What we believe...
Founding Dabney Riding Academy has been the experience of a lifetime for us! As a
sixth-generation horsewomen, growing up with my parents, Ed and Colleen Dabney,
in Wyoming was a constant adventure. My father passed down the time-honored
techniques of Classical Equitation and Gentle Horsemanship. At Dabney Riding Academy,
our lessons are based on a combination of these tried-and-true techniques and our own
insight into how best to apply these techniques. You won't find any other lesson
program quite like ours. If you ask our students, you will feel right at home.
Much of our lesson emphasis is on building rider confidence, safety, clear communication,
light responses and quality of control of speed and direction. Because of this, our
lessons are applicable to any riding discipline. First and foremost, our students come to
understand how the hose perceives the ideas
presented to him and how to communicate
with him in the same way he communicates with other horses. This is all shed with respect for the horse by using gentle, natural horsemanship techniques.
As you advance through our program, you'll build confidence in handling horses on the ground and when mounted, develop natural communication skills and establish a natural authority as a confident, consistent leader for
At the heart of our program are the principles of Ed Dabney. His formal training in 17th century classical equitation provides us with a very unique and broad basis of skills and knowledge to pass on to lesson participants. Students will learn gentle
horsemanship and classical riding techniques that are not taught in any other
Often, we begin with a series of seat lessons to help riders find a balanced,
independent seat and to feel more secure in the saddle. It is from this sense of
security that your confident leadership is communicated to the horse. Our
students develop a natural, anchored seat and learn how to ride from their core.
Students discover how to eliminate bouncing and flow with your horse's natural
rhythm. With the safety of being on one of our specially trained lesson horses
—who are all personally trained by us, specifically to be used for instruction—
and being on the lunge, you will be able to really concentrate on all levels of
fundamental riding. These seat lessons have proven to be very helpful even for experienced riders.
So why all the emphasis on proper seat? "You cannot hope to control the horse if you cannot first control your own body." Having a sympathetic or independent seat means riders are not interfering with the natural motion and relaxed stride of the horse by being tense or gripping with the hands or legs. By being in full control of one's body they will have clarity of the aids by being able to use their legs and hands for clear communication to the horse rather than gripping the horse to keep themselves in the saddle.
Once you have established these fundamentals, we help you grow towards whatever your goals as a rider may be. From basic trail riding to advanced, precision horsemanship, we believe that the best style of riding is the one you enjoy the most. We try to offer as many ways to enjoy your horse as possible, from summer camps and group activities for children and teens, rodeo drill teams for riders of all ages, and—most importantly—a relaxed and friendly environment to enjoy spending time with other passionate riders.
We hope you will come join our growing community of natural horsemen and horsewomen. See you at the farm!