How to use Half-Halts to Lunge your Horse

What do you do if you want to get your horse’s attention while lunging but you’re not sure how? Half-halts can support your other lunging aids when you’re cross-training your horse, and that’s what we want to talk about in this blog. Let’s dive into how to use Half-Halts!

What are half-halts?

Half-halts are an aid that is built from your arm to your horse’s nose, if you’re using a cavesson, or their mouth if you’re lunging on a bit. We frequently use it in riding, either with one rein or with both, depending on the type of signal we want to send.

We can use it during lunging training, too! Half-halts are a communication tool for your horse. They can encourage your horse to slow their gait, drop their head, or collect their feet under them to lift their topline. 

How do I use a half-halt for lunging?

• Run the lunge line between two fingers

• You can either turn your wrist into your body and out

• Or, pull your wrist up and down 

To practice using half-halts, imagine you are holding a sponge in your palm. Squeeze the “sponge” in your hand and remember to let hold it gently.

When is a good time to use half-halts?

Let’s say your horse is moving in a forward trot, but they almost look like they’re running. You can use a half-halt to encourage them to slow their tempo but remain in a full trot.

When you are asking your horse to change gaits, gain connection on the lunge line, and communicate effectively it’s also a good time to use it. You want to use this tool in a similar way that you use them when you’re riding. 

Use half-halts sparingly, and be sure you’re using the same amount of pressure to communicate! 

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