Dorothy has been a horse crazy girl for as long as she can remember. She started riding lessons in England at age 10, and as a youngster spent countless hours pouring through equestrian equipment catalogues, writing and re-writing lists of horse and pony breeds, colours, markings, names … you name it. As well, she gleefully participated in Pony Weeks at the stable where she rode (a horse to call her own for a whole week!) and like many impassioned by the equine, dreamt of winning ribbons, and trophies and championships atop her mighty steed.
While life got in the way and her dreams of competitive supremacy never materialized, her heart continued to remain entwined with that of the horse. This lead her to, perhaps, the most profound experience of all … personal healing through the way of the horse.
Still, it took a convoluted course to get there.
Dorothy’s strong communications and leadership skills were originally developed in the business world through public relations and communications roles. This included, most notably, Promotions Manager at magazine publisher, Dovetail Communications, Editor of the TREB Reporter (circulation 25,000) at the Toronto Real Estate Board, marketing/advertising roles at legal publisher, Canada Law Book, and Press Officer for Canada’s first FEI World Cup Eventing Qualifier held at Wit’s End Farm in 2007.
These skills were put to good use and further honed in volunteer roles serving on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir while chairing its Communications Committee. In addition, Dorothy was, for three years, President of Canada’s longest-running dressage group, Toronto CADORA which, when she took over, was a struggling organization on the brink of dissolution. During her tenure she oversaw a complete revitalization of the group which included a five-fold increase in membership.
Dorothy’s many talents are more truly reflected in her endeavours as a writer, photographer, singer, and equestrian. She sang in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir as a soprano for 12 seasons, and in the roots vocal trio, ChoirGirlz, for almost 10 years. A commissioned artist, Dorothy’s animal portraits have been used by the World Wildlife Fund and her photography, poetry and prose are enjoyed by the many followers of her blogs. As well, she has her Certified Toastmaster designation with Toastmasters International.
A late bloomer, it took many years for Dorothy to find her way as an equestrian. Still, as a go-big-or-go-home kind of gal, she jumped whole-heartedly in when moved to act. In 1997 she became certified as an Equine Canada Level One coach (now retired), and in 2006 achieved Bronze Level certification in the natural horsemanship training methods of Chris Irwin. As a participant in Irwin’s first Equine-Assisted Personal Development course, and after reading the works of best selling author, Linda Kohanov, (The Tao of Equus) Dorothy’s awareness of, and interest in, equine experiential learning began to develop.
While involved in her own deep healing work, including a recent five-year struggle with adrenal fatigue, Dorothy became aware of the role Complex-PTSD had played in her evolution. This lead her to participate in the Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL) certification program at Horse Spirit Connections from which she graduated in 2014.
During the past 20 years, Dorothy has been on a personal healing journey which has, ultimately, incorporated all of these endeavours. Since 2006, that journey has been focused on the equine world through a deep bond with her horse, Bear, who has helped her to reclaim her heart. In 2015, Sophi entered Dorothy’s life as a dressage horse and gave her wings. The equine experiential learning journey continues.
Dorothy has a profound appreciation for, and understanding of, the power of equine experiential learning and its potential to change lives for the better. It is her privilege to share this experience with others who wish to experience their own journey of personal growth and self-discovery through the way of the horse.
Healing begins in the heart …