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Horse and Human 1984 Mind Mirror Study

Study of TTouch® with Anna Wise
Boulder Institute of Biofeedback, Boulder, Colorado


During this study the Mind Mirror showed activation of all four brain waves in both hemispheres, illustrating how TTouch activates both the logical and intuitive parts of the brain.

News from Linda

(Reprinted from TTEAM Connections Newsletter, February 2003)

If you've done much work with TTEAM and TTouch® you have most likely discovered the benefits for animals - not only for horses, but also for dogs, cats, small critters, zoo animals and wildlife rescue. You may have discovered improvements in health and well-being, a reduction in stress, and often, miraculous changes in behavior. And in horses and dogs you will have been rewarded by enhanced performance and a more flexible, intelligent four-legged friend. Many, who work with TTouch®, report an unexpected deepening of relationship that gives you the feeling you are Dr. Doolittle with the ability to communicate without words, and understand each other in a way you didn't think possible.

However, what is often unrecognized or unspoken, are the effects on the mensch. That means you! In this work there is often experienced a transformation in the people using TTEAM and TTouch® as well as their animals. We become more flexible and balanced mentally and physically, as well as emotionally. Many adults report a sense feeling of being smarter and more confident.

In classes of school children practicing TTouch® on their companion animals, teachers and parents describe similar changes - improved ability to focus and concentrate (just like horses and dogs) with heightened confidence and more tolerance. Children with a tendency to lose their tempers or bully other kids increase self-control and another level of understanding that allows them to adapt and be less reactive. I believe TTouch® teaches children what I call "compassionate empowerment®".

What causes these transformational changes in the two-leggeds? I believe the reasons are two-fold.

1 . TTEAM and TTouch® activate both hemispheres of the brain-resulting in Whole Brain learning. The left side of the brain is commonly referred to as the logical side, and the right side is thought of as the creative or intuitive side, although in reality that is not so. The brain is actually an integrated whole. The left hemisphere is more linear and the right is oriented to spatial issues and understanding the big picture.

You wonder how TTouch® affects the whole brain?

Each time you push the skin in a circle imagining the face of a clock, the intuitive side is engaged, because imagining or visualizing as well as the actual movement have to do with the intuitive. When you "see in your mind's eye" the numbers on the clock, the logical is activated because numbers have to do with logical thinking.

When you're practicing leading exercises imagining the "Elegant Elephant's" trunk as the end of your "wand" or whip, the movement itself, and holding the wand and chain in both hands, affects the right brain. And the logical way of holding the wand and chain in two hands awakens the thinking side.

2. The second indication of this whole brain effect comes from the two studies I did in the summers of 1987 and 1988 in cooperation with Anna Wise of the Boulder Institute of Biofeedback. Working with a "Mind Mirror" developed by her mentor, British psycho biologist and biophysicist Maxwell Cade, produced some fascinating results. The Mind Mirror is an EEG that differs from the traditional EEG in that it used spectral analysis to simultaneously measure eleven different frequencies in each hemisphere of the brain. Unlike the normal EEG it has the unique ability to measure beta, alpha, theta and delta brain waves in both hemispheres of the brain.

We measured over a dozen students to determine their brain wave activity while being TTouched, rubbed, petted and massaged. Surprising was the fact that consistently, whether our students were being TTouched or TTouching a horse or a person, there was an activation of all four brain waves -beta, alpha, theta and delta - in both sides of the brain. When the person being measured was petted, stroked, rubbed or massaged, the relaxing alpha brainwave pattern was present, but never beta - the problem solving potential. Only with the circular touches were the beta brainwaves present.

As you may already know, we have email discussion lists for TTEAM and TTouch certified practitioners that are hosted by Maggie Moyer, Peggy Rouse and Judi Trusky, bless their buttons!! The discussions are often fascinating and educational, and sometimes there is a question directed to me. The following question that arrived over the Internet could be of interest and help to you.

Carol Bryant, a Tellington TTouch Apprentice in Oz (Australia) wrote the following. Stop! I need to know more about the "Mind Circles" you wrote about. What are mind circles? Are the TTouch circles done mentally on animals you are unable to touch and if so, can you tell me a little more about.

