Building Your Own Gates For Horse Jumps
So far I have showed you how to build wing standards and tall flower boxes for horse jumps. And because the jump I am building is a hunter style jump, it is only appropriate that we build a gate for this jump. And I have had this jump in my head for the last two weeks, and it is finally becoming a reality. So in order to keep true to the design in my mind, I will be staining this horse jump gate so that it matches the wing standards I have already built.
Building gates for horse jumps is not difficult at all, and it really adds a lot to a jump. You are able to fill a blank space with a gate. You can make something plain look impressive by adding a gate. And you make the jump more inviting for the horse, because the jump looks more substantial, and more inviting for the horse.
With this basic design you can make many different styles of gates. But to keep things simple, lets do an easy picket style gate. It looks great, and is very, very easy to build.
What You Will Need
- (2) 2 x 4 x 8
- (3) 1 x 4 x 8
- 2″ decking screws
- Stain (or paint and primer if you are painting)
- Measuring tape
- Tiny drill bit (for starting holes)
- 18 volt dril
- Circular saw
- Orbital sander
What You Will Do
Safety disclaimer….when you are working with power tools, please make sure to be safe! Make sure you have good lighting, and always keep yourself safe. If you have any doubts about your ability, be sure to have some extra help. And always wear eye protection, gloves, and ear protection. OK, safety talk over, lets build a gate!
I like to start with cutting my 1 x 4’s to the length I want them to be. For this gate, I measure of 12″ increments on my boards. And then cut them out. Then, take 1 of the 2 x 4’s, and measure off 8 inches, and mark it. Then, cut the 8″ off your 2 x 4.
Once you have your wood cut out, I highly recommend sanding everything. It is a lot easier to sand the wood when it is in the little pieces rather than waiting until you get it assembled.
Building The Frame
After everything is sanded, now you will be assembling your gate. Lay both the full 2 x 4, and the slightly shorter one next to each other. Now take your 1 x 4 pieces, and line them up, on the ends of the 2 x 4’s. I start with 2 1 x 4 pieces, at either end of the 2 x 4’s. The slightly shorter 2 x 4 will be the bottom portion of your gate. And you want the 1 x 4 sections to meet up at the edge of the shorter 2 x 4. The top 2 x 4 should extend about 4″ longer on either side. You want the top to be longer, because this is the part of your gate that will rest in the jump cup. I recommend using your measuring tape to make sure you have about the same distance on either side of the top 2 x 4. Also set the 2 x 4’s how far apart you want them to be. For me, I like the bottom to be flush with the 1 x 4 pieces. I leave a little bit of distance from the top, about 1″ or so.
Then, take a step back, and look at how this looks. You will be looking at the gate from the back. If you are happy with the appearance, next you will attach the 1 x 4’s to the 2 x 4’s. Without removing the 1 x 4’s take your drill and tiny drill bit, and drill one starter hole on the top and bottom of each of your 1 x 4’s. Then, using 2″ decking screws, attach the 1 x 4’s to the 2 x 4’s. I usually do one, and then check the other one, to make sure nothing has moved, or if it has adjusting it before I attach it. It is sufficient to attach the 1 x 4’s with just one screw on the top and bottom. You can do 2 screws each top and bottom, but you run the risk of splitting the wood.
Adding The Pickets
Now that the frame is complete, we need to add in the pickets. There is no right or wrong way to add the pickets. Typically I will add a bunch, and see what it looks like. You can make the spacing between wide or narrow, or somewhere in between. It’s up to you, this is your gate, make it the way you want to make it.
Once you are pretty happy with where your pickets are, go ahead and predrill some holes on the tops and bottom, just like we did with the first 2 1 x 4 ‘s. Then using your 2″ screws, attach all of the pieces to the 2 x 4’s, top and bottom.
When you are done, your gate should look something like this…
Staining The Gate
Now that your gate is assembled, all that’s left to do is stain, or paint it. If you are painting, I would encourage you to primer paint it first. It will look better if you do. But for me, I am staining this bad boy, so I can get to work!
It is really helpful if you place the gate up on saw horses, or something elevated. This way you can get into the little nooks and crannies of the gate. I like to start with painting the front first, so I can see the end result first. And then when the stain (or paint) has dried, flip it over and paint the back.
Then I will stand the gate up, showing the front again, and catch any runners that can happen.
Once it has dried, your gate is ready for use!
Total Cost of Building A Gate
Building a gate is very affordable. This is the total breakdown of what it cost me to build this gate:
- (2) 2 x 4’s $7.40
- (3) 1 x 4’s $5.40
- Sandpaper $1.00
- Screws $2.00
- Stain (free!)
Total cost for gate: $15.80
So for less than $20.00 I was able to make a piece of jumping equipment for my jump. If I were to buy this ready made, it would have cost me at least $120.00, and that doesn’t include the shipping! And it was fast to make. It took me about 45 minutes to build the gate, and then about 20 minutes each side to paint.
All right, that is it for today. The components needed to make a hunter jump are all just about finished now! Only one step left, and that is to make some rails, which I will be sharing with you in my next post. And as always, if you are a more visual person when it comes to learning, I made a video on my YouTube channel, The Budget Equestrian showing you every step to building your own horse jump gate.