"Wonderful books, inspiring, beautiful approach to the character of Exmoors."
Mary Jane W
- Amazon 5**** review
"I really enjoyed this book. It's a touching story, and also an instructional book which could be of use to any open-minded horseperson.
It's beautifully illustrated with clear photos of the magnificent Bear, he is a true star and the camera certainly loves him. Readers will come to realise how lucky he was to find a home where he is appreciated, and the book also makes the point that this is not the case for all moorland foals. Books like this are needed to publicise the plight of the 'unwanted' foals, and hopefully it will generate interest in the breed."
"I was very much looking forward to receiving my awaited copy of “Wild Stallion Whispering”, Dawn Westcott’s sequel to the delightful “Wild Pony Whispering”. I wasn’t disappointed and couldn’t put it down until I had read it from cover to cover. Dawn has cleverly woven different elements together to produce a captivating insight into the Exmoor pony world, which is at once enthralling, inspiring, educational, horrifying, worrying and hopeful.
The story could easily have focused on the magnificent stallion Bear (Hawkwell Versuvius) alone and would have made an inspiring read. However, bringing to light the plight of purebred moorland Exmoor ponies who are still, unaccountably, slipping through the registration net, making them very difficult to find homes for, since they cannot be used for breeding or show, gives the book an added dimension. The section on the multiple hot-branding of foals is harrowing. If foals could scream, I wonder if the forcible restraint and hot branding of these young, vulnerable beings would still be going on? Well done to Dawn and Nick for continuing in their efforts to stop this barbaric practice - in the face of considerable opposition, it would seem, otherwise why is it still going on?
The training tips and core connection warm-up exercises are extremely helpful and would be essential reading for anyone thinking of taking on young Exmoors in particular but are applicable to anyone wishing to start handling and training youngstock.
I really can’t recommend this book highly enough. It is wonderful to read how Dawn’s personal journey to “going softer” has progressed and continues to develop, inspiring others to attempt the same."
"Such an enjoyable read on so many levels! A lovely uplifting story beautifully illustrated with photographs that make any pony lover's heart melt. The way in which Dawn took on this high octane wild stallion, deeply distrustful of humans after being hot branded as a foal, and forged a bond of trust and love with him over the years is really amazing. Plus there is plenty of excitement as she describes the several hair raising incidents they went through together at various events. It is also a wonderful tribute to the uniqueness of the moor bred wild Exmoor ponies (currently on the endangered list) helping to change the perception that they are 'difficult'. They have so much to teach us about how to interact with them and with ourselves. I also loved the section in the middle which explains the gentle trust based methods Dawn has developed in order to work with wild Exmoor ponies, which of course can be used with any pony or horse or indeed any animal wild or not. Learning how to connect on this level must be an incredibly rewarding experience; so for anyone who feels uncomfortable with the standard breaking and training advice this is a must read. It is a great story with excellent practical advice on how to achieve deep level of connection with your equine. Truly revelatory."
"This is a skillfully written book illustrating the progress of a highly charged and highly sensitive foal with a 'don't touch me attitude' resulting from the barbaric practice of having to endure multi branding for his registration.
Taking a pony to the dizzy heights of 2 world championships in agility and multi championships in the show ring is indeed a shining testimony to the trust based methods used by Dawn in handling and training equines from scratch.These accolades have showcased an Exmoor pony stallion on the world stage - an achievement not surpassed by any other Exmoor pony. The book also clearly sets out these methods that she has developed from observing untainted 'natural' ponies. This insight can enrich us all who are involved with equines. The book takes you on a roller coaster journey, from Bear's difficult beginnings, to fending off jealousy in the competition world, a physical attack, verbal abuse and much more. Dawn and her husband have bravely taken on crusades against branding and registration for the benefit and progression of the breed. The thread throughout the book is 'a chill wind'. It appears to be more like a 'hurricane!. Through it all Bear has become a beautiful, confident and balanced pony that anyone would be proud to own."
