Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Half Pass Professional

At the beginning of the year, I had a long talk with my trainer about how we were going to get changes on Taran. I have no experience with them, and neither does he. Although our first few attempts were successful, I didn't feel like I had the knowledge or confidence to put correct, clean changes on him. So, we decided it would be best to put Taran in full training for a few months to get him going.

Apparently he's doing great with them, but my trainer is kind of terrible with video. I have several videos of her talking her WS through the setup, then T canters out of frame and I hear her squeal "YES! THAT WAS AWESOME!" while I see nothing but arena wall or dirt. So um, yay awesome horse?

Anyway, a side benefit to being in full training is that all his gaits have improved 100%. He's so straight and through and supple and STRONG, it's like I'm riding a whole new horse. And MAN, he loves to do half pass, both at the trot and canter. And riding a move that your horse loves to show off is just pretty amazeballs.

The way half-pass was explained to me was to ride across the diagonal, look at the letter you're going to, and then ask for haunches in. I know there's more to it than that, but for a beginner version it's working for me.

Uhhhnnfortunately, some of us are not as good at half pass as our horses are. The theme here is "let's lean to the outside"...

I do not think my right shoulder should be 4 inches lower than my left.
Nor should my left shoulder be 4 inches lower than my right. At least I'm consistent?

Also whatever my left hand is doing, it's doing without my permission.

Either the camera angle is hiding my flaws, or someone yelled at me to SIT UP. Either way, my horse is a saint for carrying on despite less than perfect working conditions.

Moral of the story: sit UP, weight on your inside seatbone, and for heaven's sakes keep your hands down. Taran will do the half pass with or without me - I just need to position him, ask, and then STAY OUT OF HIS WAY. 

What are your tricks for half pass? 


  1. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh T! He looks so good!

  2. I have no half pass tricks, but dammmmmn 😍 Taran. You guys look great!

  3. Half pass - haunches in on a diagonal line. You've got it! :) You two look awesome!

  4. I'm extremely weird because the whole "haunches in on the diagonal" confused me for a super long time, yet half pass is one of my strong points. For some reason, thinking shoulder-in first to get him off of my inside leg helps, then I wrap the haunches around. I used to constantly forget to focus on my line and what letter I was headed towards...but I think I've got it down now, haha! Strangely enough, when it comes to lateral work, the steeper the angle, the better I do, and the more sense it makes in my brain.

  5. Full training is magic. He looks great!

  6. He doesn't even look like the same horse. Wow.

  7. Look at him go! I'm excited for this season for you!

  8. Oh my gosh he is a little half pass machine!! HP was/is really difficult for me and Hampton. He was rein lame for a couple of years in trot half pass. He really was not very good at it. Once I learned how to ride the half pass off my inside leg, things improved quite a bit but we still struggle with it at times! Especially when we try to do zig zags, or increase the steepness.

  9. Whoa! You care to be commended for breaking things down the way you do. I would imagine it is why you guys are indeed, "half pass machines!"

    Very cool and inspirational allaround.

  10. That's a great way to explain half pass in simple terms! Love it. Also love the gif! Looking good. Your captions had me cracking up.

  11. You both look amazing!

    I like the way you described it. Once I figured out how to control the angle with the outside rein, HP and HI both clicked for me. I have never ridden it at the canter though. Taran does look like a different horse.