The golden thread that runs through Straightness Training is to lighten the front legs and to bend the hind legs by moving weight from the front legs to the haunches.
The school halt is a collected way of stopping the horse and the result of Straightness Training is that the horse is able to make a school halt from walk, trot and canter.
I put an old clip here of Misfit and me where it was coming along.
A school halt is not a goal, it’s a test, it’s a touchstone. Focusing on the preparation is far more important because the school halt in its perfection can be performed only by the fully trained and straightened horse.
Therefore, we never teach it in isolation, it will arise organically over time by shifting more and more weight back. At the first sign of lightness in the trot and of easiness in turning in either direction, you may begin to indicate the school halt to a horse.
To get the bigger picture about isolated and compound exercises check out the following article at https://www.straightnesstraining.com/tips/compound-exercises-vs-isolation-exercises/
Misfit’s school halt is not perfect yet but he is straightened enough, has strength in his hindquarter, is strong in his loins and balanced in his mind to offer me his best when I ask him.
The school halt is not suitable for every horse especially when the true essence is misunderstood. Therefore, as beneficial as the school halts may be when they are executed at the right moment, so may they be harmful when used improperly.
My elderly horse Misfit (23 y.) is still in regular training.
He knows quite a lot and today it is not so much about teaching him new stuff, it is more about keeping him supple, strong and fit until old age.
The variety of Groundwork, Longeing, Work in Hand, Riding and Liberty really make the difference in training.
I am very grateful to have him in my life for 19 years now as he was the reason why I started Straightness Training in 2011.
Time flys but I look very much forward to many more wonderful years with him.