Bringing Energy Through Your Body When Working With Horses

I’m pretty sure Klaus Hempfling is also a martial artist – you can tell by the way he uses his BODY in conjunction with energy. In fact, let me google that right now and then report back… okay, so he was a dancer – trained to use his body to communicate emotion, story, intent, etc. But even though I couldn’t find a reference, I will stand behind my hunch that he has had some decent martial arts training. See how he uses his body to communicate directly with the horse in this video – not just leading but also countering the horse’s body communication:

And then contrast that video with this one – where the woman at the beginning is NOT showing or communicating any strength, calmness or groundedness in her body, but is relying entirely on external aids – the whip, the lead rope, pulling on him.

What’s interesting to me is that when Klaus takes over and he gets the horse to the place where the horse feels safe enough to come in and connect for the first time, Klaus leaves the rope very slack (signaling trust and confidence in the horse), but he also has the butt end of the whip ready and out in front, so in case the horse does lunge at him, he can respond instantly. Which I think is part of the way Klaus gains the horse’s respect; a combination of openness holding space for the horse’s new/better self, combined with a strong boundary that he will not allow to be broached.

Stallions in particular seem to behave like the guys I used to spar with (I did Karate, Kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do for 6 years), it is very important for them to sense that you are canny and a “worthy opponent” to also gain their respect. Perhaps without respecting you, a strong male cannot connect strongly to you. And certainly not truly deeply love you – reminds me of my testosterone-driven sons! Kindness and trust are only one part of the equation and respect is equally important to a horse oriented this way.

And guess what? I’m not the only one who sees martial arts principles in Klaus Hempfling’s work. Bonnitta Roy does too:

“Through Klaus Ferndinand Hempfling, a Danish trainer who “dances with horses” Bonnie developed her own ideas about “leading with yin energy”, which Bonnie teaches in level four. “Hempfling does it intuitively,” Bonnie explains, “so he doesn’t actually talk about it…. I watch his hands over and over in the video. There’s a thing in Qigong called the naturally relaxed hand. Everything he does – the way he approaches a horse, the way he holds his ropes, how he supports and greets his students – exhibits this quality.”

Bringing Energy Through Your Body When Working With Horses

2 thoughts on “Bringing Energy Through Your Body When Working With Horses

  • April 23, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I have a Morgan gelding who is like that, its been hard for me as my other (and previous) horses haven’t been. I have no doubt he loves me, a heart to heart connection feels huge and strong, but he has been unhappy because of my inner doubts. Recently we seemed to have turned a corner, I know he is here to teach me Clarity, but I really resonated to your article “the Tangled Conundrum of Consensual Riding” and what you learned from your horse during your shared meditation. The love of riding comes from me and me helping them to also love what we do.

  • April 24, 2016 at 12:08 am

    The other thing my two lads have been showing me is that they love to DO things. Me setting a new learning puzzle or challenge before them results in them being MORE connected to me. After we have “worked” together, they are closer and also more gentle. Especially the dominant colt, Montaro. With Jax, I need to let him seek me out for a ‘training game’. But with Montaro, he likes me to take the lead, seek him out, invite him, and if he says no to X, then suggest something else. Then the softness follows afterwards and he is much more settled in himself. There is also a sense of relief sometimes when I take the ‘responsibility role’ and he can follow me – which he will only do when I am coming to him with strength and firmness in my energy. And very grounded – I have to make sure I’m really sunk into my core and the earth before approaching him. But as Klaus emphasizes in his books, never from a power-driven, “I’m the boss of you” position. Just from love and centeredness.


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