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 Post subject: Hempfling Clinic UK
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:37 am 
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Just had a wonderful weekend clinic with Klaus, it was amazing, I loved every minute. I did get the feeling that most of the clinic was for us, not the horses. He's a wonderful teacher, and taught us some grounding excercises, and some body language excercises.....it was fun, and none of us minded looking a bit silly. It did also have it's emotional moments, alot of tears were shed for the brave young girl who brought her stallion in to be 'fixed' but then realised it was her who Klauss needed to work with.

I also met Eileen, (ET) She was lovely, and so was her sister, just wish I had more time to chat with her.

I will write up a proper report later as it was so interesting and I would love to share it here.

By the way Eileen, I still can't get that image of Klaus rolling his hips out of my mind, oooohhhh, but thats not for here!!!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:19 pm 
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Woohoo!! Glad you had a great time Annie....it sounds wonderful!! :D I'm now waiting patiently for a full report! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:43 pm 
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Yes me too, anxious to read a full report. Oh and don't spare the details... Klaus moving his hips.... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Hempfling Clinic UK
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:16 pm 
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AnnieB wrote:
By the way Eileen, I still can't get that image of Klaus rolling his hips out of my mind, oooohhhh, but thats not for here!!!!!


So right Annie , we will save that for later :lol: pure chance I managed to get real close for that exercise 8)

I practised the grounding exercise with Gouch this morning. Feet shoulder width apart , toes pointing slightly inwards and let the weight drop from my shoulders to the ground, arms hanging relaxed by my side. Gouch came over and began to sniff me I stayed relaxed but kept my eyes on him, as he curled his lips ready to nip I used my hand to direct his mouth away. I just moved my hand gently from the wrist the way klaus showed the young lass with the stallion. I had to work really hard at staying relaxed and grounded as I could see Gouch was getting ready to try a stronger nip. I also remember what Klaus said about our heart must not beat faster, that was soo!!! difficult. I could feel myself becoming tense so I thought about something really funny and began to giggle like an idiot. Now that worked well I was calm and grounded and was able to keep directing his mouth away.

After about five minutes Gouch began to roll his eyes and yawn in a super relaxed way, then he stood resting his head next to me , that was soo!! cool 8) 8) Not only that but he has been giving me strange looks all day and has been so well behaved, he is probably in shock :lol: :lol:

Eileen

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:34 am 
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Hey Claire and Tlove, I will try to give you some idea about the clinic, it realy was so cool 8)

Eileen, that sounds wonderful, it realy does seem to be the case with these hot stallions that you stay realy calm, and they seem to follow. And it would appear that the groundedness, and the relaxed body language does pay off. Well done you.

Well here goes for all that I can remember, there was so much. First of all Klaus is a very interesting person, I loved his attitude to life. He explained how his parents disowned him at a very young age, so he was brought up by his grandparents. They died when he was thirteen or maybe fourteen. He then resorted to playing instruments on the streets to get enough money to eat. He was a survivor. He says he started watching people as he sat in busy shopping malls, and noticed how much they were like robots. He felt there was no richness to their lives, they were disconnected from source, and so were lost.

He said that humans were very much like the snake, low to the ground, always stuck to the ground, and they also had a forked tongue, meaning they always lied. The horse on the other hand is like a hawk, able to rise up to the sky and being close to purity, hence Pegasus.

Stay with me here as all this is very interesting, even if it does sound odd. He spoke of this material world that humans are tied to, the one of solid objects you could touch and said that horses, while here in this solid material world are also able to pass to the 'dream world' he said they are borderline, meaning that they can drift from dreamtime to solid material world. He said this world was also visited by most native tribes accross the world when they meditated or journeyed. But we are just trapped in the material world. This stops us from connecting with our horses. We are snakes, and we want to connect with our horses as we do realise they could take us to the heights that they fly to, but we are unable to while we are firmly rooted to the low ground, so our connection with them is nearly always one of control, us trying to dominate the beauty of nature, as the horse is pure nature, that which we crave, but no longer know how to do.

He said that when he is with horses, he always goes borderline, going to the dreamworld and bringing the imformation he recieves there back to this realm to help the horses he works with. This way he can see there issues, he understands what they need, and in a very short period of time, he is able to take them from being small abused animals, back to big proud horses, all of the horses issues are placed there by humans, they have none to start with, as they are just pure nature. He spoke for a long time and we were all transfixed, I can honestly say I never got bored once. Interestingly, he stated that he has no time for people who say that can talk to horses, he said if a horse ever spoke to him he'd run a mile, he said the same for ghosts etc, he has no interest in any of that sort of stuff, which seemed odd considering his very spiritual approach to horses.

