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lyo-windmillRecently I have noticed that destiny has taken upon itself to reinstate me on the mailing list of Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling’s Akedah International organisation some one and a half years after I requested my removal from that list. The first email I received after being reinstated offered me Hempfling’s various properties on the island of Lyø and in Faaborg for sale. The second announced the release of Hempfling’s programme for 2013. The publication of this programme marks a fitting time to assess what Hempfling is actually trying to sell, how he is marketing it, what he achieved in his last public education endeavours, where he is currently achieving success, and whether that success is actually merited. In short, destiny is inviting an examination of Hempfling’s failure and success. And who better to do this than someone who is so appreciative of what Hempfling has taught him as to be virtually biased in his favour.


My bias

Let me confess at the outset that I am biased in Hempfling’s favour. It was Hempfling who showed me that there is a different way of being with horses. It was Hempfling who showed me the importance of body language in my communication with horses. And it was Hempfling who set me on the journey towards finding my authentic self through horses. He did this predominantly through his videos, books and other publications but partly through his body awareness exercises, which I learned from Vicki after she attended three courses with him and from his first senior body awareness instructor when she gave two courses which we organised in our home (more information about this here and here). I am unreservedly grateful to Hempfling for all of this.

Hempfling on body awareness during a training weekend in our home

Hempfling on body awareness during a training weekend in our home

Yet it does not stop there. It was Hempfling who invited me to take the first step towards the life-changing experience that I embarked on when Vicki and I left Australia in 2011 to attend his One-Year Schooling course, a journey that is chronicled in this blog. And it was Hempfling who threw me out of his One-Year Schooling course, thereby enabling me to undergo unprecedented development and growth (see my post entitled Taking Hempfling’s Advice –  for some of those lessons). In addition, it also allowed Vicki and I to save EUR 168,000.00, a fortune in these difficult times. For all of this as well I am unreservedly grateful to Hempfling.


The failure

So why am I grateful to Hempfling for throwing me out of his One-Year Schooling course? Is it only because of the enormous growth that I have experienced since then and the huge amount of money that Vicki and I have saved as a result? Predominantly yes but not entirely. I am also grateful to Hempfling for this, because his One-Year Schooling has turned out to be a huge failure.

Why do I describe Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course a huge failure? Quite simply, my reasons are as follows:

  • Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course was originally scheduled to run for a year from the beginning of September 2011 until the end of August 2012. It is now almost 17 months since the start of the One-Year Schooling course and it has still not been completed. Whether it ever will is something that remains to be seen, as it still has two months to go;
  • Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course was not an officially registered educational programme of study, with the result that some non-EU students could not obtain a visa for the full 12 months and had to leave the EU for a three-month interval after the first six months and again after the next three months;
  • Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course has had a drop-out rate of 20% to date (two out of the ten students) with more likely to drop out given the additional time and expenses demanded of the students (travel and other expenses associated with the visa-related problems);
  • based on the information contained on Hempfling’s website at the time of writing, no new KFH body awareness instructors have graduated from Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course, a prospect held out to the students when it started;
  • in addition, no KFH horse instructors have graduated from Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course, a prospect also held out to the students when it started;
  • with the exception of two very brief excerpts in March 2012, no videos have emerged of Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling students achieving anything with their horses during the 10 months of the course that have been completed. Almost all that we have seen have been videos of Hempfling training and riding one of his One-Year Schooling students’ horses;
  • Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course has been beset with difficulties and serious questions remain about what happened to the many horses taken with the students to that course.

The only video featuring any One-Year Schooling students (even then ever so briefly)


The basis

So what is the basis for these conclusions? How do I know all this, given that very little information about Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course seems to have emerged from his Akedah International ‘school’ in this respect? Quite simply, because I have had detailed talks with two students who have attended that course and have done so in the company of witnesses. In the past I have raised questions on this blog in relation to Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course (see for instance my post entitled Breaking the Cycle of Chaos). I have done so, not because I do not know the answers to those questions. I do. I know about the key events that have occurred during Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course. I know about the conditions in which they occurred. I know what the students have had to contend with during the course. I know what their horses went through. And yes, I also know what happened to Cody, the young gelding that refused to dance with the master who dances with horses.

I cannot share this information with you in this public forum, because I have been asked not to do so for the time being. The people who have requested this are dear to me and I shall not betray their confidence as long as they require this of me. Nevertheless, I have raised questions in relation to Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course, because I believe that Hempfling needs to answer them, if the public is to have any confidence in his courses in the future.


