The Book Cover of The Horse Seeks Me by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling
From the New Book
The Horse Seeks Me
by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling
Why I value fearfulness in horses
Marouk becomes bombproof
Hardly any horses are entirely confident about meeting the everyday objects that clutter the human world. As everyone knows, spooking can become a real problem and can be very dangerous. It is a risk that we need to eliminate. This is the next step that we will take with Marouk. Why does this step come before loading? You might think it is obvious, because a trailer also represents an object that the horse is afraid of, but that is not the real reason. Rather, it is about the following.
I absolutely do not want to take away a horse’s fear of strange things, because this wariness has many benefits. It means that the horse is or can become sensitive, and usually indicates a certain level of intelligence. I prefer, instead, that the horse keeps his awareness. Obviously, a very alert, sensitive and intelligent horse will spook at boundary tape, for example, or at least back away from it warily. That is only too understandable. I initially see this behaviour as being something positive. That is important. Secondly, I want to preserve this basic behaviour, so I do not want to do what many riders aim for, namely to get the horse used to all and sundry, in order to desensitise him. If I do that, I may end up with a deadened ‘dope’ beside me who is fazed by nothing, but whom in the end, does not care about himself, me, or his development.
So what do I do? In a very short time, I decisively and irrevocably lead the horse into a relationship with me, where the horse will think: ‘I am a bit scared of this thing, but Klaus is not, so I can now disregard any fear and put my trust in him’. From my point of view, that has many advantages, some of which are:
Klaus Hempfling sitting on his island while the horse grazes
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