The first horse to come into the Picadero was a beautiful Arab Stallion. It really upset me how stressed he was. The girl who owned him brought him in a horrible bit, she said it was all she could lead him in, he couldn't shut his mouth, it was constantly gaping open. When she put him in the picadero Klaus asked her to remove it. He ran around and around, neighing and biting at the bars, it was horrible. He swung his head over and over again, reared, bucked, and Klaus just stood calmly chating to us all, but always sizing up the horse. The girl said he was uncontrolable, always explosive, always biteing, and hated having his head touched, she said that in one of his fits he had run into a brick wall and realy hurt his head. She had owned him for three years, he was five.

I noticed immediatly that every time Klaus moved to towards the picadero, as the horse was in there by himself at this stage, the horse would come and stand next to him, and as Klaus walked up and down the chap followed him. It's quite hard to explain, but when Klaus went in with him, the horse wanted to be with him, but Klaus said that he wasn't ready, so would gently, I mean very gently, just with his body language, standing very square, with shoulders down and relaxed, and feet apart and very grounded, breathing properly, and keeping his heartbeat very slow, especialy when the horse became very excited. He then started to claim his corner and another one, by throwing his rope into the corner ahead of him, so the horse only had half the picadero to move in, again he threw the rope into this corner so gently, and through all this he never looked at the horse, you could tell all the time that the horse desperatly wanted to be with him, not beacause he was submitting like in joinup, I'm only saying this how I saw it, of course others may have noticed something different, but for me, it was all very gentle. The only time Klaus did bring his energy up was when he started to let the horse in to him, and if the horse was calm, he gently stroked him, or just stood with him, very calmly, but when the horse went back to chaos as he put it, he went down on his haunches and drove him around speaking realy loudly in his own language, as soon as the horse calmed down, he let him in and stood calmly with him again. He said that the horse wanted to be near him as he recognized the strength and honesty of this human, something he'd probably not seen in other humans he had encountered.

He also worked with two other horses, a very strong minded colt foal, and a stunning grey mare. The woman who came in with the grey mare was talking to Klaus about the horses issues. Klaus stood rubbing his chin listening intently to her as she said that the horse outwardly seemed very calm, but would without warning panic over the smallest thing. This woman too was very quietly spoken, and I got the imppresion that all that she was saying about the horse she could of been saying about herself. Klaus worked with the mare and found her perfect, desperatly willing to please and no signs of nervousness at all, she moved beautifuly. When he finished with her, he looked at the owner and said, 'It's no coincidance that the horse came to you, I'm sorry to say this, but you do have some issues too do you not, she became quite emotional, and agreed. He also came out with some imformation from the horses past, saying that it had had an accident at some time, and issues when it was a foal. The woman said that when she bought the horse over from Spain, it had fallen off the ramp of the lorry, or something like that, and had had to have stiches, so she was on box rest for a while just after she had bought her, Klaus, also asked her to see if she could find out from the breeder what had happened to this horse as a foal when it was with it's mother, he said that he was able when working with the mare to see all of this by going over the borderline, and bringing the imformation back.

On the Sunday we did lots of grounding work, breathing, and learning to relax from the shoulders, we also did some chanting, whilst Klaus sang in a beautiful Native American style chant, I loved it, it felt like we all entered his dreamworld breifly.

We then all went into the arena and got a partner and took it in turns to hold our partners head very gently in our hands. Our partner had to close there eyes and we had to go all around the arena steering them as gently as possible, all to teach us how to communicate as gently as possible to our horses in riding, it was agreat excercise, especialy when our human horses had to run with eyes shut, and just our gentle hands to guide them. I've never laughed so much!! We also did hip rotating work, moving the hips as they should in both trot and canter, Klaus has the most supple hips I have ever seen on a man!!!!

