Reader Reviews Wild Pony Whispering

Reader Reviews & Press Comment - Wild Pony Whispering

"This is a lovely book, full of interesting facts, and fabulous pictures. Insightful, and thought provoking. I'm so glad I bought it. Wish you all the best with your project and your herd. "  Sue Thomas

Published in Horse Magazine Spring issue (18 Feb-17 Mar 2016: "I had to write in and tell you how much I enjoyed reading your extract from Dawn Westcott's book Wild Pony Whispering in the Spring issue. I had already bought the book and read it from cover to cover, but I really enjoyed reading parts of it again, along with the accompanying photos. I have bought two extra copies of the book to give to friends as presents. It was delightful to read about the delectable Monsieur Chapeau and the thoughtful ways that Dawn invites the ponies to learn and connect with her. It is a book that will appeal to both amateurs and professionals, and I would thoroughly recommend it to any horse loving person." Milly Shand

"This is a lovely and inspiring true story, of an Exmoor foal's, Monsieur Chapeau, fight for survival and also the fight by Nick and Dawn Westcott to help ensure the survival of the Exmoor breed. It is well written with beautiful photographs and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in horses, Exmoor or natural horsemanship methods. I really enjoyed reading it. "  Fiona Riley

"I bought this book as a gift for my friend. Beautifully illustrated to go with the heart-warming story of one woman's gift with these delightful native ponies. " Louise Middleton-Blake

"I gave this as a gift to a friend. My friend has recently started riding and volunteering with stables that have a program to help children with handicaps ride. Her love and interest in horses increases every time I talk to her. I heard about this book on NPR, thought of her, and thanks to the magic of Amazon, it was on its way that evening. She opened the box and started reading immediately. She loved it! " S. L. Simmonson 

"I was given this book as a gift and have enjoyed it thoroughly. It tells a touching and heart-warming tale, and is illustrated by the most beautiful photos. It is also very well-written; the text is a pleasure to read. The story of this little foal and his rescuers demonstrates how we can relate to ponies, and in general to one another, in a more gentle and meaningful way. I highly recommend it."  Rosemary Brown

"LOVELY BOOK."  Mike How 

"This book is fantastic and learned so much about this beautiful breed." Roselyn Meng

"This delightful book celebrates the beauty, character and versatility of the Exmoor pony, and highlights some of the modern day challenges this now rare breed faces. It focuses on the true story of an orphaned pony found close to death. The pony was rescued and nursed back to health, but there followed a battle to get him recognised and registered as a true Moorland type. Author Dawn Westcott is committed to the preservation of this ancient breed, and her passion for the cause - and the ponies -shines through. The words are complemented by superb photography."  Horse Magazine - Jan 2016 issue.

"Lose yourself in a great read with our guide of some of the best offerings - all with a Somerset connection... Wild Pony Whispering is the real-life story by Dawn Westcott of a wild, orphaned Exmoor pony foal and how he survived and thrived. The author runs the Moorland Exmoor Foal Project."  Somerset Life Magazine - January 2016 issue.

"I have been following the incredible story of Dawn and Nick Wescott and their tireless and gallant efforts to support, preserve and improve the lives of one of the oldest horse breeds in the world- the Exmoor ponies of Great Britan (over 10,000 years old!) When I first heard about the story of the rescue of an orphan pony foal and the almost divine effect that he had on the author's efforts, I thought to myself that the story should be presented in a book or a TV documentary. I was so pleased when the story was published! The story of Monsieur Chapeau, the orphan foal, provides the backdrop for the current plight of the Exmoor pony breed, as well as the very progressive gentling methods (hence the name of the book) that Dawn Wescott and her enterprise Holtball are pioneering. In many ways the "whispering" to the ponies as a way of gentling them was the gift that Monsieur Chapeau gave to the author, but also to his fellow Exmoor ponies. The methods, which are described in colorful and elaborate detail, are what will help this feral breed become socialized to the human world, and in doing so, ensure it's survival into the future. A wonderful read for horse lovers everywhere, and for anyone who appreciates any endeavor that improves the lives of animals. (The photography is spectacular as well- wow!)"  Leslie Nichols - Equine Liberty Sports - USA

