diy

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. πŸ™‚

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

21 – 10′ Conduit Pipes Β 

48 – 1.25 in Tees

16Β – 1.25 in Elbows

8 – 1.25 in Cross

1 Can PVC Cement

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

25 Long Zip Ties

6 – 8Β 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! πŸ™‚

 

54 Comments

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

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

    • 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
    sarah
    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. πŸ˜‰ 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
    Sarah
    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
        Candace Gunder
        February 10, 2018 at 1:25 pm

        What inch round piping did you use…did you use 1- 1/4 inch conduit pipe-10 ft long..?

  • Reply
    melanie
    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
      M. Christain
      June 19, 2018 at 10:55 am

      When I built eight panels it took twenty one pieces of conduit pipe. After all of the panels were built I had a 6′ section of conduit left over.

      • Reply
        Amy
        August 20, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        Same for me. It took 21 pieces of conduit. I just made these this weekend.

  • 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

    Question
    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
    Ann
    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
    Leslie
    February 4, 2018 at 9:43 pm

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

    Thanks!

    • 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.

    • Reply
      Chelsea McMurdo
      February 25, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      Probably just plan on the middle rung being the top instead. So 2 rungs. This is a ball park…take away 60ft of conduit and also subtract the fittings from what would have been the middle.

  • Reply
    Teresa
    February 26, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    I could only find 10′ poles. So by my calculations: total of 2416″ needed for 8 panels…I need 21 poles without having to piece together extra pieces. Although I cannot find them where I am…for 11′ poles, one would need 19…and for 12′ poles, one would need 17 (again, that would be without piecing anything together). I have figured and refigured, please let me know if I am figuring incorrectly. I’m excited to start but want to make sure I have enough supplies before starting.

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      March 8, 2018 at 8:13 am

      Your calculations sound right to me. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Frank Plummer
    March 8, 2018 at 8:09 am

    I had a friend that made a round pen like this but he added rebar and poured them full of concrete . He was tired of rusting panels . Last time I spoke to him a few years ago it was still in use and there was no rust . lol

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      March 8, 2018 at 8:13 am

      That’s awesome! What a great idea!

  • Reply
    Stacey Gaunce
    April 15, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I am looking for a round pen idea. Concrete poles sound great…just curious if u could use tposts instead of concrete, but larger diameter conduit to fit over them.

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      April 19, 2018 at 7:53 am

      Hi Stacey,

      I didn’t use concrete with mine. I used the posts that you could put in the ground with your foot. I felt t-posts would be too much trouble for traveling. But if you plan to leave this up permanently, then I think that would work or at least be worth trying.

  • Reply
    Tracy Jensen
    April 22, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Have you ever tried filling them with water after set up? I though it might make them heavier and there for a bit more sturdy.

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      May 3, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      I haven’t but I feel like that might be more of a pain to undo them then it would be worth. I actually plan to clue all the pieces together b/c I’ve had an issue with them coming apart to easily lately.

  • Reply
    Sue
    May 8, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you for the great instructions! I’m going to try this next. What do the “step in poles” look like and where did you buy them?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      May 10, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Hi Sue! I got the step in posts from Tractor Supply. They have plastic ones that cost about $2 each. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Casey
    May 9, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Conduit versus PVC? Opinions?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      May 10, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Hey Casey! I went with Conduit bc I wanted the grey color. I’m not sure if there is a difference in sturdiness between them though. I don’t know enough about each material to be able to say. :/ Sorry!

    • Reply
      M. Christian
      June 19, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Go with the Conduit, it has a heaver side wall (schedule 40), the 1-1/4″ PVC is half the thickness of conduit.

  • Reply
    Tammy Poncia
    May 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    What does each panel weight ?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      June 6, 2018 at 8:15 am

      I’m really not sure Tammy. They aren’t heavy though. I can carry two together easily.

  • Reply
    Wendy
    June 16, 2018 at 6:40 am

    How hard would it be to run a hotwire threw?

  • Reply
    Betty Jo Motes
    June 28, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    What would be the size of the small space? like 10’x 10′?

  • Reply
    Don
    July 7, 2018 at 10:04 am

    My first question was similar to Casey’s about why electrical conduit and then pipe fittings. The electrical is cheaper than plumbing PVC so if it is strong too, that’s great. My second question is about using “furniture” PVC instead of plumbing PVC. My thought is that instead of using plastic ties, I would use tees instead of elbows at the top of the edges and crosses instead of tee for the middle and lower bar. I would then glue a short piece of pipe into the “middle panel” in all 6 locations. These pipes would then fit into the “end panels” connectors. I would use cotter pins to attach the panels together (hole drilled through the pipe and connector.) At the corners of the set of 3 panels, I would need 3-way and 4-way connector, which I can only find in furniture PVC. I’m concerned about the strength, but I guess if the horse is going through the horse will go through. Yes it’s more complicated and I’ll probably need to number each panel, but I hate leaving a trail of twist ties across the country.

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      July 7, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Hey Don! My horses haven’t had a problem being in these panels and don’t test the integrity of the set up (knock on wood). I wanted to make the panels as cheap as possible so I could save money from buying a set built buy a company that charged twice as much. I also wanted it to stay as light as possible bc my trailer already weights so much. I would imagine there are many different ways to make these and improve upon this design though and would totally encourage you to try. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for reading my post and providing some great feedback! Happy Trails! ~Ashley

  • Reply
    Sam
    July 22, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    This is a fantastic idea! I will be making a set they will be 8ftx42in. If they dont respect it then I will string a solar electric fence with it they sure know what that is. I will definitely let you know how it goes when we get back from Yellowstone. Thanks

  • Reply
    Kiana
    August 7, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    How did you get the panels to attach to your trailer?

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      August 7, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Kiana – I didn’t attach them to my trailer. I carry them inside my first horse stall. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Laurie
      August 23, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      On our stock trailers we weld hooks on the outside that are made to carry portable panels

      • Reply
        NC Cowgirl
        September 7, 2018 at 8:12 am

        I’ve got that same hook up on my stock trailer too! Sadly I don’t camp with that trailer so they are never used.

  • Reply
    Terri Hutto
    August 23, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Love this idea. Am going to make them. I’m thinking glow in the dark paint for the connectors, just to make it easier for me to see the horses are “in” at night. Thanks so much for the directions! This is fabulous. Can’t wait to put these together!

  • Reply
    Jeremy
    September 17, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    What are you using for a gate to go in and out

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      September 18, 2018 at 7:36 am

      Hey Jeremy – I use one of the panels as the gate.One of the gates at the trailer, I use to go in and out of. I just pull up the stake every time I need to open the panel and then I push it back in when I close it. It’s a pain in the butt, so I’m sure there’s a better way to do it, maybe leaving the stake and using my lead rope to tie the panel it too it. That way it stays in place and only the panel moves….might try that next time. ~Ashley

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