Excerpt from Interpretation with Dawn Oakley-Smith
Interpretation with Dawn Oakley-Smith is a three part exploration of communication with horses and ultimately ourselves. Where we are in the horse world in our holistic and spiritual awakening and recognising unhappiness in horses. We talked about the complications that can arise when interpreting what we think horses are saying. Finally, Dawn described the fascinating workshops she has been developing throughout her life with horses. Dawn has also worked with the charity Key4Life, taking horses into prisons in the UK. As well as writing an inspirational book, the Empowered Herd.
Interpretation with Dawn Oakley-Smith
Touching on the holistic and spiritual status of horse world. Understanding how to recognise happiness in horses. Recalling the debut of our experience with natural horsemanship and going deeper into the dialogue itself.
The language of communication and the issues which can arise with our own filters in our interpretation of the horses. How do we know that horses don’t want to be ridden?
More about the ethics of riding and the dialogue associated with it.. how to communicate. Dawn shares more about her workshop the Horse Dance and the Equine Assisted Soul Experience. She describes what it’s like to take her horses into prisons, and the gift they give. Dawn also tells the story of her special book, The Empowered Herd.
Dawn has always had a strong sense of the workings of the human soul and its relationship with the universe. Equal to her passion for equines is her fascination for the subject of Theology which she studied at Lampeter University in Wales. At age 15, she met a woman who came to be her mentor, and introduced Dawn to the I Ching and taught her Astrology. These two ancient and sacred guides to wisdom have formed the essence of her path. Heartshore was founded when Dawn realised that traditional horsemanship methods did not sit comfortably with her. She began searching for other ways of being with horses.
Along with teaching Natural Horsemanship, Dawn began to work with Autists and their families. She has done this now for close to 20 years. Dawn’s experience and level of understanding is humbling and awe-inspiring. She continued to work with people and horses therapeutically. Out of all this came a strong relationship with Somerset based charity, Key4Life. Key4Life’s mission is to reduce youth re-offending by delivering a programme to those in prison and those at risk of going.
Alongside this work is Dawn’s more shamanic, spiritual experience, such as Horse Dance, The Medicine Journey and The Equine-assisted Soul Experience. The Equine-assisted Soul Experience was developed out of an association with Soul Support Systems, an organisation created by Flo Magdalena, author of ‘I Remember Union.’ In 2011 she qualified as a facilitator with IFEEL (International Federation of Equine and Experiential Learning). She is now a senior member of the teaching faculty. IFEEL developed in the UK out of the work of Linda Kohanov and Kathleen Barry Ingram in Arizona. The next chapter in Dawn’s work will be with children and adults who suffer from anxiety with a London-based charity called The Garden School.
Let’s Talk Herd podcasts are relaxed yet intelligent conversations about every dimension of holistic horsemanship. We are interested in learning from each other and sharing the unique ideas that are sparked by sharing personal discoveries. If you would like to be a guest contact Camille.
All perspectives are welcome.