Does anyone follow the methods of Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-08-2012, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone follow the methods of Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling?

I saw an old post on here about the methods of Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling (who I personally find as the most enlightened horseman I've yet discovered). The poster ("Doe" I think), gave a brilliant overview of his methods and invited discussion. But all the responses were from people whose comments were argumentative and defensive.

I would love to talk to someone whose been using these body language techniques for a while. I've seen such an amazing response from my horses in a ridiculously short time. They seem to say, "YES, I understand you much better now and I want to show you how clever I really am!"

I've been a horseperson for 38 years and have studied many disiplines and thoroughly explored a number of NH methods. But I have chosen not to follow any one "system" because my horses demonstrated some very strong opinions that I couldn't help but agree with. We've been on the path together alone for years now. And then I found Klaus. And now suddenly, I find myself on a whole new level of unity with my horses. My HORSES AGREE with his techniques and philosophies.

I do not want to start an argument for or against different trainers, but would like to hear from KFH followers to find out how this path unfolds over time.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-08-2012, 06:27 PM
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I use a few of Klaus' techniques. Leading the horse as a foundation, elements of the position circle, halt and half-halt from body signals. I've found value in incorporating elements of his style into what I do. He loses me with his 26 distinct character groups; I see it as being on par with astrology in that the idea may have some relevance from a certain point of view but is ultimately just another attempt to label and categorize something which inherently has a million variations and defies the limits of those categorizations. So I've found things to agree with and to disagree with. The dude is good though, no doubt about that. Esoteric, but as good as any horseman I've ever seen.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-08-2012, 06:37 PM
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I was going to look into him too....I am always interested in learning new things to try with my horses. I have gone to a couple of Chris Irwin Clinics too and I have found them to be very helpful...
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-08-2012, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ian

Yeah, integrating his body language style into "what you do" seems to be what he leaves you with. It's great to hear you bring that up. I bought the 2 DVDs and the two books (What Horses Reveal was out of stock at the time) and I guess there wasn't more to be said because his stuff seems to be very foundational. What you and your horse create out of it has to come from you and your horse. That's the feeling I get.

May I ask what sort of things you do with your horses? I was an event in former times, but these days I ride (and play) only for pleasure. When I get the chance, I join a cattle muster - which I haven't done since I started this new ground work. I'm wondering if all that subtlety will have to be forgotten when the pressure's on and we have to chase a beast, or whether it ultimately becomes part of you as a team? Do you ride using mostly weight shift type communication? Is it possible when you've got "real" work to do?

And yep, the horse character classification, although I've only seen the brief version, also strikes me as something else to say because there is likely demand to hear more. I think your own "star sign" / character type is as relevant as the horse's (if you want to explore all that). Klaus's approach is a result of his character, and unlike trainers who create a system and claim that following each step will create said result, his teaching is very open-ended, which is why it's not for everybody.

Thanks for your reply Ian.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-08-2012, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nettybear View Post
I'm wondering if all that subtlety will have to be forgotten when the pressure's on and we have to chase a beast, or whether it ultimately becomes part of you as a team? Do you ride using mostly weight shift type communication? Is it possible when you've got "real" work to do?
I think that the answer is yes, to all of the above. Though when the chase is on with the cow you'll forget to think about it. Let it happen. There it is!
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-09-2012, 02:23 AM
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He's been my inspiration for a long time, and I recently started learning his methods. I, too, see him as one of the most enlightened horsemen there is.
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I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-09-2012, 02:30 AM
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Well I read his book, I mean the one most commonly seen, and I found it interesting, but very hard to get a handle on. He jumps all over the place, so it's hard to see where the actualy practice is, and how to 'learn' his techniques, short of having him teach you in person.
Is there a different book he wrote that has it more clearly laid out ?
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-11-2012, 12:22 AM
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Re-read his book and have tried some of the body position cues....some of the horses I work with (therapy Fiords) are particularly sensitive to my 'crouching halt position' and respond far more quickly than by me wiggling the lead line for a halt, for instance. My TB doesn't seem to see the same cue, he is too forward and I am always correcting him. Would be interesting discussing his methods.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-06-2013, 10:08 AM
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Very nice :) I'm too definitely into this! Klaus is the man!
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-06-2013, 04:31 PM
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Coming across Klaus Hempfling and his approach and philosophy on youtube was what inspired me to start riding again in my middle age! I'm a very fit yoga teacher (a plug for yoga here, horse people! It helps immensely for body awareness in the saddle). I started riding again last September and so starting taking lessons again for confidence but wanted to develop my "horsemanship" skills and that wasn't going to happen unless I found a one on one relationship. So, I found an 11 year old sweet but pushy cheval canadien mare to half-lease several months ago. The owner is pretty inexperienced with training and she just got the horse last Spring and hadn't worked with her much. Her ground manners need work though in saddle she's very responsive to leg cues which is great! She still needs to learn how to lead without running you over. The young trainer at the barn had been looping the lead chain around her nose (I hated that) and yanked to get her to whoa. I think she can be lighter than that with consistent training. We all stopped looping the lead chain around her nose and have been working her in hand - both lunging and leading. I'm playing with my body position on a longer lead. Sometimes it works, sometime it doesn't. I need to study Klaus' methods more carefully to get a handle on that. Its kind of confusing. I've read KH's books (Dancing with Horses and The Horse Seeks Me) but I feel alone and unsure since I'm so new to horsemanship. Since more than one person is handling Layla, I'm not sure how effective we can be with her training until we can all get on the same page. I'm only with her two days a week and now its more difficult with snow on the ground her in New England and there's no indoor. I'm wanting to get her much lighter in the mouth, if possible and it is methods like Klaus' that I think can help. My husband also got me Buck Brannaman's DVD's for Christmas and they are great -- He's a amazing horseman too.

Anyway, I'd love anyone to chime in with what they are using of KH's that works. All the training methods out there are overwhelming. I'm a great reader and researcher. My heart is in the kind of work KH and Buck do-- searching for that lightness and communication through respect for the horse, for his being and getting to a place of harmony.
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