Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/33

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The halt—How to halt a young horse.—To halt, lean back slightly and pull on the reins with gradually increasing force, in order to slow and then stop movement.

When the trooper pulls on the reins the horse should neither raise nor lower the head. The muzzle should remain to the front and the whole mass of the neck should flow back toward the withers. In other words, under the action of the reins the horse should neither throw his nose up in the air nor bring it down against his chest, closing up on the hand. This latter fault is particularly to be avoided. It is more difficult to raise the muzzle than to lower it, and any horse that at the beginning of training withdraws from neck control becomes especially difficult to instruct.

Should halts be frequent?—The halt should not be frequently practiced on horses inclined to fret nor on those with hind legs set under and thus liable to sit down on the haunches. On the contrary, it should be often used in cases where the conformation throws too much weight on the shoulders. Training is nothing more than the quest of balance, and the halt will be a well-chosen suppling exercise for a horse with a high, powerful croup that makes him difficult to slow up.

The change of direction—Aids to use.—To change direction to the right, open gently the right rein by carrying the wrist to the front and right, without moving the elbow and without twisting the hand.

The effect of opening must be produced laterally and as little as possible from front to rear. It induces a movement of the haunches and furnishes, therefore, a prelim-