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Need tips for keeping a collected canter and half halting
Hi! I take lessons once a week, and need help keeping the mare I ride at a collected canter. Apparently she likes stretching out when she canters. My instructor tells me to pull in and release my right reign to slow her, and she usually will slow completely to a trot. She usually just ignores half-halts. When my instructor tells me to do half-halts, she tells me to "use my stomach." Hopefully I am doing it right (a brief description on the proper way to do the half-halt would be nice.) Any other tips on keeping her at a collected canter would be nice. Thanks!
This is confusing.
You do this on the right rein no matter what direction you are traveling ?
Oh, sorry, I'm usually on the left lead, so I'm sort of used to her saying that to me, but in the other direction I do use my left hand.
Remember that true collection always comes from behind, the idea also applies to the half halt. When you are asking for a collection, some people make the mistake of slowing their horse down and fussing with their head when in fact to get a good collection from the get-go you need to move your horse forward. Riding your horse from back to front is how you should ride any and all horses - don't fuss with her neck first, but ask her to move forward. Your aim is not to go faster but to get more impulsion from her hind end into your canter, from there the reins follow, so don't pull her into the collection wait until her hind end is engaged forwards and you can feel her wanting to take the bit, you can play a little with your fingers. Usually what helps is when you lean back a little, but with your leg still asking her to move forward and support her in the canter and lift your inside rein, keeping your outside contact steady. Which I think is sort of what your instructor was saying...
Half-halts are to help reestablish your horse's balance, and in the similar instance you do the same thing as what i explained in the collection. You are not slowing down your horse, you are reestablishing balance. So don't lose your legs and slow him down - she will poke her nose down or up if you disengage. So use your whole body and lean back a little but keeping the same pressure on your legs.
Hmm... would be best if I could see some video of you on your current horse to get a better idea of what you're doing, how your horse moves and things you can do as well as what exactly your instructor is saying in hopes of making any sense as you can see I ended up ranting. lol :)
here is a really helpful article about half halts
Half-Halt How-To - HorseChannel.com
kpams, thanks a lot for the help!!!!! I don't have any current videos of me half-halting, but when I go to lessons this thursday I'll have my mom take the video camera. I do have a video of us cantering, though it's sort of old when I wasn't that good, but it will give you an idea of how she moves. This isn't the computer it's on, but as soon as my sister's off of that computer I'll post it.
@luvpalominos great! can't wait for the vid :)
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