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The Ultimate Love Story

"He had always loved horses, from afar. She was terrified of them, but when he needed them most she kept her fears a secret."

Joe Camp was depressed. Recent setbacks had left him in shock not knowing what he was to do with the rest of his life. Kathleen, his wife, knew about his love of horses and surprised him on his birthday with a six-hour trail ride. She was terrified through the entire experience because of a childhood mishap, but Joe never knew. Three weeks later she swallowed hard and encouraged his wish to acquire three horses of their very own. “Only if you really want to,” he said. “Only if you can love them as I do. Only if you’ll help.” Kathleen promised she would. She had no idea how deeply her fears ran.

The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd, Joe Camp’s best selling memoir of two complete novices leaping into the world of horses is the ultimate love story, a story of supreme sacrifice driven by unconditional love. And a story that ends in a love of horses so deep that there was no choice but to totally change the way their horses were living.

Camp says he was devastated when he learned how deathly afraid Kathleen was. “I cried like a baby when I discovered the truth of what she was doing for me.” He had convinced himself that her desire to acquire more and more horses was inspired by her love of the horse. Kathleen says that was not the case. “We now have Joe’s horse, and the five I went through trying to find one I wouldn’t be afraid of.”

It was barely three years ago when Joe and Kathleen acquired their first three horses and this memoir of what followed is changing lives all across the country. "Somewhere along our journey, Kathleen and I both began to realize that what we were learning about relationships, leadership, persistence, and patience didn't apply just to horses,” Camp said. “The experience changed our lives and we hear from readers everyday with stories about how the book has changed the way these people think about themselves and their relationships.”

Riding a wave of word-of-mouth, The Soul of a Horse rose to #4 on The Dallas Morning News' Hardback Nonfiction Best Seller list just before Christmas. The book published by Random House/Harmony Books is in its fourth printing, its largest yet, and has been climbing in sales steadily since publication last May.

Camp is the creator of the canine superstar Benji and the writer-director of all five Benji films and numerous television programs.

Camp and his wife Kathleen live with their two cats, three kids, four dogs and six horses in Valley Center CA.


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