How to Make Cavaletti Jumps

Written by kate klassen
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How to Make Cavaletti Jumps
Cavalettis are often used to introduce horses to jumping. (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Cavaletti jumps are used widely by dressage and jumper riders because of their versatile nature. While low to the ground, cavaletti jumps have various heights depending on how you lay them out. They are lightweight and easily portable, and can be used as easily for a placing rail before a jump as they can for a slightly elevated set of trot poles to teach the horse to engage its hindquarters. Making a cavaletti can be done quickly and simply.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 4-by-4-inch lumber
  • Carriage bolts
  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Saw
  • Wrench
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Cut one 8 foot length of 4-by-4-inch wood into four equal sections that are 2 feet long each.

  2. 2

    Form an "x" with two of the 2-foot sections of lumber and mark the edges of where they crisscross with a pencil. Cut along the lines halfway into the lumber with a saw. Use a wood chisel and hammer to notch out the wood between the cuts. Press the notches of each piece together until the sides are flush with one another.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole through the centre of both notches and insert and tighten a carriage bolt, nut and washer to keep them together. Repeat this process with the other two 2-foot sections. These are the ends of the cavaletti.

  4. 4

    Stand the cavaletti ends up with 8 feet between them. Place another 8-foot section of 4-by-4-inch lumber in the opening at the top of the "x." This will be the cavaletti pole. Drill a hole through the end of the pole, into and through the portion of the "x" that it is resting against. Secure both pieces together with an 8-inch carriage bolt, nut and washer. Repeat the process at the other end.

Tips and warnings

  • Use pressure-treated lumber if the cavaletti jumps will be used or stored outside.

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