Dressage - Half Pass
The Half Pass is a lateral dressage movement in which the horse wrapped around the riders inside leg, moves forwards and sideways into the bend with the forehand very slightly in front of the hindquarters.
Half Pass requires the horse to maintain balance, rhythm and impulsion throughout and is therefore a very demanding exercise for the horse to undertake due to the amount of engagement that is required from the hindquarters.
Preparation For Half Pass
The horse should already be well established with school movements and be correctly working through in Leg Yield, Shoulder In and Travers with free and energetic paces.
How To Ask For Half Pass
- Have your horse in walk on the left rein to begin with and as you come out of the corner of the school begin to ride Shoulder In.
- Ensure that your horse is balanced and freely moving forward and sitting lightly in the outside right rein with a soft light contact on the inside rein and with the correct amount of left bend.
- Your inside left leg will already be on the girth maintaining impulsion and the soft inside bend to the left and it is now that your outside leg will take action to begin the Half Pass.
- Move your outside right leg back behind the girth to ask the hindquarters to start moving to the left.
- At the same time take your outside rein and use an indirect rein to allow the shoulders to start freely moving diagonally across the school.
- You need to maintain the shoulder fore positioning whilst riding the Half Pass so that the hindquarters do not overtake the front of the horse.
- To begin with only ride a few steps of Half Pass to the quarter line and then continue to ride Shoulder In along the quarter line. As your horse progresses you will be able to Half Pass to the centre line and eventually across the opposite side of the school.
Half Pass Exercises
- Another way to start riding Half Pass is to ride a 10 or 15 m half circle at one end of the school and then Half Pass back to the track, this exercise is great because you change the rein each time you ride it, ensuring that you are well practiced on both reins.
- Once you are accomplished at riding Half Pass you can ride from the track in left Half Pass to the centre line and then back to the track in right Half Pass and vice versa.
- When you have really established your Half Pass it can also be ridden in trot and in canter.