Cavaletti – How to Build It + Exercises

Small yet mighty, the cavaletti is the understated training tool that is versatile enough to be used in multiple disciplines and training levels, yet powerful enough to transform any equine.

The wonderful thing about cavalettis is that the you don’t need to break the bank to afford your own set.  In fact, you can make your own set of cavalettis inexpensively right at home.

Read on for our top four DIY cavaletti building instructions and our favorite exercises for the walk, trot, and canter!

How To Build Cavaletti

Now that you have your own blueprint for homemade cavalettis, here are our favorite exercises to use them with your horse: one for the walk, trot, and canter.

Cavaletti Exercise - Walk

The walk is the horse’s foundational gait. If a horse’s walk is hollow, crooked, or stiff, the rest of his gates will be, also. The walk is also where a horse can rewire his neurological pathways to move in a more relaxed, expressive manner. Our current favorite walking exercise comes from Horse Journals:

Cavaletti Exercise - Trot

Working the horse at the trot will improve their overall cardiovascular health, as well as strengthen their core, both in their topline and under-carriage. To strengthen a horse’s obliques, as well, look for trot exercises that involve bending. Here is a great exercise to develop a horse’s self-carriage at the trot from Horse Magazine:

Cavaletti Exercise - Canter

Last but not least, utilizing cavalettis to enhance the horse’s canter will reap many benefits. Canter practice can increase the horse’s ability to loosen and round their topline, as well as engage their hind end to generate more power. This simple canter exercise from Ros at Horse & Rider will help your horse do just that:

Cavalettis help ensure that horses use different muscle groups during training.  

They encourage them to lift their necks higher and farther outward, meanwhile lifting their backs and engaging their hind end more freely.

Optimize the effectiveness of your conditioning time by incorporating these simple exercises into your riding routine.

Do you use cavaletti? Share your tips below!

Get 4 easy DIY options to build your own horse Cavaletti at home, plus fun Cavaletti training exercises for the walk, trot and canter.


  1. Anna H.
    October 20, 2021 / 12:50 pm

    What about cavaletti exercises when lunging your horse?

  2. Terri Sidell
    January 21, 2022 / 8:24 pm

    Thank-you for posting the various cavaletti exercises!! I use cavaletti jumps for my dogs, to build endurance.

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