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About Us > Our Mission Statement

Disclaimer

While every effort is made to see that all information contained in this website is accurate, there may be errors, omissions, and inaccuracies. We do not assume any liability or responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this website.

None of the information provided in this website, or any of it's linking pages, is intended for the purpose of diagnosis, prescription or suggested treatment of any kind. Visitors to our website are presumed to have consulted with their own veterinarian about the information we present as it pertains to, and is complementary with, the overall health and well-being of their animals.

We also remind and warn visitors of the inherent risks associated with animal activities. We do not assume any liability or responsibility for damages suffered by, an injury to, or the death of, a participant in animal activities resulting from the inherent risks of animal activities.

About Us > Research & Studies

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.

Human 2010 Well-Being Study

Scientific study of the Tellington TTouch® for You Method demonstrates clinically significant effect on emotional states

On May 15-17, 2010, a scientific study was held in Bad Vöslau, Austria, to evaluate the psychological effects of the Tellington TTouch® Method on the well-being human participants.

The project was planned by Dr. Susanne Liederer, a biologist, in cooperation with Tellington-TTouch Practitioner Tanja Lasser and executed together with Linda Tellington-Jones, PhD.

In this study, 58 subjects were requested to answer questions related to their psychological and physiological well-being prior to, directly after and 3 days after a 20-minute "TTouch-for-You®" session. All subjects were treated exclusively on their backs and arms using a defined selection of Tellington-TTouches.

Read More

Cattle 2012 Reducing Avoidance and Stress

Gentle touching in early life reduces avoidance distance and slaughter stress in beef cattle

by Johanna Probst, Anet Spengler Neffa, Florian Leiberb, Michael Kreuzerb, Edna Hillmannb of Switzerland

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of gentle touching applied during the early life of suckler beef calves on avoidance distance on-farm and stress reactions at the abattoir. Twenty-seven Limousin crossbred calves were assigned to a treatment (n = 13) or a control group (n = 14) balanced by sex and day of birth. Gentle touching, using the TTouch© method, began on the second day post partum and was continued on the following 2 days. Additional touching was conducted on 3 non-consecutive days during the following 3 weeks in the home pen. Each treatment lasted for 10 min and was repeated once after 30 min. Individual avoidance distance was assessed 6 times. Following this test, all voluntary approaches towards the test person were recorded. All animals were slaughtered at 10 months of age. Behaviour was observed during lairage and in the stunning chute. Blood samples were taken during exsanguination at the abattoir, and concentrations of cortisol, lactate and glucose were analysed. Samples of the Musculus longissimus dorsi were subjected to cooking loss measurements, Warner Bratzler shear force and meat colour traits. The treatment calves showed smaller avoidance distances (P < 0.001) than the control calves. The treatment cattle showed less avoidance behaviour in the stunning box (P < 0.01), and the cortisol level of the touched animals tended to be lower (P = 0.055). The Warner Bratzler shear force of the cooked muscle was lower in the touched than in the control animals (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the treatment animals were less fearful towards humans and showed less stress-related behaviour at the abattoir. Fewer stress related reactions at the abattoir can be the reason for improved tenderness of touched animals’ meat. We conclude that early gentle touching of beef cattle has long-term persistent effects, reduces fear towards humans, and may increase meat quality.

Visit: Science Direct

Events

Tellington TTouch® for Dogs

Interactive & Online Tellington TTouch for Dogs. Level 1 with Dawn Jansen – April 9 though Saturday, May 14 (3 and 4 hour sessions weekley). $499-699 US. (PDT Time Zone) Help your dog be their BEST selves! Twenty hours live Instructions; 10 lessons, 50+ Videos, lifetime access; downloads, study-group access. Learn more: learn.ttouch.ca/product/interactive-online-tellington-ttouch-for-dogs-level-1-with-dawn-jansen-april-pdt-zone/

Interactive & Online Tellington TTouch® for Dogs

Level 1 with Lindy Dekker – October 2022

Enjoy the comforts of home, with your animal at ease, in this small, intimate group setting. Lindy will help coach you through specific concerns you may have and give you the tools to enhance your dog’s well being.

This course can count  towards the Tellington TTouch Practitioner certification program for dogs.  It is also suitable for dog guardians who are interested in the method to enhance their relationship.  All levels of experience and areas of interest are welcome.

Students will have access to online material to cover at their own pace.  The online portion of

learning consists of a logical, linear, “Tellington TTouch for Dogs – Level 1”, which can be accessed at any time.

