In case you're like me and you don't know any French beyond "Mon dieu!", the title says, "The horse almost stopped", which was as close as the online translator could come to "half halt".
At any rate. We continued to work through the weekend on transitions through the halt, which has resulted in so much improvement. Izzy is much more responsive, both about halting and about going forward. We handled the Doom Bubble all alone on Sunday, and we rode outside in the wind and the mud today.
Here's what the title refers to: after about half an hour of warming up and doing transitions, I asked Izzy to halt, then go again before she stopped. She did it. That means, we did our first quality (and rudimentary) half halt. Obviously, I've had to rebalance her under saddle before, but this one caused a definite change in her way of going. It also confused her somewhat, poor girl.
Other than that, I also introduced backing. I've waited a long time to do this, because in my mind, a horse that rears as an evasion doesn't need any help learning to get her front end light. We have back a few steps here and there, but today I was actually asking for it. I got a variety of reactions. First, she did it. Then she completely locked up and wouldn't do anything. Then she ran backwards and wouldn't stop. We managed to work out a happy medium and just take a few balanced steps back. We're working towards an exercise I read about in which the horse halts, backs, goes forward, backs, etc. The idea is to swing the horse's weight and balance back and forth, which takes a great deal of coordination for both horse and rider.
Sounds good, right?
PS I really like my title. You may see more French in the future, but rest assured, I don't understand more than two words of it.
PPS I'm sorry if you saw this post before I edited it. I accidentally translated to Spanish! Ha. That shows you how much I know about foreign language.