Saw this at a schooling show yesterday. In one of the classes, you had to jump a line, halt, then counter canter the single oxer. This was in a small indoor, and the "out" of the line was very close to the wall. One girl jumped the "out", halted smoothly in a straight line. Most cantered through the turn and halted at C, their trainer yelled at them for not using the wall to halt, saying "the horse isn't going to go through the wall, it's a freebie halt and just to aim straight at it." So I was thinking- does it make a difference? Is it better to halt in a straight line (if you risk smashing into the kickboards) or to halt later in the turn.
This was Biq Eq, if it makes a difference.
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You should always halt before the turn. Always. Unless it's going to be super obvious that you had to use the wall to stop, in which case it might be better to canter the turn and halt. The correctly done halt in a straight line will win the class, though.
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Did they then do a turn and pick up the counter canter? I think that would be the most difficult part of using the wall. If you got too close to the wall, the transition into counter canter may not be as smooth or you'd have to do a turn that may not look as nice. If you could halt immediately after the line, leaving yourself a good amount of room to get the counter canter and go through the corner smoother it would be more impressive than going all the way through the turn and then halting. Halting straight is more impressive as long as you do it well. If you're horse's chest is touching the wall and his nose is in a spectator's lap it definitely won't earn you more points than smoothly halting in the turn
I'd say halt in a straight line as soon as you smoothly can after the fence, pick up the counter canter and show that you can keep in through the turn. Earlier the better, especially since its an EQ class and tightening everything up does count. Of course if you get the halt but then pick up the inside lead or make a mess of something else your not going to score as high.
A proper halt executed ASAP after the line would seem ideal. The problem is then holding the counter canter through the turn. Well schooled "EQ" horses know this move but as mentioned, it was a local schooling show. I have no idea who the riders or horses were, but my guess is that getting and holding the counter canter on the turn may have been the issue that sent riders around the corner before the halt.
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