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Hello Andy, First I want to say again how much your classes and online materials are such great teaching tools for those of us who cannot benefit from attending your clinics in person due to distance. I have downloaded all your materials and checked off Class Complete.
I do not see the boxes at the end of the 3 online downloadable materials of Half Halt so that I can check them off and credit my progress to 100%.
They are the 3 Half Halt sessions:
Long Lining the Half Halt,
Half Halt for Carriage Driving,
and Half Halt Class Video.
Thanks and keep up the fantastic work!
Thanks for the note Pat.
I’ve updated the pages so the course navigation and ‘Mark Complete’ buttons are there. Glad to see that you are using them.
I’m also glad you’re enjoying the courses. I’ll keep ’em coming!
Thank you Andy! I am looking forward to your next one.
Hi Andy, I really enjoyed your class last night. I do have a question. I have a 13h driving pony. Belgian/Welsh Cross. He had a habit of rutting his nose when driving and especially when stopping. I had an instructor drive him and we worked on getting him to stop by using my hands activated to keep his mind engaged. I’m not sure I can explain this easily, but I did like little half halts to the rhythm of his steps. Right-left-right-left. It worked and he stopped doing it. Almost instantly. I found after a while that I did not have to do it all the time. Were these indeed little half halts? And if they were wouldn’t it interfere with using the half halt to signal a change, kind of like nagging? Or is the signal-release-half halt-release-request enough to differentiate. It seemed to not hurt anything, and when I would do the release-half halt-release he seemed to be really tuned in to me waiting for the request.
You’re 100% on the right track. The rein activations you are doing while he’s motoring along to keep him engaged to your communication are very similar to half halts. However, I’d just describe them as “activations”, since that’s what they are.
The left/right rein activation is a very common, and effective technique. That’s slightly different than a half halt because it’s asymmetrical. We often use this type of activation to, as you’ve pointed out, encourage the horse to pay attention to the bit.
The “half halt” in my personal definition is always symmetrical, across both reins, therefore a balancing aid.
It is not always used for stopping or downward transitions. For example, I’ll use a half halt 2-3 times through a corner. In a collected trot, I may be half halting with every stride. Once you have a half halt well built, it is far more dynamic in nature than something that you use to prepare a horse to stop.
Thank you. And thanks also for the link to the article about rein activations. I’m going to get my reinboard out and play with some of this. I think that my pony and I took a great stride forward once I started using the rein activation. It all makes so much more sense now. We were working together. No suprises for him when I wanted something. And you are right about the muscle memory. At first it was like I had to think about it constantly, but then it just became natural. Awesome.
What is a half halt, I new to driving?
It’s a communication that prepares and balances your horse for the next movement such as a transition or change in direction. It’s one of the more important skills in communication with your horse.