Hempfling’s future courses

With his One-Year Schooling course not even finished, Hempfling is now advertising another series of courses. His flagship course for 2013 is a 12-week Compact Education programme scheduled to run from 8 July to 28 September, which is designed to offer students a ‘good insight into Klaus’ way with the horses’ (p. 7 – the quotes in this section are sourced from Hempfling’s programme for 2013 published as a PDF file on his website entitled Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling’s Summer Academy) and to impart to them the ‘essence of being with horses in the sense of and as defined by Klaus’ (p. 8). A further six courses are scheduled to run concurrently with the 12-week course.

Hempfling’s new seminar centre – the ‘Authentic Living Centre’

The venue for these courses will not be the island of Lyø in Denmark as in the past. Instead, the courses will be run at what Hempfling describes as his ‘New KFH Seminar Centre’ (p. 4) and his ‘Authentic Living Centre’. It is to be hoped that that venue will not go the same way as the beautiful windmill building complex which Hempfling originally advertised for his One-Year Schooling course under the title, Island-Mountain Education, namely, evaporate into thin air.

The premises Hempfling originally promised for the One-Year Schooling course

The premises Hempfling originally promised for the One-Year Schooling course


Compact Education

According to Hempfling’s PDF brochure, the 12-week Compact Education is designed to deal with spiritual, body, equine body, energy and social awareness, historical connection, authentic communication and leadership, Hempfling’s 26 horse characters (see his book What Horses Reveal), equine history, horse acknowledgement, care, stabling, management and equipment, the first encounter with a horse, groundwork and weight and signal riding (pp. 8-9). In the course of this ‘wide areas of personal reflection and personal development will be addressed and consolidated. It is about the essential. Exactly about those qualities of being, which finally are recognized by the horses’. And also ‘It is about leadership in the highest quality’ (p. 9).

The original PDF brochure stated that this Compact Education ‘is required for those, who are interested in finally later completing a professional education with different options of KFH-Teaching-Certifications in the KFH Academy’ (p. 10). As such, this 12-week course was to be a precursor to other courses that were still to be organised in the future and which would make it possible for students to acquire qualifications in a similar way to the opportunity to do so offered during Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course. However, the latest publicity brochure published on Hempfling’s website in the second week of February omits all mention of such subsequent professional education.

All of this is highly commendable. So what are the conditions subject to which this is to occur? Let us look further:

  • the normal daily schedule will be from 9:30 am to 1 pm in the morning and from 3 pm to 5:30 pm in the afternoon, all ‘with breaks in between’ (p. 3). There will be a 15 minute break after every 45 minutes of teaching (§3.21 of Akedah International’s General Terms and Conditions), which means that effectively the lessons will amount to a total of about four to five hours. Does this mean that Hempfling will be teaching his students all this time? No, because the brochure says that the course will be given by Hempfling, and his assistants and teachers and that the ‘teaching will be designed by him and those assistants and teachers’ (p. 6);
  • so who are these teachers? The only accredited teachers that Hempfling currently has, according to his website, are his body awareness instructors. You will find their names on Hempfling’s website. So who will be teaching the rest of the content other than body awareness. Only Hempfling? Four to five hours a day? Ask the students of Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course whether he managed that;
  • of the 70 days of actual schooling comprising the Compact Education course, more than 65% (46 days) will consist of and overlap with the content of other shorter courses, almost all of which are of an introductory nature in relation to the specific issues they seek to address. Put another way, more than 65% of the content of the Compact Education course will be defined by introductory courses for new students irrespective of the progress made by the Compact Education students. The self-evident potential educational problems this raises are exacerbated by the fact that four of the six smaller courses will occur in the latter half of the Compact Education course;
  • unlike Hempfling’s courses of the last few years (a maximum of 10 students for the One-Year Schooling course and of 25 in the case of the Compact Schooling one in 2011 and 2012), there will be no cap on numbers for any of the courses given in 2013. To illustrate the potential problem, the last course which Hempfling gave without a cap on numbers (the five-day Pure Practical Performance course in September 2010) drew a total in excess of 70 people. Fortunately, that was little more than a spectator course (watching Hempfling in action with some body awareness exercises thrown in between), so it was relatively feasible. How practical will such a number be for any real education?
  • unlike Hempfling’s One-Year Schooling course, the Compact Education students will not be offered accommodation as part of the deal. Instead they will be required to foot the bill for their own accommodation either by paying to stay on the Academy property or ‘in the neighbourhood in a hotel, B&B, holiday house or at one of several camping sites’ (p. 8);
  • unlike Hempfling’s previous courses, students may not in principle take their horses along to any of the courses in 2013;
  • during the entire Compact Education course the students ‘will not, or only on very few occasions, come in contact with horses themselves’ (p. 10). The same applies to the Compact Schooling (p. 17) and the other courses (p. 20);
  • the fee for the Compact Education course is €19,850.00, representing about €1654.00 per week. By way of comparison, Hempfling’s ‘2011-2012’ One-Year Schooling course cost €84,000.00 for a total of 52 weeks, which works out to about €1615.00 a week. Now factor in the fact that the One-Year Schooling course fee included accommodation, while the Compact Education course fee does not and it is clear that prices have gone up drastically in Hempfling’s corner of Denmark;
  • the shorter Compact Schooling course has gone the same way. Lasting 20 days, the Compact Schooling course which Vicki attended in 2010 cost €5700.00 or €285.00 a day in 2010. Now it has been increased to 24 days and the fee is €7350.00, which is equivalent to €306.50.


