"...to re-balance or slightly slow the horse...he starts to slow down and get on his hind end because he's slowing and then you say not to stop...really sitting deep and taking feel of the reins or....slow down, almost stop, nope, walk forward...use before and after transitions...
" - from the video linked above
"There is one generic, “over-the-counter” half halt. It consists of the momentary closure of seat, legs, and hands.
"The half-halt is a specific riding aid given by an equestrian to his horse, in which the driving aids and restraining aids are applied in quick succession. It is sometimes thought of as an "almost halt," asking the horse to prepare to halt in balance, before pushing it onward to continue in its gait. The main purpose of the half-halt is to rebalance the horse, asking it to carry its weight slightly more on his hindquarters and less on its forehand.
" - Wiki
"For me a half-halt rebalances the horse; therefore, any action by the rider that rebalances the horse is a half-halt. This could be as simple as taking a deep breath if your horse responds. Another way to look at a half-halt is that it is half of a halt. You don’t want the horse to stop, but you want him to act as if he might stop so that he can get his hindquarters underneath him and reorganize his balance.
As I said, I have never ridden a horse trained to do a half-halt. Although if ANY action that helps the horse to regain balance is a half-halt, then I do. But that definition is so broad that it can cover leaning forward, and thus to me becomes meaningless. I specified an English half-halt because English riding tends to have more defined terms.
From the last link: "When ridden correctly half-halts prepare the horse for an action: stopping, going, turning, jumping a transition within the gait or simply to listen a little more carefully to what is going to happen next. I think of it as the “and” in the sentence, “and walk, and trot, and canter” etc. It lets the horse know something is going to happen, to prepare for that action and prepare to perform the action that is going to be requested.
I never do these. I do not ride where I need my horse to do a specific transition at an exact point in space. For example, on my last ride, our trot to canter transitions went thus: We trotted briskly with me in two point. I sat down without asking him to slow. Bandit has learned by experience that this means I'm about to ask for a canter and he sees no reason to wait, so I sat and he transitioned to a canter. Our walk-canter transitions consisted of my leaning forward and kissing loudly, sometimes with a little squeeze or a "Come on!" But if he needs an extra stride at the slower gait to make it work, that is his business. Not mine.
We spend a lot of time threading our way between cactus. If I spot one I think he missed, I need a turn ASAP and I just ask for one. I don't have the reason or the time to say, "We are about to change directions. Rebalance, ready, set, GO!
From the last link: "When we fail to give the horse a signal that something is going to happen we surprise him and create tension and stiffness.
Not in any horse I've ever ridden. Tension, in my experience, comes from expecting instant obedience from a horse when the horse sees no reason for it. The ranch horses I've ridden are the same way. When you need a canter, ask. When the horse can give it, he will. And since the ground is rarely level and rarely smooth, they are expected to deal with their own balance. My job is to stay out of their way. That approach is certainly not universal in western riding
. But a little jiggle of the reins on a nervous horse to say, "Hey, I'm here, we'll deal with this as a team!
" is not really a "half-halt". Neither is taking a deep breath, or sitting up straight or leaning forward. If the horse is rushing somewhere, I tell them, "No, wrong answer, try again
" - which is not a half-halt.
If you apply a quick succession of "Driving aids" and "restraining aids" on my of my horses, they'll get upset and expect you to decide WHICH one you want. If you did both at the same time, they'd think you were stupid. They simply are not trained to do a half-halt.