Jan Dawson

50 Years of Experience Working with Horses

Photo by Susan Riley 2008

About Jan

Jan Dawson has been involved with horses for over 50 years, on a cattle ranch in the flint hills of Kansas, in the hunt country of Virginia, and in Texas and Mexico. She has experience teaching and training in seven western and English disciplines. She and her students have won several championships, as have horses she has trained.


Ms. Dawson is a certified instructor and teaching clinician who trains and certifies riding instructors throughout the United States. She is founder and president of the non-profit, tax exempt American Association for Horsemanship Safety, Inc. The Association boasts the most extensive website in America featuring horsemanship liability laws and safety guidance.


Ms. Dawson is highly experienced in risk analysis of equestrian facilities and programs. She has taught riding many instructor certification clinics and equine liability workshops around the Unikted States. She also continues to consult frequently with horsemen and attorneys around the country. Ms. Dawson developed the Secure Seat® method of teaching riding, the first step-by-step, systematic method specifically designed for safely teaching beginners to ride and for teaching others to become more secure on their horses. It is the only riding instruction method ever to be reviewed in a peer reviewed journal.


She is the Author of Teaching Safe Horsemanship (Storey Communications, 1997 and 2003), a book that has becomea safety standard in the horse industry. Ms. Dawson is a frequent lecturer to groups including the United States Pony Club, the American Camping Association, the American Horse Shows Association (now USA Equestrian), the American Youth Horse Council, and several universities, including Washington State University, the University of Vermont, and Oklahoma State University. She was principal investigator under a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a project to reduce injuries from horse accidents among children on the Navajo Nation. As part of that project, she authored a children's book titled, "J.P. Paddock Says 'Be Safe with Horses." Ms. Dawson, with her late husband, University of Texas Law Professor Robert O. Dawson, is co-author of Cases and Materials on the Horse and the Law, (available from AAHS as a CD-ROM), a course book for a course in Equine Law they jointly taught at the University of Texas School of Law. Ms Dawson owns and manages the Central Texas riding Center in Fentress, Texas where she keeps her fourteen horses. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, but chooses not to practice. She offers a full range of expert and consulting services to attorneys in lawsuits involving horses.