Dear Jessica, I know that you always recommend the use of a mounting block, and I certainly agree with you. My vet and my equine chiropractor agree with you too! I want to do what is best for my horses, and I have always used mounting blocks at my barn (I teach basic dressage and eventing). Here's my problem and I am sure you will have an answer! In the last few years my students have changed. I used to teach mostly teenagers, now most of my students are in their forties and up. I like working with them but I am finding that my mounting blocks just aren't tall enough to make older beginners comfortable getting on my horses. This isn't good for the horses or saddles either, I know. I know that a taller mounting block would be the ideal solution, but I'm not "handy" and neither is my partner. I need to be able to move a mounting block from place to place, as we have a jumping ring, a small cross-country course, and two dressage arenas. So I would like to buy a mounting block that is taller than the two-step plastic ones I have used for so many years. I saw one at a horse show that I just loved, it had three steps and would have been perfect for most of my riders. The problem was, it cost almost $300! Do you know of any source anywhere in the USA where I could find a more affordable tall mounting block? I would really like to have several, but if they really cost $300 each, I'll have to forget the whole idea. This isn't an earthshaking question, I know, but I hope you will answer it, and I know you approve of mounting blocks and have a good understanding of the problems of older riders. Thank you so very much for all you do - my contribution to HORSE-SENSE is on its way to you right now, and I hope you will be able to keep helping us forever. Sincerely, Alison
It's possible to make excellent mounting blocks - even very tall ones - from wood, but a tall, wide, wooden mounting block is only going to be "portable" in the sense that it will be somewhat easier to move than, say, a large tree. If you need mounting blocks in several different places, it's probably worth building your own or hiring someone to do it for you. If you need one or two mounting blocks to move around the farm, you'll want ones that are both light enough to be portable and tall enough to be useful. As you know, that's not such an easy thing to find.
You asked your question at a good time, though. As it happens, I've just found a source for the kind of mounting blocks you want. I have two of them, both three-step blocks. They are heavy enough to stay in place outdoors even in a strong wind, but can be moved by one person. So far, I'm very happy with mine. They also come in a four-step version, which I haven't yet tried, but plan to try eventually - and I'll report to HORSE-SENSE when I do.
The supplier is online: www.horsemansdepot.com
You can also send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or ring the office at 631-563-2501
The mounting blocks they carry are the Dan's Mounting Steps - a good, well-known brand - and you can buy the triple step for just under $100, and the quadruple step for just under $200. As you can see, that's quite a difference - you could get THREE triple-step mounting blocks for your farm at the price you were quoted elsewhere for ONE triple-step mounting block. I think that you can also get a discount if you buy several mounting blocks - that might be just the thing for your riding school. In any case, it can't hurt to call them and ask about prices.
I've been happy with my dealings with them by both e-mail and telephone, their delivery charges are also quite reasonable, and the mounting blocks are working out very well.
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