Ok, so I may have lost my mind. But I had an idea come to me the other day while I was brainstorming different types of jumps to build. I wondered if it would be possible to make jump rails using pool noodles?
I know it may sound crazy, but sometimes you might not have the time to make your own rails, or jumping equipment. And instead of using PVC pipe that you can buy at the Home Depot, I wondered if it would be possible to make rails out of pool noodles?
So I went to Walmart on my lunch break in search of some pool noodles. Why pool noodles? You might be asking. And my answer is fairly simple. Pool noodles are affordable. They are lightweight, and you could make several noodle rails for less than $10.00 in an afternoon. So when I got to Walmart, there were no noodles. I guess it’s too early for this Walmart, or no one in this area uses pool noodles. But I knew they had them at the Walmart by my house. So on my way home from work, I stopped and they had them. They had several styles actually.
I found some that are thicker, and they had enough for me to buy that cost around $2.00 each. So I bought 6. 6 pool noodles = 3 jump rails, or 3 pieces that I can use in my arena. I also bought some white duct tape to add some stripes, a bag of sand to fill them and give them some weight, and some liquid nails to seal the sand in. All in I had spent $20.12.
I did find a set of 6 noodles on Amazon that are 58″ long. And I think to make ‘real rails’ these might be a better option, but they will only be about 2 1/2″ in diameter.
How To DIY Arena Obstacles Using Pool Noodles
And not only can you make some jump rails (sort of) you can also use these pool noodles for different exercises in your arena.
The noodles I found are 55 inches long. Not long enough on their own to be used for a jump. So I put two noodles together to make a rail that is just over 9 feet long. They are a tad bit longer than my 8 foot long landscaping timbers. But they are easier to get in my car. I just can’t come to grips with putting wood into my new car, it’s smaller than my outback, and no hatchback. So if I want rails, I have to drive the truck.
I took 2 noodles and I found a wooden dowel to connect the two pieces together. Then I used a little bit of Liquid Nails FuzeIt adhesive to seal the two pieces together.
Then I opened up my playground sand, and poured sand into the opening of one side and when it was almost full, I filled the opening with some plastic grocery bags and took a piece of my white duct tape and covered the end. I repeated the process on the other end. And then I repeated the process for the other 2 “rails”.
This didn’t take very much time at all for me to complete. And once I had the sand in the noodles, I added a few rows of white duct tape to the ends. this made it look like thinner stripes on the ends.
I think you can see the stripes on the centers of the noodles. Using the duct tape to make the center stripes was simple. When I was joining the two noodles together, I made a center stripe. The stripes are about 7 rows of duct tape for the center.
To add the stripes, I used a scissors to cut the pieces of tape the length I needed. Then I put on the stripes. And that’s it, 3 rails completed in about an hour. But, I had to see how they worked too.
Testing Out The Pool Noodles
So now that my rails are made, I had to see how they would hold up, and what Ethan would think of them.
I carried them out the my arena. And yes, I was able to carry all three rails at one time. Try doing that with wood rails. I put them onto the standards, and while it did bow in the middle, it certainly is something new for Ethan to see in the arena. I think if I had added a wooden dowel to the entire piece of foam it would be nice and straight.
A better idea might be a piece of PVC tubing inserted, and then filled with sand. Hmmmmm…. that gives me a new idea to work on next.
Now I’m not going to go out and replace all of my wooden rails with pool noodles. But these are a fun thing to make, and will add something new and interesting for arena work. I like to bring in new and different things to keep arena work fun for both myself and my horse. And it is a good idea to bring in new and ‘scary’ items to work with.
And making something like these pool noodle pieces are really affordable. Each noodle pole cost me about $5.00 to make. Compare that to $15.00 for an 8 foot wood rail. And the time factor should be taken into consideration too. I made 3 rails in about an hour, not counting the drying time for the glue. If I were to do the same for my wood rails, they take at least 3 days before they are ready for use.
Storing The Noodles
One down side to using pool noodles for jump rails is they need to be put away. I would not recommend leaving them outside, especially if your riding arena is accessible to your horse. He might find the spongy material tasty. And I don’t think they will stand up long term to the elements. So after I made these, and took some pictures, they went back into my jump ring locker. I would like them to last longer than 1 use. So storing them is pretty important.
Pool Noodle Projects Are An Option
If you have wanted to make a jump for yourself, just to see if you could do it, or if you want a new challenge for your horse, this might be an affordable option for you. Pool noodle arena equipment is definitely affordable, and a fun challenge for your horse too.
And as always, this post does contain affiliate links. Meaning if you click on any of the links I have added, I may get a small commission which helps me to continue to do what I do here, on my blog and on my YouTube channel.
This was a fun project for me to do, and to share with you. And I didn’t have to spend a lot of money to make a new obstacle to work with my horse. So if you have $20.00 and an hour, why not make some noodle rails for yourself?