Ed Dabney Gentle and Natural Horsemanship, Training Philosophy and techniques, care, communication, consistency
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Ed's Training Philosophy

My training philosophy is based on Care, Communication and Consistency:

Care for our horses not only includes providing for their needs of food, water, shelter, medical care, exercise and companionship 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:

(A) to be confident and emotionally stable, never displaying reactions of anger, frustration, fear, confusion or violence.

(B) to set the rules for respectful behavior and always enforce those rules.

(C) to set high expectations for performance from our horses and help them in every way possible to achieve those high standards.

(D) to pursue light requests from ourselves and light responses from our horses. Only in lightness is there dignity for the horse and the human.

"For what a horse does under constraint, he does without understanding and with no more grace than a dancer would show if he were whipped or goaded.  Under such treatment man and horse alike will produce much more that is ugly than graceful."
Master Greek Horseman from the first century AD