Riding your test come competition day can feel daunting but simple changes to how you ride it in the moment and what you do in training at home can make all the difference. Isobel Wessels explains how to practice your halt.
Perfecting the halt
Not all levels of test require you to halt at X but when at home add this into your routine by using a half halt down the long side to get your horse used to you asking him to prepare for something. This will get his attention and when you do ask him for a halt, he’ll be confident standing still and waiting for your next aid. You don’t have to do this in the middle of the arena, I recommend practicing it next to a fence line so he has the support next to him, which not only improves his confidence, but will also get him to stand straighter. Once you’ve established this, you can then move on to practicing it down the centre line. Make sure he’s in front of your leg so he doesn’t slump down to a halt, ride positively and actively ask for the halt.