Archive for Wild Horses

Our Mission: What’s In It for the Horse?

The photo above was taken from our front yard by Lucas Wiesmann, one of Kathleen’s Mock Trial students, at her annual Mock Trial Dinner last Friday, the day before the regional competition. The photo of Zeke racing down to meet the kids so beautifully represents who we are, our mission, that I’ve placed it on our home page and here on this this blog post, because both are about just that. Thank you Lucas!

Are you asking everyday what’s in it for the horse? With lifestyle? With training? With diet? With feet? With relationship? What’s in it for the horse? Not what’s in it for me? Until then you cannot even imagine how good things can be.

Clinician Ray Hunt always opened every clinic or symposium the same way. “I’m here for the horse,” he would say. “To help him get a better deal.” He and his mentor, Tom Dorrance, were the first to promote looking at a relationship with the horse from the horse’s perspective. Their question was never What’s in it for me? But always, What’s in it for the horse?

During our relatively short journey with horses we began to understand early on that What’s in it for the horse? should be the only question. And not just related to training, but to Lifestyle, Diet, Feet, the concept of Liberty, as well as Relationship. And that only by understanding all of these from the horse’s perspective could we begin to approach that illusory state of mind referred to as Horsemanship. We were discovering that our way to horsemanship could never be about how well we ride, or how many trophies we win, or how fast our horse runs, or how high he or she jumps. Read More→

No Agenda Time – Join Up Without a Round Pen

Joe and Saffron

You might remember that, for me, the most important element in Monty Roberts’ Join Up is that the choice to join up, to trust, belongs to the horse. It is not forced by the human. And when the horse makes that choice freely, of its own free will, everything changes. No-Agenda Time takes longer than Monty’s Join Up (which usually works for him in 30 to 40 minutes). Our No Agenda experiment with our new mustang Saffron took 35 days, but when it happened everything changed, like a flash, right before our eyes. Everything! As if she had just flicked a switch. Read More→

“Share a rare intimate narrative and an extraordinary book.”

By Helen Underwood Miller

“This is an extraordinary book. Every horse will be ever grateful to Joe Camp for writing it. Buy it for your daughters, sons, friends, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, vets, farriers, neighbors, hay dealers, feed merchants, the local breeders, the people who muck out at their stables, the people who rent trailers, the people who have horse rescue centers. Buy paper copies and leave them accidentally Read More→

On the Hay Trail

Horses need free-choice grass or grass hay 24/7. And they need movement around the clock. It’s in their genetics. So we make sure our guy and gals have fresh grass and/or Bermuda grass hay (quantities of each dependent upon the time of year) around the calendar and around the clock. After every feeding, morning and evening, the hay goes into the Gator and gets distributed in what we call a hay trail, small piles strung out across the pasture, where the horses can play musical hay piles to their hearts’ content. During the winter, Read More→

At Last. At Long, Long Last!

“Take off your hat,” Kathleen said.

“Do what?”

“Take… off… your… hat.” She was almost whispering now. “Noelle wants you to take off your hat. Just do it.”

I glanced to to my left and she was very close, and her eyes did in fact speak with a nudge of entreaty. But I couldn’t imagine why it had anything to do with my hat.

“She wants to be closer and the brim gets in the way.”

I slid the hat off my head as Kathleen cautiously withdrew her iPhone from its holster.

She was right. Noelle took a step closer… then another.

The moment was so very special, and has been such a long time coming. We’re still a good ways from the finish line, but she has  now told us with absolute clarity that we’re headed in the right direction.

Noelle is our first mustang. She’s been with us just over seven years as I write this and she has yet to have a single hoof trimmed or accept a halter or lead rope. Only a few months back did she finally trust me enough to let me safely cut off the halter that was placed on her when we picked her up at the BLM facility in Reno. Saffron, our second pregnant mustang, is the polar opposite. She was standing calmly getting her feet trimmed mere months after coming to us from the BLM. She accepts a halter, and leads to a loose line. Which isn’t really necessary because she comes to a call and walks with me wherever I ask. And I’ve been on her bare back. These are two very different mustangs. Probably with different backgrounds in the wild. Possibly different encounters with Bureau of Land Management personnel. And, unfortunately, very different encounters with me. Read More→

Lessons from the Wild

Pete Ramey is my hero for all that he has done and continues to do for the horse. He arguably knows more about the inner workings of a horse’s hoof than anyone on the planet. Pete and his wife Ivy took a week-long trip into wild horse country to see first hand, for themselves, if all the reports and research they had read about wild horse lifestyle, and hooves, and health, and happiness were true. As Pete says, they were blown away. This is their story, in Pete’s words, and I promise you will be blown away as well: Read More→