Thresholds that have been four years coming with our first-ever mustang. We re-started our No Agenda Time with Noelle a few weeks ago, before Born Wild was published (see Chapter 16); and three out of the last five nights she’s told us that it’s paying off. As you probably know we believe that relationship and trust must come first. Before anything. And it must come from the horse’s own choice, of her own free will. Then everything – and I mean EVERYthing – changes. There are many different reasons why it’s taken her this long and most of them are explored in Born Wild. All fundamental, I believe, to understanding why a horse does what it does.
On the evening of November 14, during No Agenda Time, while she was nibbling hay near our feet and we were discussing the day, she quite suddenly looked up at Kathleen and reached out asking for an exchange of nose sniffs, the way horses greet each other. Then she did it a second time, and then went back to munching. Kathleen and I resumed our discussion trying desperately to keep our adrenaline down and the excitement out of our voices. This was the first time she’s done anything even close to that since we left California over four years ago. Virtually every day I’m rubbing and scratching Noelle at feeding times. But it’s not her choice, it’s mine. She is only allowing it to happen. And No Agenda Time is all about just that. No agenda whatsoever. We completely ignore the horse (at least we try our best). Until the horse says to us of her own free will, I trust you. I fully trust you to be my leader.
Only two nights after she asked Kathleen, Noelle asked me. Three times we exchanged breaths. Then she added a sniff and a lick on my jeans. Unfortunately both of these events happened well after dark so there are no photos. (The one above was taken a couple of mornings ago in the rain and she looks like she’s saying: Are you some kind of nut case?? Don’t you know it’s raining out here??)
Last night, after eating the hay scattered around our feet, she hung out with us, very relaxed, sniffed me out, jeans, jacket, exchanged a couple of breaths, then sniffed out Kathleen and walked over next to my shoulder, no more than a foot or so away, and took a nap as we continued to talk about the day. This is even more meaningful to me than the breath exchanges! Up until November 14 her ritual was to finish the hay then walk over to the far side of the round pen and hang out alone until we opened everything up. Good girl Miss Noelle.
She’s has not yet made the choice to fully trust us. She’s still just exploring, testing the waters so to speak. But these are such good signs. Three weeks after Saffron (our second pregnant mustang) began to request breath exchanges she totally flipped a switch and said: Okay, I’m in! 100%! All the way! It was nothing short of amazing, all fully documented in Born Wild :).
I’m hoping Noelle won’t be too far behind Saffron. We’ll keep you posted.
The anxiously anticipated sequel to the National Best Seller
The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd
#1 Amazon Best Seller
#1 Amazon “Hot New Releases”
I began this book five years ago. We had only been horse owners for a year and a half and I had been asking a lot of questions, apparently too loudly too often, about how our new horses should be kept and cared for… and what we could learn by looking to the horses in the wild.
“Not a thing,” I was told, over and over again. “The domestic horse and the horse in the wild are not even the same species anymore.”
That made no sense to me. I remembered a teacher I once had who taught me to make decisions based upon knowledge and wisdom, not hearsay. So we began a new exploration, a new journey, once again charging off into uncharted waters… until we were suddenly stopped cold in our tracks and the book went on the shelf for almost three years. A very important three years, it turned out, that uncovered knowledge and wisdom we didn’t even know we were missing, and conclusions we could never have come to three years earlier. These discoveries astounded us, exhilarated us. And made us better. I hope that the words in this book have melted into the folds of what was being done, not what is being said. For that is their purpose. To create the experience for you that you might live it with us, do it with us. Feel it with us.
And now those words are yours. We hope you’ll find them worthy, and share them often.
Joe & Kathleen
Yvonne Rawleigh writes, “I couldn’t imagine how you would top The Soul of a Horse, but you did! I just finished Born Wild. I could not put it down! Your ability to tell the story of the wild mustang is amazing. I couldn’t wait to get to the barn and work with my two horses. I haven’t been able to get the book off my mind! You have such a way of grabbing the reader and not letting go!!! Congratulations on another wonderful book. And thank you for educating me on how to follow my instincts with my amazing horses!”