We pretty much ended with the young Arab stallion. He was alot calmer when he came in. The young girl who owned him was asked once again by Klaus to remove the awfuly uncomfortable bit he was wearing. She then sat to watch. Klaus worked with him for quite a long time, and once again, the only time he ever pushed the horse was when he went into chaos, and then it was only with his body language and voice, his energy was always down. The horse became so calm, and like Klaus said, he was caarying himself more proudly, more like a stallion, he seemed bigger. He lunged him gently around the pen. The saddest part was the fact that he was telling the audience how this chap had lost his pride, had been down trodden and was just very angry with the world and humans. I could see the young girl who owned him crying as she listened to Klaus. I felt so sorry for her, she seemed to shrink in her chair. Klaus asked her what method she had been traing him with, when she said Parelli, he just said, 'My god, no wonder he's like this' He said Parelli made alot of horses flighty and panicy like this because of the pressure inflicted on them. He said that it was so sad that so many people turned to these various training methods that were so damaging to horses, when they could learn to do it themselves. He did say that he still doesn't know his method, it just happens naturaly with each individual horse he works with, he just flows with nature. He says that people can learn this too. He very quickly managed to let the stallion accept touching on his head, and put a halter on him and led him out the picadero and around the arena, occasionaly the boy did fight with him, trying to bite, but he just gently pushed the head away. He calmly stood holding him while he hit the fence realy hard with the string of his whip, the horse paniced a few times, but soon realised he didn't need to, it was an amazing change. He asked the owner to promise not to put that bit back in his mouth. He then got her out to teach her how to lead her boy. It was very emotional, she had very round shoulders, and lacked confidance with him. Klaus told her to stop crying, and start to move forward with her lovely boy, she was sobbing and hugging him, and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. She started leading him with Klaus constantly shouting to her to bring her shoulders level and lift her head. It took some time, but soon she was leading him confidantly and the beaming smile on her face was just wonderful. Klaus even asked us to all clap while she was holding him, and she did a wonderful job of keeping him calm, I was so pleased for her and her lovely stallion.

Sorry this is so long, just wanted to share as I do know some others here have seen Klaus in a different light. All I can say is what I saw with my eyes, and I thought he did nothing but help those horses, the change in them was amazing. And the owners, he's a human healer too. He did say a couple of things I didn't agree with, but then like he said, we are all on our own journeys with our horses, journeys that will take us a life time. I can't reccomend his clinics highly enough or his interesting approach to life, and his unique way with horses and humans. Just wonderful.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:27 am 
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Annie....that sounded amazing!! I am so disappointed I couldn't make it. From the sounds of it I could have learnt so much!!

I can understand what he says about the dreamworld (I would maybe call it the astral or perhaps vision plane) I have found that if I have a foot in each world (as my friend wolf would say) it is much easier to connect with all things. I was once taken on a shamanic journey by Horse. (Not one particular horse but the collective unconsious of all horses....if that makes sense) Horse took me on a journey through the different planes...pretty amazing experience. It sounds to me like I need to reconnect with my spiritual side to be able to connect with my ponies on a higher level!

Anyway....thank you so much for writing up this report on the seminar. I will have to make sure that next time he is over here I make sure I go. Thanks again Annie! Totally fabulous!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:10 am 
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Thanks for writing such a wonderfully thorough description!

When I was 14, I first read Hempflings book and I absolutely adored it. I used a lot of his thoughts and methods in getting Blacky not to attack people anymore :roll: but as I didn't have a picadero (only a 1 acre pasture he was in back then) so we soon had to experiment with our own approach. I think that both having Hempfling as a basis and being forced by our surroundings to create my own solutions, had really set me on the way to natural dressage and what this forum is about. So I'm still really fond of his books and dvds, even when nowadays I do things differently or do not agree so blindly anymore. :wink:

The funny thing is that part of me does want to go to a clinic of him, in order to see him work with horses life - and another part of me doesn't yet. He has a very strong and convincing personality, and it feels like I still have to find my own road more, discover my own things before I can go to his clinics, in order not to become totally everwhelmed by it. So untill that moment I absolutely love to read of people who have gone and write such beautiful and elaborate reports about it! :D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:38 am 
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Claire, I knew you would understand this other natural world, I guess we are all pretty disconnected with it.

Miriam, sorry it is so long!!! I just realy wanted to get an essense of all of this across, I suppose I did relate to alot of it. I've always worked with animals, killed my own animals, and you do get a sense of connectedness to all that is, the natural world, what ever you want to call it, and I have never realy ever followed any kind of training method, we've just felt our way along. People do put so much faith in different training methods and forget to feel there way with their own horses personalities and their own.

There were a few things I didn't agree with, I never sell myself to one god, more just take a snippit from each. My horses are my teachers, they have to be, and of course we then have to fit that around my enviroment. I would reccommend seeing him, it's very different, and at least he's not selling 'a method' more trying to help people follow there own paths of self discovery.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:38 pm 
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Annie, I'm so jealous. In the dvd, The Path of The Horse, it really is Hempfling's words that I adore the most. The philosphy is beautiful and the words are like a pretty song.

I don't think any of us here follows a single person any more...although we may have at one point in our lives. Having the knowledge that not one single person has all the answers or deserves all our adoration, frees us up to appreciate even more what each one can offer us.

