A DIY Hoof Stand is a great addition to a horse maintenance kit and a necessity for anyone who does their own horse’s feet.
However, hoof stands are expensive, so why not save money and make your own version in just a few minutes?
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make your own interchangeable hoof rests using a few easy to source items. This stable base with attachments for resting hooves or legs makes trimming easy.
What You Will Need to Make a Homemade Hoof Stand
- 1 x Umbrella Base
- 1 x 1 ½” threaded pipe nipple 10” long
- 1 x 1 ½ threaded pipe nipple 12” long
- 1 x 3” x 1.5” (female fitting) PVC threaded tee piece
- 1 x PVC threaded bushing 1.5” (or pipe nipple width) x 1.5”
- 1 x tennis ball
- 1- Piece of foam
- Gorilla Glue
You should use a heavy metal or concrete base for an outdoor or patio umbrella. Most stands will have a screw clamp for tightening and securing the metal poles into place. A round base is better than one with angles and sharp edges that could hurt you or your horse.
You can buy new umbrella bases at your nearest garden center. However, to save on the cost of this project, we suggest you use one that you already have or spend some time looking around thrift stores for a second-hand option.
Metal Pipe Pieces
We are going to use pieces of PVC pipe to build up the interchangeable hoof rests. The pieces should taper like a screw at the ends to be able to connect to other fittings. What you are looking for are called threaded nipple pipes.
The pipe should have a diameter of 1- 1 ½ “ or that of an umbrella pole. This will ensure it fits smoothly into the stand. Measure your stand first to be sure the pieces you buy will fit.
PVC Pipe Pieces
To create a leg cradle, we will use PVC connections. If you use a 1.5” piece then you may be able to attach it directly to a PVC tee. If the threaded metal piece is a different diameter to the female connection on the tee joint, you will need an extra connection. This adaptor part is called threaded bushing.
You will also need to find some softer material to line the leg rest. This extra padding will make it more comfortable for your horse to rest a leg on. You can use foam, soft carpet, or even a piece of old numnah cover as padding.
You will need the following tools for this project:
- Wood Saw
- Craft knife
Assembling your DIY Hoof Stand
Tennis Ball Rest
- Use the craft knife to cut a small ‘X’ in the tennis ball to create an opening.
- Take the 10” metal piece and squash one end into the tennis ball.
That’s one attachment done!
Note: If you feel like the ball is going to slide around too much, you can use duct tape to secure it more tightly.
Cradle Hoof Rest
- Take the 3” PVC tee and cut the top part of the ‘T’ in half using the saw. This will create a cradle for the horse’s leg.
- Connect the cradle piece with the 12” metal length. Do this either by screwing the pipe nipple directly into the female joint of the tee OR using the threaded bushing to connect the two pieces.
- With your craft knife, cut a piece of foam (around 6” x 10”) to line the PVC cradle you have just created. The foam should overlap the edges.
- Use Gorilla Glue to secure the foam padding to the PVC pipe
To use; simply slide whichever attachment you choose into the umbrella base and clamp to secure.
Materials And Cost
The whole point of this project is to avoid spending as much as you would on a farrier-quality jack. Most of the items used here are readily available at your local hardware store for a couple of dollars.
To save further, you can try asking plumbing businesses for spare bits, look at the scrapyard, or even browse local thrift stores.
Your horse is going to stand better for a foot trim if he/she is comfortable. Make sure that you are not using items that are sharp that could break or fall off, spook the horse or cause an injury.
Unfortunately, this is not an adjustable hoof stand. You might prefer to use shorter pipe pieces if you have an older or arthritic horse that may not be able to lift its foot as high. For ponies or extra-large horses, like Percherons, you may need to get narrower or wider PVC parts to make a leg cradle that fits better.
Lining the cradle attachment with comfortable padding is important. The foam pieces or other cushioning will make it softer for a leg to rest on. This will also help prevent sliding around while you work on the horse’s hoof.
Horses sometimes lean onto hoof stands so yours needs to be strong enough to support their full body weight. For this reason, metal parts work better than wood or plastic. A wider base is also helpful so that you can stand on one end to prevent your horse from flipping it over.
The disadvantage of using metal parts is that they are heavy and difficult to move around. Probably best to keep your hoof rest close by to where it is used like in the tack room or the barn.
A Few Final Words On Making Your Own Hoof Stand
You don’t have to use the exact items described in this article. Essentially you need to join a sturdy base, an upright pole, and something for the top of the stand where the foot or leg will rest on. With a little creativity, you can improvise for parts to make the best hoof stand possible.