How would a chair be built for centaurs? Not a couch, not a chaise, but a simple, ordinary chair.

It needs to support the back of their human torso and it needs to give them space to fit the horse body. It doesn't matter what it's made of, and if it matters, the technology is at the same level as ours.

Please notice the emphasis on that it needs to support the human torso. It would be tiring to constantly have your torso sticking up in the way it would with the way horses sit, with no temporary relief such as humans can get with chairs and backrests. I just want them to be able to lean back and relax in the same way humanoids can.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 3:34

4 Answers 4


Isnt it simple?

1: a modified saddle+cushion, assuming the horse part acts like a horse and can lock it's joints to rest. You place it over the horse shoulders and potentially tie it to the horse chest, the "saddle" part rests the back of the humanoid. Advantage is that it's light and can be carried with the Centaur.

2: as already mentioned by StephenG, a leaning bar of some kind. Just something to rest the arms and torso on and relieve the back of the weight.

3: if the horse needs to be supported too, a belly-high cushioned plank the Centaur walks over and then rests on, while the front has either something to lean on in front or the backrest of a seat on a hinge the Centaur can close behind his back to lean against, or alternatively he needs to back up if there is no hinge to get on the "chair".

4: combine the cushioned plank with the cushioned saddle so you have no problem with the backrest being on a hinge or similar. Please return the saddle after you get up for the next Centaur.


Forget sitting and take a page from the ancient romans. Those guys knew how to live. They would put the modern hedonistic first world citizen to shame when it came down to comfort.

Romans believed sitting was generally unhealthy, so they would do things like socializing or eating while lying down.

Seriously. Check this out:

A roman villa-style room with an eating bed - a flat surface with an edge for resting on, as described below

A triclinium (plural: triclinia) is a formal dining room in a Roman building. Each couch was wide enough to accommodate three diners who reclined on their left side on cushions while some household slaves served multiple courses rushed out of the culina, or kitchen, and others entertained guests with music, song, or dance. (...) Diners would recline on these surfaces in a semi-recumbent position. (...) In Roman-era dwellings, particularly wealthy ones, triclinia were common and the hosts and guest would recline on pillows while feasting.

Centaurs do not need the furniture. Just have some pillows and cushions around that they can rest upon. Horses are built to be comfortable lying on soft ground (they sleep like that when they feel safe). A centaur lying down for a meal or socializing would feel much more natural than one sitting on some wooden thing. Here is what the horse side would look like while lying down:

a horse lying down flat in a field

Of course, you can always go for a Discworld level of silly:

a horse 'sat' on it's hind legs, with front legs propped up - side view

a horse 'sat' on it's hind legs, with front legs propped up - front view

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for pictures of horses in chairs $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 11:26
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    $\begingroup$ another +1 for the pictures of horses in chairs $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 12:33
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    $\begingroup$ All I'm thinking about now is a chair for Discworlds Elephants... $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Demigan i.sstatic.net/H8rGs.jpg $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 23:24

Given your concern is resting the spine of the "human" part, there's no point in thinking in terms of seating at all.

Horses are anatomically built to stand practically all the time. So only the awkwardly tacked on "human" part needs to rest. Now you could add some kind of anatomical feature to allow a similar locking system for the modified human "spine", although it's problematic as there is a significant slope involved.

What's needed is a support the human torso can lean on or rest on. So really a stand with some form of cushioning looking a bit like a very elaborate version of a stand to tie horses at or perhaps a little like you'd see at some conferences, but with more "lean on me" about it.

You might be able to adapt that idea to the horse end sitting on it's backside on the ground

Back to the "change the anatomy" idea because for centaurs to evolve they'd need to have developed some way of resting the human part before they had the technology for chair, sofas and stands. So some form of "in-built" support is going to be needed (like the horse has).

Quite possibly a far more rigid spine is required, or a spine with some kind of "locking pin" system.


Fun question! I think this is totally do-able.

Horses generally sit or lay on the ground, but ordinary chairs are designed to suspend the booty above ground level with the knees bent in a way which allows a person to easily exit the chair at will. The human buttocks is ideal for resting on, because it is naturally cushioned. However, the underside of a horses belly doesn't have that natural cushioning, and it's hard to imagine a system wherein quadrupeds rest on something with all four of their legs bent and propped in front of them. This makes a direct analogy for horse-chairs difficult, but not impossible.

Here's what I'm thinking:

You have a long bench, at least 3/4 the length of a normal horse, and about the height of the horses knees. It is curved downward to a concavity in the front to accommodate the horse's rib cage, and curved upward to a gentle, parted wedge in the back to comfortably fit between the horses hind legs. The bench is widest in the front near the ribs, and thinnest in the middle, just in front of the hind legs, so that they can be brought forward against the sides of the belly and bend downward at about 90 degrees, straddling the thin part of the bench. The front legs stretch forward in front of the bench and bend down at 90 degrees. It almost looks like a bent spoon.

The bench has four legs. The back legs are simple, supporting the rear of the bench. The front legs turn forward and slightly outward at 90 degrees at the place where they touch the ground. About 2 feet in front of the chair, the legs turn upward and back toward the chair, like this:

front legs (side view): /__|

The frontward appendage of each front leg, at an angle of 45 degrees to the ground, is long. Each frontward appendage of the front legs stretches a few feet above the bench itself before they connect with one another at the top. The place where they connect is a back rest, which is high off of the bench so that it only supports the upper back of the centaur's humanoid torso. This is so that the centaur can duck under it when it mounts the chair.

Moving backwards is uncomfortable for a horse, so when the centaur goes to sit on this chair, it approaches the chair from behind, lowers its human body to go under the back rest, then lays its horse body on the bench, and then raises its human body to lean it backwards against the rest.

The parts of the front legs which rest parallel to the floor are angled slightly outward from the chair itself, making kind of a Y shape if you look down from the top. This is so that when the centaur dismounts the chair, it can just stand up and walk forward. Alternatively, if there is a table in front of the chair, the horse will have to stand, bow its human body forward, and step backwards to go under the back-rest again.

If you wanted to get more complicated, you could have like a guillotine system where the backrest comes down behind the torso from above, so that the centaur didn't have to bend over so much.

I hope this helps!


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