I love to listen to him talk and would love to watch him work with a horse in person.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:38 pm 
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Karen he is amazing, he is also very self confidant, a very important thing to have when being around horses. I think because he was abandoned as a child, he doesn't crave anything from anyone, or anything. He's very straight talking, even to the point of shouting quite firmly to the human working with the horse if he feels he needs to. When the woman with the stallion stood infront of him crying, he asked her how old she was, when she replied she was 36, he then asked her why she was crying then, if he had of hugged her (like I wanted to) he would of fed her desperation, he encourages everything to be strong. He said he never feels love for the horse, if he did it would make him passionate towards it, and more demanding of it.I hated that, I do love my horses, at what level I don't know, but I do love them, even just for their beauty.

I've just been reading on the NHE thread in this section about the chap who says that Klaus has upset a certain woman, I don't know her, but, I can see he could upset someone who wasn't prepared for the truths he would deliver, he is very honest about how he sees the problems with horses and humans. I thought he was wonderful, and the horses certainly seem to aswell :D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:00 pm 
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One of the hardest things for us all to do is to look hard within ourselves. Alone, we can brush the surface but we are free not to go too deep and keep ourselves from facing the emotion of it. But when another person confronts you with it and if they are empathic enough to have a struck upon a very deep truth, it can feel devastating to us. Like having an old wound gashed open. It's so hard to get past the feeling that it is an attack, rather than merely an honest truth. If we CAN be strong, if we CAN see it for the truth it is, and if we can face it bravely, we come out of the experience stronger, better, and refreshed.

Frightening and intriguing at the same time! Not something a person would normally find at a horse training clinic!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:49 pm 
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Annie, thanks so much for your detailed description of the clinic!

I have such mixed reactions about all of this -- like Karen, I love much of what Hempfling says about horses and love, love, love watching him move with them. However, I am personally so wary of being in situations where big emotions and old, complicated wounds come to the surface and are being dealt with in a public way.

I had an acting teacher absolutely take me out when I was in college in just such a way -- I went into a 6 month severe depression (dropped out of school, became pretty badly agoraphobic, etc.) and took me years to work through what had happened. (He was abusive and controlling, which is NOT AT ALL what I'm saying Hempfling is or might be, but that experience, among others, has made me very conservative about participating in such group interactions.)

I find Hempfling fascinating because of what I perceive as the disparities between his gentleness and his hardness -- I keep seeming to bump up against them!

I think whenever you're working at a deep, soul level, it's an exciting but potentially dangerous emotional place, especially in groups. I'm not sure what the answer is, as in order to do this work well, people have to be willing to open and go deep. But things come up that the leaders and participants aren't always able to deal with well! I have a colleague from grad school who was doing a dream work intensive (a program not in our degree program, but at the same school, being offered by the founder) who was similarly devastated -- the group, in this case, challenged her openly and the group leader didn't protect her. Sent her under water for quite a while, too.

I don't mean this to be a condemnation of either Hempfling or of the clinic -- or of your experience with it -- I just am wandering through my own uncertainties about this kind of work out loud. It can be so rewarding and so damaging, and I've found when I've done group work (acting/improv/writing/music/myth) experiences that go deep, people's wounds can open up unexpectedly and can have both really positive and really negative impacts on them. When I'm in a leadership situation with this, I feel a huge sense of responsibility to making sure that we've not opened anything that can't be handled, and that people feel safe.

I hope that the woman crying left the experience feeling empowered and not embarrassed. (That would have been extremely hard for me, personally, if I'd been in her shoes -- having been well taught not to show that kind of emotion publicly in the first place!) :oops: :-)

I think your report about Hempfling's comments about love/passion are very interesting, and are reminding me of a conversation elsewhere here where people were mulling over his discomfort with passion. Someone there made reference to his drawing away from doing public horse work for a while, and wondered if for him, that passion became part of what became toxic for him as he achieved guru status.

For me, personally, love is the point. And passion is a part of that. (For pretty much everything in my life, not just horses! :-) I want to be in places I love, doing things I'm passionate about, with people and animals that I love as well. Everything else seems to me to be pretty much marking time...) (And my sense is that you're wired in much the same way!) :-)

That said, the challenge is, of course, that neither love nor passion are rational, and like any powerful energy, can be positive or negative. My sense is, from reading Hempfling, and reading people's comments about engaging with him or his writings, is that he wrestles with the rational/irrational (or conscious/unconscious, ego/psyche if you want to break up the duality in other ways) in a particular manner -- one that, like for all of us, springs from his own psyche, his culture, his upbringing, his path in the world.

