost Farm: Horses were instrumental in the settling of America as the main mode of transportation, working the fields and hauling logs and supplies. They carried scouts, explorers, doctors, families, cavalry and cowboys on westward adventures ………