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Demystifying the Half-Halt

Despite the wealth of information available on the subject, the intricacies of the half-halt still remain a mystery to many dressage riders, particularly those just learning the sport. In order to clear up the misconceptions surrounding the half-halt, we turned to Leah Wilkins, a successful grand prix competitor, trainer, and owner of Aislinn Dressage in Amaranth, ON. What’s in a Name? According to Wilkins, the biggest problem may lie in the name itself. “I don’t even like to use the term half-halt,” she says. “Using the word ‘halt’ can make riders think they should be slowing the horse down and that’s not the case at all. I prefer to say ‘balance’ or ‘re-balance,’ because that’s what the half-halt is really doing. It’s about redirecting the energy [the raw material of impulsion] you have created back to the horse’s hind end, over and over again, to keep them in balance. We…

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