Courses about horses…

Hempfling packages his courses as programmes of study involving horses. There are no less than three pictures of horses on the front cover, seven on the contents page, another seven on the overview page, then at least one and often two on every page after that until the short-course overview page, which has six, and then one, two or more on almost every other page. In fact, there are only three pages in the entire 36-page brochure which do not feature at least one picture of a horse. In addition, the words, ‘horse’, ‘horses’ and ‘equine’, are mentioned a total of 100 times, which amounts to about 2.7 times on every page and even more, if just the body text pages are counted.

As if this is not enough, the courses are also advertised on Hempfling’s relatively new official Facebook page, the contents of which are almost entirely devoted to horses in the form of text, images and videos. The more extensive of Hempfling’s two YouTube channels also features a number of videos advertising the new courses. The latest called Hempfling’s Signal-Weight Riding … New Schooling Version is a reworking of one of my favourite parts of the DVD, Dancing with Horses. It shows Hempfling riding Janosch without any tack. There is just the horse and the human and the interaction between them is priceless. This is the summit of Hempfling’s horse-human interaction pyramid. It dangles there on YouTube like a great big carrot for all who are yearning to find a new enlightened way of being with horses. And if you want the carrot there just so happens to be a way to get it. The message is at the end of video clip (see below): please find the programme for the 2013 courses on Hempfling’s website.

Imagine trying to learn how to ride like this without a horse

…without horses

So naturally, based on all of these publicity materials, you would reasonably expect the Compact Education and other courses to be about and feature horses, wouldn’t you? Perhaps it is time to strip away the veneer from the substance of Hempfling’s 2013 courses. If you nudge the horsey smoke and mirrors to the side and focus on the essence of what Hempfling states in his Summer Academy brochure, you should be aware of the following:

  • in principle, no student horses are permitted in any of the courses;
  • students will not come into contact with horses at all during those courses, or perhaps only rarely;
  • only roughly half of the 15 fields covered by the 12-week Compact Education course will deal with horses specifically (pp. 8-9) and, given the absence of horses, even then only in theory.

Put another way, roughly half of Hempfling’s 70-day Compact Education course, his 24-day Compact Schooling course, his six-day Entrance Week, Leadership & Manager, Power, Strength & Energy, Equine Body-Awareness & Spiritual Awareness and KFH Signal-Weight Riding courses will be about horses but will essentially not feature any horses … or perhaps only rarely. Imagine it: you will be learning Hempfling’s ‘signal-weight riding’, presumably just as he demonstrates it with Janosch in his latest video, and you will be doing so without a horse. A bit like dog agility training without the dog, perhaps?

If we can have horse courses without horses, why not also competitions?


The small print – Caveat emptor! (Buyer beware!)

Hempfling has also taken the trouble to address the legal side of things in considerably more detail than in the past. Instead of the single page of conditions which he published on his website in the past, he now has an 11-page set of unilateral General Terms and Conditions which masquerades as an ‘entire agreement between Akedah International ApS and any client’ (the client being any student, p. 1 – all references in this section are to these terms and conditions as published on Hempfling’s website at the time of writing). Some of you may be aware that I have studied law and am an experienced legal translator. Business terms and conditions have been crossing my desk since 1988. In all the time since then I have yet to see a nastier piece of work than Akedah’s General Terms and Conditions.

