Easy DIY: How to Build a Hitching Post

Keep your large livestock under control by constructing this easy DIY project that teaches how to build a hitching post.

Article by Jeff Hoard, Photos by Karen Hoard

In modern rural life, the hitching post is often an afterthought. Sure, you can see these structures featured prominently outside of every saloon in old western movies, but farms today often lack the simple structure, which could come in handy when dealing with any large livestock — horses, draft oxen, haltered cattle — while at the same time adding an aesthetic feature to your place that points to the past.

We built two hitching posts and installed one out back near the pens and the other up closer to the house. The one by the house was set in a location that is good for working with the animals, but also adds a point of interest to the landscaping. It also serves as a good device to aide in beating out area rugs on vacuuming day.

Our hitching posts consist of three main wooden pieces — two posts and a rail — all of which need to be stout. Having been around stock most of our lives, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen horses panic for whatever reason and rip posts out of porches or yank boards off fences, mirrors off of trucks, etc. The stressful situation that ensues afterward — when the horse is in a complete panic and in a full run trying to get away from the debris now seemingly chasing it, all while a frantic person is yelling and desperately trying to catch the animal — is an incredible, fearful, horrifying yet all too common scene that can almost always be avoided.

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