Cavaletti Blocks on the Cheap!

Anything attached to the equestrian world is going to cost you money, but sometimes with a little creativity alternative solutions present themselves.

This is such a case!

In shopping for ground pole risers (cavaletties) for use with working equitation obstacles, I can not say that i was impressed with either the style or the price of those offered.

The average seemed to average about $40 for a pair, and really all I needed was something simple to raise a ground pole off the arena floor. Simple, right?

I also like to do things a little outside the box, so naturally looked for alternatives. Alas, a possible solution: Bed Risers!

There were several colors, heights, and options available (even those with usb chargers built in!).

Working Equitation rules suggest poles be at least 12in off the ground, though no such bed risers exist that would work well, and frankly, I have yet to see such at any competition!

I did opt for the SALT™ Extra Tall Bed Lifts in Black from Bed Bath & Beyond.
They measure 8in from top to bottom (close enough) and at $14.99, if they did not work, I was certainly not out much.

My first concern was strength.
Rated at 300lb each, holding a simple ground pole would be no problem.

My ground poles are perfectly round, jump poles actually, so notching the top was the next step, to prevent rolling.

The Steps:

Mark Riser:

I started by creating a template so that each riser would be the same when finished.

I created a 4in circle (the diameter of my ground poles) and them measured up 1/2in from the bottom.
The template was cut out and traced (top) on opposing sides of each riser, using a standard pencil.

Grind Relief:

This can be accomplished several ways, depending on what you may have on-hand.

  • File
  • Jigsaw
  • Dremel
  • etc.

I opted to use a “sanding drum” attached to a drill press. Why?

  1. Because I have one
  2. The drill press is sturdy and stationary giving more control over the process.

I ground out each side of the riser slowly until the recessed portion met with the guidelines that I had previously traced.

Finished Riser:

The final product, now 7.5in tall is sturdy and secure enough to hold pretty much any ground/jump pole!

The grinding process did create a little “burring” of the edge, but is easily cleaned up using a knife or chisel on the cooled off PVC.

So for $30, I now have 4 sets of risers ready to go, and they are easily stack-able to storage when not in use!


Options & Afterthoughts:

I went with the black risers, purely because they go better with the course that they will be used for.
There is also WHITE version available: Honey-Can-Do STO-01006 Stackable Bed Risers, 4-Pack, White.
Pink more of your color? Well those are available on Amazon as well!

If you are concerned with the “beauty” of the cut out portion, it can easily be filled and painted (bondo, epoxy,…), but I did not see the need.

Sun: As these are meant to be used indoors, I doubt that there is any consideration taken for UV protection.
Over time, if left outdoors to the elements, they may discolor and become brittle, so store them when not in use 😉

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