"If you love horses you need to buy this book, it is great. The pictures are wonderful and the story so well written would definitely recommend."
(Amazon purchaser and 5**** review)
"Beautiful photos, fabulous story. Heart warming."
"An excellent read for anyone who has spent time with native ponies, not just Exmoors, the trials and tribulations, the highs and lows of socialising with these amazingly clever and intelligent animals, and a tribute to which we should all aspire."
"Nicely packed and is a good book, thank you."
Geoffrey W. Amazon 5**** review
"More insights into this unique breed along with a very personal account of a journey from fear and suspicion to trust, mutual respect and a cross species bond. A fascinating glimpse into the pony centric world of Exmoor, the herds, the landscape, the people. This book will appeal not only to equine owning folk but also to anyone with a love of the British countryside and it's wild (feral) character and traditions."
"I just finished reading Wild Stallion Whispering. This book covers so many topics about the Exmoor ponies in such a peaceful and optimistic manner : their personalities, their fears, and what they are capable of achieving.
The couple, Bear and Dawn, have paved the way for many of us Exmoor pony owners to learn how to communicate with our ponies in the most subtle and pleasant ways. It is so true that one can obtain so much from another by asking, rather than by demanding. I feel that I know Bear now, and I’m so happy he has gone this far to represent his breed. It must be magnificent to have such a partner. A wonderful book to read, and a good book to go back to for guidance."
"This is a brilliant follow-up to 'Wild Pony Whispering'. The new volume has everything...the story of an unwanted Exmoor foal that with patience and skill the author successfully transformed into a super-star agility World Champion. This latest book is a masterclass of storytelling but also has masses of helpful advice and tips, so I'm sure it will become a 'turn to' reference work for many pony owners (not just Exmoors). In its favour also are the multitude of excellent high quality colour photographs. At this price it represents possibly the best value-for-money around and would make an ideal birthday or Christmas gift. Well done Dawn Westcott (and Bear!)"
"Having loved Wild Pony Whispering, I was delighted to get my copy of Wild Stallion Whispering, and from the wonderful cover picture, through the fascinating story of Bear, to the numerous tips to horse owners, it does not disappoint. It gives a marvellous insight into what can be achieved with patience, an affinity and love between human and animal. A book that will appeal to all animal lovers. Congratulations Dawn, I loved it."
"Excellent book. Recommend to all equestrian and Exmoor lovers!"
"Simply amazing read. Highly recommend. This book gives a true and very real feeling of getting to know and understand Bear the beautiful Exmoor stallion. Dawn has been able to capture moments and record them on paper in a way that you can almost feel you were there too. Spectacular read. Loved it x"
"What a lovely book!! A Must for every Pony or Horse friend or owner. This book realy helps for bettter understanding between Human and Pony/Horse. Magic Fotos and the most importend, an absolutly heartful and honest Story.
Many points in the book i know from myself with halfwild Exmoorponys.
I can't stop reading this Masterpiece."
"I am really enjoying Wild Stallion Whispering. As with Wild Pony Whispering, it's very hard to put down. Excellent - well done Dawn."
"Managed to pinch Eleanor's copy and am half way through. Nice to see the highs and lows, the successes and disasters all featuring making it a totally natural down to earth read that I'm sure anybody with any experience of native ponies can relate to."
"Dawn has woven an amazing story of the fasinating journey she and Bear made together in her latest book ' Wild Stallion Whispering'. It is full of detail, showing how respect and love can produce a wonderful partnership which is never dominated by the human will, but which thoughtfully, sensitively and patiently draws two beings together. She describes the highs and lows of this adventure which is full of fascinating detail. The photographs highlight beautifully the script and gives the reader a strong awareness of the wild beauty of Exmoor and its fabulous ponies. Bear's story in Wild Stallion Whispering is an inspiring account of one of our wonderful native ponies and beautiful Exmoor."
"Again, another touching, informative and beautifully photographed book from the Champion of the Exmoor Pony. Absolutely loved it."
(Amazon review 5****)