Hi Carole, Yes, these are circles done in the mind, directed specifically where you want them. We have some fascinating cases of beneficial effects which are described in my new TTouch book for humans. Until the book is published, just begin by visualizing them. I've used these imaginary Mind Circles in the air a few feet away from a terrified, aggressive tiger while visualizing/imagining that they were being done directly on the tiger's body and I could see a change occur right in front of my eyes. In the case of the snow leopard reported by Dr. Isenbugel in the forward to my Tellington TTouch book, I imagined doing circles on the second snow leopard who was watching me work her sister. The snow leopard I worked on, and the cub mate I visualized working on, recovered overnight from a respiratory disease that the zoo people expected the leopards to die from. You can visualize the circles while in the presence of an animal, or you can imagine you are with an animal that is not in your presence, and have this help. In the memory of Jonathan Livingston Seagull asking why seagulls can fly the answer is: "They think they can." Enjoy the journey!

So the next time you head out to the barn remember that TTouching your horse a few minutes a day can reduce your stress, clear your mind, deepen the connection with your horse and dog, and make you smarter. That's why the phrase "The Touch That Teaches" came into being.

Background Information

Follow-up to "News from Linda"

The February, 2003 TTEAM newsletter prompted several people to ask me for more information about the Mind Mirror studies. The most common question was asked about the difference between the Mind Mirror measurements of brain waves and standard EEG's. Here are some more details.

In the summers of 1987 and 1988 Linda worked with Anna Wise, founder of the Biofeedback Institute of Boulder, Colorado. After monitoring Linda's brain waves of while working with TTouch and discovering that she was working in the awakened mind state, Anna thought it would be interesting to check out TTouch students to see if they would have these same brainwave states.

Anna had worked with Maxwell Cade in England for 8 years before coming to the United States to continue her work with people using the Mind Mirror to develop insight, healing and creativity.

The following notes are exerts from The Anna Wise Center for Awakened Mind Training website and from her first book, The High Performance Mind: Mastering Brainwaves for Insight, Healing, and Creativity (Tarcher/Putnam, 1996, 271 pages)

There is major difference in EEG machines developed for medical use for diagnosis of brain dysfunction. The use of EEG to understand the pathology of the brain has been very thoroughly explored over the last few decades. The Mind Mirror was developed by Maxwell Cade to study states of consciousness.

"The study of states of consciousness was undertaken by C. Maxwell Cade, a distinguished British psychobiologist and biophysicist and one of the few nonmedical members of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Geoffrey Blundell, an electronics expert in the late 70s. They studied the brainwave states of yogis, swamis, healers, ministers, and masters of many traditions to develop the Mind Mirror series of educational EEGs. The process was interactive – with many revisions to the hardware as Cade and Blundell discovered how to measure brainwave states that correlate to subjective states of mind. What emerged was an "awakened mind" brainwave pattern. Cade continued to find confirmation of this lucid state in the highly evolved minds that he studied, and learned how to help his students develop it. (p. 11)

"The high-performance mind – the awakened mind possesses a potential for using optimum states of consciousness for greater creativity; self-healing; better general health, relaxation, and stress management; solving emotional problems; more productivity in the workplace; understanding and improving relationships; greater self-knowledge; and spiritual development.

This state of mind is clearer, sharper, quicker, and more flexible than ordinary states. Thinking feels fluid rather than rigid. Emotions become more available and understandable, easier to work with and transform. Information flows more easily between the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels. Intuition, insight, and empathy increase and become more integrated into normal consciousness. With an awakened mind, it becomes easier to visualize and imagine, and to apply this increased imagination to one's creative processes in many areas." (p. 2)

Anna Wise's Description of the Brain Wave Functions:

"BETA is your normal thinking state, your active external awareness and thought process. Without beta you would not be able to function in the outside world.

ALPHA brainwaves are the brainwaves of relaxed detached awareness, visualization, sensory imagery and light reverie. Alpha is the gateway to meditation and provides a bridge between the conscious and the subconscious mind.

THETA brainwaves are the subconscious mind. Theta is present in dreaming sleep and provides the experience of deep meditation when you meditate. Theta also contains the storehouse of creative inspiration and is where you often have your spiritual connection. Theta provides the peak in the peak experience.

DELTA brainwaves are your unconscious mind, the sleep state, but when present in combination with other waves in a waking state, Delta acts as a form of radar – seeking out information – reaching out to understand on the deepest unconscious level things that we can't understand through thought process. Delta provides intuition, empathetic attunement, and instinctual insight."