$499.00 – $699.00

LIVE with Lindy Dekker,

    Saturday October 8th, 2022 from 10.00 – 15.00 hrs (Central European Time)
    Sunday October 9th, 2022 from 10.00 – 15.00 hrs
    Tuesday October 11th, 2022 from 18.30 – 21.00 hrs
    Thursday October 13th, 2022 from 18.30 – 21.00 hrs
    Tuesday October 18th, 2022 from 18.30 – 21.00 hrs
    Thursday October 20th, 2022 from 18.30 – 21.00 hrs

 

Tellington TTouch® Training for Companion Animals

€ 625
Live Interactive Course with Tina Constance

This course will be a 4-day clinic from May 11th - May 14th, 2023 at DogCenter Kerkwijk (Netherlands), near Zaltbommel.

This training does not have to be followed with a dog. You can also come without a dog and work together with other participants. In the Tellington Method there are several exercises in which 2 participants work with 1 dog. If you bring a dog, it is useful to bring a bench so that your dog can lie down quietly (getting coffee, visiting the toilet). The same applies if you want to practice with someone else's dog. In that case, your dog is within your field of vision.

Early bird discount for registration and payment up to and including March 1, 2023 € 550. For bookings after that the course price of € 625 applies.

The course will be given in understandable English (translation possible if necessary).

For this class you will earn 9 credits towards the TTouch Certification.

visit this website or send an email for more information.

Tellington TTouch® for Dogs

Successfully Working with Clients. TTouch for Dogs Online, May 5 with Kathy Cascade & Debby Potts. (PDT Zone) $150–$329.95 US. Live interactive sessions begin Thursday, May 5 & 12  and continue Thursday May 19, 26 & June 2 with Debby. Classes are from 10:00 AM to 12 PM PDT/ 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM GMT. Each session is recorded for future viewing or if you are unable to attend.

Our Method for > Dogs > Success Stories

Animal Assisted Therapy

"Up until four years ago I did therapy visiting with my Golden Retriever in a residential home for the elderly. One of the ladies could not communicate with people using language; she had suffered a stroke and certainly had some dementia. This lady would hang around the neck of Jim (my Goldie) for as long as we would let her. Jim was very tolerant and would nudge this lady very gently.

"When this process had ended Jim would be totally exhausted and I would TTouch to help him recover. But the care workers always reported to me that for two days after Jim's visit this lady could interact with people more than she had been able to before our visit. What I found interesting was that this lady would recognize Jim but not me and she seemed to gain so much from the affection/touch shown by Jim towards her. This may be an example of how touch-starved ill people can be and the benefit that they can gain from simple touch.  Good luck with exploring the research opportunities."
–  Jeanette Atkinson, Practitioner in the UK

Our Method for > Horses > Success Stories

Older horses

"The TTEAM Newsletter is my “life line” to keep in touch with all the stuff you people get up to. Every now and again there is a surge of interest here in New Zealand, but for me it just keeps on getting better and better. Results mostly happen in minutes for me now, and people are amazed.

"I am always getting asked when I am going to compete my horse even though people cannot believe his age is 24 years old. Tellington Method had done so much for him.  He had an accident 12 years ago that left him quite crippled and without the Tellington TTouch method, he would not be with me. He has taught me so much and given me some amazing experiences and may lovely rides.

"Thank you for sharing TTouch with me and many other people too.  Animals, worldwide, love what the Tellington TTouch Method brings to them.  And never let us forget the great job Robyn has done for so long bringing the written word to all of us TTouch people."

   – Coral Boulton in New Zealand

"After seeing Instructor, Edie Jane Eaton’s demonstration, I have been using the Tellington TTouch exercises for two weeks and my l9 year old advanced dressage thoroughbred’s back is definitely more supple. And engagement is becoming elastic. He was stiff, and I have had problems getting him to use his hind-end to engage without getting stiffer in his back. No more!"

   – Philippa Morrell in the UK

Our Method for > Other Animals > Success Stories

Building Trust

Building Trust

By Missy Parker, Veterinary Nurse

"One of the most beneficial things I've seen in a long time for building trust and calming is the Tellington "TTouch" therapy system, developed by Linda Tellington-Jones.

"In my capacity as a Registered Veterinary Nurse, I have used TTouch to prevent dogs from going into shock (yes, it really does work!) until the vet could get there to help the dog. In my capacity as an obedience instructor, I have used portions of it in my greeting (and subsequent handling) behaviors with scared dogs (as well as with aggressive ones) to build up their trust in me while calming them in a class situation. I have also used portions of it when I'm wearing my "mom" and "wife" hats to "create an atmosphere more conducive to cooperation."