"This really is a wonderful book - richly illustrated with hundreds of stunning photographers. Seeing Monsieur Chapeau's transformation from a severely emaciated little foal in the first few pages to a confident and trusting young gelding by the end is truly heart-warming."  Athwenna Irons - Western Morning News

"West country author Dawn Westcott's inspiring tale of an Exmoor pony foal's battle to survive has captured the hearts of readers nationwide - and become a commercial success. In just six weeks Wild Pony Whispering has topped the Amazon and Waterstones best seller lists for horse and pony books and attracted national media interest with features in the Western Morning News, Daily Mail and The Times."  Western Morning News

"This is a very well written and beautifully illustrated book based on a true story. It is not an instruction manual, but contains insight into how to handle wild and not so wild ponies with empathy and kindness, in order to socialise and tame them. It is very moving, but also informative, and set against the glorious background of Exmoor it is the perfect read for a very wide range of interes ts a nd ages. I do not understand the negative reviews on this page, and can only assume they are based on some personal agenda, and as such should be disregarded. There is nothing negative about the book, except for the fact that it exposes the worrying issues which are threatening the gene pool of the ponies who live in semi feral conditions on the moor. It is a good read, it is also a starting place for more research for those interested in British Rare Breeds, and it would make a brilliant gift!"  Jo (UK)

"As an Exmoor Pony enthusiast for over 30 years I found that this book tells a heart-warming rescue story. It also illustrates to all 'horsey' people some inspiring,trust-based techniques in engaging with equines. These methods give us the tools to make meaningful contact with any equine - wild or otherwise. Exmoor Ponies can have the reputation of being 'difficul t'. Considering their start in life when as a weanling, the registration process involves the younster being restrained and multi branded this procedure must surely in part explain this reputation. Some of these practices have changed and others are under review which can only be welcomed. Many species have become endangered because of loss of habitat. WE HAVE THE HABITAT. As stewards of the Exmoor Pony we must not jeopardise their future by bad practice and by over regulating their registration.The understanding of their nature and the inspiring methods conveyed in this book can only give the ponies a more acceptable and secure future.This book projects an imperative message to anyone dedicated to the safeguard of one of our national treasures - The Exmoor Pony."  Sue Byrne (long-standing Exmoor pony breeder ' Collabear Stud')

"Just thought I would let you know how much I enjoyed reading Dawn Westcott's book 'Wild Pony Whispering'. I read it from cover to cover, enjoyed every word and every photo, and bought two extra copies to give as Christmas presents! It was delightful to read about the delectable Monsieur Chapeau and the thoughtful ways that Dawn invites the ponies to learn and connect with her. It is a book that will appeal to amateurs and professionals alike, and I would thoroughly recommend it to any horse loving person."  Milly Shand Concordia Equestrians

"Dawn Westcott's new book charts, in depth, through endearing pictures and words, the rescue, rehabilitation and subsequent socialisation of an Exmoor pony foal using 'pony whispering' methods, the roots of which lie in the new ideas of training such as those extolled by Monty Roberts; of training equines by communicating through 'equus', which Dawn wholeheartedly embraces. She describes the other end of initial training (although rarely practised today), denouncing brutal methods of socialisation and handling. The book also raises ongoing contentious issues such as hot branding and DNA testing, the latter being more problematic to resolve due to the nature of free-living herds. The obvious problem of being able to verify parentage, in order to register individuals, currently leads to the problem that unregistered individuals struggle to find homes. One decides that a common-sense approach is the way forwards, with perhaps some concessions made from all parties."  Cindy Cowling - Exmoor Magazine

"The charming relationship between a woman and an orphaned Exmoor pony foal has become [ing] the subject of a book. Wild Pony Whispering is the story of Monsieur Chapeau, a severely malnourished pony found on Exmoor. Alerted to his presence by a concerned walker, Dawn Westcott, of the Moorland Exmoor Foal Project, found the pitiful, bedraggled horse. Starving, with a swollen belly, Monsieur Chapeau needed help to stand for the first ten days in care. It survived and thrived beyond all expectations, teaching carers the secrets of creating a bond of trust and friendship with the wild Exmoor ponies. Ms Westcott was to learn that 'pony whispering' techniques to develop a rapport with the horses were the key to helping the Exmoor ponies adjust to the constraints of life away from the moor without undue stress."  The Times

