The Art of the Halt

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Halting is an essential skill for obvious reasons—dismounting, avoiding collisions and so on. The halt is more than just coming to a stop, however. A good halt shows that your horse is listening to and respecting your aids, is balanced enough to stop correctly and is willing enough to move forward immediately when asked. If you have trouble with the halt, chances are you have trouble with other things, particularly transitions.

The halt is also a good indicator of a horse’s training and attitude. So one of the first things Sherie Grant, an FEI dressage trainer from Sycamore Trails Stables in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., does when trying out a new horse is to see how he handles the halt. “Ask him to halt and see what he does,” she says. Does he grab the bit? Does he come behind the bit? Will he move forward after? The halt tells you a lot about the horse, how shy or how strong he is, and if he accepts your aids.”

**For the full article, pick up the August 2007 issue of HORSE ILLUSTRATED.**

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I think it’s great that Horse Illustrated took the time to explain this basic skill in more detail. No one wants to look silly asking, “gee, how do I stop?” but it’s the little things that matter most. Kudos to Sherie Grant for explaining it so well, and giving us visualization techniques to use. Thank you Sharon Biggs for taking the time to write this article.

  2. I hate the excerpts. Hold on a second while I dig through years of magazines to find just the right one. I really would like to know how to stop. Hmmm if only I could read it on the website anymore. Going to Equus. H.I. FAIL.

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