Let me show you a few pertinent examples. Based on Hempfling’s gloriously colourful Summer Academy brochure with its attractive descriptions and photographs of events, accommodation and so forth, you may decide to enquire as to whether you may attend the 12-week Compact Education course. If you receive a reply from Akedah confirming that you may enrol, you will have 14 days within which to do so and pay the deposit of EUR 5000.00 (§4.11). That deposit is effectively non-refundable (§3.18 and elsewhere) under virtually all circumstances, even if you have a legitimate reason for withdrawing from the course well in advance. You will then be required to pay the balance of EUR 14,850.00 by no later than six weeks before the course is scheduled to start (8 July 2013), hence by 27 May 2012. If you fail to do so, you will forfeit your deposit (§4.10) and all that you have spent to prepare for attending the course. The balance is also non-refundable (§4.13) even if you are diagnosed with cancer a week later and are given four weeks to live, in which case you will not even be able to recoup travel, accommodation or any other expenses that you have incurred in order to attend the course. True, the example is extreme but it is designed to make a very valid point.

Let us assume that you actually manage to arrive at Akedah International school for the course only to discover that the venue and/or dates (§§4.1 to 4.3) have been changed, that the content of the course does not match its description in Hempfling’s brochure (§3.10), that the photographs and videos of the facilities have given you no more than an ‘approximate idea’ of what you actually find (§2.15), that Hempfling himself will only be teaching a couple of hours and may even be absent on some days (§3.19), and that you have agreed to it all (§3.1). Effectively, Akedah’s General Terms and Conditions completely undermine the basic concept of the law of contract, which entails a consensus between two or more parties with each to acquire something with a specific value in return for something else of a specific value. How on earth can you be expected to agree to pay for something which has no specific value in that it may turn out not to be what you have good reason to believe you have agreed to yet for which you are required to pay well in advance without the prospect of having your money refunded if you discover that you will not be receiving what you believe you have agreed to?

After discovering that you are not going to be getting what you have paid for, you may object to this and decide to leave. If you do, you will not be entitled to a refund of your fees nor to any expenses that you have incurred in order to fulfil your contractual obligations towards Akedah and attend the course (§7.1). The alternative is to stay and accept what you did not agree to in the first place.

Akedah’s General Terms and Conditions include a number of other nasty clauses (see here for an outline of those you may wish to consider) but the examples above should be enough to cause anyone to pause and think long and hard before deciding to part with what is not an insignificant sum of money for a course about horses … without horses.



Some of you may also be aware that I am a qualified and experienced teacher of English, especially to students from non-English-speaking backgrounds. At some stage I was also the head of the English department of a successful international school. In this capacity I was required to draw up the curricula and design the courses for all of the programmes of study on offer, and to pilot the department through the arduous process of having them officially accredited with the appropriate authority. As such, I pride myself on having some idea of education and what it entails.

The courses offered by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling through his Akedah International organisation are presented as exercises in education. The terms, ‘education’, ‘schooling’, ‘teach’, ‘teaching’ and ‘teachers’, are liberally sprinkled throughout the Summer Academy brochure. This educational theme also features prominently in Hempfling’s other advertising materials on YouTube and Facebook with their references to the KFH ‘school’. As such, you would be reasonably entitled to expect to attend a course which is structured on the basis of a curriculum in accordance with sound educational principles even if it does seek to help students develop themselves and their capacity for authentic, intuitive action.

Yet §3.10 of Akedah’s General Terms and Conditions stipulates that Hempfling, his assistants and/or teachers are totally at liberty to determine the ‘form, content, exercises and teaching methods’ of a course ‘during the Event’ itself (my emphasis), and that ‘they can choose the themes and subjects totally free and there is no curriculum to which the content of the lessons should align’ (again my emphasis). Essentially, this means that Hempfling, his assistants and/or teachers are entirely free to make up the course that you have paid serious money to attend on the fly. They may change the entire content of the course on the spur of the moment without any consideration of its educational value. And by enrolling for that course and paying for it, you will have agreed to allowing them to do so.


