The Shape Changing Half Halt!

Shape Changing. I am not referring to the sort of shape shifting seen in Star Trek. This is a shape changing that refers to the horse changing shape; coming up in the withers and engaging actively with the hind quarters.

What is a half halt? Even dressage riders discuss the half halt ad infinitum, ad nauseaum! A half halt is a sort of “go forward, give me more energy, but wait, don’t go faster.” The rider gives an aid with their legs to go forward but with the fingers says ‘not too much’. Also the seat of the rider indicates to the horse what is wanted. It’s a go but don’t go message. The energy of the forward is directed up rather than out.

What is Belinda talking about in the video when she tells me to give Biasini a “shape changing ” half halt? That is what I have to do for that: sit up, ribs up, bring shoulder blades back and together, quick push with inside of the ankles and, if necessary, a reminder with fingers not to dip down and, if necessary, pin belly button back to spine for a couple of seconds. That’s it! It seems to be very effective when I manage to get it right.

Thank you Belinda for tirelessly taking the videos of my lessons. They help me a great deal and I know it is not easy to video and teach at the same time.


13 responses to “The Shape Changing Half Halt!”

  1. Gavin and Wyatt Avatar

    Star Trek comes to training…beam me up Scotty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dprastka Avatar

    Giggling here, oh the drama that comes sometimes or is around the barn which is partly why I moved to a different barn….. She’s so smart! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      You may have experienced the drama that can come with “young” people. That can be something else and needs to be curtailed from time to time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dprastka Avatar

    I’m so thankful Belinda takes the time to video as she teaches, and how wonderful for you to see how you performed in your lesson. I’m happy because it is great to watch your progress! ❤️ I read in your response to a bloggers question how you met Belinda. I knew you bought Biasini from Belinda and knew your daughter rode too, fun to read more about the past!! You are a treasure, and I’m sure Belinda knows that too! 🐴🤠🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thanks for this comment Diana. Belinda told me today she likes to teach people who work at it and do not come to the barn with drama!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. David Avatar

    I’m sure you’ve wrote about it, how did you luck into Belinda as your instructor/coach? And, what made Belinda say, “I’ll take a chance on Leueen. She is an older student, but is worth a try.”

    My daughters have been with Trish, their instructor/coach, since Day One of learning how to ride when they were 6 years old, making it an association of 20 years. Deborah and Tara were 6, Elizabeth 5 (really 4) on the first day. Trish, a former World Cup (showjumping) competitor rarely took on students beyond the “learn to ride” level. What Trish has loved about my girls is their dedication and toughness. They did a lot of other things but always were on time for their lessons. She drilled them week after week on the fundamentals. While they would moaned about having more fun, they were there to take on more fundamental work. If you listen to them talk today with Trish’s younger riders, it’s the same thing they learned from Trish, nearly word for word.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      My daughter Breanne rode with Belinda from the age of 13 until she left for university in England and the Equine Program at Hartpury College. Breanne was on the Canadian Junior Team in 2006 at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championship. The Junior Team won the silver medal. So she is the only person in this family who has an FEI medal! Breanne does not ride now as she has a full time career in marketing and two step-daughters and her own 5 year old son. So I have known Belinda for a long time. I rode with other coaches and then in one year I had to put down my much loved horse Tommie and then also had to put down his replacement. I considered giving up horses but realized if I did I was going to get old very fast. So I asked Belinda to help me find a horse. She said she had a horse that she’d had since he was 4 and she had decided she was going to sell him. She said I should come and ride him and if I liked him great and if not that was fine too she would have a chance to see me ride as she had not seen me ride for a few years. The horse was Biasini. I loved him from that first ride. I tried him about three more times and then bought him. The rest is history. I think Belinda works with me because I am dedicated and I work as hard as I can .I really appreciate that she has the patience to work with an older rider .

      Liked by 2 people

      1. David Avatar

        Such a cool story. Biasini is a Godsend then, bringing you back as an equestrian. Belinda is probably a lot like Trish when it comes to choosing which riders to coach and teach. Knowing her for a long while certainly helped, but you being a dedicated rider mattered. 🙂

        Losing a horse, Tara knows that well. She lost a horse in her first-ever competition ride; she was a barrel racer then. Jasper slipped on the last turn, they went down. Tara broke her leg, Jasper’s left front fetlock was shattered to pieces. It took Tara more than a year to comeback from that; it was a tough moment since she was 11 at the time. Brie, her grey mare is the one that brought Tara back to riding, and into the hunter/jumper sport. With Brie close to retirement, Tara acquired Shelby, two years ago, a paint mare with similar markings to Jasper as a replacement. Shelby is more interested in trail riding though she is easily clearing at the 1.25 m level. Even if Shelby does not get to be FEI qualified, she’s a keeper for Tara.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen Avatar

          A famous dressage rider Anky van Grunsven once said that loosing a horse was not just unfortunate it was a disaster. I think she also was referring to a horse trained to a higher level and all that training is lost along with the horse. Thanks for giving me the history of Tara’s horses.


  5. Amy Avatar

    Lots of practice. Great video. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thanks for taking the time to give the video a look .

      Liked by 1 person

  6. susiesopinions Avatar

    But so rewarding for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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