Schooling Plans

Improving the Half Pass.

The aim of this schooling plan is to work through increasing lateral suppleness and how to work on improving the half pass. This a general plan and will need to be tweaked to the individual horse and rider.

1.Walk and trot to limber up.

Meaning to have a loosening walk and trot to get the horse and rider easily into the session.

{Options: include canter}

2. Specific walk stretch, big walk and really draping him down whilst actively stepping forwards. Then have a period of specifically stretching the horse down in trot. Especially in colder weather but in general it is not good to go into deep stretches straight away hence stage 1 above.

{Options: include canter stretch depending on level and balance of horse}

3. Pick the horse up to a contact and ride some walk to halt transitions. In halt make sure that you can laterally flex the horse to the left and right, with a soft relaxed jaw and supple throatlash area. The sign of this is when the rider asks for left flexion the top of the neck flicks left; when right flexion is correctly achieved the top of the neck flicks right. A horse cannot truly bend without truly releasing through the lateral flexion.

4. Ride the horse forwards into an active trot and ride the first half of the long side in an outside flexion (neck and body straight flexion purely at the throatlash area), straighten and then ride the next half of the long side in an inward flexion. Then change the rein across the long diagonal with the first half of the diagonal in inside flexion then over X change to the new inside flexion. The key is the relaxation through the jaw and the ability to achieve and change the flexion in an active forward gait.

Have a break on a loose rein.

5. Then we need to add lateral bend to the lateral flexion. Ride an active forward trot large around the whole school. Down the long side of a 20m x 40m school ride 3 x 10m circles spaced out along the long side {in a 20m x 60m school ride 5 x 10m circles}, repeat along the next long side. Change the rein and repeat down the next two long sides. This improves the lateral suppleness and with the accumulative effect the horse becomes looser and stronger.

Have another break on a loose rein.

6. Now to the half pass:

In walk ride large around the school. Come through the corner onto the long side and ride shoulder-in. Half way down the long side change to renvers and just before the corner change back to shoulder-in and then straighten just before the corner. Repeat down the next long side, change the rein and repeat along the next two long sides. Have a walk stretch. Pick up and then ride:
- Start of long side ride shoulder-in
- Ride a 10m circle in shoulder-in, proceed shoulder-in.
- Convert to renvers
- Ride a 10m circle in the renvers
- Continue renvers
- Ride a half 10m circle in renvers to the centre line and this will set you up for half pass across the school to the opposite long side.

Walk stretch through a change of rein and repeat in the other direction.

{Options: depending on ease and understanding of this exercise take it through to the trot}

Finish the session with a period of stretching down (warming down) in trot stretch. Walk the horse off and put away.