"I've never told the humans I've used it on that it was developed for animals.However, Baylor Hospital of Dallas, Texas (which is a teaching hospital) is now using it on their human patients - and telling them it was developed for animals - so maybe it's time for me to come out of the closet!

"I've seen TTouch work wonders in every case in which it has been used properly. Four particular cases come to mind. The first is a Shiba Inu who would "short-circuit" in my obedience classes when the stimulation level got at all elevated. With just five to ten minutes of TTouch from his owner before each class, the dog did so much better!

"The second: my client, a very competent middle-aged woman, had never owned a dog before she adopted a female GSD stray. My best guess as to this dog's story is that she was either from Schutzhund lines or a washout from a police dog program, then neglected severely for quite a while afterward. She had heartworms and callouses on every pressure point from, I believe, lying in a concrete-bottom kennel.

"Heidi (the dog) was the most accomplished kennel escape artist I've ever dealt with ... she escaped mine five different ways before I figured out how to keep her in - she had both removed the gate from its hinges and bitten the gate lock in half. I just love this dog because I have learned so much from her! When she first started coming to my classes, Heidi would roar in dragging Cathy (the owner) as though she were an embarrassing ball-and-chain to be completely ignored. Now, after a few months of class, TTouch, and good management, Cathy has a much nicer dog - who adores her. Like many other dogs I've seen on TTouch regularly, Heidi can be gently reversed when she goes into overdrive, and quickly, by the application of as little as two minutes of TTouch touches.

"The third: Silver is a toy poodle who was genetically predetermined to be a yappy, snappy, shaky mess. She is now a fabulous therapy dog, solid at CD-level obedience, a joy to her owner and to everyone else with whom she comes in contact. TTouch is used in Silver's daily life in general and, specifically, before and after therapy sessions with challenging clients. By the will of her owner, with a little help from me, this dog has gone from "sow's ear to silk purse." By the way, Silver has only 20% vision in one eye and about 40% in the other; she will eventually go totally blind.

"The fourth case is my husband, who has back trouble - the pain sometimes makes him very "crabby." TTouch helps him feel better and consequently elevates his mood, which has the effect of making everyone in my house feel better!

"In classes, I begin with the Tarantula/Plow techniques. Even “extreme” dogs seem to enjoy it so much and/or are so curious about what I'm doing that they momentarily interrupt their agenda to ... eat the people, eat the other dogs, die of fright, whatever. Then, when I have their interested attention, I move to Noah's March. If all's still well, I use the Lying Leopard. All of this is done while toning.

"Years ago, when I was in hard labor, a female Labor Attendant did it on me - and it worked then, too - although she had no idea that what she was doing would years later be called the TTouch. Her technique was a super light touch, Clouded Leopard all over my straining belly while she softly sang “Rock of Ages” to me! It was incredibly helpful at a very stressful and painful time.

"The effect of regular TTouch use seems to be cumulative if these techniques are used with a subject regularly, his or her body’s autonomic responses seem to take over faster and faster each subsequent time.

"So, from my experience, I heartily recommend TTouch as a great addition to your instructor’s toolbox...and thanks to Terry Ryan for the term!

"Next time you have a bad headache, try it on yourself - it works that way too!"

- Missy Parker thunderridgeinc@juno.com

Missy continued:

"Tellington TTouch was born out of Linda's extraordinary lifetime of work with horses, and has now been adapted to many species other than equine, including dogs, cats, hamsters, and many exotic animals. Linda's four years of study with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, originator of the Feldenkrais method for horses, led her to the development of TTouch.

"Although TTouch is not technically a type of massage therapy, that would start to describe it. Actually, massage is done with the intent of affecting the muscular system - the intent of TTouch is the reorganizing of the nervous system and activating the function of the cells. I can describe it best by saying that it is a way of laying your fingers gently on the skin and moving them, as well as the skin they are touching, in a circular fashion, making repeating one-and-a-quarter circles clockwise. During this touch, the practitioner breathes rhythmically - in for the first half of the slow circle and out for the second half.

"According to Linda Tellington-Jones, TTouch is so simple to learn that a person having had less than one hour of instruction might make major changes in the behavior and personality of animals, and might considerably speed up the healing of wounds, injury or stiffness.

