Every horse owner knows the importance of keeping tack clean, dry and easily accessible. A well-built saddle rack can be just as indispensable as good riding gear. It can hold all of your tack including halters, bridles, and brushes. It can be efficient without taking up a lot of stable space.
To build a sturdy saddle rack of standard size, you will need the following:
• (1) 24-inch log (pine or poplar), approximately 12 inches in diameter, debarked
• (3) 2-by-4s, 8 feet long
• (3) 1-by-8-inch boards, 8 feet long
• (1) 24-inch dowel pin, 1/2 inch in diameter
• Nails, hammer, saw, square, and marker
Saw the log in half, longways. Remove the outer bark to create a smooth surface. This will be the saddle rest. A poplar log is recommended, but any other on-hand wood that is easily debarked can be used. This log can be purchased at a sawmill or from a person cutting and selling firewood.
To make the saddle rack frame, saw four 2-by-4s into the following lengths:
• (2) 12-inch 2-by-4s
• (2) 21-inch 2-by-4s
Nail the 2-by-4s together to make the rack frame as shown. Check the frame with the log to make sure it fits properly. If your log does not fit the frame exactly, shave it down for a perfect fit.
Next, saw four 2-by-4s to 36 inches in length for the saddle rack frame legs. Nail legs to the frame as shown. Trim off excess wood at the top of the legs.
Measure and mark 18 inches from the top of the frame down each leg. This mark will be used for the leg braces that will be assembled in Step 4.
Cut two 2-by-4s approximately 24 inches long for leg braces. Nail braces to legs as shown. Mark and cut the end (front and rear) braces and nail to legs.
Next, place an 8-inch long 2-by-4 onto the end of the log and nail securely into place.
Cut one 1-by-8-inch board to 36 inches in length and nail vertically to the front of the log as shown. Drill two holes at a 45-degree angle, 1/2 inch in diameter, into the 1-by-8-inch board. Measure and cut two 8-inch dowel pins. Glue dowel pins into the 1/2-inch holes. Let glue dry completely.
Cut another 1-by-8-inch board to 30 inches in length and nail vertically to the rear of log. In this board, drill another hole using the same parameters explained above. Cut and glue an 8-inch dowel pin into place. Bridles, halters and lead ropes can find a resting place on these dowel pins, allowing easy accessibility to your tack.
A bottom storage shelf can be added to the lower set of leg braces. This shelf can be used to store brushes and other grooming devices, including shampoo, fly spray, etc.
Your saddle rack is now complete!
A great way to keep your blanket dry after a ride is to place it upside down over your saddle, keeping your saddle clean while drying out your blanket.
The saddle rack can be sized to fit any saddle — pony saddles, English, Western, etc.
Saddle racks can protect your riding equipment from dampness, dirt, and grime. Remember to always keep your tack in good condition and clean it often! Happy Trails!