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Setting up cavaletti to strengthen a horse

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    Setting up cavaletti to strengthen a horse

    What would be a good distance between the poles for a 16h horse to start? For the walk? For the trot? For the canter?

    Does the distance change if the cavaletti are raised off the ground?

    TIA

    #2
    I've spaced cavaletti for the trot but not canter. I spaced them about 4 1/2 feet but you have to tailor the spacing to your horse's stride. Start at 4 1/2 feet and then watch your horse go through and increase or decrease the distance to get just one step between them.

    Personally I wouldn't raise more than one cavaletti in a set of trot poles. The lowest setting still provides a work out. When I was using cavaletti to build strength in my gelding I kept the cavaletti on the lowest setting for about 6 weeks. When I raised, I only raised one, in the center. This program worked beautifully building muscle all over, even the topline.

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      #3
      I highly recommend this book if you want to use cavaletti for schooling: http://www.amazon.com/Cavalletti-Rev.../dp/0851317553

      Comment


        #4
        Start with the poles a little closer together for the trot, no more than 4 feet. If the horse hasn't done poles for awhile, or has never done them, start with a single pole, then add second, then a third. When you are up to three poles you can see if the spacing is right and adjust it. The fan pattern is handy for varying the stride within a given pace.

        Here are Ingrid Klimke's cavaletti handouts that I converted to English:

        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B39...gwVUQ0Tnc/view

        Enjoy.

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          #5
          Another option is to set them up as a fan so you can have various distances. Set the fan up in a corner. You can ride shorter distances closer to the inside and longer distances to the outside. The fan is also great for lunging. For straight lines about 1.3m for trot poles, 0.8- 1.1m for walking (0.8 for collected walk), canter depends on stride of horse but 3-3.5m with cavaletti raised.

          Edit: Sorry just saw Larkspur mentioned fan as well. It is very useful!!
          Last edited by Moogles; Mar. 8, 2016, 01:17 AM. Reason: to add

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            Original Poster

            #6
            Thank you all!

            LarkspurCo that hand out is the bomb!

            slp2, that book is now on my wish list!

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              #7
              I like to have 4 sets of 4 cavaletti set up outside in the summer. 2 are close and raised. The other 2 sets are flat and long. Read Klimke's book for a starting point, and then adjust distances for your specific horse.

              Once the horse is used to compressing and raising, or reaching and lengthening for the various distances, you can check rideability of your horse and accuracy of your aids by swapping which sets are raised and short and which are flat and long.

              For canter, my goal is always to go shorter to help the horse develop the muscles and skills to keep the jump in the collected canter.

              In the winter, when we're inside with less space, cavaletti come out once or twice a week. I will maximize set up and tear down time by varying exercises - maybe one time I'll do all trot or all canter sets, so 8 cav's total. The next time I might set up a moderate trot on one side of the arena and a collected canter on the other side. They can be ridden completely separately or combined with transitions going from trot to canter on a circle or square. That requires 6-8 poles depending on how green the horse is at cantering cavaletti. Really super green - 2 cavaletti. Experienced - 3-4 cavaletti. And of course 4 for the trot.
              Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.

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                #8
                This thread is timed perfectly...I've also been looking for strength training pole grids. Larkspur, that is fantastic!

                Silly question, but I want to be absolutely sure I'm setting these right. When Klimke is referring to spacing canter poles, it looks as though there is a pole under each canter stride, like a bounce? There is no "empty" canter stride in between cantering over a pole?

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                  #9
                  Correct, they are bounces. That's what improves the jump in canter.
                  Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                    Start with the poles a little closer together for the trot, no more than 4 feet. If the horse hasn't done poles for awhile, or has never done them, start with a single pole, then add second, then a third. When you are up to three poles you can see if the spacing is right and adjust it. The fan pattern is handy for varying the stride within a given pace.

                    Here are Ingrid Klimke's cavaletti handouts that I converted to English:

                    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B39...gwVUQ0Tnc/view

                    Enjoy.
                    Thx Larkspur!!! And here is Ingrid practicing what she preaches

                    https://www.facebook.com/Horseaddict...2347959160405/

                    And OMG that shoulder in at 2.38 - perfection!!!!

                    Note to add: Doesn't it seem like Ingrid is always trying to tell us something with her wonderful idyllic videos? Everyone walks in a group quietly to the school. Everyone schools then finishes the day with a gorgeous group ride into the sunset. I wanna go there!

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                      #11
                      We have been doing a lot of poles this winter. I have a 16h TB with an average stride. My friend's warmblood is a little fancier and these collect him a little bit:

                      Walk: 3.5 feet spacing
                      Trot: 4 feet spacing for working trot, 4'6 for a BIG stride for my guy
                      Canter: 9 feet for bounces, 12 feet for more of a working stride

                      We do these as poles on the ground or we have risers (about 5" maybe?)

                      We have also been doing them in a fan shape. I can normally get it so that I can walk the inside circle and trot the middle/ outer circle. (So the inside is about 3.5 foot spacing and the middle is about 4-4'6 spacing).

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
                        Thx Larkspur!!! And here is Ingrid practicing what she preaches

                        https://www.facebook.com/Horseaddict...2347959160405/

                        And OMG that shoulder in at 2.38 - perfection!!!!

                        Note to add: Doesn't it seem like Ingrid is always trying to tell us something with her wonderful idyllic videos? Everyone walks in a group quietly to the school. Everyone schools then finishes the day with a gorgeous group ride into the sunset. I wanna go there!
                        What a great video, I want to go there too!!

                        riopony, thanks for those distances, that's a great place to start.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I do 5 in a fan, 3 at one end, 4.5 in middle and 6 on outside. I slightly raise the outside end and then you can stretch or shorten them up depending on where your line is. I also have cavilletis that my husband built with an x on the end and there are 3 heights. I space them the same, 4.5, straight and then you have a choice on how much they use themselves.
                          Jay McGarry
                          sms trained saddle fitter
                          www.trumbullmtn.com
                          800-442-9672

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks jaybird660, those sound fun

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