Lesson Plan for Walk Halt Transitions

Lesson Plan for Walk Halt Transitions

Set up

  • 8 cones – 2 pairs of cones set up on each quarter line (so the rider will turn down the quarterline, halt between the cones, walk on, halt between the next cones, walk on – leave enough room for them to turn back on to the rail or reverse at the end)
  • stop/go sign

Lesson Plan

  • Tack Check
  • Mount
  • Tack check
  • Warm ups
    • backward arm circles 10x – to open up the chest, establish balance, warm up the shoulders and arms
    • “row boats” 10x (straighten arms in front of you, then bring hands to pockets, keeping thumbs up) – to prepare for halt rein aid action
    • no stirrups, ankle circles, 10x – to warm up ankles to help get heels down
    • Reverse directions across the diagonal – check posture from front and back
    • Repeat same 3 warmups the other direction
  • Halt facing the instructor – each rider turns down a quarterline and halts between the cones
  • Tack Check
  • Review: Walk On
    • First Body – lighten your seat by breathing in, put reins forward a little
    • Second say “Walk On” – our horses know verbal cues
    • Last use legs – squeeze with calves, without rocking your seat
  • Skill: Walk-Halt Transitions
    • What: stopping our horse
    • Why: to give him a break/reward, to rebalance yourself, to improve the horse’s focus on you
    • How:
    • Look straight ahead and stay balanced, even weight on both seat bones
      • First Body – stop your body from moving with the horse by stiffening your lower back and tummy
      • Second say “Whoa” – drops your weight
      • Last use Reins – stopping your body also resists against the reins and should work, but the horse may need you to bring the reins back a little until he figures it out
    • Where:
      • let’s practice a few times down the quarter line in a straight line, then we’ll play a game
  • Practice down quarter lines
    • halt and walk on several times each
    • give them a visual to look at straight ahead
    • give feedback
  • Activity: Red Light, Green Light
    • down the quarter lines 2x – at the end of the quarterline have them reverse directions to play again, or turn onto the rail and walk back to the beginning
    • play using verbal “red light” and “green light,” or use stop/whoa sign
    • if they don’t stop right away, however many steps they take is however many seconds they must wait before walking on when it’s a green light again
    • continue to give feedback
  • Progress: Halt between cones
    • down the quarter lines 2x, between the cones (4 halts in all)
    • Now that you’ve practiced halting in different places in the arena, let’s practice halting in very specific places. We’re going to halt so that your body is directly between the cones. This means you’re going to have to plan when to start halting, because a horse has 4 legs and it takes a while for all of them to stop. So you might need to start halting when the horse’s nose reaches the cones, so that by the time he actually stops, your body is between the cones.
    • If they don’t stop exactly in the cones, discuss whether to step forward or backward to get in the right place.
  • Progress: anytime during the lesson take away support as able (unclip, take away sidewalkers, etc.)
  • Cool Down:
    • hands on hips for 1 lap – give arms a break, focus on balance
  • Review
  • Dismount

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Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement!

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