"Someone in the Awakened Mind brainwave state (specific activation of beta, alpha, theta and delta in both hemispheres) has access to the unconscious empathy, intuition, and radar of the delta waves, the subconscious creative storehouse, inspiration and spiritual connection of the theta waves, the bridging capacity, lucidity and vividness of imagery, and relaxed detached awareness of the alpha waves, and the ability to consciously process thoughts in beta – all at the same time!"

"The work I have done with interspecies communication and brainwaves involves horses and their riders or trainers. I fell into this work by accident when I met Linda Tellington-Jones. The first time she came to me for a brainwave profile I monitored her while working on people. In this state she produced a form of awakened mind brainwave pattern that was heavily weighted with theta brainwaves.

"I was interested to know if her students had a similar pattern, so we set up a test during one of her workshops at a Colorado ranch. I observed that all of the students who had studied TTouch over a period of time tended to have strong theta and delta brainwaves in a normal resting waking state. Six out of the eleven people I measured had near awakened mind patterns in the left hemisphere, and one person had an awakened mind as coherent as Tellington-Jones'."

Our next step was obviously to attempt to monitor horses' brainwaves and then to see if we could observe any effect from TTouch. We fond that the basic resting state of the horses was primarily theta and delta with occasional flares of alpha. When TTouch was administered we got an activation of all four categories of brainwaves on the horses. We say that alpha especially was consistently activated during TTouch, as well as some beta.

I simultaneously monitored the brainwaves of Tellington-Jones and a horse she was working on, and found a high level of entrainment occurring between the horse and the trainer.

Perhaps the most startling experience that we had took place while working with a two-year-old thoroughbred mare that the owner thought was crazy. Initially, this horse had scattered brainwaves and out-of-control, high-amplitude flares. She had exceedingly strong theta and delta and not as much alpha and beta as we thought there should be, according to the other horses' brainwaves. Tellington-Jones then spent some time doing TTouch on her.

Afterward I was standing in front of a group of people talking about our discoveries and discussing this particular horse's difficulties. I explained that this horse could produce only theta and delta and was unable to produce alpha – whereupon the horse immediately produced strong alpha. When everyone laughed, I said, "O.K., but she can't produce beta." When she immediately produced beta, no one laughed, because our mouths were all open! Time prevented us from experimenting further with this particular horse. I still wonder what would have happened if I had said "O.K., but she still can't produce an awakened mind." (p. 213)

These studies on multiple horses on two separate occasions were fascinating from the point of view of considering that horses demonstrated an activation of beta – indicating logical thinking in the mind's of humans.

However, the brainwave studies done on TTouch students were even more interesting to me than the results shown with horses.

The Mind Mirror showed a consistent activation of all four brain waves in both hemispheres of the people doing TTouch and those being TTouched. It is my belief that this explains the reports from people TTouching their horses, dogs, cats, other animals as well as two-leggeds, that they feel more alive, more balanced emotionally as well as physically, more focused, happier. This has been true for both children and adults. So that the time adults spend TTouching their animals is as much benefit to them as to their animals – in addition to the wonderful bonding and opening of the heart that occurs.

It has been demonstrated that activation of both hemispheres of the brain– to include both logical thinking and intuitive knowing– is important for "Whole Brain Learning". TTouch® can be a powerful tool for this enhancement and at the same time healing for the body, mind and soul.

Anna and I have been in discussion regarding further studies and hope to get together later this year. My vision is to measure the brain waves of children TTouching their companion animals. I believe this would be a powerful tool for Whole Brain Learning and "High TTouch" in this age of "High Tech". With TTouch children can learn "compassionate empowerment" and a sense of kindness that is sorely needed in our modern world.

Aloha, LTJ

 

NOTE: TTEAM is an acronym of "Tellington TTouch® Equine Awareness Method." Since this article was written, the brand name for all the facets of the TTouch® organization is Tellington TTouch® Training.

Events

Interactive & Online Tellington TTouch®

Applied TTouch with Toni Shelbourne

If you have a dog who loves a ride in the car, you may take this simple joy for granted.  For many dogs, however, traveling, and riding in the car specifically, can be a source or physical discomfort and mental anxiety.

Dog guardians who have an animal that struggles with car rides know how difficult and worrisome this issue can be.

Join Tellington TTouch Method Instructor, Author, and Animal Behaviourist, Toni Shelbourne to learn an effective and positive approach to working with dogs who experience anxiety or distress around travelling in the car.