"Anna Wise, of the Evolving Institute of Boulder, Colorado, did a biofeedback study of TTouch practitioners which showed that both the brain waves of the practitioner, as well as those of the patient, were dramatically affected during the sessions. The brain waves registered what is known as "an awakened state" typical of healers, swamis, advanced meditators, and yogis as measured in a study by Maxwell Cate at the Institute for Psychobiological Research in London, England.

"There are several variations of TTouch hand positions; the amount of pressure used in the touch itself and where the touch is applied on the animal's body can vary, too. For instance, to prevent shock in injured animals of many species, as well as to calm the thunderstorm-phobic dog, T-Touch is applied to the ears.

"To make it easier to remember many of the hand/finger positions, they have been assigned the names of various animals: "Tarantula,” "Clouded Leopard,” "Flick of the Bear's Paw." With the TTouch, a practitioner may use "toning," a type of soothing vocalization.

"The Tellington TTouch Guidebook for Dogs describes the intended results of TTouch: to activate neural pathways to the brain, increasing an animal's self image and awareness, thereby improving its self-confidence and coordination. It adds: one need not know anatomy to be successful with this therapy, since using the TTouch anywhere on the body can improve health and awareness. Through the activation of its unused brain cells, an animal becomes more willing and able to learn. The TTouch develops a "cell-to-cell" between animal and human, a oneness which is a very special inter species, non-verbal communication."

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

Relieving Anxiety

A Practitioner finds uses for TTouch® in Daily life, especially to relax and relieve anxiety.

"I do the TTouches on myself almost everyday, but usually only a few quick circles when I bump my head or stub my toe. I find that the TTouches help me to relax and breathe despite my pain. This benefit alone is enough to make me feel much better. In fact, sometimes I do the TTouches on my stuffed animals in order to bring myself into a calm focus. However, I also find that they help in speeding the relief of pain, reduce swelling, and prevent bruising. I use different TTouches based on how they feel and the area of injury, but I usually find the Clouded Leopard, the Abalone, and the Raccoon TTouches to be a good starting point. For tight muscles or sore limbs, the Python lift has also often brought great relief to me.

"One of the most useful TTouches for working on myself has been the mouth work. I have a lot of anxiety over testing, my heart pounds, I sweat, and I lose my ability to concentrate on the exam, so I decided to try mouth work. I figured if it works on animals' limbic systems and helps their emotional balance, then maybe it would help me. I did circles all over the top of my upper lip, then moved a finger to the inside of my gums, doing small circles all over the upper gums. To my delight I actually felt better. In fact, I survived final exams by doing this work before and during testing and did not even care if people thought I was strange. Now that I no longer have exams I still use the mouth work during times of great emotional stress, and generally get good results. The hard part is remembering to do the work once I am already upset."   

   -  Dawn Costerisan, TTouch® Practitioner

Shop > Horses > Books

Training & Retraining Horses the Tellington Way

Training & Retraining Horses the Tellington Way

Get a SIGNED copy of Linda's new book.

$34.95

Shop > Horses > Equipment

Balance Rein - Woven

Balance Rein - Woven

Good for horses who are above the bit, behind the vertical or strung-out. New lower price!

$55.95

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.

1985 Animal Ambassadors International to UNICEF

TTEAM News International May, 1985 Vol 5 No 2 Pp. 13-14

It's only been nine months since I conceived the idea of Animal Ambassadors International® sitting in the restaurant of the Intourist Hotel in Moscow. The idea has been received with delight and wonder in Europe and North America. Delight that the importance of our animal friends be acknowledged in their role of bridging communication and under standing with the people of the Soviet Union, and wonder that this communication is even possible.

I had dinner with Alexander and Nana Zguridy in Moscow. We had met on the last trip and had exchanged Christmas cards and postcards. They are film producers of major motion pictures with animals and could be called the "Disneys of the Soviet Union." We watched the San Diego Zoo video of me working on Louis, the two month old orangutan, and they read the Animal Ambassador proposal in the February newsletter. We were all so excited about the catalytic affect of our meeting and our common vision of the importance of animals in our lives that we didn't want to part at midnight and could hardly sleep. The next day Alexander called me to say that we must meet again to discuss the idea further and so that I view one of his films. The next afternoon I saw the film at the Soviet Film Makers' Union. It was a lovely film based on a true story of a famous trotting horse. The horses spoke to each other when there were no humans around.

Alexander is 82 years old and highly respected. He and Nana work together on the films, both sharing equal title credits on film titles. They are a wonderful team. Alexander said that he would like to present the idea of Animal Ambassadors International® in a speech to UNICEF which he is delivering in July in Italy. They are both excited about making Animal Ambassadors International official in the Soviet Union and having the concept supported by some of their leading poets and others who realized the importance of animals in our lives as well as interested in the connections for peace.

