• VOLUME 41 • © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
Thanks for two fantastic interview articles with Philippe Karl. His book ‘Twisted Truths’ is possibly the finest book I have read in a decade or more, and his approach to riding is in fact, the best synthesis of methods that I have come across. He gymnasticises the horse, in the way the Germans would claim to, yet actually miss the point completely, because they lose the lightness, and also, tend to start with the best raw material possible, rather than the eclectic selection of horses PK works with - as long as it's sound, has four legs, a head and a tail, I think he would have a go at training it! Not for him the genetically selected sporthorse, and only that! But he also works to achieve the relaxation of the jaw first, because without this, how can the horse work ‘through’? I have been saying this for years, as my old trainer, Capt Desi Lorent required the horse to relax the jaw from the outset, in order that he could then release the rest of his body- if we clench our own jaw, the muscle tension goes down the neck into the chest and even into the stomach and back, so how can a horse truly work ‘through’ if he has tension in jaw and poll? This is the part of the German system that I have never been able to grasp, that the horse must work through from behind onto what is often a strong contact, so that the horse is even leaning on the bit. But if he is leaning on the bit, then there must be tension in the jaw, and that has to spread backwards throughout the whole horse.
My next trainer, after Desi, was German classically trained, and so I learnt more about working the horse forward and ‘over the back’, but when schooling or re-educating a horse, I would always still seek this relaxation of the jaw before I could really feel the back swing. But I was told I was wrong to do this - eventually it would come by itself. It might with some horses that were built to allow it to round naturally, but not the star gazing, ewe necked variety that seemed to find its way to my door with students on a regular basis at the time!! Now, it is the other way around, they all are way overbent with their chins on their chest!! How fashions change! So I guess my own training methods are something of a hybrid too, and why PK’s work struck such a chord with me when I first came across the 4 DVD’s. I am so glad that Gerd Heuschmann recognises that PK’s horses are NOT rigid in the back, a criticism which I have heard levelled at the work in the DVD’s on a number of occasions.
A huge thank you for the beautiful and heartfilled article about Torchlight. My eyes filled with tears, but tears of sharing, for this human is going through the "never agains" after the loss of her partner, and is finding her feet in her new world.
I am also a shamanic practitioner who has had the honour of working with some amazing sentient beings called horses. The depth of their feelings; the soul that they are willing to bare; the heart that beats in truth - and yes, they do grieve. Moments of intimacy that pull at the very heart and soul of ourselves - for it is there, palpable...
Long may your magazine continue to bring us articles like this one.
Warm wishes to you and all your contributors,
I love your concept, format, and understanding of what needs to happen with the horse and human to connect fully.
I am in the beginnings of an adventure that is guided by destiny.
It's a long story. I hadn't been to your site for some months. I was loaned a Dvd of Cavalia. I went to u-tube to look for more of their work. While I was exploring the videos I came across Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling.
Instantly I knew I had hit the jackpot and that there was someone who knew how the relationship goes with the horse. I contemplate what must happen constantly.
Within a week I made contact and decided that I had to go spend time with him to learn as much as I could.
So I will be going to LYO in September for 16 days of learning what he knows.
Now I am totally inspired and return to Horses for Life. Who do I find but you have had interviews with Klaus. Now I totally know that everything is on a path of its own.
I believe from your publication or looking for more of Klaus' work I was led to the Path of the Horse.
There was Klaus with Carolyn Resnick and Nevzorov.
My timing was perfect to find all of these people and have your wonderful publication validate my findings.
I have always known this was the correct way to interact with a horse and have sacrificed the development of riding skills because I could feel how cruel these skills were if the person had any physical flaws. The person passes on their own lameness to the horse.
It took me a long time to take responsibility for my own body. Through the use of pilates and the feldenkrais method I am beginning to understand enough about movement and balance and how we have to be physically to interact with the horse.
Well I usually don't have the patience to write this much. I hope that you understand what I mean.
I only wish I had at least one more lifetime to see this through.
I loved the story of the very old horse master. On his deathbed he lamented his the ending of his life as it was only the last week that he really understood the horse.
Thanks for reading this.
Editors Note: Thank you so much for sharing this. It truly means a lot. I find myself thinking that much of what has happened with Horses For LIFE is fate. I cannot but begin to believe that there is a larger purpose at work.
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