Enjoy the logical and linear educational format of online content, combined with the supportive and adaptive format of small group, interactive sessions held on the Zoom platform. Over two sessions, Toni will guide you through the why’s, how’s and possible solutions for helping your dogs find traveling in the car, a touch easier.

Register and gain access to a clearly laid out and detailed online course covering the material you would learn in a two day hands on intensive workshop.  This course can be done at YOUR OWN PACE, before the live sessions, and is available to you for continued review.

Live interactive sessions begin on Sunday, July 2nd at 6pm to 8pm  (GMT) with a follow up session for questions and feedback on July 16th.

Toni will help coach you through specific concerns you may have and give you the tools to enhance your dog’s well being all from the comfort of home, with your animal at ease, in a small, intimate group setting.

This course will count for 4 credits as an elective towards the Tellington TTouch Practitioner certification program for dogs.  It is also suitable for dog trainers, shelter staff, and guardians who want to help their dogs develop confidence, coping skills, and  emotional well-being.

visit this website for more info

Interactive & Online Solutions for Dogs with Travelling Issues

If you have a dog who loves a ride in the car, you may take this simple joy for granted.  For many dogs, however, traveling, and riding in the car specifically, can be a source or physical discomfort and mental anxiety.

Dog guardians who have an animal that struggles with car rides know how difficult and worrisome this issue can be.

Join us in January 2023
Join Tellington TTouch Method Instructor, Author, and Animal Behaviourist, Toni Shelbourne to learn an effective and positive approach to working with dogs who experience anxiety or distress around travelling in the car.

Enjoy the logical and linear educational format of online content, combined with the supportive and adaptive format of small group, interactivesessions held on the Zoom platform. Over two sessions, Toni will guide you through the why’s, how’s and possible solutions for helping your dogs find traveling in the car, a touch easier.

Register and gain access to a clearly laid out and detailed online course covering the material you would learn in a two day hands on intensive workshop.  This course can be done at YOUR OWN PACE, before the live sessions, and is available to you for continued review.

Live interactive sessions begin on Monday, January 23rd at 6pm to 8pm  (UK Time) with a follow up session for questions and feedback on February 6th.

Toni will help coach you through specific concerns you may have and give you the tools to enhance your dog’s well being all from the comfort of home, with your animal at ease, in a small, intimate group setting.

This course will count for 4 credits as an elective towards the Tellington TTouch Practitioner certification program for dogs.  It is also suitable for dog trainers, shelter staff, and guardians who want to help their dogs develop confidence, coping skills, and  emotional well-being.

Our Method for > TTouch-for-You > Success Stories

TTouch® During a Coma

"My name is Josee Beaumont from Canada. I’m a coach for equitation. I have my small riding school located in Waterloo, Quebec. I went to my first clinic of Tellington TTouch® Method about ten years ago. I have used your method not only on horses, but on dogs and kids.

"On July 18, my husband had an aneurysm to the brain and he is only 27 years old. He went in a very deep coma G/6 and he had a hemorrhage S/5. I realized three days later that my husband would be in the coma for a long time. I started all the articulation rotations on his body AND did TTouch® on him. Two weeks after he started doing little kicks while I was doing this. At the end of a month he came out of the coma. On the 18th of August (my birthday) the doctor (Neuro Surgeon) told me he could never walk again. He saw on the scan that the bottom of the brain was very damaged. Yesterday in physiotherapy, he started walking without parallel bars, but with the help of me and his physio holding his hands. The personnel of the re-adaptation center are very surprised with the results.

"My teachers at school always told us the difference between a human and animals was intelligence, but personally I always asked myself who was more intelligent. That is why I decided to treat my husband like an animal. Thank you very much for your work and for taking time to read my letter."

   - Josee Beaumont in Quebec

Our Method for > TTouch-for-You > Why TTouch-for-You

Effects for You!

If you've done much work with Tellington TTouch® Training, you have most likely discovered the benefits for animals - not only for horses, but also for dogs, cats, small critters, zoo animals and wildlife rescue. You may have discovered improvements in health and well-being, a reduction in stress, and often, miraculous changes in behavior. And in horses and dogs you will have been rewarded by enhanced performance and a more flexible, intelligent four-legged friend. Many, who work with the Tellington TTouch Method, report an unexpected deepening of relationship that gives you the feeling you are Dr. Doolittle with the ability to communicate without words, and understand each other in a way you didn't think possible.

