I know I can google and find a bunch of plans for how to build some jumps. However, I would love to know any hints and tips from those who have built their own. I've found a lovely horse to ride and work with (owner doesn't have time but doesn't want to sell) and he is currently kept at her private farm. There are some jumps set out in the field for cross country practice but I'd also like to make some basic hunter jumps. They will probably be left outside 99.9% of the time so if you have any weather proofing tips that would be great too!
Make them very sturdy, paint them with a good exterior grade paint, and maintain them. Some years ago I made jump standards out of wood and used UV resistant PVC pipe for rails and it worked really well. I have some dog jumps now that are very similar --- they even used vinyl house siding for "solid" looking walls that will knock down and also aren't bothered by the weather. (Each piece of siding is mounted on a PCC rail that slips into a jump cup.) IO haven't tried it with horse jumps, but it might work.
I have a friend with a fence building business who gave me his pvc fencing scraps!!
I now have a second set of jumps that equal my first, JUMP PVC, expensive pvc jumps.
You can go to Lowes or Home Depot and get some PVC materials........the 4 x 4 posts make great standards (single) or ground lines........just drill holes in one side of a 4x4x?.......and you have a great ground line that wont rot, and is easy to move......there are lattice pieces and picket fence pieces.............
They make great jumps, easy to move, and won't fall apart and rot.....and not much more expensive than buying treated wood!!!
Buy treated lumber and then put weather proofing paint/stain on it. I made 2 sets of standards (4' tall 4x4's with small bases for easy moving) probably 4-5 years ago and they are just now starting to show weather damage. I even left them out every winter
When you make your standards, drill the holes a drill bit size larger than you actually need. My husband made mine and used a larger drill bit than you usually see and they're SO EASY to adjust....even from a horse's back
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
Use 10' poles instead of 12' poles, makes a HUGE difference in weight. Also, Paint and seal them well (make sure they're dry so they don't rot) including the ends to keep water out. Much lighter that way!
I know that jumping PVC bothers some people, so you may want to stay away from that if possible... I know I don't like to jump PVC rails.
You can use PVC standards and ground rails, but the majority of horses get sloppy over PVC poles since they are light and do not hurt when they are hit. If you want to use them as rails, find something to put inside like sand.
I don't have much room so I don't need anything more than your standard jump set that can do oxers, cross rails, and verticals. I use PVC for doing my dog agility but I would rather have wood for my horse jumps. This guy is a huge Draft cross so the idea of PVC and then having to fill it seems like more work than using my good ol' arm muscles to move a jump. I also won't be lugging them around all that much other than moving from a line on the straight, diaganol, and eventually a bending line.
I would also like to do some cavaletti but will have to figure out the striding for such a large horse. I'm used to my OTTB's and this is a Percheron x 17.3h that I'm riding now so doing some research on that. Also looking at how to build the "x"s for the cavaletti.
Lots of good tips here so I look forward to asking my dad to help make these
What are you looking to build? Standards, gates, other fillers? How tall/wide do you want?
I love building jumps.. Sadly, I spend a lot more time MAKING jumps than actually, you know, JUMPING them.
Cull lumber is your friend. At Home Depot they have a big cart of cull lumber, pieces are between 50 cents and 4 dollars. I've gotten 2x4 pieces of plywood for 2 dollars. I've bought two, cut them in half (so you get 4 pieces that are 1' x 4'), get some 2x6s or 2x8s, and make a box that's a foot high by 4 foot long and 8-ish inches wide. Makes a super easy and portable fill. You could make it higher than 1', but I'm wuss, lol.
I'm also in the process of making a coop... it's all built, just working on the painting. Here's what I used:
5 pieces of 2x4 plywood.
3 pieces of 2x4 (each 4' long)
Cut each 2x4 lengthwise so you get 6 pieces that are 2" square. Cut one of the pieces of plywood lengthwise so you have two sections that are 1'x4. Screw a piece of 2x2 on each long side of the 1x4.
Set the 1x4 on the ground with the 2x2s on top. Take two of the pieces of plywood and set one on each side of the 1x4 so they lean in and meet in the middle, like building a house of cards. I held the top together and carefully put in a screw to hold it together. Screw the plywood into the 2x2 at the bottom on both sides. Take a third 2x2 and hold it up inside the coop so it's near the peak (but the 2 sheets of plywood still meet at the top). Screw it in. I found that putting one screw in one end and then lifting up the other end to screw it in worked well, then put a few more along the length to make it sturdy.
Do the same for the second half, and voila, you have a ~2' high coop in two easy to move sections! And then you can go nuts painting .
Gates/panels are pretty easy to make. You may have to balance sturdiness and weight--making a panel out of 1/2" plywood and a couple of 2x4s will hold up but be a nightmare to move. If you use luon (not sure on spelling), it's very light, but is also on the fragile side.
Home Depot at least will cut lumber for free (I think it's the first 2 cuts per piece), so you can get a lot of the cutting done there.
I make standards 4' high. I just made a couple pairs. 4x4x8s were around $6, had the store cut them to 4' lengths, and got a bunch of 50 cent cull 2x4s for the bases. One 4' 2x4 = 3 pieces for the base (pinwheel style). Drilling holes can be a pain, especially if you want nice big holes. The bigger drill bits (1/2 or 5/8") aren't very long... at least the ones my dad has. So I end up using a smaller drill bit to go all the way through and mark the spot on both sides, then go back with a bigger bit. This is why I hate making standards .
If you want pictures showing how stuff is put together, let me know, I'd be happy to take some photos of my jumps!
ETA: For poles, I have fence posts from Tractor Supply and landscape timbers from Home Depot. They're only 8' long, but I kind of like having shorter poles because then "real" jumps at shows are so nice and wide!
I haven't attempted making Xs for cavalleti, that sort of finesse is beyond my abilities, lol! But you can buy plastic Xs for something like $60/pair. You just add your own 4x4.
My husband just built some jumps for my friend and I to use at our barn, since all we really had was post and rail fences. He built: A lattice gate, two coops and two walls. We also have several planks that he mad last year. For those we just used 2x8's and just cut notches in the ends to hang them on the jump cups. We also have a couple flowers boxes and a tarp under one of the jumps acting as a pretend liverpool.
For the coops and the walls, there is a frame (for the boxes 2x8's and the coops 2x4's) and that is covered by plywood. We didn't get any treated wood for that stuff, we just did two coats of primer and two of paint. I definitely recommend priming, as it helps the wood hold up longer, as well as reducing the amount of paint you need to use.
The planks and a few of our poles are treated, which makes them harder to paint. If you're not wanting to paint though, treated wood will hold up longer. The paint departments in hardware stores are very helpful. Definitely let them know what you're painting and they'll point you in the right direction. For the 4 planks, 10 poles, 2 walls, lattice gate and both the coops we went through a gallon of primer, nearly a gallon of white paint and on 3 of the 4 colors we got we went through at least half of a quart of each.
We have a few 12 foot jump poles, but most of our poles are the 8 foot landscaping poles. They're 3 bucks at Menard's for treated or untreated. Though the untreated ones are easier to paint. They work well for jump poles and then if/when you go to a show, the 12 foot jumps look really wide and inviting.
Here are some pictures of most of our new jumps. We don't have enough room or standards to have everything out at once: