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How to Build a Pony Ride Carousel

Meg Warren

Every child enjoys a pony and seeing live ponies that are in a carousel that they can ride is sure to bring up some pleading for a parent to spend their money. Building a pony ride carousel can be completed in one day, and ready to take its first riders by the weekend fair.

This carousel will accommodate four live ponies and will require a space approximately 20-foot square. This will allow adequate walking room for the pony handlers next to the riders.

Building the base

  1. Cut two 4-by-4 foot boards to measure 4 feet long.

  2. Measure and mark the center of both boards.

  3. Measure and mark 3 inches away from both sides of the center mark. Draw a straight line across the width of the board.

  4. Set a router to 2 inches in height. Remove the wood between the two marks on the board. Ensure that you stay between the lines when making this cut.

  5. Lay one board on a flat surface with the cut facing up. Turn the other board over so the cut is facing down. Cross the two boards and place one over the other by sliding the one into the other where the cut was made. This will create an “X” shape with the two boards.

  6. Measure and mark the center of the “X”. Drill a hole through the “X” using a ¼ inch drill bit.

  7. Measure and mark the center of a 2 inch PVC pipe cap. Drill a hole through the center using a ¼ inch drill bit.

  8. Match the hole in the cap to the hole in the “X”. Drill a screw through the cap and the “X” to connect them together.

  9. Cut a 2 inch PVC to measure 3 feet long. Apply PVC pipe glue to one end of the pipe and the inside of the cap. Connect the two together.

  10. Measure and cut a 6-inch square out of a 1 inch piece of plywood.

  11. Measure and cut four, 2-foot-long pieces of 4-by-4 foot boards.

  12. Cut a 45-degree angle on both ends of the boards. Cut the angle in the same direction on both boards. These will be known as legs.

  13. Connect each angled 4-by-4 piece to one side of the 6-inch square. Attach using a 2 inch bolt and nut.

  14. Slide the 3 foot PVC through the hole in the center of the 4-inch square. The pipe should not touch the sides of the hole in the square; it will protrude through the top of the hole. Position each of the legs over one arm of the “X”. Bolt each leg to the appropriate arm of the “X”.

Building the Spindle

  1. Cut a 3 inch PVC pipe to measure 3 feet, 2-inches long. Apply PVC pipe glue to the outside end of the pipe, and the bottom inside opening on a six-way fitting. Insert the pipe into the pipe fitting.

  2. Slide the 3 inch PVC pipe over the 2 inch PVC pipe on the base. Turn it to ensure that it turns with little effort. Make adjustments to the hole in the 6-inch square if needed.

  3. Cut a 3 inch PVC pipe to measure 3-feet long. Insert it into the top opening of the six-way fitting. Apply PVC pipe glue to the joints.

  4. Insert an 8 foot PVC pipe to each of the remaining openings. Apply PVC pipe glue to each joint. If desired attach a 3-inch cap to the exposed end of these pipes. Apply glue to the joints.

  5. Insert a 1-inch eye hook approximately 6 inches away from the end of the pipe. This will be used to attach the horse to the carrousel. Ensure that each one is placed on the same side as the one before it.

  6. Attach a second eye hook to the top end of each pipe.

  7. Attach four eye hooks on the top of the 3 foot PVC pipe inserted at the top of the carrousel. Place one on all four sides, evenly spaced around.

  8. Connect the eye hook on the 3 foot PVC pipe to the eye hook at the top of the 8 foot PVC pipe with a light chain and latch. Ensure the that chain is tight. Cut off excess links with a pair of wire cutters if needed. This will provide support to the pipes and prevent sagging.

  9. Paint the entire carousel as desired. Add ribbon and tassels to the chain or around the 8 foot pipes to decorate.


Dress the pony handlers in cowboy and cowgirl uniforms. Have cowboy hats available for the riders to wear while riding the ponies. Possibly sell them as an added ability to make money.