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Half-halts are usually done by shortening the rein and driving the horse into a more compact frame in order to slow pace and re-collect and rebalance. The rider releases the half-halt cue the instant the horse makes an attempt to respond to the rider's request.
You can often help a horse learn to carry himself in a collected frame by "beefing up" the half-halt. Use the same cues, but hold the horse in the half-halt position for an extended period of time instead of releasing immediately upon any response.
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