Watch the book trailer
“I read until late last night, and although I’m just a short way into the story, this is my thinking. I believe your body of work, starting with ‘Soul’, has been leading to this book. Your engaging writing style, not just about horses in general but about a specific herd, specific horses you brought into your life, is lovely. I believe Born Wild will prove to be another ‘Black Beauty’, which in that time, awakened people to the needs of horses and swept the country/world. We need that awakening again; thank you for doing that.” – Ruella Yates
“I just finished reading “Born Wild” by Joe Camp. The American government is supposed to be protecting our wild horses, but corruption abounds, and instead this administration is spending millions of tax payer’s money to decimate them. In “Born Wild” these facts are eloquently interwoven into a moving and enlightening love story about horses; both wild and domestic. Everyone should read this book. Thank you to Joe and Kathleen Camp for shining the light on such an important subject in such a beautiful way.” – Melanie Foster-Bowles
“Somedays this battle has you saying ‘what am I doing? beating my head against this wall just hurts.’ But then you see something like this book and you can say ‘This is why I engage this insanity.’ To see that people like you have paid attention… and how deeply this has touched you and to know that sweet mare that I saw so brutally taken from her home has found a place of understanding in this craziness… well all I can say is “Thank you.” – Laura Leigh
“This book was a joy to read, even if it had me sometimes cursing, sometimes weeping. The cursing and the weeping were WITH Joe Camp, not at him. He is an excellent storyteller who has spoken up for the horse, again. This Kindle version is cram packed with live links for extending the learning. I hope ten million people will read it. And I hope each of them will take some actions on behalf of the horse. Take the BLM to task, get wild horses protected in the WILD once and for all. Take a fresh look at their relationship with domestic horses, and how those horses are cared for.” – Terry Jenkins
“Be prepared…when you read Born Wild…to run the gamut of every human emotion known to man! You get so intent, so hooked into their story, it’s like sitting on the back porch, mason jar of red wine in hand, listening to Joe and Kathleen word for word. Born Wild is another massive step forward in spreading the word on the plight of our beautiful American wild mustangs and again, world wide, how important it is to care for our domestic equine friends “as mother nature intended’. Thank you Joe and Kathleen! You are excellent teachers! =-)” – Deb Long
“Couldn’t wait to get “Born Wild” electronically and hated to stop reading it long enough to tell you it’s another wonderful work. Malachi continues to touch so many. Thanks so much for your and Kathleen’s magical efforts in behalf of the Horse! Wishing it could go on and on!” – Ron Tatus
“This is a very special book and may very well be the tipping point needed for the horses of the world to get a better deal. Thank you Joe Camp.” – Maureen Lynch Vanderstad
“Just had Born Wild delivered to my kindle – – can’t wait to start reading it . . I’ve been around horses pretty much my entire life . . I learned more from “The Soul of a Horse” than any other horse book I’ve ever read.” – Jim Paul Blasdel
Born Wild is, once again, a journey of discovery with wild horses going domestic and domestic horses going wild. And a federal agency going mad. Told as only Joe Camp can tell it. For everyone who has ever loved a horse or loved the idea of loving a horse. The author of the highly acclaimed National Best Seller The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd strikes again with an uplifting, inspirational love story of trust, tears and joy that will once again be changing lives for the better all across the planet.
What others are saying about the writings of Joe Camp:
“Joe Camp is a master storyteller.” – The New York Times
“One cannot help but be touched by Camp’s love and sympathy for animals and by his eloquence on the subject.” – Michael Korda, The Washington Post
“The tightly-written, simply-designed chapters often read like short stories that flow from the heartl.” – Jack L. Kennedy – The Joplin Independent
“Joe Camp is a gifted storyteller and the results are magical. Joe entertains, educates and empowers, baring his own soul while articulating keystone principles of a modern revolution in horsemanship.” – Rick Lamb, TV/Radio host “The Horse Show”, Author of many books
“You will never look at a horse race, or a herd of mustangs, or even the canine of dubious parentage that is lounging on your couch, the same way.” – Debra McGuire, The Las Vegas Review Journal
“Joe Camp writes about horses with empathy, curiosity, and a deep regard for equine instincts and behavior.”- Debbie Moors, Horse & Rider
“It takes courage and a fair bit of self-confidence to contradict conventional wisdom on the care and nature of horses the way Joe Camp does. But then, this isn’t the first time Camp has been proven right when it comes to animals.” – David Hofstede, Cowboys and Indians