In Michael Schaffer's book, Right From the Start, I have read two things that I'd like to ask people about.
First, he says that one should never use an indirect rein. This is because it compresses the inside rib cage without stretching the outside of the horse making it difficult for him to turn. (I think I have got that right). It is like if you collapse one side of yourself say by lowering your shoulder instead of raising the other to stretch up on one side. If that is correct, I didn't get HOW you do this with the horse, that is get him to stretch the outside instead of collapsing the inside.
Second, he discusses the half halt near the end of the book and says that unless the horse is well-trained in the exercises throughout the book, the horse will not only have no idea what you mean when you ask it to half halt, but won't be able to do it. He also doesn't like "sponging the reins".
Everything he says, as I'm reading it, makes sense but if all this is true, ??? is the average person on a RS horse supposed to deal with these issues? We are told to half halt and use an indirect rein and we do as we are told. As I read many of the questions people (including me) ask on here, it seems pretty discouraging that we may be being asked to do the impossible.
I think that M.S. is talking about the ideal situation which most people, especially those who take lessons on RS horses will never encounter.
On a lighter note, going to take Hunni out on the trail today where we will not think about any of these weighty issues!!!