Wildlife guards are typically designed to keep wild ungulates or livestock from getting into or getting out of an area where there is a gap in the fence for an access road. Most types of wildlife guards are difficult to pass for pedestrians or cyclists, but other designs do allow for these user groups. However, wildlife guards or cattle guards are almost always a barrier to horses and their riders. There are solutions though. The image below shows a special swing gate that was installed right next to a wildlife guard in The Netherlands. The gate allows for easy equestrian passage without requiring the rider to dismount their horse. A rider and horse that approach can simply lean on or push the gate, which comes up to the height of the rider, and then the gate will swing open as they go forward. The central post is positioned slightly out of plum on purpose. In this case it leans slightly away from the wildlife guard. It must lean parallel to the direction of the fence in order to work properly. The gate swings around this central post and because of gravity, the post will close automatically behind the horse and the rider in line with the fence. This particular fence, wildlife guard and swing gate are designed to keep red deer (Cervus elaphus) from leaving a fenced area. Click here for additional images.
All content © 2012 Marcel Huijser