Mounting blocks were a common sight outside public premises before motorised transport became popular. They were originally made from stone, with two or three steps, and their function was to assist horsemen and women to mount, which was particularly helpful for women wearing skirts. Today, they may be made of concrete block, wood or even plastic. Equestrian establishments build them to assist riders who may have a physical disability, the old and infirm, short riders with tall horses, and horses that do not have high enough withers to hold the saddle on securely when the rider mounts.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- 44 concrete blocks or your calculated number of stones
- Concrete mix
- Mortar mix
- Stone veneer
- Power saw with diamond blade
- Plumb line
Consider your options. Stone is difficult to build with, and only an experienced stone mason will achieve really great results. If you decide to try it anyhow, you will need a tile saw with a diamond blade designed to cut stone. Cut your stones to make them cubic, with four flat sides, and follow the directions below, adjusting the dimensions and number of stones.
Draw your plan showing the dimensions and the location of the steps. A do-it-yourselfer will find it comparatively easier to build the structure with concrete block and apply a stone veneer to give the block the appearance of stone. The most common size of concrete block is 8- by 8- by 16-inch, so you should plan the dimensions accordingly and make the top of your mounting block 32 inches high by 32 inches wide by 32 inches long, with three steps. The top step will be 24 inches high by 32 inches wide by 8 inches long, and the bottom step will be 8 inches high by 32 inches wide by 8 inches long.
Dig the foundation 12 inches deep by 32 inches wide by 56 inches long according to the dimensions on your plan. Place some scrap metal in the hole and pour concrete into the foundation, and allow it to set. The metal will help strengthen the concrete and hold it together. The blocks will need a solid footing to adhere to for safety.
Mix the mortar in a wheelbarrow using a shovel. Apply the mortar onto the foundation with a trowel and lay the first layer of 14 blocks. Add more mortar and lay the next layer of12 blocks, leaving the bottom step. The next layer will take 10 blocks and leave the next step, and the top layer will require eight blocks. Use a level and a plumb line to get your walls straight. Scrape any excess mortar off the sides and steps of the mounting block with the trowel and leave it to dry.
Cut your sheet of stone veneer to exactly fit your mounting block sides, top and steps with a diamond blade on a tile saw, handsaw or jigsaw, and fix it onto the concrete according to the manufacturer's instructions. This may require concrete nails or screws or just adhesive. Leave it to dry, then saddle up and be the first to try out your new mounting block.
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