Half-Pass? I'm Confused :)
   

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Half-Pass? I'm Confused :)

This is a discussion on Half-Pass? I'm Confused :) within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Half pass on three or four tracks
  • Performing half pass

 
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    09-02-2009, 10:17 PM
  #1
Yearling
Half-Pass? I'm Confused :)

So I've never done a half-pass and am a little confused. So your horse is supposed to be bend in the direction that you are going, but they still go that way? I'm very confused, actually. I've heard that in a magazine, from many people, and on the internet so I assume it's correct? I'm just wondering: how do you get your horse to bend in the direction you are going, but still get them to move forward and over without bending them in the opposite direction? Anyone want to clear this up for me?
     
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    09-02-2009, 10:51 PM
  #2
Trained
A half pass is basically hanches-in traveling on a diagonal. If you don't know how to do haunches in, start there to start developing the necessary muscles for a correct half pass.
     
    09-03-2009, 12:27 AM
  #3
Trained
Before you even think about riding a travers (haunches-in), you first need to develop a proper straight leg yield and be able to do counter changes (aka "zig-zag") without losing your rhythm, suppleness and keeping a good contact. Then you need to teach your horse about shoulder fore and shoulder in where the haunches travel on a striahgt line (legs not crossing) and the forehand bends around your inside leg to the inside of the arena (the front legs will cross). The dergee of this bend to the inside determines how many tracks your horse is on and thus whether you are doing a shoulder fore, school shoulder in or true shoulder in. If there are 4 tracks with the order of legs being outside hind-outside fore-inside hind-inside for then you are a shoulder fore. With only three tracks visible (inside hind covered by outside fore) you are in a school shoulder in and finally another 4 tracks (outside hind-inside hind-outside fore-inside fore) you are in true shoulder in. Keep in mind also that this movement requires the neck to becoming straight out of the shoulders! The horse should not jack-knife and only neck bend.
Once you have your shoulder-in figured out then you can start to school travers. In this movement the forelegs travel on a straight line (do not cross) and the quarters of the horse bend around an inside leg. The goal is again to work up to being able to maintain a 4 track (ouside fore-inside fore-outside hind-inside hind) travers. Before your horse can do a 4 track travers easily, even a very shallow half pass is not possible.
To change your travers to a half pass, ride on a diagonal line and perform a travers so the horse is parallel to the wall (the haunches should not "lead"). The horse's forehand should be kept on the diagonal line, while the haunches bend around to the dergee in which the body is nearly parallel to the long wall. In the steep half passes (K-B or even K-R) performed in upper level classes, the horse's haunches are bent around to the point where performed as a travers the horse would be at a 60-70 degree angle from the wall.
Good luck! And a website with some very good illustrations ::: Sustainable Dressage - Collection & Its Evasions - Lateral Movements & Their Use :::
     
    09-04-2009, 06:13 PM
  #4
Yearling
Thanks so much for the help! The website was really helpful, too. I bookmarked it for further reading :). I'm not planning on riding a half-pass or haunches-in/travers anytime soon, but it's still good to know this stuff :). Thumper's still learning about leg-yielding and shoulder-in. Also, I've heard that you don't want to do a lot of lateral work with a horse because it can be detrimental to their health? Not sure if that's true or not- could someone clear that up too? LOL I have so many questions.
     
    09-04-2009, 07:44 PM
  #5
Trained
Before the horse is 4 or 4.5 years old it can be really hard on their joints like anything because the joints haven't closed yet.
And again, like anything else, as long as the horse is conditioned and strengthened for it lateral work is like any other exercise, it can be detrimental if performed too soon or incorrectly.
Keep in mind also that until the horse's muscles have become suppler and stronger, any sideways movement is quite difficult. So be patient when teaching it.

Good luck!
     
    09-04-2009, 08:29 PM
  #6
Yearling
Okay, that makes sense about the ages. I had heard something about how lateral work can damage their health or whatever but I wasn't completely sure what, and I was wondering if it was so bad, why would people school lateral work at all? Yeah, I can see schooling lateral movements when a horse is too young or not strong enough. By the way, good luck with applying to ride with Christoph Hess :). LOL I would be psyched even to apply! Is it a clinic?
     
    09-04-2009, 10:20 PM
  #7
Trained
It's more of a symposium I guess. He is basically the young horse guru, the FEI young horse tests were essentially written by him.
I'm hoping to just get some reasonable guidelines from him about what I should be working on with my horse and get an assessment on his potential for upper levels.
Thanks! I've been talking to the organizers and selection comittee for months about getting in so hopefully that all pays off :P
     
    09-11-2009, 01:29 AM
  #8
Foal
Anebel - where do you get this information: "Before you even think about riding a travers (haunches-in), you first need to develop a proper straight leg yield and be able to do counter changes (aka "zig-zag") without losing your rhythm, suppleness and keeping a good contact."
     
    09-11-2009, 07:41 PM
  #9
Trained
From experience and reading lots of dressage training books and websites/articles. It is really tough for a horse to learn to go sideways, it is nearly impossible to take a horse out of the feild and ask it to go sideways while bending, so we have to gradually introduce these concepts, allow the horse to understand the aids and build the necessary muscle.
By starting with the leg yeild, we teach the horse to go sideways. By doing counter changes in the leg yeild, we ensure the horse is not falling through any aid and understands the purpose and means of going sideways. Then the shoulder-fore teaches the horse to stay in a bend while taking sideways steps, then we increase the angle as the horse gains understanding and muscle to end up in a shoulder in and from here we can introduce the travers. Although the horse has the same shape in the shoulder in and travers, just in a different orientation, it is beneficial to teach the shoulder in first because it is easier to maintain control over the shoulders and teach the horse about the outside aid.
     
    09-12-2009, 01:06 AM
  #10
Foal
Anebel - I think you have described the technicalities of the half-pass beautifully. People do need live coaching with this - it is really difficult to coach this over the web. If people are not developing the carrying capacity of the hind quarters, they could really sacrifice the purity of the gait. You must maintain collection, straightness, and impulsion even in the lateral movements. In addition, it is really easy to get off-center when riding lateral movements. If the horse shows signs of losing any of these basics, or especially if he takes uneven steps, then they are red flags for serious problems.
     

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