The half halt is possibly one of the most important tools riders have when communicating with their horses. It is also probably the most under-utilized! And this is particularly true where novice riders are concerned.
As a trainer, I believe that if you can become more conscious of how and when you are using your half halt, you can begin improving it with every single ride going forwards.
I have a free resource HERE for you to use while you ride to really begin doing this. Or just pop your details in below and I’ll send it straight to you :)
Why do we use the Half Halt?
The half halt can be used for a couple of different reasons;
- Balancing or ‘steadying’ your horse
- Letting your horse know or indicating to your horse that something is about to be asked of him
- Bringing your horse’s attention back to you and what you are asking him
It is a vitally important movement that should precede all other movements and tasks. From transitions to bending, from jumping to halting
What becomes confusing about this aid is the fact that the word ‘halt’ is in its name… It really has nothing to do with halting. Rather it has everything to do with focusing and regrouping you and your horse. This applies to both before each new question and throughout the movement itself.
In fact, I am a fan of renaming this powerful aid “Let’s pause and regroup a moment”…
How Long to Ask with the Half Halt?
The aid itself, when applied, should only be used for a split second and then released. An easy way to think of this is ‘one foot fall’ of your horse within each stride. You can use multiple half halts one after the other to achieve what you want.
However, it is vital to release each one immediately. Hold and then release. Repeated. Simply ‘holding’ will result in your horse learning to lock himself against you and become heavy in your hand.
I have more detailed free training, articles, and Daily Strides Podcast episodes listed below to help you with this:-
And My Half Halt Will Improve?
Once you have the basic foundation of a good quality half halting in place, you can begin to use this throughout each and every interaction with your horse. From groundwork to lunging, and from long-lining to riding. By performing this simple movement correctly throughout your ride, you will experience
- More improved feel in the saddle throughout the ride
- A more successful outcome for each ride due to increased focus (both horse and rider)
- A better basic position for you to communicate your aids more successfully with your horse
- More accurate transitions
- Better quality transitions (halt, walk, trot, and canter)
- The ability to transition within the gait itself (lengthening and shortening)
The “let’s pause and regroup” is truly a game-changer in your riding and I am looking forward to helping you both understand and ride better ones going forward.
Make sure to get the free resource to use next time you’re in the saddle HERE
Additional Resources To Help Equestrians:-
- Free Guided Audio Training to Use as Your Ride to Improve Your Half Halt
- Free Planner for Riders; One Exercise Multiple Ways
- Join Connection; The Online Membership for Equestrians
- Daily Strides Premium Newsletter
- Lunging for Riding
- Groundwork For Riding
- Connect in the Mindset & Fitness for Equestrians Private Group
- Connect in the Virtual Stable Lounge Private Group