Introducing Half Pass, and Second level movements

I’m thinking of starting a Foster fan club so I can get groupies to take photos for the blog. Kidding aside, I have no new photos to share, so enjoy recycled photos. Sorry.

Feeling all inspired from the dressage show this weekend, I decided to really attempt a couple of the movements that are newer to us that show up in Second 1. Specifically, 10 meter canter circles and rein backs.


Working on rein backs first meant working on trot halt transitions, and getting a nice square halt in which he does not go splat upon stopping, but continues to stay round and wait for my aids. The following rein-backs are getting better, a true two beat movement and very little bracing.


Ten meter canter circles required a collected canter that was really sitting, and as we haven’t revisited collection so much since coming back I only schooled a couple of these in each direction. This also allowed me to attempt a canter-walk transition approaching the wall, and while not quite there the trot steps were pretty minimal.

Nov. 2012

Nov. 2012

Since I’ve been working on half pass at the walk for the last couple weeks, I also attempted introducing it at the trot. To the right he is just lovely, moving forward and lateral into the bend with ease. No surprise there since haunches-in in that direction is so easy for him, and as I read once, half pass is haunches-in on a diagonal. To the left in general he has been a bit stiffer in the connection and has trouble lifting his shoulder, so we got some good steps but in general he’s more tense and that will need some work.

Tonight we have a dressage lesson, and I am expecting and somewhat looking forward to a butt-whooping.

8 thoughts on “Introducing Half Pass, and Second level movements

  1. Interesting, I have always been told that half pass is a shoulder-in on a diagonal. In fact, that’s why you typically shoulder in down the long side to establish the correct bend, then ask them to move off the wall.

    If you can hang in there another month I can be the one-man-Foster-groupie :). Photos for dayz.

    • Actually, you could totally be right. I’m going to try and find out where I read that so I can fact check!

      And yes please, photos!! 😀 😀

      • Just think about how in haunches in, the shoulders stay straight on the track and the haunches curve off. In shoulder in, the haunches stay straight on the track and the shoulders curve in. In a half pass, the hind end stays straight and the shoulders bend around your inside leg. So it really is just a shoulder in that moves off the wall :).

  2. good luck at the lesson! you must be so relieved (and excited!) to be getting back into the meat of dressage again – and sounds like Foster is springing back nicely!

  3. Bobby is also stickier to the left during half pass–that is when we can get a step that direction at all. The BO at my last barn–who was teaching us half pass before we moved–told me to think off doing a shoulder in and then adding the haunches in and voila! Half pass!

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