The success

As with most things, it is not all bad news. In fact, Hempfling has again met with success, this time massively. Until the third quarter of 2012 any presence which Hempfling had on Facebook was a page created and contributed to by some of his former students. You may view it here. Since then Hempfling has established his own official Facebook page, although you may be forgiven for thinking that it has been around for much longer, because it sports a timeline which purports to have recorded activity since 2007.

Hempfling’s Facebook page has met with massive success in the four months or so that it has been truly active. Its popularity is something that even many multinationals and celebrities can only dream of, going from a negligible number of Likes to more than 157,000 in that very short period of time. Naturally, I am not suggesting that this has anything to do with the fraudulent use of Likes, which many Facebook pages have had to contend with and which has featured prominently in BBC reports (see for example here, here and here). Clearly the number of people around the world who are searching for a new way of being with horses is far greater than any of us have imagined to date.

It is here on his official Facebook page  that we truly see the authentic Hempfling in action. This is where his message is really having an impact in a way which is similar to that of his DVDs and books in the past but more emphatically. Not only does Hempfling’s official Facebook page enable him to share ideas concerning his unique path to the horse, it also makes it possible for ordinary people to interact with him by asking him questions and providing feedback. It is in this public forum, and not the numerous courses which have failed to teach a single person to emulate him in more than two decades, that Hempfling can genuinely make a difference. As such, this initiative is to be applauded and encouraged!

Hempfling’s paid advertising video – Not teaching but BEING: this is his strength!

21 Responses to “Hempfling: Failure and Success”

  1. Cynthia says:

    Just goes to show that we can learn more from the horse than any human, especially those that achieve ‘guru’ status!
    If we listen to our true feelings when around horses, and act on those, we can learn to be with our horses in a way no others can ever teach us.

    • Andrew says:

      Dear Cynthia

      Essentially, you are right: we can learn more from the horse than any human. To do this, of course, we need to be able to observe the horse, sense it and feel what it is trying to communicate to us. And to do that, of course, we need to develop the appropriate presence and sensitivity within ourselves.

      There are times when another human can help us – in some way or another – be the kind of human who is capable of learning from the horse. And there are humans who are capable of being just such a human at one time or another. Hempfling was and still is capable of being just that, as others are. The fact that he presents himself as a guru or is regarded as such by others does not change this.

      If I am capable of learning from my horse, it is in large part because I have been able to learn how to do so from a number of humans whose path I have been fortunate to cross. Hempfling is one of those humans. May he help many other humans to do the same.

      Be well!

  2. Heather says:

    Facebook – 159,000 likes – I think Parelli is somewhere around the 70,000 mark!!!

    Andrew, I haven’t had a chance to read all this blog yet – but re having practical experience in front of a horse – the second course I did with Klaus in 2010 involved quite a few practical sessions in front of a horse – if we wanted to have a go we could raise our hand, then he would pick one or two people. As it was a small group I think everyone got a chance.

    However, in 2011, when I was there for almost three months, I never once got the opportunity to stand in front of a horse – this time Klaus picked people – there were no hands up if you were interested – perhaps Klaus felt I wasn’t ready, not authentic, not ‘whole’, that I had ‘issues’ etc.!!!!! – yes, that’s sarcasm! It was disappointing to only be able to do simulations – in fact I don’t think I ever want to do another simulation again!

    Luckily now I can stand in front of my own horses whenever I like – and lately Magnum is pushing the others out of the way so that I can scratch him first!

    Yes – our horses are the best teachers – beware of anyone who proclaims to be a ‘master’!!


    • Andrew says:

      Dear Heather

      Your warning is both potent and pertinent: beware of anyone who proclaims to be a ‘master’!

      As I understand it, a true master is someone who does not announce this to the world but whom the world recognises as such, not due to any marketing prowess but because the world acknowledges the qualities of a true master in that human: empathetic, empowering and enlightened. As you have discovered, where that leaves Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling is totally irrelevant to the relationship you have with your horses.

      May Magnum and your mob continue to bring you great joy as you learn from each other.

      Be well!

  3. Dear Anrew, thanks so much for yet another clear, transparent en well-written blog –but of course as you mention yourself you are ‘a qualified and experienced teacher of English especially to students from non-English-speaking-backgrounds’ which makes it easier and a pleasure to read for us Dutch people, who have a non-English-speaking-background.

    Your CAVEAT EMPTOR explanation is a masterpiece as well. Anywhere ‘the small print’ should be carefully read but very often is not resulting in small or large drama’s. Thanks to your extensive legal knowledge and insight you in the end managed to recover most of your money – if not all.

