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Swinging the hindquarters in halt?

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  • Swinging the hindquarters in halt?

    I've been working on the halt with my 4 year old in preparation for her first Gold Show in 2 months time. We are having issues with the halt.

    She is not one for standing still to begin with - not hot or spooky - just impatient and nosey. So for the first few months she would either back up at the halt or dance around and toss her head.

    So after LOTS of practice standing still and riding forward into the halt we are ALMOST there. But..... no matter how straight and forward and on even contact I get her for the halt she will swing her hindquarters ever so slightly too the right once we are at the halt. It is not during the "halting" that she does it - that part is quite nice - but about 2 seconds after we come to a complete square halt she cocks her rear to the right.

    Any ideas? Training techniques?
    Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.
    www.stargazerfarm.ca

  • #2
    When you say, "cocks her rear to the right," do you mean that she takes weight off the right hind, and does not leave it completely grounded flat?

    Comment


    • #3
      Get a groundperson to watch YOU at the halt. Is it possible that when the halt has gone through, you shift slightly, or relax your even bilateral leg pressure?

      Perhaps you need to maintain slightly more pressure with one leg than the other. Your legs need to stay on during and after the halt.
      Last edited by merrygoround; Mar. 22, 2010, 10:51 AM. Reason: missed a letter-oops!
      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.

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      • #4
        Try a slight shoulder-fore/ shoulder-in to the right a couple strides before the halt. That should help her keep the hind end under and prevent the step out at the last moment.
        Welcome to my dressage world http://www.juliefranzen.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Also try moving your right leg behind the girth and apply pressure to keep her off your leg and straight after the halt.
          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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          • #6
            My almost 4-yo does this occasionally. He has done it ever since the first time I sat on him, and he has done it with the couple other people who have ridden him too. He doesn't shift the hiney to any specific side though.

            I have worked on really getting him straight and to step into the halt as well, and it helps a lot. But on the days when that doesn't work, we just practice halting against the rail so that he cannot swing his butt whichever way he was trying to swing it on that particular day. It's a bit of a cheat, but it does keep them halting straighter so that they get the idea and build up the strength to do it correctly.

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            • #7
              Part of a halt is the balance in which you approach it. Make sure that you hh/hh/then transition. Make sure the horse is up/open, if the horse is down/closed (or if your hands are too wide) then the hindquarters will seek to evade since the horse is onto the shoulders. Then start with halts along the wall. Halt slightly 'in position' and immediately move off (sometimes walk/sometimes trot), if it is 1 second, thats enough. Then gradually add a second, until you are up to about 10. Then start (still on the wall) with approach where the reins are in one hand (the 'outside' one) and the inside hand is just softly holding. Halt, salute, take reins up, move off (always a different gait). Then, if that is successful on both hands, move to the centerline. (NEVER salute with the whip in the saluting hand either).
              I.D.E.A. yoda

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              • #8
                Try a slight shoulder-fore/ shoulder-in to the right a couple strides before the halt. That should help her keep the hind end under and prevent the step out at the last moment.
                I agree with this and with checking your lateral balance in the saddle.If you weighting one side this may cause the horse to move to compensate to get under your weight after the halt.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If its always to the same direction, I would guess that right hind is not as strong as the left. Many horses are 'sided', like we're right or left handed. Lots of practice making sure her right hind is stepping up and under, cavaletti etc.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    When you say, "cocks her rear to the right," do you mean that she takes weight off the right hind, and does not leave it completely grounded flat?
                    It varies between a slight shift in weight with 4 feet planted to sometimes actually swinging the hindquarter a full step - usually she just shifts her weight to the right a bit and if I try to "fix" it by applying my right leg she actually steps into my right leg. Sometimes she will go to the left but not nearly as often.

                    The main issue is not being forward enough into the halt - but usually I would fix this with a lot of halt/walk/halt/trot/halt/etc. - but this seems to make her worse because then I really can't get her to stand still (It took me 6 months to teach her to not walk off during mounting - she has no patience). So I have been trying to be as forward into the halt as I can get, but once she halts I wait 10 seconds (regardless of the how she square she is) before moving of again. I like the idea of the shoulder-fore before the halt because this may help set her up for a straighter halt. She is not a horse that you can "play with" once halted - you either get a good halt or you don't.

                    I don't think I am crooked - because the young girl I am going to have show her this summer - has the same issue - unless we are both crooked to the same direction.

                    I will try some of your suggestions tomorrow. She did show improvement this week with me but less with the young girl, but this is the YG's first time riding Dressage so she is not use to the feeling of riding into the halt - in fact all of her riding of transitions have been a bit sloppy - but she is a naturally gifted young rider so we are whipping her into shape pretty quickly.
                    Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.
                    www.stargazerfarm.ca

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