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Improving communication with the halt

Improving communication with the halt

I have found that giving myself and my students a clear target of where the halt should happen by really improves the preparation of the rider, communication to the horse, and then understanding between horse and rider. I like to set up “shoots” with poles and have the rider walk around to each shoot and halt in the center. At the halt their body should be in the middle of the length of the poles. This can be done at w/t/c as it trains the eye for how far back the command needs to be given and how clearly to achieve the halt in time at any gate. I have also found it helpful to be set up after a jump (at least a couple strides after). This gives the rider a focal point to ask for a halt after and helps train the horse to wait for direction from their rider after jumps. It’s also great practice for asking for the halt with just your seat! And rewarding to look down and see you got the halt within the shoot!