Equestrian DIY: How to Make Horse Jump Panels

BY OLIVIA KNOTT OF DIY HORSE OWNERSHIP

We wanted to add some more color and variety into our jumps collection so we decided to make some panel jumps. Panel jumps are a really fun and easy DIY project. As a bonus, if you paint each side of the panel a different design you can create 2 different jump presentations with one set of materials.

We use 8′ jump poles because they’re a lot cheaper than 12′ poles and smaller jumps allow us to fit more into our small arena. Therefore, all of the measurements are for 8′ jump panels, but if you want to make 12′ panels, just adjust the measurements.

** I’m not a professional jump builder or professional contractor. If you follow these directions you do so at your own risk. If you use any such jumps made from following these directions, do so at your own risk.

Materials for 2:
One 4’x8’x1/2″ plywood board
Eight 1″x2″x8′ pine boards
Wood Glue
1 5/8″ Wood Screws

You’ll also need a circular saw, C-clamps, and a screwdriver.

Here’s a diagram to guide you:

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

1. Start by cutting your 4’x8′ in half lengthwise.

2. For the next step, you’ll be removing a 4″x 22″ section from the two bottom sides of the plywood

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

3. To get the correct measurement, place one of the 1″x2″x8′ boards along the top edge and use a pencil to mark along the edge of the 1″x2″ for 4 inches on each side of the plywood.

4. Use a square or a ruler to measure 4″ in along the bottom and draw a connecting line up to the upper line on each side.

5. Cut out these sections on each side. Your board should look like the picture above.

6. Cut 8″ off 4 of your 1″x2″x8′ boards.

7. Place one of the 8′ 1″x2″ boards down on your work surface and run a line of wood glue along

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

8. Place the cutout plywood on top of the glued board and run a line of glue along the edge of the plywood board.

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

9. Place a second 8′ board on top of this line of glue. Line up the edges of all 3 pieces and then clamp them down with your C-clamps:

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

10. Repeat steps 7-9 with your 2 shorter boards along the bottom edge of the plywood:

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

11. While your boards are all clamped together, screw the boards together. We did 3 screws on each board from the front towards the back (left, middle, and right) and then flipped the panel and did 2 screws between those three from the other direction:

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

Once they’re screwed together, you can remove the clamps. Repeat steps 2-11 to make your second panel. Now you get to the fun part: painting.

Painting Materials:
Tarp
Exterior grade paint of various colors
Painters Tape
Foam rollers and roller pan
Foam painbrushes
1 real paintbrush

Depending on what designs you want to make you’ll need different colors or paint of different supplies. Painting is the fun part for me. I really like the opportunity to be creative and make whatever jumps make me happy. However, if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are the designs we made:

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership
Photo © DIY Horse Ownership
Photo © DIY Horse Ownership
Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

The Day and Night ones are really great because they share the same color scheme and thus the poles can work for both directions. They’re both just hand painted so no real tips or tricks that I can share.

The rainbow and stone wall panels can’t share the same poles as well, but I really wanted a variety of designs to get Levi as much exposure to different types of jump as possible.

The rainbow jump was pretty easy to do. Paint the base white then use painters tape to mark out the diagonal sections. I used some scrap wood to further block the neighboring panels and spray painted each section with glitter spray paint. Now that I’ve tried it, I would not recommend the glitter spray pain. I went through the entire can making the just the sections and the poles and the cans were not cheap. They also jammed really easily and didn’t cover very evenly. If I were to do it over again, I’d paint the rainbow with real paint and add glitter afterwards.

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

The stone wall was really fun and a lot easier than I thought it’d be. I am really bad at painting so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do a stone wall, but it turns out there’s a trick that makes it really easy.

First paint your whole panel gray. Then flick black and white paint all over it to give the panel a speckled look. Once it’s dry, start with a colored pencil and draw a bunch of larger circle shapes all over the panel. Then fill the gaps in with smaller circles. Trace over the circles with a Sharpie paint pen. Finally, use a small paintbrush to fill the gaps in with black paint. That’s it. No artistic ability required.

Photo © DIY Horse Ownership

I used the same flicking paint process to cover the poles to match.

Olivia blogs at DIY Horse Ownership about her life living in Silicon Valley with her two mustangs and a mule. She and her husband show english and eventing, do endurance and trail riding, and are always finding new ways to DIY. You can follow her adventures at DIY Horse Ownership or on Instagram and see more DIY horse projects on Pinterest.