“My first memories were of working horses in Yorkshire when I was five years old. I often spent time at my Grandmother’s house where shire horses delivered the milk and coal; I was in awe of these gentle giants as they turned their heads to look at me with their huge eyes. I count myself lucky to have had a glimpse of the Old World. From then on I was drawn to horses and in 1973 I bought my first horse. The lessons I learnt from him I still keep today like being patient, understanding, gentle and kind. I always owned and trained my own horses from then on, each one has taught me a great deal.”
John ran his own business called Dingle Joinery specialising in building and restoring old timber frame houses. John compares working with horses to building timber frames, if the foundation beam isn’t put down on a solid base it will carry the building for a while, but it will gradually give way causing structural problems so it is important to insure a good foundation. And deal with any problem areas as they arise which is exactly the same for horses.
Horses and animals have always been part of John’s life. John saw Monty Roberts the renown Horse Whisperer on QED, which inspired him to then enroll on the Intelligent Horsemanship Courses in 1997.
“One of the most important things I gained from the courses was from Kelly Marks who told us to keep an open mind and keep looking and learning which I continue to do”
On the 20th of March 1998 John completed his Monty Roberts Prelim Certificate at West Oxfordshire College and has been a Recommended Intelligent Horsemanship Associate since 1998. John has been teaching on the Kelly Marks Intelligent Horsemanship Handling the Untouched Horse Courses in Oxfordshire since 2006. John has enjoyed helping people and horses ranging from eventers, dressage; show horses, racers and pleasure horses. “I have met many wonderful people and horses” Some of John’s biggest influences have been western trainers Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance & Bill Dorrance.”
Now John has become an inspirational teacher and has helped thousands of horses and people.
The horses & Dogs
At Old Shawls Farm there is a permanent herd of Horses who are a big part of the team, they are fantastic teachers and have taught John so much, each has an interesting story. Now they teach people who visit the farm. The dogs are also an important element helping with the day to day running of the yard.