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Spyder 07-17-2011 09:53 PM

The mysterious half halt, causes and effects.
Most of us have heard this paryticulat cue/aid given to us by our trainers. We do what we think the coach wants and sometimes it works and sometime it doesn't. Of course if it doesn't work some will simply revert to a voice command of "whoa" or "easy" but the problem with that is that it does not do what the half halt was meant to do.

So why is that.

So lets hear what you think the PHYSICAL effects are supposed to be on the horse's body so they can comply with what you are asking from them.

smrobs 07-17-2011 09:56 PM

Subbing because I often see the term on here but am still a bit unclear on what it is and what it is supposed to do.

Looking forward to learning something new.

Chiilaa 07-17-2011 10:02 PM

Now I might be completely wrong, but I will have a go anyway.

The half-halt is meant to be a steadying of the horse, and collecting of the horse. The 'go forward' aids are applied, but so are the 'don't go forward' aids, so that instead of getting faster, the horse beings their hindquarters underneath them. It is also used as a "hey poneh, I am gonna ask you to do something in a second, is yew awake?".

Feel free to correct me :-)

kitten_Val 07-17-2011 10:11 PM

C'mon, folks! "Half halt" is just.... Half of the halt?

But seriously as far as I understand it's used to re-balance the horse. Basically when I half halt I catch the forward motion asking horse to go round instead of speeding up (yeah, yeah with nice head set coming in place too). Depending on horse's "education" you have to do just a very light one or quite pronounced. Although I have to say I'm not great at explaining either. :D

OT... My trainer calls riding round and on bit "lovely head set" sometime. Which is quite ironic (given often threads on how to get head set together with responses from experienced folks), but very true, because "lovely" won't be a case when the nose just tucked in...

Shasta1981 07-17-2011 10:12 PM

My understanding of it is that desired result would be for the horse to rebalance himself back onto the haunches so that he can push from back to front.

MyBoyPuck 07-17-2011 10:16 PM

I think of the half halt as momentarily compressing the horse like a bow. (meaning bow and arrow) By asking for more impulsion from behind while shutting the door in front, the energy has nowhere to go but up, hence the raised back aka bow.

As to the mechanics, it's become more of an overall complete movement for me, but if I had to break it into parts, I'd say stilling my seat and closing my hand on the outside rein pauses the legs front legs. At the same time asking for more impulsion by closing my legs, brings the hind legs forward at that same time. The result being the hind legs are now more under the body since the front legs didn't go as far due to the halted stride. Again back has nowhere to go but up.

Spyder 07-17-2011 10:16 PM


Originally Posted by Chiilaa (Post 1100590)
the horse beings their hindquarters underneath them.

Feel free to correct me :-)

Starting along the right path but you need to "flesh out" your answer more as this is too general.

kitten_Val 07-17-2011 10:25 PM

OK, Spyder. So do you need an explanation how it changes the "motion" of the horse, or how it affects skeleton/muscles?

spirithorse8 07-17-2011 10:31 PM

Yes, I have always been told that the half halt is for balancing...

How it is accomplished is actually personal, as my clinician tells me.

My half halt is accomplished by simply alternating the tightening and releasing of the thigh muscles. Of course I begin the schooling with gentle rein aids in conjunction with the thighs. Yes, it seems to work, because the horse will engage the hindquarter more...the rider can feel it happen.

Spyder 07-17-2011 10:33 PM


Originally Posted by kitten_Val (Post 1100618)
OK, Spyder. So do you need an explanation how it changes the "motion" of the horse,

Starting to think along the right path.

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