Friday, April 22, 2011

How to ride a half pass, and how much I love the Brits!

Has anyone noticed that it's hard to get straightforward, practical instructions for executing some dressage movements? Even articles on subjects like "perfect your flying changes" don't really always address have the step by step instructions. Now this is understandable in some respects -- after all, there are intangible little issues like "is your horse collected enough?", "does your horse have the strength?", and "can you make the aids clear enough?" But how nice to see this practical little vide on the subject...

I'm not surprised that this video is from the Brits. Is it just me or do they seem to have a more down-to-earth, practical tone in their approach to horses?


  1. Lovely demo, simply explained...except for all the intangible elements that come into creating the half pass in the first place. Like all dressage movements, the horse needs to understand and respond to the aids and the concept of "moving over" from the leg as well as going forward. much more.

    Still, the basics of how to ride it on a schooled horse and how a correctly ridden half pass should look...well done.

  2. No, I don't think it's just you. Haha. I always find British explanations of anything much more clear and interesting... Maybe it's the accent as well?

    I like that horse's trot. Looks very alive. :) And at the beginning of the video, every once in a while, the horse would look at the camera like "OMG... omg... oh... it's okay", then go back to playing with the bit. LOL.

    One thing that bugged me was the rider's legs at the trot; it looked like she kept kicking the horse every time she sat. Is that okay? It looked too obvious to be a pretty, subtle, dressage aid.

  3. The haaaalf paaaass.
    That was good, clear, concise, no mumbo jumbo or magic involved.
    I think there are so many world class riders in England and so many more who pass through England that if you want a good education it is available. However, they are not all good. I have a video somewhere of some twit teaching the same happyhorsehit that the NH trainers teach here, where you don't ever actually ask the horse to DO anything other than run away from you. I do believe that is my only tape from GB that wasn't a BHS tape. My bad.

  4. I am always impressed when a rider can explain exactly what he or she is doing while demonstrating the movement.

    Her explanation is essentially riding the half pass as a haunches-in on a diagonal line, which I find very helpful. I picked up another important half pass tidbit from an online video: stretch your outside leg so it is longer than your inside and weight the outside stirrup/seatbone more than the inside. I know that it sounds contrary to typical dressage instruction, but doing so allows the horse to lift the inside and then carry you there, rather than being squashed down by too much weight on the inside.

    The Brits are a no nonsense bunch!

  5. She makes it sound so easy! Like, oh, duh, no problem :) Maybe someday I'll get to the point where this will be extremely helpful - at this point I'd be thrilled for three steps of shoulder in down the centerline, lol. Thanks for this!


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