Readers Reviews from Amazon
Success is a choice often hard-earned
By Thomy Threesocks on November 26, 2015
After reading and watching Klaus Hempfling for a while, it’s easy to start regarding him as having almost superhuman abilities. His impact on horses is so astonishing, and he speaks and writes on them with such authority and insight, that it seems he has always been, as a fortune teller once told him, “two-thirds horse!”
This book is an important reminder that Klaus is still very much human. When I look at Klaus today he seems to be a man in complete control of his own destiny, but he makes it clear in this book that there was once a time when he battled through dark episodes of uncertainty, self-doubt, self-pity, anger, anguish, despair and fear.
The Message from the Horse charts the period where Klaus made his first and most important breakthrough in really understanding horses, just a few short years before he published Dancing with Horses. Before this discovery Klaus struggled to connect to horses in a meaningful way or to understand them to his own satisfaction, and even came close to giving up on them altogether.
Unlike his other works in English, this “autobiographical narrative” contains no instruction on horsemanship. It reads more like a novel, although to my knowledge there is no fiction – it is a retelling of events as Klaus recalled them, without embellishment. For me it answered many of the questions I had about Klaus’ past, and it provided insight and context to many of his comments in other books.
The events Klaus describes take place in a relatively short period in Spain, but it is clear that this is the most significant time in his life. We are with him as he begins his quest, as he meets his frightening stallion for the first time and as, exhausted and hungry, he finally encounters the wild horses. Of course, this book is about much more than horses.
For those who have followed Klaus for a while, and feel that he is sometimes cryptic or stingy with his instruction, be assured that Klaus went through something of an ordeal to learn what he did. He spends much of the book with an old monk who ultimately helps him seek out the message of the horse. But this cantankerous old monk gave little away, apparently spending more time ignoring, chastising or tormenting Klaus instead. Yet a lot of the monk’s wisest words are echoed in Klaus’ teachings today, and you soon realise just how generous Klaus is to his followers, sharing all he knows to those willing to listen and make the effort to understand. The monk’s advice was presented to Klaus as a baffling puzzle – but today Klaus willingly gives us the solution.
I was surprised at just how much of a page-turner this book was. Klaus describes events succinctly – the prose is rich but without any unnecessary ornamentation or sentimentality. I can’t comment on the accuracy of the translation, but it is pleasant to read, and the translator seems to have captured the same spirit and feel that comes through in the English translations of some of Klaus’ other works.
Both horse lovers and non-horse people can enjoy and learn much from this book. If you are thinking about reading some of Klaus’ works for the first time, this may be a good introduction. And for those who are familiar with Klaus, they do not need to read a review to know that they will probably love this book.
By Gennifer R on November 27, 2015
Great book! Ordered two, finished one and gave one to a friend. It is the story of a turning point in Klaus’ life, and so much more… so much wisdom and guidance can be learned from reading this book. I have many pages marked to re-read. Klaus’ wisdom bubbles up from day to day, continually encouraging and accepting at wherever we are on the path, we can take the next step. Highly recommended as one of my 5 best books!
Over the years as a student of KFH, I’ve picked up so many nuggets of life wisdom, not just horse wisdom. He’s an amazing man and this book gives a lot of insight into how much of a struggle he had to go through to get on his life path and ultimate destiny.
Note that this is very different than his other books that are in the English language so far. It gives a lot of insight into his struggle to find his path when it was not so clear. Horses can be the ultimate test of a human. A lesson for all of us that to persevere on the Knight’s way is often a challenging journey of inner growth and persistence. It’s a must read.