Half Pass

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Half Pass

This is a discussion on Half Pass within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        04-14-2014, 01:00 AM
    Half Pass

    The other day my trainer had me try for a few steps of half pass. I had never done that movement before and was only successful for about two strides. Which is totally ok since I am just beginning to learn this. I'm a bit confused on exactly what a half pass is supposed to be. My trainer explained it as doing a leg yield while the horse is bent in the direction it is going. When I set the horse up to do the half pass, I came out of the corner riding shoulder in and asked the horse to step over. What I'm a bit confused on is if the horse should be doing shoulder in while moving forward and sideways or should the horse be simply bent slightly in the direction it is going while moving forward and sideways? I can feel the change in the horse's body and steps when I'm riding shoulder in or leg yielding. Each movement feels slightly different. Which feeling should it be similar to when I do half pass, so that I know I'm doing it correctly? I hope I didn't confuse everyone with my question. It's not explained all that well. I couldn't figure out how to phrase it. Sorry!
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        04-14-2014, 01:01 PM
    First do you know all the lateral exercises (si/renvers/travers)? If you know travers, then just put poles (or draw a line on the long diagonal) and rider travers on that line). The horse flexes slightly in the direction of movement, the horse is bent round the inside leg. I think inside leg=forward, outside leg placement=sideways, if the horse loses energy rider forward/restart.

    It is NOT just leg yield with the opposite flexion, the horse is more bended throughout the body (think about travers on the long side wall).

    You are correct to start from shoulder in/shoulder fore...then just think travers on the diagonal line. Shoulders are still slightly in advance (we often see them hugely in advance in competitions...incorrectly).

    Hope that helps.
        04-14-2014, 01:26 PM
    I am familiar with renvers/travers. I haven't done a much work on them with this horse,but when I asked her to step over from shoulder in, I asked her to bring her haunches around like I would in travers as she stepped over. That's where I wasn't sure if I was correct. I know I lost it after a few strides because my trainer started telling me to push her haunches over because they were behind the movement and I felt like I was only pushing her rib cage over. Thanks for the tips! I'll try drawing a line on the diagonal when I ride her this week to help guide me. Hopefully I can get more than two steps as we keep practicing. :)
        04-14-2014, 04:03 PM
    Before starting half pass (traversal), have clarity of reactions in shoulder fore/shoulder in/renvers (which given control of the shoulders) and then travers (which give control of the haunches.

    It is better to lose the quarters a little than have them lead (although you have to play with what is too little/what is too much/and what is 'just right'). Likely you lost the quarters because of too much inside rein.

    Where are you legs (in positioning)? Are you pulsing the aids? Perhaps support the leg with a touch of the whip?
        04-14-2014, 11:18 PM
    I was practicing on the diagonal F X H. As I came through the turn from A to F, I kept my inside leg quiet but supporting at the girth so that she'd bend around my leg. As her I felt her rib cage push into my outside leg, I asked her to to step her haunches over by slightly shifting my leg back and giving a light squeeze with my calf. I did this every time I felt her rib cage swing into my outside leg. I try to think of my leg as breathing. Only giving a light squeeze as a request and then relaxing. Is this correct?
        04-15-2014, 01:44 AM
    Do NOT do the entire diagonal; that is a huge requirement. Go from wall to x, or from center to a diagonal point (long diagonal line, not short which is an fei movement).
    Bagheera likes this.
        04-15-2014, 09:09 PM
    I wasn't actually expecting to get more than a handful of steps at the beginning and we were only practicing at the walk, so I didn't really think about how difficult it would be to go through the entire diagonal. My trainer was pretty caught up in the moment and trying yo help me as we were practicing as well, otherwise I don't think she'd have had us continue past x. I'll make sure I only try for a few steps heading towards x when I ride on my own tomorrow. I'll be sure to practice my renvers and travers before I try for half pass. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for all your help so far. I really appreciate it. :)
        04-16-2014, 10:24 PM
    So I tried for a few steps of half pass again today and I followed your advice. I only asked for it on half the diagonal. I tried to be softer on my inside rein and more supportive on the outside rein. I managed about three consecutive steps every time I asked for it. I still kept losing her back end. Practice makes perfect though and we'll get it down eventually. :)
        04-16-2014, 10:51 PM
    3 steps is a good start, it would be crazy to expect much more than that to start with, especially with a rider that is learning the movement too.
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    Allison Finch and Bagheera like this.
        04-16-2014, 11:08 PM
    That's what I figure. A few months from now we'll have it down pat and will be ready to try it for a few steps at the trot. :)

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