Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
There is a difference between a steady and consistent outside rein, and holding it. You cannot expect a horse to be working with you if you hold that chunk of metal or nose pad straight and firm.
You have to learn to be "elastic" and go with the movement. I am not talking about hands up and down, back and forth, as this should come from a straight but relaxed shoulder, not from the wrist.
As for squeezing for every stride, I don't, because if you are elastic and time your half halts and engage the horse, you shouldn't need to niggle your horse in to the bit.
It would cause issues with straightness, and probably give him a shaky head.
You say from and older thread that he is fine on a longer rein, but if you try and shorten he throws his head. This may be because he finds it more comfortable to drop with rein movement as he has something to play with rather than something solid, but if you shorten your reins you are putting a whole load more pressure in his mouth and a constant nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag.
Do you have any dressage trainers that can help? Half halts are all about timing, correct timing and how to best prepare your horse and communicate with him.