    All-in-all I was getting a feeling after having read your blog that you have a strong desire to warn people – to make them aware of the pitfalls they will or can fall into if and when deciding to attend one of KFH’s courses.
    That is very commendable. And you do sound compassionate all the way down to the last letter.

    A story came back into my mind – I realised I had heard that story some days ago – I can’t remember where – whether it was on TV or on the radio – it must have hit a cord somewhere deep down inside of me and although I am not a very religious person I do believe in our own Divine essence ….

    Long, long time ago Joseph and Maria were told by God that they were going to have a baby – the baby’s name would be Jesus – God also told Joseph that Jesus would be the new Messiah the people of Israel had been waiting for for so many years.

    When Jesus was born his parents were so happy – they forgot all about what God had told them – or perhaps they just didn’t want to know – after all many things and situations (and life in general) were constantly changing – so why worry.

    Then one day Joseph spotted Jesus entering the temple – Jesus had in the meantime grown into an 11-year-old boy – full of life – full of questions – exploring and discovering – Joseph followed Jesus into the temple – there he saw Jesus sitting on the floor with some clergymen – the clergymen giving answers as well as they could to all the questions Jesus was asking them – Joseph got a terrible shock – in the back of his mind, of course, the message God had given him was still there – Joseph sort of panicked – he didn’t want his son he so dearly loved to become the Messiah – life had been so peaceful for Jesus up till now – Joseph wanted it to stay that way.

    Joseph decided he had to take action – he had the strong conviction that he could go even should go against the message/will of God – perhaps he wasn’t even fully aware of the fact that he did – he strongly felt it was his duty to protect his son – he took Jesus with him and left the town and the place – they travelled for many, many miles – Joseph completely disappeared with Jesus – in our modern days we would probably have called it abduction/kidnapping.

    Then many years later Jesus returned to his native country – he became the Messiah – the rest of the story about Jesus is known…..

    Joseph was never heard of again.

    If the road one has (decided or chosen) to travel is paved with KFH-stones – so be it.


    • Andrew says:

      Dear Geerteke

      ‘If the road one has (decided or chosen) to travel is paved with KFH-stones – so be it.’ Indeed!

      The crux, of course, is in the deciding or choosing. And it is precisely because we humans are capable of deciding and choosing, that the message of predetermined fate so implicit in your story of Jesus may be recognised for what it is. Of course, it may also have to do with the fact that Jesus was destined to be a messiah, whereas we ordinary mortals choose our own destiny to some or other extent.

      Ultimately, humans will make their own choice as to whether or not they wish to attend a Hempfling course. Some will do so based on Hempfling’s marketing alone. Others will consult websites such as this before doing so.

      In conclusion, allow me to paraphrase you: ‘If the road one has (decided or chosen) to travel is not paved with KFH-stones – so be it too.’

      Be well!

  4. Dear Andrew,

    @YouTube at the bottom of your blog

    I am curious if anybody has noticed the scene at 03.24 –– KFH clearly shows there he is a human after all – not a ‘guru’ – a ‘guru’ is what people in ‘that person’s vicinity make of ‘that person’ – and I sincerely wonder if KFH is sensitive to being marked/called a ‘guru’ – I have a strong feeling that his behaviour is on purpose sometimes so exceptional and perhaps even anti-social – for perhaps in his belief, awareness or un-awareness he finds it necessary to challenge the people around him – people that insist on labelling him a ‘guru’ have some ‘issues’ to deal with – those ‘issues’ representing the veils that are obscuring clear vision and clear vision can be awfully confrontational…

    Getting back to my sentence ‘KFH clearly shows there he is a human after all’ – in the YouTube one can see that KFH allows Ferdinand to push him off his spot – isn’t that interesting – the horse moves KFH’s feet – and I am 99,9% certain/convinced that KFH knows – KNOWS what just happened and has instantly experienced a feeling of deep gratitude towards Ferdinand for pointing out KFH’s own vulnerability – that is what the interaction between KFH and stallions is about as he shows in one of his YouTubes “What a stallion needs is YOU”



    • Kelly Bick says:

      Hello Geerteke

      I had not noticed the small side step of Klaus as he gives ground to the stallion. It is so subtle. But thank you for pointing it out. I too am sure Klaus, who is so incredibly body aware, is very conscious of what happened in that brief moment.

