So, without more ado, I tell you the tale of the Cavalletti and why I adore it's use . For those who are just starting to introduce the Cavalletti's to their horse ;( I am going by the book here) "it is easier for the horse if he goes over the cavalletti without his rider. He is entirely free and natural since there is no weight to hinder his movements, no hand to pull him backwards and no spur to give him the wrong aid at the wrong moment." "- If you take time over the basic training and devote the greatest care to the easier exercises, you will later go further much more quickly."
Basically, I do believe all that Klimpke's teach in this little book called "Cavalletti". There is more to it than you may think...if the distances are incorrect you run the risk of some serious injury either because the horse trips and rolls the polls if they are not in stands..or as I read; "If, however cavalletti work is overdone, or if the placing of each single rail is not suited to the horse's natural rhythm and action, then there is the danger of serious injury.Muscles improve through exercise only when they are used appropriately to their position and their internal condition." it goes onto say how swelling and debility disturbances can occur in the muscles if done incorrectly.
So basically, my friends, knowing the correct distances and having another to help you see that your horse is not altering it's gate over the rails helps if you are not sure. I really don't want anyone to hurt their horse.
I took the advise of the author Reiner Klimpke and hand walked my mare over the 4- spaced for walking- ground polls that were in a row, for 10 minutes first, to supple her joints.Then I lunged her over a set of four single polls- above-for another 10 minutes in both directions before I went to lunging over the trotting Cavallettis I would later ride over in two point-below-. I have done cavallettis before with my sister many times..she has schooled me about my balance and seat and hands.When I first started, we would do 2 singles polls places on a 20 meter circle like the diagram above but with only 2 polls across from each other. I would post the trot for 3 strides, then place my hands on her neck for balance and in two point allow my mare to look for the rail and go over it..again to a posting trot for about 3-4 strides while I looked ahead 5 meters always to the next section of track, then go to two point balance over the rail again. it was very good to do for me as I had to think ahead 5 to 10 meters always and never looking directly at the poll as we went over it but ahead 5-10 meters. My sister taught me that.."Where you look ahead to is where you want the horse to be or go." It correctly positions your upper body when you do this.