Meet Nancy Camp
As a child, I was dazzled by the mystique of horses. If I was late for dinner, it was because I had walked a mile down Randall Road to feed handfuls of grass to Cindy and Ginger. These ponies resided on one of the last remnants of pasture that remained within the city limits of Aurora, Illinois. At night, I had to remain still while I slept, so as not to disturb the Breyer horses that I carefully placed under the covers with me. Unable to afford a horse of my own I persuaded my parents that a weekly riding session at a stable in the nearby town of Sugar Grove was truly a necessity and I would agree to anything, even cleaning my room or attending Sunday School, to secure a promise that on Saturday afternoon I would be taken to ride a horse. Fritz and Party Boy were my favorite mounts. I hid the pants I rode in from the dirty laundry pile so I could sleep with the smell of a horse on my pillow.
Later in life, I studied art and literature. Then, after three years of college and two years of art school, much to my parents’ distress, I passed up the opportunity to study at the American College in Brussels to attend the Potomac Horse Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I wanted to pursue my dreams of a career in the magical world of horses. At the Horse Center, I was thoroughly indoctrinated into the proper British traditions for riding instruction and stable management.
I set about making a living doing what I loved best, horses. By the age of forty-five, I was managing a boarding facility on 600 beautiful acres in Idaho that accommodated ninety-six horses during its peak season. I taught riding lessons and had four horses in full training for low-level eventing. In addition to all of this, I was schooling my horse at Preliminary level and showing him at Training level over 3’ 6” obstacles in regional Horse Trials. As part of the development of the facility I managed, I was supervising the construction of a cross-country course and preparing to host our first official horse trial competition. I was a storehouse of knowledge and experience. I was living my dream and I was miserable.
In 1994 Peggy Cummings introduced me to a way with horses that was based on fairness and respect and I realized that the world I inhabited at the time was not. I embraced Connected Riding® and jumped on board. I learned a lot about ideas that were emerging concerning equine dentistry, natural hoof trimming and saddle fit. These ideas were revolutionary at the time. Since, these topics have become common, but discussions are often heated due to competing idealistic trends.
I established Whole Horse Training in 1995 and set my intention on educating horse owners about all aspects of equine management. I’ve taught a lot and I’ve learned a lot. I realize how important posture and comfort are to both horses and humans when it comes to performance and emotional health. I got lost in the tremendously complicated maze of horse care and frustrated by the plethora of misguided resources and lack of answers for problems that confronted me every day. I moved from a traditional path to an alternative one, especially for matters of health. I am trained numerous modalities of bodywork and my practice has effectively extended to dogs.
Now, in 2015, emerging with new awareness, I realize that experience is the answer to all questions, and a good mentor offers experience beyond that which we have accumulated on our own. And, I can simplify my assessment of ideas, practices or products by using one simple filter. When applied in a loving way with empathy for the horse’s physical, emotional and spiritual condition in this place at this time, all you really have to know is this: “Is this (idea, practice, product) truly for the good of the horse?”
Resume & Education
Master of Arts, Art History, 1983, Northern Illinois University, 4.0 GPA
BA, Art History, 1978, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL, 4.0 GPA
Recipient, Talented Student Award Grant, 1977, NIU
Full Tuition scholarship 1978, NIU
Drawing and Art History instructor for College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, Idaho. 1981 - Present.
Attended 2 years Art Institute of Chicago, 1970 - 1972
Certified Connected Riding® Instructor, since 1998
Co-Creator of EquiMotion®, Feldenkrais Integrated Riding Workshops. Taught since 2000 with Robert Spencer, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher.
Level II High Touch® Jin Shin practitioner, since 1997
Level I Reikei practitioner, since 2002
Level 4 Equine CranioSacral practitioner, since 2002
Illustrated Equine CranioSacral workbooks Levels 1 and 2 and Canine craniosacral workbooks for Maureen Rogers.
Illustrated Peggy Cummings’ Connected Riding, An Introduction, ©1999 PRIMEDIA
Illustrated Peggy Cummings’ Connect with Your Horse from the Ground Up, ©2015 Trafalgar Square
Co-author and illustrator, Peggy Cummings’ Connect with Your Horse from the Saddle (coming in 2015)