Here are a couple puzzling excerpts from Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen's article "Clarity & Speed Control" in the latest Dressage Today:
When I was a Pony Club rider, they taught me that when you slow down you should also use your leg, however, in a car, you don't give gas and brake at the same time, and I think it should be the same with your horse. To slow down, don't use leg.
And then a bit later:
To shorten the stride, I use my hands and no leg.
I have to wonder if that's really what she meant to say. Maybe the article is a translation, and the translation didn't quite convey what she meant? Because isn't slowing down your horse by using all hand and no leg the epitome of riding front to back? Slowing down is nothing more than a series of half halts, and my feeling is half halts should never consist of only hand. Of course you don't apply hand and leg at exactly the same time, but you certainly do balance any restraint in front with the creation of activity behind via the seat and leg. Cornelissen is a Dutch Olympian--obviously no slouch--so I suspect if she were asked to eloborate on these comments the takeaway might be a little more complicated than the excerpts above. I will be perusing future letters columns to see if any other DT readers had the same reaction I did. What do you all think?