Last Updated on February 25, 2022 by Allison Price
When I tore my right ACL ligament and other crucial ligaments that stabilize my knee joint, I discovered the joys associated with a “real” mounting blocks. My wait for a horse after the surgery was six to eight months. My surgeon gave me three months to return to the saddle, despite the fact that I had a permanent mounting block. It was a sweet moment when I was able to swing my leg over my horse. I was also excited about the new mounting block that Matt was making for me.
A sturdy mounting block is essential for safety. This important piece of equipment helps riders mount and dismount, which prevents injuries and allows for greater riding accessibility, even for children. Elevating the rider one foot above the ground can reduce torque on your horse’s back and saddle.
A permanent mounting block has the advantage of stability. Unlike a portable block that can tip over on uneven ground, a permanent block is taller and easier to use. Its disadvantage is that it cannot be moved once it’s in place.
My friend Helyn decided that it was time for her total knee replacement surgery. I knew exactly what she would require as a gift. Matt was my volunteer, so I got the materials and built Helyn’s permanent mounting block.
Here are the steps to build a mounting block if you have an idea for a building project.
The 4-by-3-foot permanent mounting blocks has two steps. The bottom step measures 2 by 3 by 11 inches. The top step measures 11 inches. This makes the entire block approximately 22 inches high.
Because the boards were in direct contact with soil, we used treated lumber. The mounting block is exposed to all kinds of weather and will likely be damaged. Ours has been around for 10 years and shows no signs or deterioration.
Choose a site
You should choose a location to mount your mounting block. It should be close to your riding area or the stables where your horse is. This will be a permanent fixture so you must ensure that it doesn’t block equipment or create safety hazards. Can a horse sit comfortably beside it without feeling trapped? Is it possible to get tractors, drags or any other equipment past it?
The mounting block was located at our home just outside the entrance to the outdoor arena. It is also close to the indoor arena. It’s located about 4 feet from arena fencing. This creates a little “chute” to help horses stay in place when mounting.
Helyn selected a spot in her arena where a drag wouldn’t go. So that she could pick which side she wanted to mount, Helyn placed the mounting block at a distance from both fences. She left enough space so that she could use the mounting block to act as an obstacle, and then trot around the corner.
Mounting blocks should be placed on a level site with stable footing.
For the mounting blocks’ sides, we used 2-by-6 pressure-treated lumber and 4-by-4 lumber to make the corners. This is what you will need:
- Six 2-by-6-inch-by-8-foot boards
- Two 4-by-4-inch-by-8-foot boards
- 1 lb. box of 2 1/2-inch wood screws
- Material to fill with crushed rock or sand
- Circular saw for cutting lumber
- Tape measure
- Framing square is a tool to mark the exact spot where you want to cut. The framingsquare can then be used to draw a straight line across your board to make the cut square.
- Carpenter’s level
- Attaching screws with a power drill
- Spade shovel to level the ground and dig holes for corner legs
Build Your Mounting Block
After purchasing materials, assemble the tools and then cut the wood to your specifications. Use the 2-by-6 boards as sides.
- Four sections of 4 feet
- Eight 3-foot sections
- Four 2-foot sections
Use the 4-by-4 boards as corner posts to cut:
- Four 26-inch posts
- Two posts 15 inches in diameter
Notice: The 4-by-4 corner posts will reach approximately 4 inches into the ground to serve as “legs” for the mounting block.
Mount the mounting block body on any level surface. We used the back of our pickup for this, but it can be done off-site.
Use two of each the 2-foot 4-by-6 or 4-foot 4-by-6 to attach the long sides to your 4-by-4
To complete the “box”, attach front and back to long slide using 3-foot pieces.
Place the mounting block on the ground.
You will need six holes for each anchor leg.
To ensure that the unit is level, place it in holes.
To stabilize the mounting block, fill in the holes around the anchor legs. Double-check your work with the carpenter’s ruler as you go.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!