Dawn teaches all ages and abilities. Horse-riding lessons are just as much about being on the ground with the horses and learning how to connect and communicate. For children or adults who have experienced frightening situations in the past, Dawn's sensitive approach will build confidence and allow that passion for horses to return without fear or anxiety. There are many ways horses can support in confidence building.
Relational and Natural Horsemanship
A relational and natural approach forms the basis of all that we do at Heartshore. Before you ride a horse, it is worth considering what you are looking for in terms of an experience. To be able to speak to horses in a language they can understand, allows us to build strong connection and a partnership, making life far more comfortable for our horses and much safer and happier for us.
Dawn makes lessons fun and engaging. She works at a pace to suit each individual and she will introduce you to refreshing, different ways to communicate with your horse, in order to build trust and a sense of togetherness - the complete opposite to traditional methods. You can find out more about Dawn's experience and training here.
Horse Riding also sits under this umbrella as riding horses is secondary to understanding how to communicate, connect and feel comfortable around them. Dawn usually divides lessons up into some riding and some relational work from the ground. There is no focus on technique as with traditional methods. This is all about how you feel, and how the horse responds and building on that.
Heartshore is situated next to Gatcombe Park Estate. There are trail rides that take us through Gatcombe, deep into the beautiful Cotswold countryside, and other trails that weave and wind through nearby villages, woodland and across open common land.
Some of our Herd members are available to loan, a perfect opportunity for you if you're not ready for your own horse, and there couldn't be a better place to learn and collaborate. Find out more about the herd and our horses available for loan here.
Autists and Horses
As part of the life at Heartshore, Dawn and her team work with adults and children who are Autists or who have additional needs. Lessons can be arranged on a private basis to include family members or be incorporated as part of the school curriculum.
Sessions can be private or taken as part of the school or home education curriculum and each session takes place in a positive, safe environment where each individual is given the space to explore the sensory and emotional aspects of being with horses.
Dawn nurtures the growth of the relationship between human and horse, each person able to work at a comfortable pace and every journey different and extraordinary. Riding doesn’t always feature ─ it depends on how each session unfolds. Working at ground level alongside horses can be an extremely grounding and calming experience.
Dawn has worked with many Autists and their families over the years and the accounts she gives of the interactions and break-through moments she has witnessed are beautiful to hear. Dawn believes that horses allow Autists to be themselves, giving them the ability to self-regulate and relax in their environment with confidence. If you would like to read more about Dawn's experiences, you can do so here.
If lessons are something you'd like to try, for yourself, or for your children, you can get in touch with Dawn here.
More about Horses and Therapeutic work.