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Caitlin Allen
PS Squad
The elusive half halt

The elusive half halt

I’ve been riding for 10+ years and it took me an embarrassing amount of time to somewhat understand how to half halt and what the heck it even is. Its exactly what it is, a “half” of a halt, not a full halt, but tells the horse “hey lets rebalance, prepare for the next movement, and stay steady in the rhythm” (at least thats how I simplify it in my mind!). It helps the horse prepare for not only downward transitions, but upward transitions, jumps, and just about anything you can think of. Another more simple way of thinking of a half halt is its actually a “half go” aid or its putting together the energy, rhythm, and contact into one little package. Riders are doing tons of little half halts that you can’t even see. Personally, I struggled with not pulling back when half halting and actually using my body. It took me forever to use my hands in a forward driving way (think pushing a cart or wheelbarrow!) and squeezing the reins like a sponge. Using your core and back are the biggest here, and The Scales of Training Workbook here breaks down the aids you apply wonderfully. The diagram shows a simple exercise to introduce yourself or horse to half halts, or just to tune yourself up and make sure you’re half halting correctly!