Half Pass - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 04-17-2014, 10:29 AM
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Kyra Kirkland once told me the HP was like SI on the diagnol - does that help? It helped me.

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post #12 of 18 Old 04-17-2014, 11:58 AM
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Keep in mind that it is far easier for the horse to learn lateral movements such as HP in trot - pairs of legs moving is far less complex than 4 legs moving separately as in walk. Also be super careful as it is SO easy to ruin a walk!!!
My 3 year old has an enormous but very good quality walk. I know already that I'm bit going to be able to do much in walk as he will probably start going lateral on me.
Try it at trot :) You may be surprised and find it easier
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post #13 of 18 Old 04-17-2014, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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My own horse Bagheera, who passed away last year, had his walk ruined long before I owned him. He paced at the walk. I'd never seen a Thoroughbred pace at the walk until I met him. It was so weird and impossible to fix. I try to be really diligent about making sure the horse is always moving honestly forward when I'm doing anything at the walk because I'm afraid I'll ruin a horse's walk. I'll try a few steps at a trot on Saturday and see how we do. I'll stop asking for steps at the walk. I don't want to teach her to pace. I'd hate myself if I did by accident.

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post #14 of 18 Old 04-18-2014, 10:59 AM
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Work in walk (circles/lateral work) per se does not destroy the walk, and the allows a rider time to think more slowly. It IS easier for the rider too employ aids/time them at the walk. And there is a difference between teaching the rider and training the horse. Many think collecting the walk is just shortening it rather than folding the hind legs correctly through half halts; so they hold/horse slows rather than hind legs folding/they drive to a quicker pace/voila lateral. It IS the last gait to be collected, it IS collected through lateral work (each exercise gathers the horse in a different way--inside hind/outside hind/straightening).

I teach, and do, a LOT of work in walk esp with lateral work: si/t/r on circles as well as straight ahead; not only does it not make the walk lateral, it like slows the tempo.

Walk IS a lateral progression (i.e. right hind/right fore/lh/lf), it becomes lateral when the forehand is restrained and the tempo is hustled/too quick. It is not necessarily easier for the horse; the problems with tempo/constraint are likely still going to be there as well....less problematic to the purity of the gait? Not necessarily.

So IF a horse is lateral, how to repair it? The most used correction is to put th horse to shoulder in. In most horses gaining control of the diagonal hh will slow it. IF the does not work, then the rider must go to counted walk; sometimes one STEP at a time. But it can be repaired. THE most problematic cause is the fact that riders hold against the horse and create a compressed/low outline. It is also the reason that first comes exercises like a turn on the haunches comes before pirouettes.

Big walks are a good thing in young horses are a good thing allow for relaxation and swinging. Riders MUST (must) allow the horse to bascule and yet be up and VERY open. Flexion longitudinally comes over time. Lots of work in free walk on loose and then long reins, and maintaining the bascules upon going back to working walk/medium walk. IF the horse starts to 'nod' when there is working/medium/collected walk the bascule has been blocked and the half halts have not appropriately folded the hindlegs/kept the arching out to the hand.

I have many horses brought to me to repair the pacing, and for most the 'fix' is fairly easy, then it is about teaching how to sustain the purity to the rider. THE worst case I saw created was by a big name who was going to 'make' a tense horse stand still with a stiff rider, it was ugly. I got the horse to repair; and s.i. was ineffective. It took counted walk (takes 15 minutes to tour the arena once with one step/hh/another step/hh---and you have a long time to mentally hate the teacher who caused the problem believe me). The stiff rider could sustain the quality of walk then over time and with guidance.

Learning to do a movement IS difficult, it takes a lot of experimentation with the aids (seat or leg before hand or hand before leg or etc). And training a horse means the rider MUST have clear placement and TIMING of the aids. So, it is sort of green on green. But walk gives you time to think...just remember the horse needs to bascule (telescope the head/neck in time with the walk). As long as that is allowed the horse will not pace.
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post #15 of 18 Old 04-18-2014, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Bagheera View Post
My trainer explained it as doing a leg yield while the horse is bent in the direction it is going.
Run swiftly and in the complete opposite direction of this person if your goal is to learn dressage.

Read very carefully the posts by equitate as they are very technically correct in this issue.

A half pass is not, never was and won't ever be even remotely similar to a leg yield in aids, execution or difficulty.

Until the horse and rider have a thorough understanding of SI, TV, RV, a turn on the haunches and even a little counter shoulder in, the half pass should not be introduced.
Once these concepts are in place, a half pass is very simple. It is only a travers on a diagonal line.

Good luck!
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post #16 of 18 Old 04-18-2014, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I never tried to fix Bagheera's pacing because he was in his 20's when I owned him and had been pacing pretty much all his life. He was already pacing when I first met him. So back in 2000. Bagheera paced on his own, not just with a rider. That was his normal walk. Can you fix it if it is that ingrained in a horse?

That's why I was confused because I've seen the half pass ridden several times and its never looked very similar to the leg yield. I don't think she explained it to me very well. I know I wasn't asking right for it either because the horse's haunches started trailing, and my trainer kept telling me to push her haunches over. I have a lesson tomorrow, I'll ask her to explain it again and to show me how to do it. Sometimes it's easier for me if she gets on the horse and shows me step by step what I need to do.

I've been messed around with in the hunter/jumper industry enough that I learned to identify who can actually help me and who is full of crap. I learned what to look for the hard way. It was a lot of trial and error. This trainer can maybe take me to fourth level. No further. We both know that. Plus we have a really good rapport that I know I could call her out on something and she could do the same with me.

Equitate, your explanations have really helped. Thank you so much. I really found your tip of drawing a line to be very helpful. We'll keep practicing. I'll get there eventually. I'm in no rush. :)

Strength is not defined by physical ability. It is determined by your actions and the compassion of your soul.
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post #17 of 18 Old 04-18-2014, 10:51 PM
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If the fundamentals for a half pass are fuzzy, fourth level is a pipe dream. The first thing I say when beginning the HP with a student is NOT to ride it like a LY. Anyone explaining it the contrary does not have the basic understanding to correctly train past first or second level :( unfortunately.
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post #18 of 18 Old 04-19-2014, 12:18 AM
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Horses learn all their lives, yes things can be changed.

The shoulder are slightly in advance of the quarters in HP (put the poles out and ride travers and see what happens).

Make sure the horse can do si/renvers and lastly travers on a straight line before doing this on a diagonal line.
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