After recent ACL knee surgery, when I was finally allowed to get back on my horse I needed a good mounting block to do so. The plastic store-bought version we had didn't seem sturdy enough (or tall enough!) so I besieged Matt to build me a sturdy, permanent version. The nice thing about it is that we've found many uses for it since my early convalescence: it's easily used by kids, older adults or guests—and me while rehabbing and learning what my new soft tissue can and can't do. Plus, ask most English riders and they will tell you that using a mounting block is a smart idea; less uneven wear and tear on the saddle as well as less pull on your horse.
Here's how to make a sturdy, two-step permanent mounting block with the dimensions of 3' x 4'. It is best to assemble the mounting block structure on a completely flat surface (cement floor would be preferable) before you put it into its permanent spot.
- Four 12' 2 x 6 treated wood boards
- One 10' 4 x 4 treated post
- Box of 2 ½ wood screws
- Circular saw
- Power screwdriver
- Sand to fill the inside of steps
Cut the 2 x 6 boards:
- Four 2' lengths to be the short side for the top step (it's easier to cut the 2' section first)
- Four 4' lengths to be the long side of the bottom step
- Eight 3' lengths to be the short sides of the bottom step
Cut the 4 x 4 post:
- Two 11" lengths for inside support for the bottom step
- Four 22" lengths for inside support for the top step
Frame in the bottom step using four of the 3' boards and the 4' boards. In the corners use the 4 x 4s as supports to attach the boards to. The two shorter 4 x 4s go in the front corners and two taller ones are for the back of the top step.
Frame in the top step using the 2' sections to locate the remaining tall 4 x 4 supports. Attach the remaining 2' and 3' boards to complete the top step. You now have the structure of your 3' x 4' mounting block.
Locate step where you want your mounting block. We put ours about 5 to 6 feet away from our arena fence so we can use the fence as a "wall" to help hold a horse still while mounting.
Once you locate your mounting block, fill it with sand to make a solid and secure mounting block that is about 2 feet tall.
About the Author
Alayne Renée Blickle, a life-long equestrian and reining competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award winning, nationally acclaimed environmental education program. Well known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approaches, Alayne is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners for over 15 years teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Alayne and her husband raise and train their reining horses at their ranch in sunny Nampa, Idaho.