how to build a saddle rack

How to Build Your Own Saddle Rack: DIY Guide + Tips

by | Jul 22, 2023 | Equine Saddles, Equine Tack

Picture this scenario: when does a saddle rack become more than just a functional item? It’s when it transforms into a personal project, a beautiful fusion of your love for all things equine and your talent for crafting with your hands. The satisfaction derived from hand-selecting materials, putting them together, and stepping back to admire your creation is truly unmatched.

What Sets a Self-made Saddle Rack Apart?

The benefits of constructing your own saddle rack are plentiful. Firstly, it offers a fantastic opportunity to customize a design that suits your saddle’s requirements and aligns with your preferences. Moreover, it can be a budget-friendly alternative to store-bought options. Plus, it serves as an absorbing hobby for horse enthusiasts with spare time and a fondness for woodworking.

Starting the project is simple – gather your materials, plan your design, and let your hands work their magic. Let’s delve into the details of what you’ll need and how to proceed.

Creating Your Saddle Rack: The Essential Items

To kickstart your project, you’ll need a few fundamental items. For a basic rack design, get your hands on a handsaw, a drill, a measuring tape, several screws, some 2x4s, and some plywood. If you’re aiming for a more polished look, consider getting sandpaper and wood stain or paint. And don’t forget your safety gear – goggles and gloves!

Choosing the right wood is crucial. Cedar is recommended for its durability and visual appeal, but pine is a more affordable option. Make sure to choose pieces without knots or cracks for the longevity of your rack.

A cordless Drill is an excellent power tool choice. It’s versatile, user-friendly, and strikes a perfect balance of power and control. Being cordless, you can take it wherever you need, even to the stables.


1. Measure your saddle’s dimensions: Use the tape to measure the widest part of your saddle. This measurement will determine the size of the top part of your rack.

2. Sketch your design: A traditional saddle rack consists of three main components – the base, the uprights (connecting the top to the base), and the top that supports the saddle. Draw your design, ensuring the top part of the rack is 1-2 inches wider than the saddle for adequate support. The rack’s height should keep the saddle off the floor when placed on the rack.

3. Cut the wood: Use your handsaw to cut the 2x4s and plywood according to the measurements from your sketch. Remember to wear safety glasses and gloves before making the cut. Use the handsaw here to cut the wood to you desired sizes.

4. Assemble the base and uprights: Start by fixing the base and uprights together. Use the drill and screws to attach the uprights to the base. Check for levelness before moving on. A tilted rack can be unstable.

5. Install the top section: Once the base and uprights are level, secure the top section to the uprights using the drill and screws.

6. Finishing touches: After assembling the rack, you can add paint or varnish for extra allure and durability. Smoothing the edges can prevent potential damage to your saddle.

Remember, this guide is just the basics, and your rack can be as simple or intricate as you wish. Adding a cushion on the top bar where the saddle rests or hooks on the sides for hanging gear can be charming additions.

Always prioritize safety. Enjoy the process at a comfortable pace and relish the pleasure of creating something from scratch. While the project may require some effort, it is gratifying and results in a secure and effective saddle storage solution.

Adding the Final Shine

After completing the assembly, it’s time to give your rack a refined touch. Smoothing it will remove any rough patches and ensure better adherence of paint or stain. The BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander is perfect for this task, boasting high removal capacity and a dust-sealed switch to maintain a clean workspace.

If you choose to paint or stain your rack, pick a product suitable for your wood type. For cedar, a wood stain can enhance the natural grain. For less distinctive woods like pine, a solid paint color can provide an appealing finish. Ensure the product is suitable for the rack’s location, whether a damp barn or a dry tack room. The Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane is a reliable choice, protecting your rack from moisture, heat, and sunlight, ensuring long-lasting durability.
Once your rack is built and finished to your liking, find a safe, secure spot for it, considering easy access for placing and removing the saddle. If you have multiple saddles, consider building more racks and arranging them conveniently.

Caring for Your Self-made Saddle Rack

Maintenance after construction is straightforward. Regular cleaning to remove dust, dirt, and horsehair will keep your equipment in good condition. If you’ve painted or stained your rack, consider applying a protective layer yearly to keep it looking new.

Building your saddle rack is a fulfilling endeavor for horse lovers. Not only does it provide a handy piece of equipment, but it also instills a sense of accomplishment and pride in creating something of your own. This guide outlines the basics, and you’re on the path to crafting a saddle rack that perfectly fits your needs.

Remember, the saddle rack’s main purpose is to preserve your saddle’s shape and condition. So, keep this in mind while designing your rack, considering your saddle’s shape and size. Feel free to adapt these guidelines to suit your needs, as personalization is at the heart of a DIY project.


With proper planning, the right toolkit, and some leisure time, you can create a sturdy, attractive saddle rack that will faithfully serve you for many years. It will be more than just a personalized storage solution for your gear; it will represent the pride of saying, “I built this myself!”

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Emily Wilson</a>

Emily Wilson

I'm from the very heart of Kentucky, you know, the place folks think of when they talk about horse love. Had the luck of growing up smack dab in the middle of some of the most awesome horse spots you'd ever see. Can't imagine starting my day any other way than being in that homely barn, waist-deep in horse stuff. My routine? It's a bit of everything really - taking care of the horses, bonding with them, you name it.

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