What’s in Your Arena? is an EN series sponsored by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces in which riders share their favorite jumping exercises. It’s easy to get stuck in a training rut, and we hope this will inspire you with fresh ideas that you can take home and incorporate into your own programs.
I have a real obsession for cavaletti. Whether doing flat work or jumping, I’ll send my horse over them nearly every day for the multitude of benefits the exercise offers like building strength and improving footwork. It helps that the low height (or no height) of the fences means less wear and tear on his legs while giving his brain a good workout.
There are countless exercises out there utilizing cavaletti, which are so versatile because you can roll them over to varying heights and they are easy to move around the ring. They are also fairly simple to build. To get you started on your cavaletti adventure, Evention shares three exercises you can create using six cavaletti or less.
Schrammo’s Schlippery Scherpentine puts three cavaletti on the centerline of your ring. As the name suggests, your path over the cavaletti draws a serpentine. This exercise is good practice for changing leads over fences, making good turns and maintaining a good rhythm.
Jimbo’s Gymnastic Jamboree includes two sets of bounces plus a single cavaletti placed two or three strides away from each bounce. Ride a figure eight over this set up and give your horse a kind introduction to having turns to combinations while practicing good footwork.
Absolute Mayhem uses six cavaletti to make three triangular shapes on each end of the arena. The pattern you’ll ride for this exercise is more similar to a show jumping track with lots of turns, bending lines and various related distances.
Watch the video to see all three exercises in action plus a tip on how to set distances when the fences are low. Enjoy!
Do you have an exercise to share or is there an eventer you would like to nominate for the “What’s in Your Arena?” series? Email [email protected]