      Perhaps it also represents the give and take between two beings who share a strong, intimate and trusting relationship.

      It is interesting to ponder on how a “guru” is created. The masses clamber for someone who can show them the way and tell them the answers. We create the “guru”. And then when this guru created by us fails our expectations, we are deeply upset.

      The other side too, is that those who find themselves elevated to “guru” status might lose sight of what they were originally doing and become caught up in fame and money. I don’t suppose there is a manual available on “how to be a good guru”.

      It certainly is a learning journey for all of us – guru and follower alike.

      And meanwhile the horse waits patiently for us all to find our inner and authentic self; to interact with them directly, honestly, without agenda and without need to be directed by those who know more or best.


      • Dear Kelly,

        @perhaps it also represents……I fully agree with you there, Kelly – that is actually also meant by ‘vulnerability’, I think, but I more often than not realise that only afterwards after I have written something or when someone like yourself points that out to me – thanksamillion – that #between two beings who share a strong, intimate and trusting relationship# there is always room and space for eachother’s vulnerable sides….

        @a learning journey for all of us…….it certainly is 🙂

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-BuIOV9Ews ….. this also being part of the journey only slightly different, but nevertheless you might like it…

        To find the beloved, one must have faith

        ‘Poem of the Atoms’ – RUMI
        O day arise,
        The atoms are dancing
        Thanks to Him
        The Universe is dancing
        The souls are dancing
        Overcome with ecstasy
        I’ll whisper in your ear
        Where their dance is taking them
        All the atoms in the air
        And in the desert know well
        They seem insane
        Every single atom, happy or miserable
        Becomes enamored of the sun
        Of which nothing can be said.


    • Andrew says:

      Dear Geerteke

      I distinctly recall that, while discussing leading somewhere (a book, video or article?), Hempfling makes the point that sometimes the human leads the horse and sometimes the horse leads the human. Ultimately, so it seems to me, the interaction between horse and human is precisely that: interaction. And this implies reciprocal movement. If the horse allows the human to move its feet, why should the human not allow the horse to move its feet? So it should not come as a surprise that Hempfling clearly shows that he is a human after all. It is precisely because he is capable of being an authentic human with some horses, that he and they manage to dance with each other.

      Similarly, I would think, the guru question is a two-way thing. I would suggest that a guru is not merely the product of ‘what people in that person’s vicinity make of that person’. A guru is also the product of his own marketing. Hempfling’s advertising materials, YouTube channel and Facebook page illustrate the point.

      Be well!

      • 🙂 of course here as well, Andrew, you are right – it is all a 2-way street – and this way we – in this instance you and eye – keep the discussion lively – thanksamillion 2U2 🙂


  5. And so like many others, we connect with our horses by understanding the power of breathing, yet the conditions required for Klaus’s new courses really take your breath away…

    I think I am going out for a breath of fresh air to cherish the inspiration that horses, pure and simple, extend to us.

    P.S. This piece of writing is ‘terrible’ in the French sense of the word, Andrew…

    • Andrew says:

      Dear Ian

      May every breath you take with or without your horses be one of joy!

      Take care!

      • One of the things which really surprised me about you, Andrew, is your voiced lack of appreciation for flowers, flowering and flourishing, something that is essential to our way of life. As you know, most of the horse manure here is used to feed flowers but also to support and nourish our environment. Somehow, I feel disappointed that I haven’t been able to convey this. And so I was looking at a couple of youtubes we produced:

        The Two Fridas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w53Udr7YJBU) is an answer to expressing the inexpressible .. a journey of healing and transformation…
        And connection with Gretel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVzvz-WLfKg&feature=endscreen)

        What don’t you see that I do? Isn’t joy much like an unfolding flower? Am I alone in thinking this way? I guess, the horses have the answer: they’d as soon as eat a flower as look at it:-)

        I guess in my case this is a case of what comes first, the horse or the flower?

        Just musing on all this


        • Later in the day, I was wondering whether my post referring to flowers, flourishing and unfolding was appropriate here. You see, so much of what we seem to have been talking about here is ‘in the moment’. Our focus and, might I say ‘judgement’, is an appreciation of the experience but within a certain time frame. So we see a Klaus or another horse whisperer or any human being interacting with a horse and tend to pass judgement, but what we don’t see is the moments that led up to the moment and what will or will not happen further along the way. What we don’t see is the meaning in the pause – that our mutual understanding or our best estimate of it signifies. We don’t see the greater context…

          Clearly, this may have little to do with ‘contracts’, but, maybe, some earlier experiences or others down the line do have something to do with this configuration. And despite everything, negotiation for the greater good will always be pivotal.

