One of my most popular articles was on a very simple yet crucial aspect of the art of dressage.
The key to a good half halt, is not on the asking of the balance, but in the release.
Too often we see riders that can effectively check the horse, but then forget all together about the release afterwards.
The moment of lightness, where we allow the horse to move up and forward, the moment of freedom that allows him to carry himself, and to carry us forward.
One of my favourite quotes of the great master Nuno Oliveira summed up this concept very well, and reminds riders that the art of riding is in the ability to praise, to release, to relax the aids when the horse tries his best to give you what you wanted.
“Make it a habit to praise when the horse yields.”
N.Oliveira (1998, 17).