The mysterious half halt, causes and effects. - Page 4

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The mysterious half halt, causes and effects.

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    07-18-2011, 01:22 AM
Originally Posted by Eliz    
*scratches head*

Spyder, did you invent dressage or something??

Seriously, great info!

No I love to torture people. Hahahaha

If I got you to think about what you are doing then I accomplished what I wanted.

So the next time someone suggests in a post to just give them a half halt remember that the odds are that the person receiving the information probably doesn't really know what they are being asked to do.

In short you are changing the dynamics of the striding of the hind legs so that a change of direction/correction of balance can be accomplished.
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    07-18-2011, 01:43 AM
Originally Posted by Spyder    
...So the term cycle of energy going from the hind end through the back to the poll and to the hand is in fact the half halt affecting the swing to the hind leg so that the forward thrust energy is converted to upward support energy...
Ummm...that is a visualization thing, not reality. There is no energy going in a cycle from the hindquarters thru the back, thru the poll and back into your hand.

Power from the horse's rear can be turned into forward motion or weight support, or not used at all. The power never goes in a cycle. Power from the front can likewise turn into forward motion (inefficiently), weight support, or not be used.

Maximum efficiency in moving the horse comes when the hind end provides thrust, and the front end supports weight (lift), both to the maximum extant possible.

At slower speeds, the horse can mix and match as it desires, but it may not do so efficiently. When the front end stretches out and tries to pull forward while the rear end is resting, the horse becomes strung out. With training, the horse learns the pressure on the bit means to stretch out less with his front end, while using his rear for more thrust. Carried a bit further, he'll shift some of his weight to the rear, which would limit his acceleration - but you don't do half-halts to accelerate, so that is OK.

For some reason, I don't think that explanation will satisfy many...
    07-18-2011, 03:12 AM
Very interesting . That is good to know Spyder, thank you.
    07-18-2011, 09:27 AM
Thanks Spyder! You definitely got me thinking! I've heard some ridiculous theories on how to half halt, which don't accomplish anything but throw the horse's balance off to one side, creating a moment of decreased speed while the horse catches himself (from a "trainer.")

But I want to know, what exactly is the right timing in the stride then? When is the moment you begin the aid?
    07-18-2011, 09:51 AM
Originally Posted by Shasta1981    
Thanks Spyder! You definitely got me thinking! I've heard some ridiculous theories on how to half halt, which don't accomplish anything but throw the horse's balance off to one side, creating a moment of decreased speed while the horse catches himself (from a "trainer.")

But I want to know, what exactly is the right timing in the stride then? When is the moment you begin the aid?

A lot will depend on the timing of the gait being "adjusted" but we must always think that a half halt given on the left side influences the right side of the horse.

Since we cannot influence the leg that is grounded we are aiming to influence that leg that will be taking immediate flight after pushing off from the ground.

For example.

The horse is traveling in a straight line at a trot and you want to turn left. Then what you take into consideration is that the right side of the horse ( right legs--front and back) will have to take a longer side being on the outside of the arc. The left side needs to take a shorter stride and be a bit more supportive to prevent the horse from falling in. So not only must the rider take into consideration the timing of the half halt but the strength of it as well. The stronger the half halt the more you are asking the horse to support itself. You must also take into consideration the degree of the turn to be asked.

So you must catch the diagonal pair ( left front--right back)that has just left the ground. If the horse is supple enough the half halt along with the riders inside leg sould suffice to accomplish the turn so the horse does not fall inward. The amount of release of rein that follows the half halt will determine the length of stride and if the start of turn goes correctly then only minimal half halts will be necessary to maintain that turn until it is completed.

So the timing depends on a lot of factors and again the reason why so many riders that are told over and over to just half halt the horse miss it most of the time.

This is the real reason why it is call the mysterious but in fact it is a very straight forward action.
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    07-18-2011, 09:25 PM
OK so who wants to take this to the next level??????????
    07-18-2011, 09:44 PM
I would certainly be interested in reading more. This is fascinating to me .
    07-18-2011, 09:56 PM
Great thread Spyder. I love watching Dressage but know absolutely nothing about it. I'm with smrobs, I'd definitely read more.

Always good to gain knowledge from different disciplines. I can see how I could put this into practice as general body control training for my western horses. Thanks for the intellectual read
    07-18-2011, 10:36 PM
OK so here is your next question to solve.

Knowing what you know either from your own experience of from what has already been posted how do you relate the half halt to gaining suspension which is the doorway to collection.

For this exercise we will assume the horse is comfortable moving forward in compliance with the riders aids and there is no resistance in the poll or mouth. It will have achieve a small degree of suppleness and flexibility.

But the trot is flat and uninteresting.
    07-18-2011, 11:35 PM
Woohoo! More spyder-isms! =)

Would it relate by way of containment of the energy within the half halt, coupled with the shortened stride which directs the movement up instead of out?

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