Interview with Joe Camp, Author of ‘The Soul of a Horse’


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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13 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    In reading the paragraph about “Founder Valley”, I wondered how Mr. Camp adjusted his new 22 acres of pasture so his horses would continue their good health (without rich grasses)????

    • then5925 says:

      Hi Susan,

      I don’t know if Joe will respond here or not, but he told me that he planted several different warm season grasses to provide variety and that he also feeds Bermuda hay all year as well. That way they don’t just have one choice (of the cool season, high sugar grasses) to graze on.

      • Jean Maloney says:

        I am interested in the fact that Joe feeds Bermuda hay. I have heard so many opinions, speculations, and outright accusations that Bermuda hay causes impaction colic, that I am now afraid to feed Bermuda. I wish I could get to the absolute truth concerning this matter, because I know that Bermuda is a balanced, nutritional hay.

        • Lois says:

          We all have to form our own opinions on Hay. I live in NW Fl. Here Bermuda Coastal is a horse staple. They eat the grass in the Summer and the hay in the winter. Never saw colic from it. My last two mares have lived to be 32 and 36 eating coastal

          • Jean Maloney says:

            Thank you for that. I heard of a study also, which implicated coastal Bermuda in ileal impaction colics. But who knows how thorough the study, or what other factors may have been involved? Therefore, I think I feel more confident, after your reply, to go ahead and add Bermuda to my horses’ diet. It is, after all, a balanced and nutritious hay. Thanks again.

    • Joe Camp says:

      Hi Susan… God was looking out for us. When we bought the property in Tennessee the pastures had not been used for at least eight years. Just left, allowed to grow multi varieties of grasses, weeds, brambles, berries, trees, etc. And it had not been fertilized or poisoned for at least the same period. We just bush hogged and were ready to go. We did plant some Bermuda and crab grass, both warm season grasses to help counter the cool season fescue and orchard already there. For a summary of what we did read this article, Horses Need Choices, at this link:

      For the whole story and all the research go to the book Horses Were Born to Be On Grass which is only 99 cents on Kindle, or Nook, or iBooks. Paperback a bit more 🙂

  2. Vicki L Ciepiela says:

    Casie, Thank you so much for this interview with Joe Camp. I really like his outlook and the way he interacts with his horses. I signed up for his blog and look forward to more articles from him. Thank you, Vicki

  3. Susan says:

    I wish I knew exactly what to plant. We have a couple of TBs with weak feet and some ponies that eat like little piggies! If they had the right stuff in front of them, we wouldn’t have to keep them on dry lots!

  4. Susan says:

    Hello Joe!

    Thank you so much for your response! I read your book, “Soul of a Horse”….LOVED IT! I’ve recommended it to many of my students. My boyfriend and I are of the exact same ideas and beliefs about horses as you are!

    Yes, lucky you to have found a place that was clean and fresh for your horses. My place was 30 years “used” when I got it and that was 11 years ago. It would be so nice to find another place like you did…some day!

    I’ll have to go to my local extension office and find out what they recommend for my area (NY State).

    Thank you again!

  5. Cathi Cline says:

    Joe, are you aware the worm that currently is the most dangerous equine worm is the small encysted strongyle ?

    They do not produce eggs and will never show up in a fecal test. Because of the mistaken idea that rotational worming is a good thing, these worms have become resistant to all wormers except Quest and a 5 day course of Panacur. DE has no effect. Neither does any commercial wormer, no matter what the label says. Large strongyles are not the same as small strongyles.

    I do applaud you for encouraging fecal counts before worming horses. Unfortunately the most dangerous worm won’t show up in the fecal sample.

    • Vicki L Ciepiela says:

      I’m really troubled by the statement about DE not showing up in fecal counts! I thought I was covering all my bases by doing fecal counts and worming when necessary to avoid resistance. What happens when these worms get resistant to Quest and panacur?? Vicki

      • Casie says:

        It’s true that encysted strongyles will not show up in fecal egg counts, and the only *proven* method of getting rid of them is Quest, Quest Plus (moxidectin + praziquantel), or ivermectin given 3 times at 3 week intervals (even the panacur is getting resistance now). But a strong immune system and good pasture management is equally, if not more important, than any deworming program, in my opinion. DE is known for boosting the immune system, so who’s to say that it doesn’t, in fact, help in the control of encysted strongyles. . . Some people will use natural dewormers throughout most of the year (or when needed) and then treat for encysted strongyles in the fall though.

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