Thursday, March 28 2013
Today’s lessons were really moving borders. By combining what we worked on in the previous 3 days today I managed with both horses to get more collection than ever before. The combination of allowing more space with my outside hip, getting the shoulders placed exactly in front of the hips and the use of my lower legs and upper body resulted in half-halts that were super effective and got the shoulders of my horses free.
The idea of a half-halt is that the halt should go all the way trough the body of the horse into the hind legs and should result in bending the hind legs. This is only possible when a few requirements are met:
-The shoulders of the horse should be in alignment with the hips. Think of a garden hose with water running through. When there is a kink in the hose the water is blocked. When the garden hose is straight or has a nice fluent bending, the water can flow. It is the same with the energy generated by the hind legs. This must go fluently through the spine into the hand, only then can a halt be effective.
-The seat of the rider should not hinder the movement of the spine of the horse. When the rider presses down the outside ribs he influences the rotation of the chest, blocking the energy.
-The half-halt should be given in the right timing with the right intensity and should be followed by a giving. It should not be held. The half-halt is given from the seat, with the hands to clarify the seat when the horse is not following the seat.
-The horse must be able to bend his hind legs. This is only possible when the hind legs are forward under the point of weight. Even in standing still, the horse should THINK forward. This is where the use of the lower legs can come in.
“Lightness is making a half-halt without getting pressure” (Bent Branderup)
Is an accomplished rider, clinician and published author who combines her extensive knowledge in classical dressage, biomechanics, ethology, human anatomy and zen principles to guide riders on their journey to self-improvement. The goal: harmony & lightness in the cooperation between human and horse.