Anyway, I've babbled on again! I found your response to his clinic really intriguing, and thanks so much for taking the time to share it!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:56 pm 

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I myself absolutely loved his book "Dancing with Horses" and still love but his seminars are something that I do not wanna experience anymore after I participated one in September. With his seminar one chapter ended for me and I am glad it is over. These are my feelings after I have thinking a lot about this course I participated.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:25 pm 
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Geez, Leigh, you wrote down e x a c t l y what my feelings are too! :shock: :)

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty for now wanting to submerge myself into such big emotions in group situations (what am I hiding? What am I not dealing with?? Am I afraid of my dark side???), but I feel it makes you so very vulnerable to what the teacher thinks or does, that I just don't feel like taking the risk. I would really, really, really, really have to trust that person in order to do so, and even then I still wouldn't be sure because the human mind is a wonderful, but also very vulnerable thing. And what you write about the hardness and softness in Hempfling might exactly be what fascinates me about him, but also makes me keep him a bit on a distance.

When I interviewed him a year ago we also had a couple of photo-readings in which he read the pictures that six members of the magazine had brought along of their horses. What he told them was quite fascinating in itself, but I couldn't help but feel uneasy at how easy it is to devastate a person through an analysis of their horse. One woman brought pictures of a wonderful sporthorse, but didn't seem to be emotionally that balanced herself. Klaus told her that her horse was depressed and was reflecting her own personal problems and that she had to work them through - and of course she started crying and was very emotional. Hempfling was very professional about that, but it just zipped through my mind how easy it would be to attach a person to you after such a devastating message by simply saying 'but (only) I can help you - but you will have to go through this and this in order to be totally healed.' Because who could refuse that, if it was said about your beloved horse by one of the people you admire the most? It doesn't take that much to become a guru with devoted followers.

And I would be devastated too if I would take a couple of pictures of Sjors, 8) show them to a person that really has inspired me horsewise and I therefore trust completely, and then hear that person state 'I see a very depressed horse, his body and soul seem to have completely lost touch and he feels just so very alone and misunderstood.' :(
My God, I would positively glue myself to this person in order to get to know what I could do in order to cure my beloved pony!

I do think that the emotional and spiritual bond between horses and their humans is one of most beautiful and impressive things, and I think that outsiders, teachers, can greatly help when this bond isn't totally both ways yet. But on the other hand it's also this bond that can make (some? most?) people very vulnerable to emotional damage by others because they can very easily play with your mind and emotions through this channel.


So I'll just hide behind the computer, books and television screen ;) and admire what his method has achieved from a relative distance, and enjoy reading the reports of the stronger and braver people out there. 8)
Kudos to them, and great that they want to share their experiences! :kiss:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:07 am 
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Miriam wrote:
And I would be devastated too if I would take a couple of pictures of Sjors, 8) show them to a person that really has inspired me horsewise and I therefore trust completely, and then hear that person state 'I see a very depressed horse, his body and soul seem to have completely lost touch and he feels just so very alone and misunderstood.' :(
My God, I would positively glue myself to this person in order to get to know what I could do in order to cure my beloved pony!


Hm, but then I wonder if the horses don´t show me what I really have to know anyway. As you probably know I am very bad at those interpretation things that some of our members here seem to be able to do so wonderfully. When I read some diaries where people write what deep feelings and emotions they see in their horses, I am frequently in awe, because I could never do that. For me my horses are just horses (and people just people ;)) and I am totally lacking those spiritual abilities. I can infer basic emotional states from their expression and behaviour, but I could never ever see all those complicated and partly dramatic things. But I do see if they are happy, self-confident and emotionally balanced.

I really don´t feel that a reader could tell me much more about Titum than I already know. I am sure that he could be much more specific, but I doubt that it would change anything about the general message that Titum is showing me through his actions. If I had a reader over here, I guess that he would tell me quite some not so nice things about Summy feeling neglected, unbalanced and somehow like not having found his place yet, but then I also know that from our interaction.

So I wonder, if your interaction with your horses enables them to freely express their feelings and your action strongly relies on their feedback, do you actually see the chance that a reader could really devastate you with anything he might say? I am not talking about specific questions here (like "Do you want to wear a blanket?" ;)), but about general emotional states.

I have never seen Hempfling in person, but from what I have read, I would be interested in meeting him (by the way, there still is his offer to our forum members to call him or send him questions to answer, if you are interested, I can dig out his phone number from my mailbox...). But I strongly doubt that I would go out of a conversation like that and be devastated. I am very susceptible to aggression and this can really bring me down, especially if it is not justified. But the "truth about my horses´ feelings"? I feel like they are telling me that truth all the time by themseles. :)


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