"WILD PONY WHISPERING is a must read for equine enthusiasts and all individuals who revere the integrity of any animal species. This is a true-life story about the struggle to safeguard the free-living ponies of Exmoor National Park. Through aiding Monsieur Chapeau, a malnourished, wild orphaned Exmoor foal, Dawn Westcott observes, develops a “foal’s eye view” and understands how respect and knowledge of equine parameters allows for a connection with the equine mind. This leads to a positive, trust-based handling and socialization that will benefit all the ponies. Spectacular Exmoor pony photography enhances the narrative and brings the pony characters to life. The eye-catching dustcover photo of the author with Monsieur Chapeau draped across her lap entices the reader into the story. Inside, the reader experiences incredible Exmoor scenes and shots of shaggy-coated ponies interacting with each other and with the author and other humans. This book is a joy that will be read more than once to revisit thought provoking ideas and the delightful pony images of Monsieur Chapeau, Stumpkin Pumpkin, Uncle Harry, and Imperial Topaz among others."  Robin Meyer (USA) 

"Wonderful photography. Simple, no nonsense style of writing, that made me realise what I'd been doing right, and what I needed to change'"  Mumble (verified Amazon purchaser 5*****) 

"Fantastic."  Margaret Marshall

"This book is mesmerizing from the first page.Beautifully illustrated,it tells the story of the endangered native ponies of Exmoor from the point of view of a person with only their welfare at heart. A truly altruistic story,the author's love of Exmoor,wildlife and specifically the plight of the Exmoor pony shines through in the excellent prose.An amazing debut. "  A Hele (UK)

"Starving, bedraggled and all alone - this wild Exmoor foal was within days of death from hunger and pneumonia...Mrs Westcott has now written a book telling of her remarkable relationship with Monsieur Chapeau, who was rescued in January 2014 and is now aged two." From a feature in the Daily Mail by David Wilkes

"This is a beautifully produced book, on good quality paper. The photographs are clear, relevant to the text, and of course, there are many of the remarkable Monsieur Chapeau, who happens to be a very cute pony. The text is set out in short sections, which would appeal to all readers, reluctant or voracious. You would need to have a heart of stone to be unmoved by this story. In many ways it reminds me of the more old-fashioned type of pony book - it has a pony in trouble, a dramatic rescue, and a mystery to solve. There is much more to this book than that, however. Without giving too much away, within it you will find information about one of our oldest pony breeds, and useful sections on pony handling, and not just for the wild ones either. Throughout this book, Monsieur Chapeau's indomitable character bounces off the page. It's lovely to read of the developing relationship between this pony and his human, and how this lonely little chap came to be such a pivotal part of the Exmoor herd he has now joined. Just a word of warning though - the section on hot branding is not for the squeamish. I found this hard to read, but my goodness, how must the ponies feel about it?" S.Howes (UK)

"This is a really lovely book and would appeal to any animal lover, but especially to horse/pony owners and even more to people who love Exmoor ponies. I've given it five stars! It starts by telling the true story of how a little orphaned Exmoor foal was found by chance out on the moor, soaked through to the skin and severely malnourished but was rescued and nursed back to full health in the nick of time and in the process he became a true teacher and helped with the 'taming' of other wild foals. The book contains some beautiful photographs and goes on to show Monsieur Chapeau as he was named, blossom into a handsome young pony and how he became an ambassador for the breed. There is lots of information about Exmoor ponies and also shows there is a much gentler, more natural way of handling them which can be applied to any breed without the need for any force to be involved so it's also very educational at the same time. The beautiful Monsieur Chapeau features all through the book along with his other pony friends and I found it a very enjoyable (and emotional) book and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. It would make a lovely gift for young or old or just a treat for yourself! I'm going to buy a couple more for Christmas presents as its a book that you know anyone would enjoy reading and looking at the lovely photos. I hope there will be a follow up book in the future by the same author as I'll be buying that too!" Mrs J E Murkin (UK)

"What a lovely story and beautifully illustrated. My daughter is in her 40's but has always adored Ponies. She will be thrilled when I give her this book. Would recommend. "  Jack & Francie's Nanny - verified Amazon purchaser

