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Finding the Soul of a Horse

Teachers Love
The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd

Jack L. Kennedy has written about education issues for decades in the New York Times, London Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Executive Educator, Education USA and Education Week, among others. Below is an excerpt from his review of The Soul of a Horse. To read his entire review, click here.

"To say too much about Camp's compelling book The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd (Crown Publishing) would be to spoil much of the beauty and simplicity of the story. Yes, this is a warm, cleanly-written and simply but powerfully-drawn book about how to understand and raise horses. But it is so much more that it deserves a voyage of discovery when the reader has plenty of time to ponder how things fit together, how we learn, why we do what we do, and how much caring and patience outweigh discipline and over-direction. He unfolds his love affair with horses gradually, telling how he and his wife Kathleen took in their first equine friend, then another, then another. The bulk of the book deals with what he learned and how transferable it is to humans, if we will listen: teaching and training with love, patience, understanding of individual worth, an absence of fear, an appreciation of different environments, a willingness to try and try again. Each animal is an experience, and the Camps learn something from them all. There are many lessons in the book, no matter what kind of herd you happen to be a part of and being a herd member does not mean you (oops, the horses) must lose all of your individuality. The tightly-written, simply-designed chapters often read like short stories that flow from the heart, not just from the corral."

The following email is from a friend. "Last evening my wife had dinner with a teacher at our son's school. She is a young unmarried woman who is a curious innovator in her approach to teaching (getting a PhD after-hours). My wife was surprised when she started going on about a wonderful new book she had picked up from the display table at Warwick's because it had useful things to say about relationships between teacher and student. She neither knows nor cares about horses, but it was your book she was praising."

Debbie Soderberg Kirchner, a teacher in Minnesota writes: "I simply love the way Joe Camp writes. He stirs my soul. He has successfully woven his personal story with horses into a spellbinding book. I laughed. I cheered. I cried. This is a must-read book for everyone."

"This book is destined to be a bestseller. It made me laugh, and cry, and I couldn't put it down. When it was over I wanted more, so I read it again. The Soul of a Horse is the best read I've had in years, maybe ever!" writes Maggie in an email.

"As I consumed this book I mentally replaced the word horse with the word teenager and it totally changed my relationship with my kids for the better. Joe Camp's story offers metaphor upon metaphor for increasing awareness of ourselves in relationship to others," an email from Anna Quinn.

Kelly writes on, "My Mother-in-law and I were so enraptured with the book The Soul of a Horse that we spent the entire morning in sheer, blissful silence. This is a beautifully written book with clear insights beyond what you would ever expect from a book seemingly about horses. It is really about our relationships with all who we share this planet with."

Raina Smith from Rhode Island writes, "What an amazing book! I couldn't put it down until I devoured every word, every idea, every beautiful thought. By the way, I am not a horse owner. I am quite simply an animal lover. This book will breathe a breath of fresh air into your own soul. It did mine! I am forever changed by this spectacular book!"

"This is one of the best books I have ever read. You don't have to own a horse to enjoy this book," reports Karen Jones on

"The Soul of a Horse is absolutely a must-read. I've actually read it twice and the thing I loved best is it mixes fiction, factual information, humor and well... its truly just a perfect read.   I'm sure most who read it will see themselves a few times. I'm ordering some extra copies for gifts!   Anyone who hasn't read it needs to get a copy and get started!" An email from Vickie

"I had to share with you some words from my Mom (I bought this book for her for Mothers Day): 'I can't thank you enough. The Soul of A Horse is the best book I have ever read, I can't put it down. I read it in two days. I learned so much about horses & found so much insight.' I kid you not, my Mom called me three times a day to thank me for this book. She has read a lot but nothing has touched her like this book. She wants to know more about the author & pretty much is craving all the information she can get." An email from Sheri Amorelli.

"I devoured the book, from cover to cover...every word. AMAZING! I laughed, cried and am waiting for "The Soul of a Horse", the MOVIE!!! I purchased every copy that they had here at Schulers Bookstore in Okemose Michigan and have given them all away. My husband did the same thing at Barnes and Noble in Tampa." An email from Deedee Kelly

"I had to let you know how taken I am with the book.  I read it in two days and that says a lot. I usually fall asleep after two pages. I was not only struck by the message and the lessons, but the way you sent the message. Your ability to lure us into your stories and make us truly care for the characters is an amazing gift. My new cause will be putting your book in the hands of everyone I know." Danna Beith, Cary, NC

"A friend recommended this book to me and I wasn't sure why since I have never owned a horse...nor did I plan to own one. But I bought the book anyway....always up for learning something new. This book swept me away. From the first to last page I felt transported! I could imagine myself sitting on the porch of the Camp's home watching these magnificent creatures. I learned SO much about horses and their SOULS. With everything that's been going on in the world of horse racing, this could not have been written at a more appropriate time. The book is clever, witty and inspiring. A very fast read. I was sad when I finished it because I wanted to read more! And so many of the lessons can be applied to LIFE...not just horses. You will not regret reading this book. And I will never look at a horse the same way." Amazon reader-review by Debbie Chartrand

"This book was an amazing read. I literally could not put it down and I'm not a horsie person. The story made me laugh out loud, tear up a couple of times, get angry, and question how I communicate with my employees. It opened my heart. This book is better than meditation!" wrote Nancy on the Barnes & Noble website.

Anna Scott writes in an email, "Just finished your book and to say I loved it would be the epitome of understatement. I have learned so much from it. Thank you, Thank you."

"I wanted you to know that I loved your book. I have not read anything like it since James Herriott (In my book that says a lot). It made me laugh and it made me cry and it made me think. I have bought more copies of "Benji off the Leash" than of any other movie ever made, because I give them as gifts. I am going to be doing the same thing with The Soul of a Horse ," Joy Eriksen writes in an email.

"And on and on it goes," Kathleen adds. "To read more reader reviews go to,,,, and all over the internet. Just Google The Soul of a Horse, the best horse book ever, or Joe Camp," she smiles. "I'm really proud of my hubby."

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The Soul of a Horse Trailer

Here We Go Again

2 Mustangs from the Wild - 1st Trip into a New Paddock

First Romp in the Pasture for Saffron
& Stormy

Relationship First!

Our California
Paddock Paradise

Our Rescue Miss Mouse Two Years Later

Why Our Horses Eat from the Ground

Why Our Horses Are Barefoot

Benji Gets a New Baby... Horse

Dancing Barefoot

Interview with Cash

Movie Memories

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Day 1 Video
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Day 18 Video
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Day 46 Video
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Day 70 Video
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Behind the Scenes
Benji Off the Leash

Parents Speak Out

The Original Benji
Movie Trailer

Benji Off the Leash

BOTL Movie Clip
Food for the Worms

BOTL Movie Clip
Not Now!

BOTL Movie Clip
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The Blog