219 4 – H H o r s e P r o j e c t M a n u a l – Riding Halt At the halt, the horse must stand still and straight, its weight distributed equally over all four legs.
This is termed ‘standing square’.
The English horse should remain “on the bit” (with light contact through the reins to the hands).
The Western horse should stand relaxed on a somewhat loose rein when halted. The Aids to Halt: Ask your horse to halt by giving him cues from your seat and voice, then hands.
Sit deep and squeeze lightly with your upper legs.
At the same time, say whoa (if not being judged) and increase pressure on the mouth with your hands on the reins, which will block the forward movement.
As soon as the horse halts, soften your hands and relax your legs.
The Western rider sits deep and extends weight down the back of their legs nto their heels.
The verbal command “whoa” is given and reins are applied only if the horse does not stop.
If the rein aid is used, two direct reins are applied with increasing pressure until the horse does stop, then they are immediately released. The Rein Back or Backing The rein back (back up) is carried out from the halt.
It is a two beat diagonal gait and should be fluid in motion.
The steps should be straight, active and unhurried, but of good length.
The feet must be picked up and put down cleanly, with the horse maintaining its correct outline and remaining on the bit.
The horse should not raise its head or hollow its back, and should back straight. The Aids to Perform the Rein Back: The horse should be calm and relaxed at the halt.
Squeeze both legs against the horse’s sides, as you lean forward slightly and apply equal pressure with both hands on the reins.
Leg pressure tells the horse he has to move somewhere.
Because forward motion is blocked by the hands maintaining contact on the reins, the horse moves backward.
The moment the horse responds by stepping backward you should release the rein pressure then ‘ask’ again if needed. Western Rein Back: It is not necessary to lean forward or use legs to back up the western horse.
The legs are used if the horse is resisting, to elevate the horse’s back and to loosen its shoulders. 220 4 – H H o r s e P r o j e c t M a n u a l – Riding Transitions Three P’s of Transitions 1.
Patience A transition refers to a change in gait(s) either upward or downward.
The ideal is to execute in a clean, balanced manner.
When you ask for a transition, the key is to make it happen like clockwork.
Preparation for the transition is more important than the transition itself and is of utmost importance to success.
Do not rush into a transition.
Do not ‘surprise’ your horse by suddenly stopping or turning it without ‘half halting’ to warn it that you are about to make a change. UPWARD TRANSITIONS Halt to Walk Walk to Trot/Jog Trot/Jog to Canter/Lope DOWNWARD TRANSITIONS Walk to Halt Trot/Jog to Walk Canter/Lope to Trot/Jog Transitions can increase or decrease through more than one gait (example: walk to canter) The Half Halt
Read more about The Rein Back or Backing The rein back (back up) is carried out from the halt: