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  1. #1
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    Default How to halt!

    Can someone please explain to me the halt? I am having trouble doing it correctly. Stretch up tall, outside leg back, inside leg at the birth, leg, outside rein back, inside rein up? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. It always either not square or my horse keeps walking. It's a mistake on my part that I need to figure out how to correct. Any suggestions?



  2. #2
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    Heck, if you're supposed to do all of that, I'm definitely doing it wrong.


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  3. #3
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    Jane Savoie's "Cross Train Your Horse"-Book One explains it simply and is worth owning.


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  4. #4
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    I have this problem too. My mare will halt from a walk with me just sitting tall and asking from my seat, but in trot she can be very strong and forward and totally ignores my gentle requests and makes me use heavy hands. I have tried letting her run into the wall based on someone's recommendation but she isn't learning from that.



  5. #5
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    Squashnmoon, your horse sounds to be on the forehand. Incorporate shoulder fore

    To halt, stop following with your lower body. Hold it still using your psoas, and close the upper thigh. It helps some to think of the tailbone as a shovel being pushed into the dirt, or installing T posts.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haleye5197 View Post
    Can someone please explain to me the halt? I am having trouble doing it correctly. Stretch up tall, outside leg back, inside leg at the birth, leg, outside rein back, inside rein up? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. It always either not square or my horse keeps walking. It's a mistake on my part that I need to figure out how to correct. Any suggestions?
    I have not the slightest clue what my horse would do with that set of aids. I'm envisioning some sort of haunches-in, probably with an inside head tilt given the raised inside rein.

    If I want to halt, I make sure the horse is balanced. If not, fix that before you think about halting. From a balanced gait, I stop following with my hips. Depending on the horse, I may also put some weight down into my heels, or give a pulse on both reins.


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  7. #7
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    Stop following with seat/hips then form a wall with your hands (ie, don't pull, just stop following there too). I mentally drop my weight deeper into the saddle too, as if I was going to drop through the horse's back, into the ground, and dig in like an anchor (similar to Petstorejunkie's analogy).

    Walking up to a wall or a fence makes this easy to teach -- the horse has to stop anyway so combining that with the signal from your body eventually puts two and two together for him/her.


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  8. #8
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    Ride forward straight , hands, body, both legs. Body stops moving forward, both legs stay on to maintain straight and forward, so the hind end comes under. Fingers close, briefly, then relax as forward ceases. Legs stay on , hips stay quiet, and your core stops, and holds as well.

    If the hind quarters swing, the leg on that side blocks. Hold for a few seconds, and then move forward. Initially don't ask for a lengthy halt.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


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  9. #9
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    I'm loving this thread. I'm wondering about a horse that raises its head when you ask for the halt, how would you as the rider ride through that, to prevent them from hollowing the back and lifting their head?



  10. #10
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    A BNT told me once to think about stepping into the halt. It's hard to explain but it helps a ton when I think about the downward transition that way, as still a forward movement.

    Hano, I would say that a you're hanging on the horses mouth too much.
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  11. #11
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    All sensible advice. My way is to take a deep breath and release it slowly. If the horse is on a contact and relatively straight, by doing the breath thing you stop moving and the horse stops moving. It can take a bit of time for a horse that is used to being pulled in the mouth to react but most will slow to some degree and you can build on that. Sometimes one that is used to being pulled around will respond really fast. Counting the beat (4 for a walk etc) and slowing that down in your mind (or out aloud) can help too. I find I have to ride from feel. Just remember, as a wise man said, "riding is simple, it just isn't easy"!


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBayHanoMare View Post
    I'm loving this thread. I'm wondering about a horse that raises its head when you ask for the halt, how would you as the rider ride through that, to prevent them from hollowing the back and lifting their head?
    Instead of closing your hand sharply, close them softly and giving forward.. Sort of vibrating your fingers, rather than an abrupt closure.

    This is something you need to feel your way through.

    Remember your body then the horse's body stop first.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superminion View Post
    A BNT told me once to think about stepping into the halt. It's hard to explain but it helps a ton when I think about the downward transition that way, as still a forward movement.

