Ed Dabney Gentle and Natural Horsemanship Confidence Course. Step by step obstacles to develop confidence, trust, agility, awareness on part of horse.
Welcome and
Mission Statement
Shop Online
Philosophy of
Horse Training
Ed's Background
Photo Gallery
Horse Training
Horsemanship &
Riding Instruction
Horse Boarding
and Rehab Care
Clinics & Events
Success Training
The Young Horse
and Nakotas
Confidence Course
Training Articles
& Free Videos
For Moviemakers &
History Buffs
Cowboy Poetry

Success Stories

Contact Us


Click here for
important message

Horses For Sale

Pinning Ears

Hi Suzie,
Pinning ears can be a sign of irritation either physically or emotionally.  It would help me to know under what circumstances he pins his ears.  If it is during grooming or brushing he may have sensitive skin and you are using a too stiff brush.  If it is during saddling his back may be sore, the saddle may not fit properly or you may be cinching up too quickly or too tightly. 

This problem could also be caused by vertebrae out of alignment, hoof abscess or dental problems.  We recommend you have your horse examined by a professional farrier, an equine dentist and equine massage therapist or equine chiropractor. 

Once you are sure the problems are not caused by a pain issue then I believe our video, "Six Keys to Harmony" may help you develop a better relationship with your horse by giving you a systematic plan for performing essential, practical exercises with your horse on the ground and mounted. 

These exercises should be used as your “pre-ride checklist” to establish your leadership position, gain your horse’s attention and determine how he is responding to you.  They will build his respect and trust for you and help him be calm, thinking and willing.  They will increase his coordination for precise and fluid movements.  These exercises will prepare both horse and rider mentally, physically and emotionally for a more successful and enjoyable ride.

We all love our horses and want to have a great relationship with them.  Love alone doesn’t necessarily build the best relationship.  It takes communication and leadership.

If you could become the type of leader who is worthy of your horse’s respect and trust you would be amazed at the change in your horse’s attitude and how much lighter and more responsive he becomes.  If your horse knows he has a confident, consistent leader he will be much more at peace with you and within himself. 

How do you become this type of leader for your horse?  Through the 3Cs and the "Six Keys to Harmony".

Care for our horses not only includes providing for their basic physical needs but it also includes attempting to understand the horse culture and see life from their perspective.  This includes educating ourselves regarding the horses’ instincts and social structure, respecting their concerns and appreciating how they perceive us and the requests we present to them. 

Communication involves discovering how horses communicate with other horses and then using their own language to open a line of communication between the human and the horse.  By employing techniques of visualization, body language, pressure and release and focused energy we present our requests to our horses in a way he can easily understand and gradually accept.

Consistency is the key to becoming the type of leader who is worthy of our horses’ respect and trust.  Our responsibilities as a good leader for our horse are:

  1. to be confident and emotionally stable, never displaying reactions of anger, frustration, fear, confusion or violence.
  2. to set the rules for respectful behavior and always enforce those rules.
  3. to set high expectations for performance from our horses and help them in every way possible to achieve those high standards.
  4. to pursue light requests from ourselves and light responses from our horses.  Only in lightness is there dignity for the horse and the human.

By incorporating these principles and essential exercises and developing your own leadership and communication skills, you will be establishing a much deeper relationship with your horse.  Your horse will now be at peace knowing you are his confident, consistent leader and will have a new respect and trust for you resulting in harmony.   At this point you are likely to find the ear pinning has disappeared.

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.