Halting without using the reins - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-24-2011, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Halting without using the reins

What is the best way to teach your horse how to halt *right when asked* while riding without using the reins? I hear a lot of different things, but I want to know what would be the most affective way to get her to stop. Also, what exactly is a half halt? And how is it different from a regular halt?
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-24-2011, 12:19 PM
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A half halt is just pressure and release, you squeeze gently and release almost straight away. It's not meant to halt the horse but slow them down.

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post #3 of 5 Old 05-24-2011, 12:52 PM
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It will take some time but it depends on what signal you want to use for her to stop (body cues like seat & leg pressure or voice commands such as "whoa")
If using a body command, first you have to be very aware of your own movements & position before trying to teach her something.

For example, if you want her to stop by leaning slightly back & pushing your heels & tailbone downward (you can push your toes & legs forward as well if that helps) you would want to give her these signals every time before you pull on the reins and ask for a stop.
Same goes for if you want her to stop at "whoa" you say "whoa", wait a second & then pull, this way she will associate the shift in position/voice command with the pull on the reins & eventually she will halt before you even touch the reins.
It does take time though, depending on your horse.
I rode an old QH mare once that was really well trained at it. All i had to do was push my heels down and sit back & she slowed/stopped instantly.

You can practice this at a backup as well if you dont want to keep walking forward, stopping, walking, stopping ;)

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post #4 of 5 Old 05-25-2011, 06:59 AM
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You will need your reins for the first while (obviously) until the horse gets the hang of responding to your seat.

This is just the way I taught my one mare to (and am working on the second)...When you want the horse to stop, sit directly on your seatbones. Put all your weight into your seat, lean back just a little, and I found it also helps to sink your heels kind of down and out.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-26-2011, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lis View Post
A half halt is just pressure and release, you squeeze gently and release almost straight away. It's not meant to halt the horse but slow them down.
True half-halts can be used to slow a horse down and steady them, but they have WAY more uses than that. A half-halt is a pre-command, so it lets the horse know something is coming up. It can be used for downward transitions, AND upwards, and it can be used before you signal for about any command.

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