How to Make Portable Horse Panels Yourself

horse panels

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you’ve likely seen the post teasing my DIY Portable Horse Panels project. I had a lot of people ask me to share the details on how I made my panels, so that’s exactly what I’m doing today. 🙂

set up horse panels 2

First though, let me explain why I made my own horse panels versus buying some already made. There are actually a couple of reasons:

  1. I thought I could make them cheaper then the ones I’ve seen marketed by other companies.
  2. I wanted a special color no one had.
  3. I did a lot of research and was worried the set I could buy wasn’t constructed well enough that my horse wouldn’t get her head caught in it.

I’m glad I did end up making my own because a friend of mine did buy a set online and while we were camping her horse did get her head through the rails and did pop that panel loose. I took video of that too and you can see it below.



Materials Needed for DIY Horse Panels

14 – Conduit Pipes

48 – 1.25 in Tees

16 – 1.25 in Elbows

8 – 1.25 in Cross

1 Can PVC Cement

3 cans of Valspar Spray Paint (I used Nautical but you choose the color and finish you like)

25 Long Zip Ties

6 – 8 Step in Posts (or you could use 3ft t-posts)


Step by Step Instructions for Building the Horse Panels

Before you begin you will need a Miter Saw to cut the conduit down to the correct sizes. I would also recommend you go ahead a day before hand and spray paint all of the Tees, Elbows and Crosses so they can dry. You’ll want to spray multiple them at least 2 times.

horse panel fittings


To Make One horse panel you need to:

Pipes cut

Step 1 – Cut the conduit into 6 pieces that are 30″ each. 6 pieces that are 16″ each. 2 pieces cut 13″. These 2 pieces should be 13″ from the end of the conduit pipe because you will use the wider end as the bottom of the panel. The wider bottom is shown as red in the drawing.

horse panels

Step 2 – Lay the pieces out on the ground how they will all go together. Use these pictures as your reference point.

Step 3 – Start with the bottom rail and then work your way through each piece until the panel is complete. Before you put all the pieces together, make sure you put glue around the inside each of the connector pieces (i.e. Tees, Elbows, Cross). When putting each piece together make sure you push the conduit and connectors all the way together so the conduit is as far inside each connecting piece as it can go.

horse panels

You’ll continue to repeat this process for each panel you make. The material list above will make 8 horse panels that are around 5 foot in length each. If your unsure how to do something, please leave a comment below. I’ll answer all questions there so that anyone else who might have the same question can see it.


How to Set up the DIY Panels

Now for the fun part! The set up is actually pretty easy.

I used my trailer as one of the walls but you don’t have to do that. I did it so the box area for my horse was larger.

set up horse panels

First you will need to drive a step post into the ground where you want your first panel to be set up. Once it’s in the ground, position one end of the panel beside it so you can zip tie the end to the post. The post is use to keep the panels sturdy. Next, grab your send panel and position it inline with the first and then zip tie the two ends together. If you are not using your trailer as a side, then at the end of the second panel (i.e. corner of the box) place another step in post and zip tie it to the panel end. Now repeat this process until your have all 4 sides complete and then you’re done! If you are setting up all 4 sides, make sure you don’t connect one of the corners so you are able to put your horse in and out of the box area.


That’s it! Not to complicated or hard! If you make these and use them, I’d love to hear from you and what you think of them in the comments below! 🙂



  • Reply
    Anissa Anderson
    March 26, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Cost wise, did they come out less expensive than buying ready made?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      March 26, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      Yes less costs and the only thing you have to do different from ordering the kit, is cut your own pipes. Otherwise, the kit you can buy online does not come put together. So you’re just buying the materials for them and paying more.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Looks awesome! I do wonder if my horses would respect it. I suspect my mare would (unless something looked extra tasty) but my gelding may think it is a toy. 😉 I’d probably practice containing him while he’s still in a pasture at home first. I’m tempted to try this though! How much do you think it ended up costing you?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      March 27, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Hey Sarah, if you think you’re horse wouldn’t respect it, I definitely recommend trying it at home. Rumor never tested it but she’s the type of horse that wouldn’t. The total cost was around $216.

  • Reply
    Sheri Simms
    April 1, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I have been thinking about ordering more one, but thought I can build this myself. Then I saw your plans on FB. Will fallow your plans and let you know. Thank you

  • Reply
    June 6, 2017 at 10:32 am

    The supplies aren’t adding up for me. Should be 48 tees, 16 elbows and 20 sticks of conduit for 8 panels!?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      June 6, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Hi Sarah – You shouldn’t need 20 sticks of conduit if you cut it right. You will need 48 Tees and 16 elbows. I’ve updated the post to make it accurate for 8 panels. Thanks for catching that!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2017 at 12:04 am

    how long of conduit do I buy

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      July 13, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Hi Melanie – I believe the pieces we bought were 11 or 12 ft long.

  • Reply
    39 Camping Essentials for You and Your Horse | Horse Camping Checklist
    September 24, 2017 at 9:16 am

    […] Panels – now depending on where you camp you might or might not be able to use these. But I keep them packed in my trailer for every trip. (BTW, if you don’t have any, check out my DIY Build Your Own Panels Post) […]

  • Reply
    Chaselyn Ladd
    November 6, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    What do you think about making these taller to use for a round pen? Looking for more affordable options to expand mine. I think in theory, making these taller and tying them to some t-posts might help me do that without spending hundreds of dollars.

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      November 8, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Chaselyn – I would be a little worried to use these as round pen panels. They aren’t very sturdy even with the t-posts. They are great for small spaces where your horse isn’t running around and won’t push on them, but for lounging in a round pen, I wouldn’t recommend them.

  • Reply
    Michael b. wisenbaker
    November 21, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    I’m trying to make mine or was out of metal 10′ instead of 5′ only cause my Horse Trailer will only be able to carry 7 panels an I was setting mine up so the horses could go back into the trailer for HAY and water troff and graze where I park at. Do you think 10 ft would be to much and I was gonna drive 3/4 ” Todd’s in the ground to slide panels on before attaching to the Trailer. Also at 5′ go to the ground for support. What do you think? Metal is heavy I like this design. Great work. If you have doubts I can still make it out of metal. Colour of metal good idea too

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      November 27, 2017 at 8:47 am

      Hey Michael – The metal will likely work, the only thing that comes to mind is that, it will be super heavy to carry in and out of your trailer. Assuming you pack it inside like I have. The plastic pipes that we used are still actually quite heavy when you carry more then one panel at a time. If the heaviness isn’t something that bothers you, then metal would likely work as long as you definitely have some way to keep them sturdy.

  • Reply
    Ann Lindstrom
    January 4, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    I’m thinking of making panels like yours but larger..say 4.5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Do you think they would still be solid and sturdy ?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      January 16, 2018 at 11:57 am

      They probably would be. If you have a slant trailer like I do, you won’t be able to fit them in it with them that wide…unless it doesn’t have managers. Then you might be ok.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 11:00 am

    How tall and wide are your panels?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      January 16, 2018 at 11:56 am

      Hey Ann, The panels are 4ft Tall and 5.5 Ft wide.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Hey…. so how much material would I need for my 26 inch high mini horse?


    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      February 7, 2018 at 8:30 am

      I’m honestly not sure. If you aren’t making the panels as tall, you probably wouldn’t need as many pipes.

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