However, what is often unrecognized or unspoken, are the effects on you! There is often experienced a transformation in the people using TTouch as well as their animals. We become more flexible and balanced mentally and physically, as well as emotionally. Many adults report a sense feeling of being smarter and more confident.

In classes of school children practicing TTouch on their companion animals, teachers and parents describe similar changes: improved ability to focus and concentrate (just like horses and dogs) with heightened confidence and more tolerance. Children with a tendency to lose their tempers or bully other kids increase self-control and another level of understanding that allows them to adapt and be less reactive. I believe TTouch teaches children what I call "compassionate empowerment®."

What causes these transformational changes in the two-leggeds? I believe the reasons are two-fold:

1. TTouch activates both hemispheres of the brain resulting in Whole Brain learning. The left side of the brain is commonly referred to as the logical side, and the right side is thought of as the creative or intuitive side, although in reality that is not so. The brain is actually an integrated whole. The left hemisphere is more linear and the right is oriented to spatial issues and understanding the big picture.

You wonder how TTouch affects the whole brain?

Each time you push the skin in a circle imagining the face of a clock, the intuitive side is engaged, because imagining or visualizing as well as the actual movement have to do with the intuitive. When you "see in your mind's eye" the numbers on the clock, the logical is activated because numbers have to do with logical thinking.

When you're practicing leading exercises imagining the "Elegant Elephant’s" trunk as the end of your "wand" or whip, the movement itself, and holding the wand and chain in both hands, affects the right brain. And the logical way of holding the wand and chain in two hands awakens the thinking side.

2. The second indication of this whole brain effect comes from the two studies I did in the summers of 1987 and 1988 in cooperation with Anna Wise of the Boulder Institute of Biofeedback. Working with a "Mind Mirror" developed by her mentor, British psycho biologist and biophysicist Maxwell Cade, produced some fascinating results. The Mind Mirror is an EEG that differs from the traditional EEG in that it used spectral analysis to simultaneously measure eleven different frequencies in each hemisphere of the brain. Unlike the normal EEG it has the unique ability to measure beta, alpha, theta and delta brain waves in both hemispheres of the brain.

We measured over a dozen students to determine their brain wave activity while being TTouched, rubbed, petted and massaged. Surprising was the fact that consistently, whether our students were being TTouched or TTouching a horse or a person, there was an activation of all four brain waves –beta, alpha, theta and delta – in both sides of the brain. When the person being measured was petted, stroked, rubbed or massaged, the relaxing alpha brainwave pattern was present, but never beta – the problem solving potential. Only with the circular touches were the beta brainwaves present.

So the next time you head out to the barn remember that TTouching your horse a few minutes a day can reduce your stress, clear your mind, deepen the connection with your horse and dog, and make you smarter. That's why the phrase "The Touch That Teaches" came into being.

Linda Tellington-Jones

 

 

Worldwide > Animal Ambassadors International

1988 TTEAM Gives Children Opportunities

Further Thoughts and Observations about the Opportunities that TTEAM Offers to School Children

TTEAM News International April, 1988 Vol 8 No 2 Pp. 1-6

When I began offering Animal Ambassadors International® educational programs in the schools, I had no idea what to expect. I knew that TTEAM was great for animals. Robyn's files burst with case histories of horses and other animals from all over the world that have been helped through TTEAM & TTouch. I also knew that many of these case histories had been submitted by people who had relatively little experience with TTEAM before they were called upon to use their skills on behalf of some animal in trouble. But these people were mature adults; often they were professionals in some field involving animals. The subtleties of TTEAM would not escape them.

It was different with children. I was confident that hands-on experience with live animals would provide motivation and self-esteem, and I hoped it would be a bridge to right-brain learning. But I was totally unprepared for what was to happen.

"Andy would carry the cat around upside down by the tail. I didn't like it, but I didn't know what to do about it. Then this week I noticed a big change in his attitude. He's more considerate. I'm very pleased."

This comment from Andy's father at an elementary school "Parents Night," after I had been doing a TTEAM-Animal Ambassadors International® educational program that had already run four days of a week-long unit, was one of the first hints I had that TTEAM for children is a two-way street. The benefits flow both ways. The feeling for animals that can come with actually doing the TTouch on a live animal opens up doors for some children. They begin to think in a new way that is more responsive and more caring. Many children have this natural ability within themselves, and it is wonderful to see it awakened in a child.

