EXERCISE: 4 HALF-PASS
As this exercise is more advanced, ride it in walk until you and your horse both feel confident with it. This movement is generally ridden on the diagonal rather than on the track and requires balance and good engagement of the hindlegs. Initially, ride a few steps at a time, then ride straight, then half-pass again. Ride across the diagonal line, aiming your horse’s shoulders at the marker you’re heading for but, rather than staying straight, as you come onto the diagonal, ask with your outside leg for the hindlegs to come inside. Your inside leg controls the bend and helps with balance. You just want a tiny angle on an inexperienced horse as this can be increased as he gets stronger. Maintain the bend with your upper body and inside rein. Your horse should be almost parallel to the long side and it’s not correct to have the hindlegs leading, although sometimes they’ll trail slightly if he’s finding it difficult. Keep the impulsion but don’t travel too fast, instead concentrate on getting the correct speed, engagement and contact. It can be useful for inexperienced horses for someone to walk the half-pass in front of him to lead the way – this is good for the rider too as they then have less to concentrate on.
Some horses, like Frank, will try to tilt out of the conact in half-pass