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Joy and Fun with Horses and Horseback Riding

Half and full halts.

What are the half and the full halts actually?

Authored by Beate Schulze and translated by Martina Wald

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Half and full halts

Yes who does not know the half and full halts? But honesty, who knows exactly what they mean?

Full halts

Full halts always ends with the stop of the horse, independent of the pace.

A full halt.

Half halts are necessary:

  • To make the horse attentive
  • To reduce the ground cover
  • To prepare an exercise
  • To prepare change of tempi
  • To prepare a full halt
  • To prepare a turn

Therefore, you always need the half halt before you want your horse to do something.

Carrying out:

Many people believe a halt consists of a more or less strong pulling of the inner or outer rein.

Often it is shown like that, but this is absolutely wrong!

As any other aid, the halt must always consist of playing together of the following:

  • Weight aids
  • Leg aids
  • Rein aids

Where as the rein aid should have the lowest impact.

Basically a halt consists of:

  • A driving leg and spine aid into a guarding and restraining rein aid, which turns into an allowing rein.

  • If the horse reacts already very sensitive, the guarding rein changes into an allowing rein within splits of seconds.

Due to the driving spine and leg aids the horse is made to step more intensively with its hindlegs. The hindlegs swing clearly under the body of the horse and the inner hindleg to the middle of the body.

If there now comes the guarding and restraining rein aid, the horse slows ITSELF down. Therefore you can come, for example, into the next lower gait or to the halt.

In any case a pulling backward of the hand must be avoided because the horse would hollow its back and sets up the hindlegs outside.

You can test it again. Press the head backwards with your hands to the right and the left  corners of the mouth. You will notice at once that your body attempts to go into a hollow back. That is not very pleasant, neither for yourself nor for your horse. Please try to stop running with a hollow back.

The aids of half and full halts do not distinguish from each other, only the result does.

And according to the strength of driving, guarding, restraining and allowing aids you ride different exercises, you make your horse more attentive, changing the gaits, etc.
In this case you must yourself prepare again and again to the particular horse. Each horse needs another kind and strength of aids. The basic principles for all horses are identically (therefore always from driving to guarding aids and from restraining to allowing reins), you only have to adapt the way of carrying out in strength and distribution of the aids to the particular horse.

Message to Beate about this article


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