Help! Swinging Quarters Ruin My Dressage Halt

Joanna Fisher
Joanna Fisher
My pony always swings her quarters to the left when I halt. How can I correct this for my centre line halt?

International Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Joanna Fisher shares her thoughts on this dressage conundrum!

She says….

Now this is a common problem, be it to the left or right and hope I can give you some good tips to nip this in the bud!
First and foremost, I would ask you to check that when you come up the centre line are you checking if your position is straight and balanced, are your reins level?
The most common cause of this would come from a stronger contact with the left rein (for quarters swinging left) or indeed it might also be your right leg slightly further back.
Once you are sure that you are level and balanced then it becomes a training issue that can be fixed by some basic transitions.
Almost issues can and are sorted out by basic transitions, I can’t stress this enough.
I would work in a left circle practising my walk trot walk trot then bring this to trot halt trot halt, keeping my inside leg on. This should correct her swinging her quarters. Once I have this established, I would move it to the right circle with the same exercise and only once she is standing straight would I start practising this on a straight line.
It is actually harder go keep a pony or horse straighter on a circle (not falling in or out) than going around on the track.
Finally, if in need you can always use a little more left leg in the halt should you feel her about to swing!
Keep me posted, and good luck!


Joanna has written a collection of children’s books based on her horses over the years.

It has been published by award winning Candy Jar books and currently available in Waterstones and being read in schools. Click here to link to her website: She also has a dressage website which can be found at



For more training advice from Joanna, why not visit her other blog posts here:


Do I need a dressage saddle to do dressage


How Can I make my Pony Stop Leaning on me?


Help My Dressage Circles are oval


What Age should I teach my horse flying changes?


How to turn a leg yield into a half pass


How can I teach my horse shoulder in?


How should I prepare for a dressage test?


Should I do Sitting Trot in My Dressage Test?


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