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How to Make Cavaletti Jumps

By Jeanne Grunert

L. Willinger/Lifesize/Getty Images

Cavaletti jumps are low poles suspended on X or box-shaped standards. They range in height from 4 inches to a maximum of 24 inches above the ground. Cavaletti are used to help horses improve their balance and improve their length of stride. Many trainers use cavaletti to help riders improve their seat, balance and timing in preparation for jumping higher fences. You can make your own cavalleti using standard materials found at any hardware store.

Make Cavaletti Jumps

Step 1

Measure the wood. Use the tape measure and mark off four sections of equal length on the 4" x 4" x 8'. Make a pencil mark to note equal sections of 2 feet by 24 inches. Measure each piece a second time and correct for any measuring errors.

Step 2

Take each 24 inch section and mark the exact center of the piece with your pencil. Place one 24 inch section on top of another so that it forms an X. Trace the width of the wooden piece where the two sections cross. Cut halfway through the marked portion using the hand saw to make a notch. Use the rubber mallet to knock out the wooden piece. Fit the two pieces together to make sure they form an X with both pieces flush. Repeat with the other set of 24 inch pieces so that you have two X-shaped pieces when done.

Step 3

Use the rubber mallet to tap the pieces together so that they form a tight fit in the X. Drill a hole in the center with a power drill fitted with a 1/2" wood drill bit. Secure the pieces together with the 4 inch steel carriage bolt. Tighten the nuts and screws so that the X is sturdy and secure. Repeat until all four X shaped wooden pieces are assembled.

Step 4

Measure the ends of the remaining 8 foot 4 x 4 post and make a mark with your pencil at 3 and 3/4" from the end of the post. Set up the two X-shaped side pieces so that they are about 8 feet apart. Place the 8 foot post on the side arms of the X. Check to make sure the ends of the 8 foot posts are exactly flush with the ends of the wooden X supports and adjust the supports if necessary. Mark the X supports on the outside with the pencil so that you will know where to drill to connect the X support to the wooden post. Drill a hole into the X support and through the 8 foot post using the 1/2" wood drill bit. Screw the 8" steel carriage bolt through the X support and the wooden post. Tighten washer and nuts. Repeat on the other side for one fully assembled cavaletti.

Items you will need

  • 2 wood treated posts measuring 4" x 4" x 8'
  • 2 steel 4" carriage bolts with washers and nuts
  • 2 steel 8" carriage bolts with washers and nuts
  • Hand saw
  • Circular saw
  • Power drill with 1/2" wood bit
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • T-square
  • Rubber mallet or hammer with rubber head


  • 💡 You may want to ask someone to help you hold the cavaletti in place during final assembly.


  • Wear eye protection and always use care and caution when using power tools. Adults should supervise children around tools.

Photo Credits

  • L. Willinger/Lifesize/Getty Images


Jeanne Grunert has been a writer since 1990. Covering business, marketing, gardening and health topics, her work has appeared in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books, "Horse Illustrated" and many national publications. Grunert earned her Master of Arts in writing from Queens College and a Master of Science in direct and interactive marketing from New York University.