Manolo was speaking recently with Chantelle about Travers and Half Pass and how one prepares the other. He mentioned how often riders forget to go back to the basics to improve, repair or enhance a more advanced movement but also to keep the horse fresh and happy doing work that conditions him and is not complicated. He also reminded us that:
Travers and half pass are almost the same movement. It is simply done on a different line and with a slight bit more angle for half pass. In that, it is similar to shoulder-fore and shoulder-in: same movement but done on a different line and angle. The difference is in the degree of fitness, balance and suppleness the horse has developed under the rider.
As we are finishing polishing the translation of the Swedish Hippson and it is also addressed there, we thought we would share this simple advice about the role of travers in developing half pass and how to ride both travers and half pass fluidly.
Note, Manolo rides travers always on 3 not 4 tracks.
TEXT: Manolo On Travers and Half Pass
REMEMBER: We teach the horse Travers before we introduce the half pass. Travers prepares the horse and rider for a correctly ridden half pass.
Too often, once a horse can do a half pass, the rider forgets to keep the basics in their regular lesson plan to keep the horse fresh, supple and balanced.If the horse starts having difficulties doing the half pass, the rider starts drilling the half pass. This creates resistance and problems for the horse and rider. Instead of insisting on repeating the half pass poorly, the rider should go back to the travers in order to fix the angle and flow, etc…once the horse is traveling confidently in travers, then the rider should try for a good half pass again.
A COMMON MISTAKE is for riders to lean away from the movement in travers and half pass. The horse follows the rider’s bodyweight and it will naturally go in the direction the rider’s body leans towards. If the rider’s weight and his rein aids are giving conflicting signals to the horse, the rider is setting up the horse to fail. Instead, ride the horse in travers and half pass with your body leaning ever so slightly in the direction of travel and your inside shoulder ever so slightly downwards. That way, you and your horse will move forward in the movement TOGETHER. This creates more expression and better flow and movement.