"Whisper it - something very special is happening on Exmoor. It involves a former twice International Horse Agility World Champion and a wild, orphaned pony foal. The result is a remarkable book, Wild Pony Whispering, by Dawn Westcott, which provides an invaluable practical insight for anyone interested in connecting with horses and ponies using a gentle, trust-based approach."  James Hastings - Society Magazine (Somerset Gazette)

"This is actually two books melded into one. It begins as a heartwarming tale of survival by a dedicated animal lover, who's pony dispels stereotypes about the Exmoor breed being difficult, proving that that's a reaction to man's treatment, then Wild Pony Whispering seemlessly moves into simplified techniques and insights of advanced horsemanship, suitable for training any young or new horse, to develop a better working relationship, whilst revealing why the way we keep horses impacts their behaviour. All without deviating from the biography of an individual pony. It will bring a happy tear to the eye, improve equine welfare and help bridge the gap between humans and horses."  Mrs A R Phillips (Southern Bulgaria & UK) 

"Wonderful story with beautiful pictures, it was a Christmas gift which was delightfully received. " 3 Shepherds (verified Amazon purchaser)

"Fantastic, so well written and full of information ." Karla John

"It's good to listen to whispers! Really well written and imparts much knowledge ."  Verified Amazon Purchaser

" The beautiful story of Mr Chapeau and his friends, like Imperial Topaz and Lady Stumpkin Pumpkin! Lovely Pictures of many Exmoor Pony's. Read between the lines and the pictures and one can feel the authress's heart beat for the Exmoor! Also a very clear and valuable message for everybody training horses, which ever method you work by, Parelli, TTeam, classic or more modern: go softer with your horse! Listen to what he has to say first, instead of telling him how to behave out of a human point of view. Think of the horse as the animal he is: He belongs in a herd and will learn much better, when he is in the company of his friends. A valuable thing Mr Chapeau and Dawn Westcott made me aware of!"  Lilo

"A message for fresh Exmoor Pony owners: each pony has a different character. By listening to what your pony has to say and by seeing the world through his eyes you can build a connection of trust with your pony and have a friend for life. Not elitist, but down to earth good advice for pony owners. Reading the book gives you a feeling: I can do it and I will start this today. My copy arrived on Friday. Started reading straightway!!! I didn't put it down till I'd finished it!! A lovely, captivating read!! Well done Dawn !! When is the next one coming out???" Helen K (UK)

"Illustrated with the most fabulous pictures this book has a broad appeal whatever your age and whatever size/shape equine you are into. Very well written and lots to learn about a much more gentle approach to taming wild ponies, and with a fascinating story line too." Kate H (UK)

"Congratulations to you and Chapeau, a wonderful inspiring first book. Looking forward to many more."  Michael M (UK)

"Just finished the book it was brilliant a really lovely read. "  S Smith (UK)

"I'm absolutely bowled over by the most beautiful book that arrived this morning. I had tears running down my face. It is truly inspirational. I absolutely love it. It will become the most treasured book - thank you so much." Sue B (UK)

"It's a gorgeous, educational & inspirational book - Go & Buy it - I'm thrilled with mine - & anyone else who gets their hands on it will be too. A fabulous & very unique book . A powerful true story , enlightening , thought provoking , educational ,moving & inspiring in so many ways that can help people not only with their Exmoor ponies , but all horse owners who want to understand their horses & ponies better & learn how to develop better relationships & skills which are based on trust ,& kindness & the methods used to achieve this are clearly explained in very accessible language. The urgent current & future challenges faced by the Exmoor moorland ponies & the farmers & breeders are described plainly, & an awareness of these issues , & their solutions is vital amongst the wider equestrian community if this precious breed is to survive & flourish . . Stunning photography of the ponies & the beautiful Exmoor environment throughout makes the book visually vibrant & compelling - an absolutely fantastic addition to any equine library. " Judy B (UK)

" I loved reading this true story of a remarkable woman without whom this pony would have died. Dawn is an Ambassador for the breed: we do not want to see the breed die out. I love the photos, too. These animals have responded to her kindness in a most positive way. I would recommend this book to anyone concerned with the well-being of horses."  Joyce Kielda - UK

"Beautifully written book, amazing photographs and a heart warming story ( true) and an ideal gift for old and young alike, hope there are more adventures to come from the pen of Dawn ! "  Melanie Maddocks - UK

