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Dawn Bonin has helped me so much with my Standardbred, Ironworkers DJ, in a remarkably few number of lessons. Even after one lesson, my confidence was given a boost as I had tools to use in difficult moments. Dawn tuned right in to DJ's personality and mindset. His mind is always at work, trying to figure out what he's supposed to be doing, and creating his own answers, hoping to please. But of course, instead of pleasing, he's ten (or a hundred) steps ahead of me, leaving me hanging on for dear life. Dawn's genius is to simplify instructions to just a couple of things at a time. For DJ and me: The importance of the one rein stop; the importance of a loose rein when he's doing fine. Too many instructors try to tell you too much. WAY too much, more than the mind and body can possibly absorb. She has made me aware of things I am doing instinctively, but, unfortunately, instinctively WRONG. Such as pulling back with both reins, hoping to control or slow the horse down. Doesn't work! The one rein stop works, and Dawn is patient enough to keep pointing this out in a calm and helpful way. I've owned horses for 24 years, and it's humbling to realize that after all that time, I can still manage to ride ineffectively. Luckily, Dawn has come along, so at long last I can turn the trend around. I've told my husband she's probably saved my life. Without her help, it's very possible DJ and I would be bolting across the countryside, headed for a wreck.
Mary Crombie Geer Glastonbury (Age 62)
I am an experienced male rider who can muscle a horse into obedience as opposed to obedience through gentle correction and persuasion. Dawn has been outstanding in helping me to realize that you get more with sugar than you do witn vinegar especially when it comes to horses. Dawn obtains a quiet and calm horse through a unique nurturing type of training strategy and method. Joel Bowman, Tolland, CT
Dawn is extremely knowledgeable as a trainer and never ceases to teach us something new. She pushes me and my horse to greater confidence with each other and as a result, riding has never been so enjoyable. Kerry Wood, Rocky Hill, CT
I have learned so much about horses and about riding from Dawn Bonin, my instructor and horse trainer. Dawn has taught me how to build a relationship with my horse from the ground and from the saddle. My confidence to work with my horse and ride a safe and balanced seat increases with each lesson. Dawn has made horsemanship interesting and fun. Kristine Mika
After watching Dawn work with her horses I decided to offer her the use of our horse for a lesson. In the 15 years we have owned our mare I have never permitted her to be used as a lesson horse. It was only because I found Dawn to be so sensitive and in tune with horses that I suggested she use our mare for a lesson or two. I was thrilled with the results. It worked out fantastic so I allowed it to become a regular event...the mare got some training...exercise...and Dawn fussing over her... Bonnie Krawiec, Manchester, CT
I met Dawn in 2007, she played a key roll in getting our two baby horses ready to ride. She used a gentle hand and the horses responded well to her. Thank you Dawn for all of your help. Tammy Casale, Marlborough, CT
Taking lessons from you and having you work with both of my mares and myself has been one of the best things I have ever done for them and for me! Thank you, for all your knowledge, kindness and compassion. You have rekindled the spark for riding that I had years agoa and brought Emma, Belle and I closer together. We have more strength, flexibility, focus and courage than we did before. We are very glad we found you and eagerly await working with you again in the spring. Mary Jeanne Cyr, Windsor, CT
Dawn has been a very patient trainer while I'm taking my lessons. I am very new to riding but have been taking lessons from her for about 6 months. There have been a couple things in my riding that have taken me extra time to learn, and she has been very patient and encouraged me every step of the way. Dawn is very knowledgeable in her trining with the horse and seems to really enjoy what whe is doing. I would recommend her to anyone that wanted lessons.
When I was horse shopping 3 years ago, I met Dawn while looking at one of her horses. She immediatley saw that we were not a good fit and introduced me to another of her horses. She is excellent at evaluating both horse and rider in an attempt to find an appropriate match. She is an excellent resource for both training and advice on horse care and equipment. She has given me reliable advice that I have depended on.
It is not easy to find an instructor versed in the skills of Natural Horsemanship in the northeast. By some miracle I found Dawn. She has shown me how working on the ground with my horse translates into a great ride. My riding skills have improved 1000% since working with her. She has a wonderful way of explaining the connection between horse and rider. She has worked with my horse as well. It is a beautiful thing to see how Fancy has blossomed. Thank you, Dawn!
Dawn's natural approach encompasses both horse and rider. She is caring and respectful, and has unlimited patience. I felt comfortable from the first moment, and learned a great deal about understanding the horse's language, as well as the mechanics of riding. A great experience all around.
Dawn Bonin helped me to gain confidence as a rider and overcome my fears regarding a spooking issue with my horse. As a direct result of Dawn's excellent training and coaching I was able to gain the confidence to ride my horse in local parades in front of large crowds without concern for my safety or my horse's reaction to the crowds. Dawn also helped me develop the ability to trailer a hesitant horse without encountering hours of resistance. I would recommend Dawn Bonin to anyone who wants to enjoy your horse and drastically improve your riding skills.