“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. Camp provides a central clue in a simple paragraph that begins the book: ‘Often, in the evening,’ he says, ‘when the stresses of the day are weighing heavy, I pack it in and head out to the pasture. I’ll sit on my favorite rock, or just stand, with my shoulders slumped, head down, and wait. It’s never long before I feel the magical tickle of whiskers against my neck, the elixir of warm breath across my ear, a restoring rub against my cheek. I have spoken their language and they have responded. And my problems have vanished. This book is for everyone who has never experienced this miracle.’
“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.
“The tightly-written, simply-designed chapters often read like short stories that flow from the heart, not just from the corral. Along the trail the reader learns that barriers can be good things, even instructive; that not all creatures learn the same way; that affection gets better results than dictation. “That’s not a bad lesson or two for anyone in the herd.” – Jack L. Kennedy – The Joplin Independent (Paperback)
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