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Discussion in 'The Carrot Stick' started by equusteacher, Oct 12, 2008.
I have read through this thread several times and I'm really lost with the explanations of half halt, rounding the back
I do not understand why this is needed or how to do it.
Someone please explain in simply terms~~ I'm having a defininte blonde moment with this
Let's start with a half halt. A half halt is exactly what it sounds like. Half of a halt. If you halt a horse correctly the horse will not fall on its forehand but will gather itself up and stop squarely with its backend underneath it. It will be a nice easy stop and not a totally abrupt or run away with you stop.
To do that you need to slightly push your horse into your reins leg while stilling your seat and closing your hand.
A half halt is just a much more miniscule version of that. It helps a horse to gather itself up, slow a gait, prepare for a transition, etc. etc. etc.
You're basically containing both the front end and the back end at the same time during a half halt which causes the horse to lift itself up and makes the horse use its backend more and make its front end lighter.
Now as far as rounding the back goes, a horse can't be truly using its back end and rounding into a nice frame unless it is using its back correctly. If a horse is running around with its head up in the air or totally curled behind the bit and not accepting the reing contact, the back is probably hollowed out. If a horse is not fully tracking up the horse is probably hollowed out. To have a pretty correct moving animal that is fully connecting with the bit from the back end up through the front end (which is how a horse should be ridden, from back to front) the back plays a crucial role in it.
Think of it this way, sit like a couch potato in your chair. Let your shoulders slump. Drop your head to your chest. Not feeling any muscles really being used this way are you?
Now, sit up straight in your chair. Take your back away from your chair. Now you need to use your abdominal muscles to do this right?
Now, while still sitting straight up and holding those abdominal muscles in, slowly push your head forward and your chin out and then while holding your head forward towards the computer screen, roll your chin down to your chest. Do you feel all those back muscles being put into play?
That's kind of what rounding through the back is like for a horse. Rounding your head can be done without the use of all those muscles but for it to be done properly then all of those muscles need to be used.
Clear as mud?
Not sure how I missed your question MyTeDun, but I can't explain it any better / clearer than asuits did.
It's something you need to be taught to see (from the ground) and to feel (under saddle). It's extremely to put it into words that can be comprehended unless you have seen it/felt it already.