Half Halt Demystified

The half halt is simply a re-balancing technique to engage your horse. It is simple if you feel your way and do not force the movement. A half halt when correctly ridden, does not block the forward motion, rather it simply transfers weight to the hind legs. First you must use your driving aids to maintain a forward feeling, then sit deeper for a second. Hold the energy by keeping the contact with both reins, a bit more with the outside rein so that you can maintain flexion. Keep your legs on the horse to shorten the stride, yet maintain the same rhythm. Now soften your arm muscles, allowing your horses back to come up and his neck will “grow” out of the withers. You should be able to do many half halts in the time it takes to say “half-halt”.

Remember, you are simply shifting the energy to the hindquarters, lightening the front end. Your horse will feel lighter and more engaged, movements will be easier to perform. Practice the feel and have fun!