"As a long time horse owner and with a great interest in equine/animal welfare and conservation, I have been very fortunate to have worked with Dawn. This book ticks a number of boxes as far as I am concerned. Firstly, in connecting with an international equine welfare movement, a spontaneous reaction against certain ways of thinking/training/keeping these highly social and sensitive creatures. Secondly, a growing human need to look for a deeper understanding and connection with our planet and its non human inhabitants. Finally it connects with a new and growing awareness reflected in the many Rewilding projects in the UK and worldwide. The importance of recognising the complex interconnected relationship between the environment and the animals that have developed and thrived there. This book provides a little glimpse of part of the unique ecosystem that is Exmoor." June E (UK)

"Very useful ."  Amazon 5****  Gill Reynolds

"This is a book which will appeal to everyone who has respect for animals, in particular horses, and is keen to find better ways of communicating and interacting with them. The photographs of the ponies in their native setting of Exmoor are spectacular. Dawn has set out very clearly just why the conservation and preservation of these pure-bred, moor-bred, semi-wild ponies are so vitally important, both in terms of genetic diversity and in respect of their unique characteristics which are shaped by successive generations of mares within the free-living herds. By skilfully and thoughtfully making use of the herd dynamics and combining them with positive, trust-based handling and training, Dawn is ensuring that the foals’ transition to domesticated living is as stress-free and enriching as possible. I hope this inspiring book will help some of those foals to find suitable new homes. Although the book centres on the remarkable and moving story of Monsieur Chapeau and on the Moorland Foal Project, anyone involved with horses and/or ponies will find Dawn’s training methods gentle, effective and inspiring. It is beautifully written and illustrated and would make a brilliant Christmas present for anyone who loves ponies! " Dawn P (UK)

"This is a very thought provoking book centred around the rescue of a foal on Exmoor, but it has a very real underlying ,message to all of us "Respect for an animals intelligence". I am also one of these people who have by marriage migrated from the city to the countryside and over the last 40 odd years I have come to realise how very intelligent animals are, and though they cannot speak our language if you stop to look and listen you will see how they communicate with you. In this book you will see how through the eyes of a rescued Exmoor Foal he learns to trust the humans and the human learns to understand the language of the pony. Anyone interested in animals be it dogs,cats,birds,sheep,cows etc will find this book of great value in quietly learning to understand and respect animals. Just like us humans they are all individuals and have their individual needs and temperaments. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who have animals and especially to anyone who actually doubts animals intelligence. I would also recommend this book to any Exmoor lover as the pictures of Exmoor really shows this very beautiful environment, a hidden gem in England and therefore I will be giving this book away at Christmas to a lot of Exmoor friends." Mrs Berit M Floyd (UK) 

"It is a stunning book with beautiful photos and the most obliging and photogenic Ponies you could ever meet. Fabulous heartfelt storyline. What an absolute winner !!!!! I can't praise it any higher. An absolute must for everybody and sold for an inspirational lady who cares passionately about the welfare and upkeep of Exmoor Ponies and who deserves every success with this book and to raise as much revenue as she can for the Exmoor Foal Project. So please please please go out and obtain a copy. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Once you pick it up you won't be able to put it down."  Janine R (UK) 

"Wild Pony Whispering is a delightful book, full of stunning photographs of beautiful Exmoor Ponies. It’s an emotional tale of the rescue of an orphaned foal, Monsieur Chapeau who was found severely malnourished with pneumonia on Exmoor. Dawn and her husband took the foal to their farm and Dawn soon realised that he was no ordinary pony. To continue the preservation of these magnificent Exmoor Ponies and to help give wild Exmoor Moorland foals a good start in life, Dawn has endeavoured to improve their welfare, wellbeing and opportunities - and the way they are handled and trained. Dawn uses positive, trust-based handling and training methods and with the help of Monsieur Chapeau she shows that there is more that must be done to ensure the successful preservation of the wild Exmoor Ponies.I have read a number of books on Liberty horse training, this is not an instructional book of how to train equines, but an insight into how these methods can achieve a great connection with horses and ponies. I shall be buying more copies for Christmas presents for my horsey friends." Diddly (UK)

