About Dawn Westcott

About Dawn Westcott - Connecting with Ponies

Dawn Westcott is author of equestrian best-sellers Wild Pony Whispering and Wild Stallion Whispering (published by Halsgrove). Dawn's third book, Wild Herd Whispering, published Oct 2017, has featured in Horse Magazine and the Daily Mail - and appears in the equestrian best-selling horse books lists. 

Dawn lives with her husband, Exmoor farmer Nick Westcott, in Exmoor National Park. They have Holtball Herd 11 Exmoor ponies and run the Exmoor Pony Project (Moorland Exmoor Foal Project), which helps Exmoor ponies, promotes the breed, encourages more compassionate 
horsemanship, and supports other breeders, owners and enthusiasts. 
Nick and Dawn are also both co-founders, along with other Exmoor farmers and land owners, of the Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group (MEPBG). Dawn sits on the pioneering Exmoor Pony DNA Whole Genome Project team which is aiming to help safeguard endangered Exmoor pony genetics. 

She specialises in positive, trust-based horsemanship techniques using gentle Core Energy Connection and liberty training.  Dawn is also a Reiki Master and artist.


Dawn Westcott has twice stood International Horse Agility World Champion (2011 and 2012) with moorbred Exmoor pony stallion Bear who is also a wonderful ridden pony (often bitless) and a working stallion. She produces Exmoor ponies to top level in showing.

In 2013 Nick and Dawn founded the Moorland Exmoor Foal Project to give wild Moorland Exmoor foals a good start in life. They also created the informal Exmoor Pony Club to help like-minded Exmoor pony breeders, owners and enthusiasts network and connect. This work has evolved to benefit Exmoor ponies from foals to veterans, along with their breeders, owners and enthusiasts, on Exmoor, across the UK and overseas - so the projects have evolved into the  Exmoor Pony Project. Nick and Dawn are founder members of the Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group (MEPBG), which is a collaboration of progressive Exmoor farmers and land owners who are working to improve Exmoor pony management, marketing and opportunities for the ponies. They are both members of the Exmoor National Park Authority Exmoor Pony Breed Steering Group and Dawn is part of the new Exmoor Pony DNA Whole Genome Project team, which is working to map the full genetic make-up of the Exmoor pony for the first time. (This is a collaboration of stakeholders Exmoor National Park Authority, Rare Breeds Survival Trust, MEPBG, EPS, Peter Green, the Molland Estate and Badgworthy Land Company working with Nottingham University - and which is chaired by DEFRA Chief Vet Tim Morris).

Along with the other MEPBG farmers, Nick and Dawn launched the Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival in 2014 to celebrate and promote the pedigree, purebredand cross-bred Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park, after they both helped to found and run events for the original 'Exmoor Pony Festival'. 
Nick and Dawn Westcott's Exmoor pony herd, Holtball Herd 11 , was originally founded, along with herds 10 and 21, by Nick's great grandfather and his two brothers early in the 20th century. 
Before that: 
Before moving to the Westcountry in 1999, Dawn Westcott worked in glossy magazine publishing in London. 
This included business publishing at Centaur Communications (The Lawyer and Money Marketing) and a spell with the financial team at The Telegraph before returning to Centaur. 

Dawn managed Country Living magazine's advertorials, before becoming a freelance art director, stylist and designer. This led to seven years at BBC Worldwide as Advertorials Editor, art directing, styling, designing and editing advertorial features for BBC Homes & Antiques, Good Homes and Gardener's World magazines - in addition to freelance projects including styling/art directing book, newspaper and magazine features. 

After moving to the South West in 1999, Dawn established the equestrian website Equine Tourism to help promote horse holidays, equestrian events and good horsemanship. 

Dawn's work with Exmoor ponies involves PR and publicity, marketing and promotion of the various pony projects looking to safeguard the Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park, Exmoor pony training and development, and her work as an author and journalist. 

Dawn Westcott's work has appeared in national and regional magazines and newspapers, and TV appearances include ITV This Morning, ITV News Westcountry, BBC Flog It, BBC Spotlight and BBC Countryfile. See Press & TV Cuttings for recent work.

Talks, Books Signing, Workshops and Demos
Dawn Westcott gives talks about Exmoor ponies and her work and hosts Wild Pony Whispering workshops

Please check out the Talks & Events page and the Workshops page for forthcoming dates. 

A short video about our work with Exmoor ponies & my new book Wild Herd Whispering

This is a short video we made recently to introduce you to some of our ponies and explain more about Wild Herd Whispering.  It also features some of the characters from Wild Pony Whispering and Wild Stallion Whispering - including Monsieur Chapeau and Bear. 

Wild Pony Whispering BOOK SHOP

Short film about Exmoor Ponies 

This is a short film I did with wild horse film-maker Marc Lubetzki (in Feb 2017) to promote Moorland Exmoor ponies looking for good homes and to explain what to look for in a good Exmoor pony. 
I'm very grateful to Marc Lubetzki for generously giving his time and skills to do this. 

You can find out more about my work with other Exmoor farmers in the Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group to promote and safeguard the future of the Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park at www.mepbg.co.uk
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