- Purchase treated wood.Choose a sturdy, weather-resistant wood. You'll need two gateposts, plus enough wood to build your gate.
- For a typical horse, each post should be at least 8 feet (2.4 meters) long, so it stands about 5.3 ft (1.6m) above the ground.
- For tall draft horses or jumpers, each post should be 12 ft (3.7m) long, and stand about 8 ft (2.4m) above the ground.
- See below for more information on gate styles. The length of the beams depends on how wide you want your gate to be.
- Sink two sturdy posts into the ground.Sink these posts at least a third of the way into the ground, using a post hole digger. Once the posts are sunk, soak surrounding dirt with water to help the dirt settle more firmly around the post.
- Shovel extra dirt on the top of the wet hole to put more weight on the sinking dirt.
- Build a wooden gate.A typical wooden gate consists between three and six horizontal bars, plus two vertical beams at either end. You may use more bars for a larger horse, or to prevent the horse from sticking its head through the gaps and tearing its mane. To reduce warping over time, you may nail additional beams in an X shape over the bars if necessary.
- The top of the gate should stand about halfway up the horse's neckline. Use a taller gate if the horse is a jumper.
- Make sure all screws and nails are tight enough that the horse can't loosen them by scraping. You don't want your horse to get cut when scratching the gate.
- Attach the gate to one gatepost.Weigh the gate first, then purchase door hinges rated to support more than that weight. Drill sturdy screws through the hinges and into gatepost, preferably with a nut on the other side.
- Now's a good time to check the gate for sagging or skewing. Use stronger hinges or adjust the position of the hinges if you notice any problems.
- You may also prop the gate up with steel cable and a turnbuckle. This makes the gate easy to open and close. The gate will also be less likely to sag and easy to adjust if it does.
- Attach the rope or latch.The simplest closing mechanism is a sturdy rope or chain, just long enough to loop over the fence and tie the gate closed. Latches are more convenient, but the horse must not be able to nudge it open with its head. Use two latches for more protection, or cover the latch with a horizontal barrier that makes it difficult for the horse to reach.
- To prevent your horse putting a leg through the gate, cover the outside of the gate with chicken wire.
- For an extra-sturdy gate, sink the posts in concrete.
- Most horses will rub against the gate. Make sure there are no sharp objects, including loose screws or barbed wire.