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Horse Leaves LH in Halt

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  • Horse Leaves LH in Halt

    I’m working through and fine tuning some flat/dressage work with my horse, a 18 year old Holstiener gelding who I have had the pleasure of working with for 13 years. Some background. I’m an adult re-rider type who competed quite a bit in my younger youth, through Prelim schooling Intermediate 3Day until I was 15 years old, and then into the A Circuit Hunter/Jumper showing in the children’s jumpers and dabbled I’m some Children’s Hunters as well. This horse has been primarily a H/J for a lot of his life, or a pasture ornament, due to no fault of his own, mostly due to my health.

    More often than not, after watching videos a friend of mine took while I was riding, my horse leaves his LH in the downwards transition to halt. Sometimes it’s the RH, most often LH.


    I had some health complications and life for several years and didn’t ride but once in a blue moon, now I’m getting on a schedule of 2X + a week for about 7 weeks, and both of us have improved in fitness etc. and I want to say we have had this issue for some time. It got me to thinking that if we’re struggling with a downwards transition from walk to halt, what am I missing from trot to walk, or canter to trot? Does that make sense? Because I can see the walk to halt is not square, I can only imagine this issues goes up the gaits?

    i have his body worker/chiro coming out next week. She’s noted and thoroughly worked on his TMJ which offers up a lot of our “issues” but, I’m wondering what exercises I can do so that we square up on our downwards transitions.

    I have a video of some of our walk to halt work but it isn’t uploading.... 🤷🏻*♀️😞
    Photo of him and I working in the outdoor a couple weeks ago.

    Thanks for any help, exercises or ideas.



  • #2
    Make sure you are even in your contact with the reins and really focus on closing the horse up in the halt from behind. I think too many people don't think forward in their downward transitions and the hind legs end up out behind. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works. YMMV.

    Just looking at your picture, you don't have a straight line from the bit to your hands and elbows and it looks like, at this moment, you are balancing off the horse's mouth, maybe you're in the rising portion of posting, but even then you should have that straight line. Try lowering your hands and driving more with your legs/seat.

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you saying you can't get a square halt behind?

      The square halt is a test of how straight the horse and rider both are. Not all horses are straight enough and fit enough to halt square.

      However you will increase the chance of a square halt by doing the following.

      Correct position as poster above noted. That photo looks rushed and unbalanced.

      Before you give any aids sit up tall and take a deep breath. Consciously make your weight even in the saddle. Let your legs hang. Engage your core and lift your ribcage. Then give the aids to halt. Don't tip forward.

      If you want to see if it's you or the horse get your trainer to ride and watch.
      ​​​​​​

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by atlatl View Post
        Make sure you are even in your contact with the reins and really focus on closing the horse up in the halt from behind. I think too many people don't think forward in their downward transitions and the hind legs end up out behind. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works. YMMV.

        Just looking at your picture, you don't have a straight line from the bit to your hands and elbows and it looks like, at this moment, you are balancing off the horse's mouth, maybe you're in the rising portion of posting, but even then you should have that straight line. Try lowering your hands and driving more with your legs/seat.

        Thank you! I think I’m not thinking or riding forward enough.

        I assure you I’m not balancing off of him, it’s the angle of the photo

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
          Are you saying you can't get a square halt behind?

          The square halt is a test of how straight the horse and rider both are. Not all horses are straight enough and fit enough to halt square.

          However you will increase the chance of a square halt by doing the following.

          Correct position as poster above noted. That photo looks rushed and unbalanced.

          Before you give any aids sit up tall and take a deep breath. Consciously make your weight even in the saddle. Let your legs hang. Engage your core and lift your ribcage. Then give the aids to halt. Don't tip forward.

          If you want to see if it's you or the horse get your trainer to ride and watch.
          ​​​​​​

          It is most definitely both of us, due to probably lack of strength from not working for such a long time.

          Also, he wasn’t rushing, or unbalanced. Perhaps I picked a bad photo, wasn’t looking per say for critiques on that. I will search for some different photos to show what I’m talking about.

          Tipping forward i need need to work on, too. Riding forward, soft, and up. I theoretically and also pragmatically know how to ride a square halt. I’ve been doing so for years, hence why I bothered asking a question about strengthening ideS and concepts I may be missing, exercises that help. Etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would agree that it was a bad photo. It makes you appear as though you are way to strong on that L rein.

            In riding forward to a square halt, as said you must sit evenly, ride forward, and then simultaneously, keeping both legs on, sitting up, stop your body. Keep your legs on. The fingers should need but a light squeeze, if he he is listening to your seat. If you feel one hind leg left out, vibrate your leg on that side til it comes up. The half halt is such an intrinsic part of this

            If you can manage to increase your active time in the saddle to 20 min. 3-4 times a week, it will become easier.
            Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

            Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

            Comment


            • #7
              Does your horse halt squarely when you ask him to stand?

              If he doesn't then you need to start there and enforce the fact that any time he is standing, he is to stand square....this included for grooming, tacking and just hanging around on the cross ties.

              Like people some horses have bad posture and leave their hind end out behind. You need to teach good posture to horses, same as with people.

              So every time he stands while you work around him, you place with all 4 legs squarely underneath and expect him to keep his posture.

              As far a a ridden halt, if the horse knows how to halt squarely, AND if the rider does not interfere, the horse will halt square.....IF....big IF.....the horse has acquired the habit of standing square.
              Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
              Alfred A. Montapert

              Comment


              • #8
                People explain things differently - someone else's description might be the "got it" moment.

                My horse squared up when she was straight, foreward and I squeezed with my thighs to block her shoulders, raised my hand an inch, and lifted my chest by tipping my hips i.e. pubic down. Don't know if it is ideal, but it worked.

                I also practiced in hand square halts - from her in hand days as a youngster.
                Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks all and sorry it’s taken me this long to get back. I value everyone’s feedback albeit maybe hard to hear (no one likes to hear their riding needs work or they’re too heavy in the hand or at least it’s hard for me) however it has merit otherwise it wouldn’t have been brought up. To give more background to that photo I believe we had just done a short leg yield right, and thus perhaps Im over correcting with that left rein. Anyways, I’d like to get more photos up and seen as I currently do not have a trainer nor is there one in the future.

                  I will I’ll find other photos that might be valuable, and I know of some things to work on from being in training for most of my life. I’m glad I came here and read these responses and I think I have some new ideas for the halt.

                  As an adult re rider with no trainer I do the best I can. I know it could be better, that’s why I asked about my halting question.

                  I truly apreciate everyone thank you!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                    I would agree that it was a bad photo. It makes you appear as though you are way to strong on that L rein.

                    In riding forward to a square halt, as said you must sit evenly, ride forward, and then simultaneously, keeping both legs on, sitting up, stop your body. Keep your legs on. The fingers should need but a light squeeze, if he he is listening to your seat. If you feel one hind leg left out, vibrate your leg on that side til it comes up. The half halt is such an intrinsic part of this

                    If you can manage to increase your active time in the saddle to 20 min. 3-4 times a week, it will become easier.
                    I would love to ride more frequently, at this time I’m stuck at twice a week. I don’t drive (due to some health issues) and so I depend on my friends and family taking me out there. Hopefully soon I’ll be driving again, at least in the next four to six months I’d say, and I’ll be able to ride more frequently. I try to do something each time I ride both around the barn and on the horse that pushes myself a little further to increase my fitness. I also have been working out when I’m not riding to keep my fitness up, but managing several severe health issues is difficult with increased activity 😞

                    Comment

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