Saturday, September 13, 2014

Horse mounting stool

My wife has acquired a new horse that is a bit taller than her old one. She asked me if I could make a stool that would make it easier for her to mount the horse. 

The requirements were that the stool should be fairly lightweight and very stable, approximately 1 foot high and the top should be 10 x 20 inches.

I decided for a canted design, with the same angle on the sides and the ends. The slope is 1:5 
The material is larch. the top and the stretchers were milled to 20 mm thickness (3/4"), the corners were initially square, but I made a rabbet to lighten the weight as much as possible.

After cutting the pieces to size it was down to making 16 mortises and 16 tenons. Despite being at a slight angle, it went pretty well. The tenons are 8 mm thick, and about an inch wide. The mortises are (not surprisingly) the same size. 

I drawbored all the joints which added a little extra time to the build.

The top was attached by means of buttons screwed on from the underside. These are seated in a groove that I cut in the top stretchers before assembling the base.

I made a hole in the top to facilitate handling of the stool.

Since the stool will be placed on the riding court most of the time, I didn't bother with a lot of sanding or planing. It will look scruffy in a very short time anyway. 
As an experiment I finished it with a blend of Tung oil and Camelia oil, approximately 2 parts Tung oil to 1 part of Camelia oil.

Since SWMBO wanted to ride her horse this afternoon, I said that she could use it even though the oil had not cured yet. She was able to mount the horse without any problems, so all in all a the project has been a success.

Stable and lightweight.

Fnug testing the taste of the oil finish.

The buttons and the grooves.

SWMBO and the new horse (Bernie)


  1. Curious as to why you put the stretchers at the bottom? Wouldn't that make it a bit more wobbly on an uneven surface?

    1. Hi Ralph.

      The reason for the stretchers at the bottom is to prevent the stool from sinking into the ground.
      It will chiefly be used on the riding court where the top layer is sand mixed with sea shells. So the uppermost inch is always pretty soft, and the surface is flat enough that the stool wont wobble.
      I tested it in the stable as well, and it is rock solid on the concrete floor. So it can also be used when the horses need to have their manes braided before a dressage competition.

  2. I knew there had to be reason why it was done that way.

  3. It looks good! And, I can see your dog still hasn't kicked the old hide glue addiction.

    1. Thanks.
      Fnug just had to taste the delicious? tung oil..