    Hano, I would say that a you're hanging on the horses mouth too much.
    I've heard that before as well, to think of the halt as a forward movement. Hard to put it into practice, though! I think you're hitting on a piece of my puzzle, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willesdon View Post
    Counting the beat (4 for a walk etc) and slowing that down in your mind (or out aloud) can help too. I find I have to ride from feel. Just remember, as a wise man said, "riding is simple, it just isn't easy"!
    I am going to try this, too--count the walk and then s l o w it down. An old trainer of mine said the same thing, and she'd add, "If it was easy, everyone would do this and do it well."

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    Instead of closing your hand sharply, close them softly and giving forward.. Sort of vibrating your fingers, rather than an abrupt closure.

    This is something you need to feel your way through.

    Remember your body then the horse's body stop first.
    I find that I have a hard time with "feeling" something--whether it's a particular leg or the softening/yielding to the bit. I will probably always need to work on developing it, so anything that I can try to feel my way through, I'll give it a go.

    Thank you for the insights and some things to try!



  14. #14
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    IMHO, first get the consistent halt before you worry about square.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBayHanoMare View Post
    I'm loving this thread. I'm wondering about a horse that raises its head when you ask for the halt, how would you as the rider ride through that, to prevent them from hollowing the back and lifting their head?
    I'd have to watch to be sure, because there's a few possible causes.
    1. you're taking with your hands and the horse is evading
    2. the horse is trying to use their neck as a balancing device
    3. horse is initiating the halt by trying to stop the body before bringing the legs under



    help the horse with shoulder fore/shoulder in on the wall and get everything really well aligned so you can uberstreichen on the inside rein and nothing changes, then ask for walk, then back up to trot, all in SF/SI master that and then go to trot halts.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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  16. #16
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    Wow, that's a whole lot of "cues" going on. I would suspect your horse is confused or maybe just doesn't think you are quite serious (especially when you say it is walking through the halt as if it is a half-halt). But basically I would guess is confused..

    Lots of good replies. This sounds simple, but just take the walk (that is more of a "following" gait) out of YOUR body, with out pulling. And use visualization, if you are the kind of person that mental images help... like your are about to run into a wall. But don't pull. Just stop following, but keep the connection to the bit.

    Like another poster said, don't worry about square until you can get a clean halt by your own body language changes. You may be overthinking this too.

    Once again, I don't articulate this very well, but hope it helps (and relax..).



  17. #17
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    Petstorejunkie - what is psoa?

    Agree with the closing the upper thigh, it blocks the shoulder blades, if the rider sits up, looks up, and breathes, this drops the pubie bone down....for me and my horse, and she is extremely light to the aids. Hands do not pull, just set them.
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  18. #18
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    And if you are looking at your horse's head or down during the walk/halt or trot/halt transition, stop that.... I can't tell you how many times I had to slap myself doing this. When I stopped doing that, or told others to, it's amazing how the halt transtitions can improve.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    Petstorejunkie - what is psoa?
    Psoas,
    the most important core muscle for a rider

    It is the only abdominal muscle that does NOT attach to the pelvis... this means you can activate it and have no change in your pelvic communication.

    working out the psoas off horse If your mid section does the slinky wobble during sitting trot, you probably need to strengthen your psoas

    Stretch for the psoas off horse (If you have the hunter perch or a contracting leg, your psoas most likely needs stretching
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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  20. #20
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    I ride halts all the time - probably 10-20 a ride mostly as part of the walk work.

    I had heard that the first thing Sjef makes all his students do is a walk halt transition using NO reins and until that walk halt transition is good nothing else is done.

    What I do, from a medium or collected walk, I tighten my upper legs for two steps then relax and stop my seat and be still. (its a little bit like teaching a trick) If i get a nice straight halt with no leaning into the rein then its good - otherwise, I establish the walk and do it again and again.
    Last edited by dudleyc; Jan. 15, 2013 at 09:12 PM.



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