An important training tool for all horses.
I love cavalettis / poles and grids. There are so many uses and they are a valuable learning tools for horses. Any inattentivness is fixed proptly. Some horses are stressed or worried about them and try to jump over two or three all at once which can be a quiet interesting or never the less spectacular.
Slow and steady wins the race on this one - start walking over 1 - then 2 and trot 1 then 2 then 3 - the distance must suit the horse. I put the cavaletti at 1.4 metres apart, and then shuffle around - out or in to suit the natural stride.
Try riding in a two point postion a light three point postion , never a sitting trot especially on a young and unexperienced horse. Sitting with make the horse to go hollow.
The horse must maintain his shape, the frame of the horse is extremely important. Ride the horse as 'on the bit' as his training will allow.This is very important. You know most horses go over or approach the cavaletti the same way they canter over jumps. If a horse has a tendancy to poke his nose out cantering to jumps - you can bet over the cavaletti will be the same. Rushing, drifting, any of the problems you experience over jumps can be corrected whilst doing cavaletti work.
With training and correct methods comes progress - don't be too ambitious, no more than five or six .Don't let your training over cavalettis or poles turn into stumble, trip, or even scatter poles; because then you can have one very tense horse about poles and cavalettis. Most horses cope well when the cavaletti is just above the ground but the next height is much more difficult. Some horses cope, some do not. So I just keep the cavaletti low.
Another advantage of this type of work is that the rider is able to practise upper body position, rein release and leg positions at the same time.
Concentrate on only one part of the body at a time. Think rein release and repeat as many times as you like. Then try - heels down - the mind cannot cope with four different commands at once. "heels down" "hands still" "eyes ahead" and "hey - don't let your horse run away". Sound familiar ? Try one thing at a time.
You can use your cavaletti every day if you wish, or every time you ride schooling type work.
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