Turn on Forehand to the right (all movements are from the rider's point of view):
The forehand doesn't move. Reins are short with hands low and close together to keep the neck straight and prevent forward movement. Keep your outside (left) leg relaxed with 40% of your weight in the left stirrup (50% of your weight in the saddle and 10% of your weight in the right stirrup), shoulders level, ribs and chest up, look straight ahead, slide your calf back and touch horse's right side with your calf just in front of the flank. He should instantly move the haunches one step to the side away from your calf. If he doesn't move, tap with 4 ft. dressage whip across the right hip. If he moves forward close your hands and lift to shut the front door. If he is moving forward every time you ask for this, put his nose on a corner post and continue the exercise.
Turn on Haunches to the right (all movements are from the rider's point of view):
The haunches do not move. Reins are short with hands low and close together to keep the neck almost straight and prevent forward movement. Bring your outside (left) hand in front of your belly button and your inside (right) hand in front of your hip bone. Close and slightly lift the right hand in order to just barely see the bridle cheek strap. With left rein laying on the neck and left calf against the horse behind the cinch you are asking him to move his shoulder away from your left rein and left leg. Keep your inside (right) leg off the horse with 40% of your weight in your right stirrup, shoulders level, ribs and chest up, look slightly to the right. Horse should instantly move the forehand (shoulders) one step to the side away from your left leg and rein. If he doesn't move, tap the outside shoulder with 4 ft. dressage whip pointing straight down. If he moves forward close and lift your hands to shut the front door.
With both of these movements, remember to not push against him with the reins, just place the reins. Also do not kick or thump with the leg, just place it. If he does not respond, support with the whip. Be sure and release your leg the instant he steps away from it.
Ed Dabney is an internationally acclaimed clinician, presenting horsemanship and riding clinics all over the US and in Europe. In 2007, Ed was named Champion of the East Coast Trainer Challenge Series by Equine Extravaganza. Ed was honored to have been selected by the University of Georgia to teach their senior level Young Horse Training course.
His training articles have appeared in many major national magazines. Ed produces instructional videos and the “Gentle Horsemanship” TV program which has been seen on RFD-TV.
Ed's blending of natural horsemanship and classical equitation has made an indelible mark with students all across the United States and now also in Europe, drawing the attention of serious riders searching for the lightest touch and the deepest connection with their horses irrespective of breed or discipline.