Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
If I had to choose between Klaus Hempfling and Larry Trocha for inspiration in training or riding, I'd go with Larry Trocha. But then, I'd run away from someone teaching 'bonding' with horses. I don't think bonding has anything to do with being safe around a horse. I bonded with Mia when she & I were both unsafe to be around each other. I've never bonded with Trooper, but he is a much safer horse to ride.
The difference is training. Trooper was trained to do what his rider wants. He wasn't trained to 'like' someone, and his obedience doesn't come from enjoying someone's company. Much of what I do with Mia now is based on getting her to obey me thousands of times in a row, so she won't think about ignoring my cues if something is scary.
You will never completely overwrite their instincts. Nor should you. A horse may understand, with feet on the ground and a better sense of smell, that going forward can be dangerous (snake, bad footing, etc). And it is nice to have a horse who is a willing partner. But training creates a bond of its own, and training is the foundation of a good bond with a horse. What you do NOT want is a horse who will take off across the desert to save himself and his rider from the Great Monster, which happens to be a dirt bike. The kindest thing a rider can do is teach the horse to respond to the rider's cues. At the same time, a prudent rider needs to learn the horse's signs of nervousness, and accept the possibility that the horse may be nervous for a good reason.
All just IMHO. I'm not a trainer or instructor, but I've had a horse who likes me create dangerous situations by not obeying, and a horse who doesn't particularly like me who would accept my decisions and obey. And most of my riding time with Mia is to try to make her like the second horse, preferably while still liking me...
"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."