          More midday musings from here


  6. Kelly Bick says:

    Hello Andrew
    I commend you on taking the time to offer some observations on the potential shortcomings or pitfalls that might arise if signing onto a KFH course. In the end every individual makes their own decisions, but sometimes it can be easy to “get excited and not notice the fine print”, so it is good to have a clear awareness as to what my, or may not, be encountered.

    For myself, I always like to try and allow both parties the opportunity to have “have their say”. To this end I emailed KFH.

    For what it is worth, I share both my initial email and a KFH representative’s reply. For me it did not really address the concerns you raised in your blog, but I will leave it to individuals to come to their own conclusions.


    From: Kelly Bick [mailto:xxxx@wxxxxxx.com.au]
    Sent: Samstag, 26. Januar 2013 01:44
    To: akedah@mail.dk
    Subject: Right of Reply to the blog post of Andrew Snail

    Hello Klaus
    I have long been an admirer of your work, and you are one of the many inspirations on my journey with horses.

    I have also been following the blog “Horses and Humans” written by Andrew Smail. Clearly Andrew has had disagreements with you in the past, and although he admires you he has deep concerns about your operation as well.

    In his latest blog “Hemphling – Failure and Success”, he gives an extensive critique on his views of what is offered by yourself and Akedah. The critique is not particularly favourable, but raises some relevant points and questions regarding what is offered by you.


    I have always believed in hearing from both sides before coming to my own conclusions.

    Do you have a response to what Andrew has written?

    Kind Regards
    From: Akedah International ApS
    Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2013 7:33 AM
    To: ‘Kelly Bick’
    Subject: RE: Right of Reply to the blog post of Andrew Snail

    Dear Kelly,
    Thank you very much for your email – Concerning your question:

    When someone draws wide circles with his partly very new ideas and expansions, like Klaus, who is meanwhile known all over the world, and then also has success in this, then every now and then also sometimes extremely absurd rumours appear in the world. These come and go, just like the people who spread them out and create them – it has always been like this. We can then only refer to that, which has been written, shown, demonstrated and said originally. We can then only refer to that, which thousands of people have witnessed and experienced live. And we can then only encourage to consider carefully the kind of source, its presentation and approach, in order to finally make up ones own opinion. At the end of the day what counts, are trust and the stomach feel of oneself.

    With the best wishes,
    Akedah International ApS

    [Kelly’s email address has been masked for privacy reasons.]

    • Andrew says:

      Dear Kelly

      Thank you so much for going to all this trouble!

      The name at the bottom of the email from Akedah International may be that of Mireille but I recognise the ‘voice’ and I am glad that it has found an outlet on this blog, especially because of the truth it utters.

      In particular, I defer to the truth expressed in the statement, ‘We can then only refer to that, which has been written, shown, demonstrated and said originally.’ Indeed, ‘that, which has been written, shown, demonstrated and said originally’ by Hempfling himself in his own advertising materials and general terms and conditions is precisely what has served as the basis for my discussion of his impending courses. All I have done is quote him and explain the implications.

      And similarly, I wholeheartedly concur with Akedah’s conclusion: ‘At the end of the day what counts, are trust and the stomach feel of oneself’. Amen!

      Be well!

      • Oh my Oh my, Andrew – I had such a good laugh – perhaps my spirits are sufficiently high this evening – the ‘voice’ as you say is frightfully humerous – I hope you don’t mind me responding here – I shall try not to do that too often..

        Take care!!

      • What does come across is a lack of flow in communication. I wonder if this is part of the problem or just a question of what is meant by stomach… whatever else we all know how words can be deceptive. And so, in the end, we choose to believe or not to believe. In most parts of the world interpreting the law and legislation is made to be difficult for some strange reason… such that ‘we’ feel disempowered for the most part. Interestingly, in Scandinavia, traditionally, they have gone to great pains to change that and explain things as simply as possible for the most part. Nevertheless, I’d say that the language used in the reply does not reflect that!

  7. Cyndi says:

    Andrew, I think I would like very much to sit and enjoy a cup of tea with you and Vicki, and to just listen to you share your thoughts and experiences 🙂