"My book has arrived, just beautiful with stunning images, thank you so much Dawn Westcott. This is a beautiful and very well written book filled with stunning images, I am loving it.You cannot help but be filled with emotion reading it and following the story of one brave little foal and the caring people who rescue him. Behind every cloud is a silver lining and in this story we see that Monsieur Chapeau is indeed a silver lining as he teaches trust and respect and a way to the hearts of these proud but majestic Exmoor Ponies. The story is on going but I am sure that all who read this book are behind Dawn and Nick and their work. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves Equines and Exmoor and life." Avril W (UK)

"Very insightful book, with a heart wrenching story to go with it. I feel like I've learned a lot from this book to develop a stronger relationship with my horse. I look forward to more books by Dawn Westcott. "  Amazon Customer

"This is a very well written and moving book about these beautiful and endangered animals.The love this author has for Exmoor and its wildlife and specifically the native ponies shines through from the start of the book. I defy the hardest heart not to be moved by the author's description of the rescue of an abandoned foal from the harsh conditions of the January moor.Beautifully written."  Raphael (UK)

"A delightful book, beautifully written and tells the heartwarming story of a brave little Exmoor Pony who survived against terrible odds. Whilst you may need a tissue handy, over all it is a positive story and extremely enlightening. I feel this book highlights perfectly the resilience and character of the breed whilst highlighting what is often an uncertain future for them. This book would appeal to such a broad spectrum of people but from my own point of view, I particularly enjoyed reading about the the trust based methods used to encourage and develop these ponies to give them the best chance possible for rehoming etc. It demonstrates that you don't need to force a horse horse or pony to do what it is required of it, with the use of uncomfortable bits, jagged pointy spurs and whips. How rewarding it must be when your pony or horse does what is asked of it willingly and voluntarily. I hope people will be educated by the 'foal's eye view' and join in support to demand better treatment for these cheeky little ponies and secure a brighter, more positive future. I personally cannot imagine Exmoor National Park without this incredible pony. I assume the fate would be comparable to that if the Ravens were ever to depart the Tower of London!" Helen H (Amazon review)

"This book is partly the story of a orphan Exmoor pony foal, found in a desperate state in woodland on Exmoor National Park; a polemic; and a book of instruction in training these wild ponies. The author acknowledges the influence of the pony, Monsieur Chapeau, who survives after a period of intenstive care, to become the conduit by which other foals come to trust their human handlers. The lot of the Exmoor pony is not all good. Their introduction to the ways of man start in the autumn roundup called 'gathering' in which the herds are taken from the moor where the mares and foals are separated. Traditionally, foals are then hot-branded to indentify them to their owners. In the past each foal has had up to seven marks, applied in tree to four batches, burnt into their flesh. Dawn and her husband have campaigned with others to have the brand marks reduced to four, all of which are now located on the flank. In the past some brandings have caused terrible skin conditions and that is not the only effect it has : ponies with these brand marks can have difficulty in fully trusting humans. The trauma may explain the reputation for naughtiness that Exmoor ponies have. Another issue that compromises the future of the breed is that an animal whose sire and dam cannot be traced is relegated to being judged and Exmoor 'Type' rather than a Pedigree Exmoor pony and is therefore more difficult to sell or breed from. This includes Monsieur Chapeau, who, being an orphan, cannot be given pedigree status due to DNA testing not identifying his dam. As the Exmoor Pony is on the Category Two Endangered Breeds' List we need to ensure a sufficiently wide gene pool. Fortunately a group of farmers and landowners are working together to improve the management of the herds on the moor. Dawn demonstrateds that with gentle handling the Exmoor pony reveal themselves to be engaging characters who can tackle a variety of horsey disciplines. She writes in an amusing syle and I love the names she gives the ponies - 'Lady Stumpkin Pumpkin' is particularly memorable. The narrative is beautifully illustrated with photographs of Monsieur Chapeau himself and his friends, the other ponies who live on the Westcotts' farm in Somerset. Especially appealing are the pictures of Dawn sitting down with Monsieur Chapeau lying down with his head on her lap with an expression of beautific repose and contentment. This book would appeal to anyone who likes ponies and is interested in learning how to create a bond with these gorgeous animals."  M J Dobinson (UK)