The key is that it happens without fuss, without preaching. The child just has a new awareness, an added element that changes the way in which he perceives the world. In some children, that is going to make a difference, as it did for Andy.

The first educational programs that I was invited to do were with children in Special Educations. As I understand it, these are children who are considered educable, but they do not learn up to their potential. Emotional and/or physical problems may be holding them back. They may be hyperactive and disruptive. Some are gifted, artistic and imaginative, but unresponsive to the left-brain learning approach favored in most schools. Some Special Ed children score high in I.Q. tests and some don't; but they are all lumped together bottom percentile and an enormous amount of effort is expended in trying to solve their problems.

If I'd had a choice, I probably would have chosen to work with mainstream classrooms or children in the Gifted and Talented programs in preference to Special Ed. However, as it turned out, that probably would have been a mistake. Each child in Special Ed is there because he or she has some kind of a problem - a problem that is considered solvable or the child wouldn't be there. So, working with 40 kids, you are going to have at least 40 problems to deal with, each one different. What an incredible laboratory for TTEAM.

Following are some examples. They are not pretentious enough to be called "Case histories" because teachers do not readily disclose a child's background unless something happens, and then they tell you as little as possible, i.e.. "He's hyperactive. He probably didn't get his pill today." The names have been changed in these examples, and anything else that might identify a particular child, as in Andy's case above. But everything else is real.

I would like to begin with an experiment in poetry writing that we did in one class. This came the day after we did an Introduction to TTEAM (with stuffed toy animals) and an imaginative journey throughout animal habitats looking for a special animal that each child could choose to befriend and protect.

Animals are now used as part of the treatment protocol in a growing number of programs, according to Carolyn Reuben, health editor of the "L.A. Weekly." She cites animals as therapy for abused children, delinquents, women in prison and the elderly. For example, animals helped abused children to relax and talk about their fears.

The last thing we were thinking about in our poetry writing class was therapy. I had read a program Mann Lowenfels does to teach creativity to gifted children and thought it would adapt well to our animal program. Simplified from Lowenfels' program, its objective was to enhance creative writing skills by giving children a simple. formula to produce a poem.

We began this lesson by asking the children if any of them had tried the TTEAM circles they had learned yesterday on their pets at home. Most of them had, and a lively discussion ensued as the children reported different reactions of their pets to the circles. The teacher then used this springboard to introduce the concept of "Feelings". She wrote several different feelings on the chalkboard: happiness, sadness, etc. Then we thought of colors, places and actions that were happy, sad, etc. You put them all together with your chosen animal and you had a poem.

And what poems did we get -- from these children who don't usually give?

Afraid is
an orange cat
In a pumpkin patch
Alone.

This is from a child who was, right then, the subject of a bitter custody fight "with many tears." Within a couple days her mother, with whom the child wanted to be, would lose the battle.

Another child from a troubled home wrote:

Mad is
a brown gorilla
Who is furious
On a volcano top.

A third child who was feared in his neighborhood because he carried a tremendous chip on his shoulder. Yet this child comes from a wonderfully supportive family. He wrote:

Happiness is
A gray wolf
In a den
With her puppies.

I think it might have been an eye-opener to some of the teachers that this child could write such a "peaceful" poem. He was showing a new side of his character, but he as also telling that his home life is okay.

Obviously the kids were projecting their own feelings into the animals that they wrote about. It was a safe way to tell us something about themselves. That may be very important for this group.

I believe now that a TTEAM & TTouch lesson, followed by a lesson in creative writing, may help children express themselves. If something is bothering them. They may choose to express their loneliness or rage in a poem. Children who bristle at the idea of writing a poem are sometimes more willing to do so if the poem is on behalf of their chosen animal. Of course, they can also write stories for their animal, as they do after Alexandra Kurland's presentations. It is possible that the animals, imagery and art all tap the right-brain mode, making for a learning approach that can release stress as well as enhance creativity.

"Animals can be some of our best teachers," Alexandra Kurland tells her audience of school children. "Every time I do a live-animal program, I find a new reason to agree with the truth of this statement. The Tellington TTouch circles that the children do open the door."

