If you read my Summer Home Tour – Equestrian Style blog post, you saw some pictures of our barn, and the new paddocks we made. But if you were wondering how we did it, keep reading.
One of my huge projects that I wanted to complete while I was on my stay-cation, was to build new paddocks for my horses. And I had originally wanted to build new walls to replace the corral panels, but in the end I decided to re-use the panels I already had.
I mean, it would be nice to have all wood, but if we added the wood rails, it would have added an additional $300.00 and a lot more work to the project. So I opted for just reusing the corral panels we already had.
So this is a before photo. And I mean REALLY before! This was before I had repainted the barn too.
Finding All The Parts
I had decided that it would be more affordable to reuse the existing panels, as well as being a lot easier. I just had to figure out a way to attach the panels to the new posts.
Amazon to the rescue! I found these U shaped clips that would make it easier to attach the panels. They come in multiple sizes. After measuring my panels, I ended up buying ones that were 1 3/4″ and they worked perfectly.
And I bought hex head screws that would make it easier than using traditional screw heads. They actually worked really well. These are #8 screws that are 3/4″ long.
And the biggest thing I had to buy were the posts.
I wanted substantial posts because Frisby loves to rub against them. They needed to be STRONG and long. The posts I bought are 4x6x8′. And they cost $11.82 a piece. I needed 9 posts to replace the landscape timbers I had been using for my posts already.
And I cheated a little bit, well not really cheated, but worked smarter. I placed my order for the posts online at Home Depot, and then they gathered them and had them ready for me when I got to the store. Work smarter, not harder is my motto, so that’s what I did. I placed my order online and then on my way home from work went to pick them up. Much easier than loading up a cart. And the added benefit is when you order it online, and go to pick up your order they have someone waiting to help you load it. If only they would have come home with me and dug the holes too.
The last thing I needed (or so I thought) were new gates. Frisby is a beast and loves to push against his gate. So much so that he bent the previous gate. SO I needed strong gates. I opted for Bull gates made by Priefert. These babies are strong!
And they were the most expensive part of my project. I spent $211.00 on 2 gates at my local farm store, but they are worth it!
I knew this would be hard work. And I think I put off doing it because of how much work it would be to dig these holes. But after I lathered myself with sunscreen, I set out early in the morning to dig the holes for the new posts.
And about an hour later, one hole was complete. Then I was on to the next hole, and then the third hole….
This was about 3 hours into the project and I was tired. Digging holes in the heat is no fun at all. But about this time my husband came out and told me he was going to go rent a post hole digger.
I didn’t want to spend the extra $100.00, but at this point I wanted to be done so I agreed.
This was the best $100 we spent on the project. We got the remaining holes dug in less than an hour! My advice to you if you are planning on digging some holes, rent a post hole digger. It is so worth it!
Painting The Posts
And after I had all of the posts in, I wanted to paint them to match the rest of our fencing, as well as to protect them.
So I used Kilz2 primer (my favorite paint ever) and applied 2 coats of paint to every post. This paint dries fast, and protects the wood.
And while I was busy painting, my husband was busy installing the new gates.
He did require a little bit of my assistance, mainly to hold the gate while he marked off where the holes needed to go. But mostly it was all him.
I am so very lucky that he is technical. A LOT more technically inclined than I am! We are a good pair. I come up with the ideas, and then he helps me to make the idea a reality.
Reattaching The Corral Panels
After the gates were in, and the posts were painted, all that was left now was to reattach the corral panels.
On the front panels, we left them somewhat movable. Because in the winter I don’t have the ability to clean as well as I do the rest of the year. Occasionally we do need to be able to drive the tractor into the pens. So it makes it a lot easier if the front panels can rotate, and move out of the way of the tractor. We did not add a second post to connect the front panels, and gate too.
So while my husband held the panel, I got busy attaching it to the post.
This is where the hex head screws an U shaped connectors cam into play. The hex head screws made it easy to attach the panels to the posts. And we attached the panels to the inside of the posts, so that if the horses push on the panels (like Frisby does) he is pushing onto the wood.
And can you see the water tank between the front panel? We cut the bottom off of the panel so the water tank fits between the two pens. This means using only 1 tank heater during the winter. The horses also have individual water buckets inside their stalls.
How To DIY Horse Paddocks On A Budget
After a very long day of work, the pens were done! I even made time to clean the pens really well, so they would look perfect!
I love how the gates are at a corner, and on opposite ends of each pen. This makes it easier to take the horses out, without them picking on each other.
I completed the project by making some new stall signs to match the new color scheme of our entire property.
I am really happy how they turned out.
Overall I am very happy with how this project turned out. And if I want to replace the corral panels with wood in the future, it will be easy to remove the panels and replace them with 2 x 6’s. But for now, this is perfect.
And it it was a very affordable project. We ended up spending $495.00 total to re-do the paddocks. Not too bad for a big improvement!