"I know the author well and have watched her mercilessly persecuted over a number of years by representatives of the Exmoor Pony Society bitterly jealous of her success in the show ring with her moorland stallion, at horse agility and now with this book. She has shown exemplary skill in taming and training Exmoor ponies and astonishing generosity in helping to widely promote the breed including the ponies of fellow competitors and breeders. She has objected to illegal hot branding and spoken out against the unnecessary slaughter of ponies, woefully inadequate Exmoor pony registration system and the cronyism and bullying in the society. She has endured hate mail, attacks on her and her stallion, abusive telephone calls and vile behaviour at events as well as endless malicious gossip trying to slur her character. She has exercised much patience with people who have visited her home under the guise of ‘helpers’ when in fact they had ill intention. She has been dignified in the face of a level of sustained bullying that would have most people in shreds and has seen a decent business ruined that she had created from scratch. Through it all she has continued to speak out for the ponies and work tirelessly with other Exmoor farmers to safeguard their future. She is well regarded and respected on Exmoor. Not least for demonstrating the resilience to stand up to bullying and push for much needed change in Exmoor pony management. While running the Moorland Exmoor Foal Project and managing her own herd she has found the time to write this excellent book which goes some way to shedding light on one of the worst periods in the history of Exmoor ponies and helps equip other people to better understand and work with them.  The Exmoor Pony Society should hang its head in shame for hounding Dawn Westcott out of the society and allowing badly behaved members to run riot, driving the reputation of what was once a viable breed society into the gutter. Watching the continued persecution of Dawn Westcott and the way the public are embracing this gem of a book despite these bitter attempts to ruin her excellent work, I take my hat off to her. Keep speaking up Dawn Westcott - you are a voice Exmoor ponies need." Goodman (Amazon Review)

"I loved this book. It's a wonderful story about a really cute pony. The photos are beautiful and it's a good mix of hard facts and entertaining story. Bravo. As its that time of year I may as well mention it Would make an excellent Christmas present for any pony/animal lover or Exmoor lover. "  Helen M

"I can thoroughly recommend this book, a heart-warming true life story of the rescue of an orphan Exmoor foal and the pain-staking efforts made to enable the foal to find not only good health, but to play an important role in focussing attention on the survival of the free-living Moorland Exmoor ponies. But the book doesn't stop there. The rescued pony has helped the author in her methods of socialising young foals. and there is much here for anyone who is interested in ponies and horses to learn.The book is well-written, has many excellent quality photographs and is full of helpful guidance for current and future owners alike. Also at the cover price , the book represents outstanding value for money, and would make an excellent Christmas/birthday present." Amazon Customer 

"I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it's a beautiful telling of a true story which really invokes the amazing spirit of these animals and the stunning visual grandeur of Exmoor. Highly recommended."  Saurus (Amazon review)

" A heart warming true story of how a sick Exmoor foal separated from it’s mother was rescued from the moor and rehabilitated using trust based methods. I found this book very inspiring, it’s well written and contains a multitude of excellent photographs. A recommended Christmas present for any horse lover/animal lover and you won't have to be an Exmoor enthusiast to appreciate the author’s sympathetic approach to handling the wild ponies of Exmoor. It was also great to see Monsieur Chapeau on This Morning recently. He looked in marvellous condition and so different to the pictures from when he was first found on the moor. Such a credit to his owner, the author of this book."  Haywain - UK

"A book recommended for all ages. Emotional, heartfelt stories, fascinating photos showing what can be achieved with love and dedication. Thoroughly enjoyable." Jean T (UK)

"Whoo hoo! Look what I just opened when I got home! It was sitting waiting for me on top of my postbox. So excited!" Julie C (UK)

"Got my copy this morning and spent the rest of the day reading it from cover to cover. Absolutely loved it. You should be very proud Dawn. A wonderful book. The pictures are so beautiful and the story of not only Monsieur Chapeau, but all the other ponies, is extremely well written. I could not put the book down, and I'd recommend it to not only horse lovers, but anyone who likes animal stories. Well done Dawn, I can't wait for your next book." Heather W (UK)

"Look what I found in the post box when I got home! From a quick flick through it looks every bit as good as I was expecting. Super!" Mary W (UK)

"Well written, beautiful pictures, a joy to read ."  Amazon Customer

"What a wonderful book!"  Robin M (USA)

"Lovely book I just got mine too xx" Jane B (UK)

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