Ed Dabney Gentle and Natural Horsemanship Confidence Course. Step by step obstacles to develop confidence, trust, agility, awareness on part of horse.
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The Canter Depart

To explain exactly what should be done with hands, weight, leg and preparatory horse body positioning for each upward transition.  For example to "give a signal" to go from walk to canter the riders seat and posture does not change other than an internal rise of core energy and mental intent to canter, the hands should slightly offset to the non lead side (to ask for left lead canter the riders left hand moves right to in front of his belly button, thus the left indirect rein and the riders right hand moves right to in front of and even with his hip, thus a positional misalignment which brings the horses shoulders to the right), the riders outside leg moves slightly back and squeezes from the calf asking for haunches in.  The rider should feel in his seat the horse hinge just behind the saddle with the haunches moving laterally a half step to the inside of the arena while still moving forward in a collected walk.  The horses’ shoulders parallel along the rail with a slight inside bend of the neck, haunches in and outside front foot on the ground is the ideal preparatory position for the canter depart.  At that moment of positioning the riders inside calf/heel squeezes while the inside hand performs a reverse half halt which signals the horse to immediately launch into a left lead canter.  This positioning and preparation almost insures an easy and smooth canter depart on the correct lead with both the horse and rider well prepared and properly balanced.

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.