For example, a horse must be a huge animal from the point of view of a child who may never have touched a horse before. My mare, Starlite, is actually on the small side, less than 15 hands. She is 26 years old, which means that she does not move around very much. She is very pretty, with dark glowing eyes set wide apart, and a white snip and star on her kindly face. Furthermore, she just loves having TTEAM done on her. At home she has been known to "wait in line" for her turn while I'm working on another horse.

When I take her to a school, I load a portable corral on one side of my stock trailer. Starlite goes into the other aide and Lad, a dog rides in the back of the pickup. The corral is to keep the children out rather than the horse in. Some children are fearless and eager to make contact with the horse. The corral helps teachers keep them in line by setting a boundary. It also frees Starlite's head while I am working.

The children enter the corral one at a time to work on the horse. I demonstrate a particular touch, such as Raccoon circles on the ears, first getting the horse to lower her head. Then a child is invited to come into the corral and do the same thing. Most of the children love it. Their eyes are shining and they try so hard to do the TTouch exactly right. I am usually at Starlite's neck, with my arm under her neck, and I can feel her response to the children's TTouch. It is fascinating, because she seems to feel some children's hands much more than others. She will lower her head into my arm in utmost bliss. None of the children has ever frightened her or made her unhappy. It is just that some seem to reach her more.

I think a horse is the most wonderful animal teacher. Maybe it's the size that commands respect. Perhaps it in because TTEAM was originally developed for horses. The good thing is that even if a child is a little bit afraid, using the TTEAM & TTouch the child has something definite to do rather than just pet the horse and thereby, a different type of learning situation is set up. Usually the fear soon vanishes and the child is elated, with a real sense of accomplishment. Starlite feels that she knows she has given the child that good feeling. Merely petting the horse would not get the same results.

Of course, I give the bolder children a little more challenging circles than I do the shy ones. And herein lies a tale.

Bobbie was good looking, disruptive and proud. He began my day making obscene circles on his stuffed toy animal; his next move was to beat on the kids next to him. He flatly refused to do anything I asked of him and spent his time trying to make the other kids laugh -- at my expense if he could. I felt that this was not hatred but a challenge. There is a difference. I learned that Bobbie was usually taught one-on-one (that is, by himself with no other children present) and that it was only on the occasion of my visit that it was thought he might join the others. I wanted to say, "thanks a lot."

Usually with a week-long program I try to bring the horse on the first or second day. But a snowstorm delayed the live animal presentation until Thursday. By Wednesday, Bobbie was intolerable. I went to bed that night having visions of him jumping on Starlite's back, hurtling the corral and riding off into the sunset.

Actually, the next day he was pretty good. He hung on the corral with the other kids (they were allowed to stand on the first rail), raising his hand and shouting "Me" whenever someone was chosen to enter the corral. I had not worked the inside of a horse's mouth in demonstrations before, partly because Starlite doesn't like it that much, but today I did. I played the piano on her tongue. I could bear the deafening silence behind me, no "Me! Me! Me!" for this one. I did hear Bobbie say, "I'm not gonna do that!" I drew the suspense out as long as I dared and then called, "Bobbie!"

To his credit, he walked into the corral without a word. I let him suffer a moment longer and then asked him if he would like to do "Tarantula Pulling A Plow" on Starlite's back. He never said a word, and I have never seen a more focused kid. And boy, did that tarantula pull that plow! Starlite's neck sank happily into the crook of my arm.

The next day the teacher's aide who had been working with Bobbie popped out of the room, eyes wide. "He sat still for an hour! He even did his work!

Of course this was just one day in the life of this child. And we don't know quite why he was affected in this way. For some thing permanent to happen, a much more imaginative, ongoing program would have to be tried. Actually, Marie Luise van der Sode has done a six-month residential program in Europe at a Youth Farm for troubled teenage girls. She reported that some of the girls who were unpopular on account of being aggressive became easier to get along with (and more popular) after learning TTEAM. The work with the animals had taught them an alternative way of being.

Very few children have been too frightened to touch the horse and the dog. Of more than 200 children, I think only four or perhaps five hung back. One boy, Cody (the only boy who showed apprehension), conquered his fear and did very nice circles on both Starlite and Lad.

At the end of the week, the children spoke of their chosen animals in front of their classmates and other classes, and were awarded with Animal Ambassador certificates. Cody decided he couldn't do this. Cody was part of a group of mixed Special Ed and Gifted-and-Talented. The purpose of putting these two groups together was to raise the prestige and self-esteem of the slower group, to make it easier for them to leave their classrooms each day for Special Ed. Another purpose was to teach the advanced kids to share and care.

