Re: How to Achieve the Perfect Halt?
Sorry I didn't answer ealier.. have no fear, I am here ;)
I wouldn't advise backing up after halting- what is it going to achieve, apart from teaching your horse to back up when you halt?
A common problem of good working horses falling apart at a halt is not being ridden in to the halt. By this, I mean that you as the rider think okay.. annddd... halt. When it should be. Halt. Now. Smackbang. An instant reaction rather than slowing the horse down, therefore taking the power from the hind end.
You need your horse working in a good, soft outline, but moving forwards. I find rising trot, then sitting a couple of strides before the halt much easier in a more forwards trot at first rather than having to concentrate on keeping balanced, forward, sitting trot and halting.
As soon as your horse halts, give the reins fore. If he wants to snatch at them, give him a boot in the side. This works for 90% of horses I know. The other 10% are arses, and require a quick sharp half halt on the outside rein so they realise who it is sat on them. I carry a small crop with Duffy, and she went through a habit of head tossing, with no contact on the reins, in a halt. Simply impatience. So, I used it on her shoulder, legs squeezed on and she's brilliant now- no more issues.
When you ride, you need to make sure that your half halts are correctly times, and not just here there and everywhere. As the inside hind leg comes through, you apply the half halt. Your inside rein should have a steady contact turning the horse's nose and neck slightly to the inside bend.
You need to feel as though you are wrapping your legs around him, keeping his back up, and feel as though even though you are halting you are asking for impulsion for him to stand neat and tidy. Don't back off with your legs when he's stood nicely, give the rein fore instead. Wait for 2-3 counts, and walk or trot on.
It takes time, and practise, and the more you do it the better it will become.
Correct half halts
Wrap your legs round his belly and keep them on.
Do you have a video at all??