The Half Nelson and Claw Ride are very complimentary top techniques, as you can easily bounce back and forth between the two. They work well in controlling your opponent's upper body, but you must make sure to maintain a good tight waist to also control the hips.
The half is also one of the easiest ways to pin an opponent because if done correctly you'll have complete control over his head and neck. Always go for a regular half. The reverse-half is too unstable and should only be used to stop a roll in progress. Then you tighten up your tight waist and go back to the regular half.
Do not let go of the tight waist. Another gripe about school program coaches, they teach to grab the near leg. This is unsatisfactory, it gives up your needed control on the opponent's hips. Against a good wrestler, you let go of the hips and go to grab his leg and by that time he has circled away and gotten free.
Float Drill: You have a half nelson, tight waist, and your knees pinched on either side of the guy's hips. Your objective is just to roll with the bottom guy as he chops, stands up, does a forward roll, etc. Try to keep your hips up without extending your legs or using your feet to push you back into position.