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4 Exercises to Help Calm a Hot Horse

If there is anyone that can talk about hot horses on a hack, it is me.  My horse Shandy was a complete nightmare on hacks.  He would attem...

Monday, 20 May 2019

3 Different Ways To Half Halt Your Horse

1.  Body While Riding

The traditional half halt is performed while riding your horse.  The horse is first trained with halt-walk-halt transitions to establish the halt aid.  The idea is to give the horse the halt aid for a split second followed by riding forward again.  This works to get his attention and to 'gather' him up.  This means to get him to lift his back and get his hind leg underneath him which gets him 'on the bit' or engaged.  It is also used on horses who are rushing (like towards a jump) to collect him.  

To perform a half halt you will use your halt aid followed by riding forwards straight away.  For example, I half halt by squeezing the reins squeezing my knees and bracing my core all at the same time.  Then, I will relax and use my legs and seat to 'push' the horse forward again.  

2.  Verbal Half Halt

Another way to half halt is with your voice.  This works to 'pause' your horse while he waits for you to give him a cue.  I mostly use this for lunging as I find that the horse will hear my 'verbal half halt' and pay attention.  It is also great for breaking horses in.  Train the horse while lunging and then use it when riding until the horse understands the normal half halt.  For my verbal half halt I simply say 'annnd' followed by my cue.  

3.  Body While Leading

It really is amazing how our horses (if bonded to us) will copy us.  I started trying to calm my anxious horse Zoe by breathing deeply beside her.  She immediately also started to relax and breath properly.  It also works when you are walking next to your horse and you 'pause' for a second then keep walking.  

Start with stopping for a couple of seconds so the horse will actually stand still and work up from there.  With my horse's I can now just tense my whole body for a split second and they will understand the half halt.  


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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