Cody agreed to let one of the advanced children read his speech for him while he stood next to the other child, holding a picture of his animal. So the advanced child practiced two speeches. Just as everyone got up to leave the room, Cody said, "I think I can do my own."

The teacher asked, "What do the rest of you kids think? Do you think Cody can do it?"

One of the advanced children started a cheer, and every child in the room took it up: "Go, Cody, Go!

Cody did give his speech, and he didn't do it too badly. As we left the other classroom, I told him, "You were brave."

He grinned one of those tooth-gaped eight-year-old grins. "Yeah, but I liked it a whole lot better being brave with the horse."

These speeches that the kids gave when they received their AAI Certificates were an exciting part of the program. One parent made the trip down to the school twice for her son's five-minute program. It was great that she was a devoted mother to do that for her son, and it also gives an indication of how much this program meant to the children. Non-readers started asking for more animal books to read. One gifted boy elected to memorize his speech, when he could have read it. Then others wanted to memorize. Another child (in Special Ed) elected to redo her project the week after I left. So there were just lots of indications that we were motivating these children.

I've found that dogs have different reasons to teach than horses. For example, Lad, Starlite's ambassador, treats each child as an individual. He'll offer a paw to one, try to lick another's face (just one lick per child), touch another's hand with his nose (one touch). Eddie, a smart, aggressive boy, was determined to make Lad shake hands with him. Before I could stop him he reached out and pumped Lad's paw. Immediately the magic left. Lad didn't exactly turn into a pumpkin, but he lost confidence for a little bit. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn myself and to explain to the children that one big part of communicating with animals is to watch and listen for the signals they give you. Of course this can be a step toward learning how to communicate more sensitively with people.

Incidentally, when I began these programs, I felt that learning care and consideration for animals could be a step toward learning care and consideration for other people. A psychologist pointed out that such was not always the case. Some people who relate well to animals do not always relate well to human beings. The animal in this type of situation are a social crutch.

Frank was a child like that. He had a brilliant mind, four pets at home, and he knew more about some kinds of wild animals than I did. He did a super job with the horse. He was wonderful with Lad. But his teacher said that be was verbally abusive to other children, with sexual connotations.

We tried to provide Frank with an alternative way of being by encouraging him to share his tremendous fund of knowledge of animals in the classroom. Understandably, the other children weren't really crazy about Frank, but by the end of the week he was providing other children with information about the animals they had chosen, and starting some interesting discussions. So in this way the animals he loves could be a bridge rather than a crutch.

When you do TTEAM it is like dropping a pebble in a pond. There is a saying that the ripples will eventually be felt on the farthest star. Lad was a dog I borrowed from a mountain man who was not known for his kindness to dogs. Since I have been using Lad for TTEAM work this man's natural kindness has surfaced. He just had never seen dogs as feeling, hurting beings before. They were curs to be yelled at and cowed into submissive obedience. Now he talks to them.

TTEAM is fascinating because you don't know what the results will be or how far they will carry. Its therapeutic value would be somewhat different that the proven stress-reduction that comes from petting an animal. My personal feeling is that TTEAM provides an ideal whole-brain learning situation. You have much more active, focused communication than when patting an animal because you are asking a great deal more of the animal. The animal is more focused because it doesn't know exactly what will come next. Some horses in particular become quite fascinated. They are so involved and politely interested in what you are doing sometimes it is almost comical.

But while you and the animal are focused, you are also very much aware of your surroundings. You have to be aware when working with a horse. An element of personal safety in involved and a sense of where you are in space is a necessity. Thoughts and movements become more precise and clear with experience.

Experiments have suggested that babies learn beat when they are relaxed, happy and alert. I see no reason to believe that animals don't learn the same way, and human beings of whatever age. TTEAM helps to promote this state where learning can happen.

New Program

This spring I am offering a follow-up program directed toward the intentional aspect of Animal Ambassadors International®. This program takes 1-2 hours. Children are introduced to the culture of a foreign country. They write letters about themselves and their pets, or stories about a favorite any species, to be shared with children in the other country.

Regards, Ann Finley

NOTE: TTEAM is an acronym of "Tellington TTouch Equine Awareness Method." Since this article was written, Linda decided to use a brand name for all the facets of the TTouch organization. Currently, that is Tellington TTouch® Training.