Rehabilitation of Horses - Booklet
TTEAM as a Complement in the Rehabilitation of Horses with Neurological Deficits
by Carol A. Lang
This study of using TTEAM for the rehabilitation of horses with neurological deficits started through the efforts of Dr. Mark Meddleton and his wife, Becky. Becky's horse, Jewel, was severely affected by EPM and Dr. Mark was trying all the forms of experimental medication. During the times that the medication seemed to be working, Becky decided to try TTEAM (Tellington TTouch Equine Awareness Method) to rehabilitate Jewel. Becky applied her basic knowledge of TTEAM and was impressed by what she was observing with Jewel.
NOTE: TTEAM® is an acronym of "Tellington TTouch Equine Awareness Method." Since this book was published, the brand name for all the facets of the TTouch organization is Tellington TTouch®.
To initiate the study, Linda and Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky at a client's farm. A neurological exam was performed by Dr. Mark on three horses. TTEAM techniques were shown the horses' owner and Dr. Mark set up a basic schedule of rehabilitation with the owner. In a few weeks, Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky at this same client's farm. Dr. Mark reexamined the horses and both he and the owner were sure that improvement had been made. Carol taught the owner more TTEAM techniques and Dr. Mark scheduled another evaluation of the horses.
In June of 1999, Dr. Mark, Becky and Carol worked with Becky's horse, Jewel and Mark's horse, Dugan, who also had been diagnosed with EPM. Dr. Mark did a neurological exam of each horse. Then, as they did TTEAM and TTouch with both horses, Mark, Becky and Carol discussed which techniques were working, the timing of the sessions, the sequence of TTouch and the work in the TTEAM Confidence Course. They also made a first draft of a checklist for the owners to keep track of their horses rehabilitation program.
Carol accompanied Dr. Mark and Becky on visits to at least three clients who had horses with nuerologic difficulties. Each owner was shown TTEAM techniques and Becky recommended the rehabilitative process. Dr. Mark's scheduled follow-up neurological in order to track progress. Becky reported that the percentage of improvement of the trial horses was very high and that the owners were very happy with the results.
To continue the development of a protocol that Dr. Mark planned to present to the AVMA, Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky and TTEAM Practitioner, Kirsten Henry several times over the next year. They video taped how to do TTEAM techniques, developed a modified Confidence Course and did many trials with TTEAM techniques, in particular the use of wand and lead, the TTEAM bodywrap and TTouches. Carol prepared a booklet of TTEAM techniques that would be distributed to participants of the study. Dr. Meddleton reviewed this booklet and made suggestions from his perspective as a veterinarian.
Hoping to receive a grant, Dr. Mark presented their protocol to a veterinary conference in the Fall of 2000. The evaluation and advice offered about their study gave Dr. Mark and Becky new insights and direction. However, Dr. Mark's veterinarian practice was expanding so much that their time for continuing this study was curtailed.
In March, 2002 Dr. Mark reported to Carol that he could not proceed with the EPM/neurologically impaired protocol. He offered to share all his and Becky's work with any veterinarian that Linda might find who would be interested in continuing.
We know that TEAM has been very effective in helping horses rehabilitate from neurological deficits. We offer this booklet as a guide to TTEAM Practitioners and others who will use TTEAM and TTouch in facilitate their horses' rehabilitation.
My Icelandic horse, Magic, was diagnosed with EPM in the fall of 2008 and the booklet TTEAM as a Complement in the Rehabilitation of Horses with Neurological Deficits was recommended to me to use as a tool in his recovery. It worked very well and was so useful -- especially the Worksheet in the back of the booklet -- that I thought I should use it for groundwork for all my equines following Magic's recovery.
I found this booklet to be so useful because it has very clear pictures and explanations of each technique or exercise and each step of the worksheet refers you to the correct page in the booklet if you need help.
When I was working with Magic, I did the exercises every other day and sometimes took an extra day off, but rarely. Now that I do the exercises with our two other horses and our donkey, I tend to do them only once or twice a week so each animal gets a workout maybe twice a month or so.
I don't know if it would work for some people, but I do much better if I have some kind of structure and the worksheets, along with the booklet, provide it for me.
More Success Stories . . .
I just completed the second week of the exercises of "TTEAM as a Complement in the Rehabilitation of Horses with Neurological Deficits" (whew, what a title!). Magic's main problem was the atrophy in his left hind. He had no apparent other problems, but his tests at UC Davis showed him positive for EPM and I administered Marquis for 2 months and have also been giving him Vitamin E (5000 units per day) along with Platinum Performance, which he has taken for several years.
He is loving the TTeam work and our other equines seem fascinated by the whole thing, so I guess when I have gone through the 4 weeks with Magic, I will have to alternate doing some of the same work with the rest of them! - Ferne
After her horse was diagnosed with EPM and put on medication, Jan purchased the booklet "TTEAM as a Complement in the Rehabilitation of Horses with Neurological Deficits." The following is an update from Jan after discussing with a TTEAM Instructor about using the TTEAM Promise Wrap.
Great news!. I tried the Promise Wrap today. First I did five minutes of handwalking to make sure he was at ease with it. He seemed oblivious after about two minutes of turning and walking.
I decided to free lunge him to see if it gave any help with trot or canter. He has only been able to cross canter a few strides leading with the left fore. Today for the first time since before his diagnosis he held both leads for 10-15 strides. I was so thrilled and I know he was having fun because he threw in a few of his signature crow hops for good measure! Also at the trot he was not interfering nearly as much with his right rear!
I will be keeping a journal and using that Promise Wrap a lot! - Jan