So many other exciting things happened on my 18 days in Moscow, and my perceptions continue to change and expand. I worked two times at the old Moscow Circus with the veterinarian who participated in the TTEAM training each day. The two articles which Andre Orlov wrote about my work for Moscow newspapers, Izvestia and Moscow News, are posted on the bulletin board at the entrance to the National Horse Museum – a nice connection to my grandfather's horse work in Moscow from 1902-1905. I met with a film maker who has dedicated his life to recording the sacred ceremonies of the native peoples of the northern USSR and was fascinated by how some of the stories about their communication with animals corresponded with my "messages" which I receive from the various kingdoms.

It has only been one year this month since I had the vision of taking the TTEAM work to the Soviet Union to share. The bridging which has occurred has opened doors to many new perceptions on both ends of the bridge. I have now been officially invited by the director of the Bitsa Olympic Horse Union Complex to continue teaching TTEAM work in programs planned for the next year. It gives me an indescribable feeling of appreciation and joy to see the vision expand and unfold; and a great appreciation for all of the TTEAM members for support of the vision and for spreading the understanding between humans and our animal friends.

TTEAM work is now being used in 14 countries. Between the TTEAM work and Animal Ambassadors International, I feel that TTEAM members spreading the work are indeed taking the word to the four corners of the world. And I feel a great appreciation and feeling of Oneness with you all.

Linda

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.

1991 Green Chimneys

TTEAM News International Vol 11 No 3 Pp.6-7

For three years I have promised Dr. Sam Ross that I would make it to Green Chimneys to share the Animal Ambassadors International® and TTEAM work with his children. Dr. Ross and his wife, Myra, run the most wonderful organization just north of New York City which is a farm school for children with learning and behavioral disabilities who come mostly from the inner cities. They have a really large staff and about 130 acres on the farm that I visited plus other homes for adults.

This visit was organized thanks to TTEAM practitioner Marnie Reeder who met Myra Ross at the Delta Society co-sponsored Human/Animal Bond Conference in Saskatchewan this May. Since I was teaching the advanced training in Wyoming, I asked Marnie to represent Animal Ambassadors International®, which she did and really connected with Myra at the conference. Marnie had originally planned to come with me but at the last minute could not make it.

I began by working with about seventy children between the ages of seven and sixteen with their teachers out on the lawn. I first worked with a fifteen year old Scotty dog of Dr. Ross’s who is somehow managing to hang on in his little body. He looks almost as though someone winds him up in the morning and he stiffly goes on his rounds of inspection of all the children. I worked on his ears and did little python lifts on his legs which are quite stiff and arthritic and showed the children how they could gently work on him. Later I saw three of the children sitting very quietly with him doing tiny Raccoon circles all over his little body.

I also worked on their miniature pony foal up on a picnic table and asked if there were any volunteers among the children who would like to experience the various TTouches as I used them on the animals. We had a number of brave boys and girls who volunteered. Then we brought out two of the horses so that about ten children at a time could come up and practice the Clouded Leopard and Lick of the Cow's Tongue TTouches. Of course there were several breaks during the morning period because I kept sessions short, but we finished the morning by having the children in small groups with their teachers in a circle practicing the Tarantula's Pulling the Plow and the Lick of the Cow's Tongue on each other. At lunch time in the community dining room a nine-year-old boy came dashing up to me and without a word reached out with a big smile on his face and did a quick circle on my arm and dashed off.

In the afternoon I worked with Dr. Ross' favorite horse who was the terror of the therapeutic riding program. He is a very strong bodied and strong minded Haflinger who had the unpleasant habit of simply taking his head away from the volunteer and marching off in the direction that interested him. He was not exactly cooperative in the riding program. I demonstrated the Elegant Elephant and some of the other ground exercises with him and then later rode him in the balance rein. He was completely different. The next day several of the children came to me and told me how proud they were that they had been able to lead him with the wand and chain without him dragging them around and he seemed very cooperative and happy.

Several Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs reside at Green Chimneys. Due to lack of time they had not been handled and consistently squealed and screamed when approached to be moved from place to place. By working them with the wands from about a three foot distance I was able to quiet them and keep a contact. I am looking forward to hearing how their instructors manage to carry on with the pigs.

Another highlight of my visit was working with three young nine year old boys with a Scotch Highland yearling heifer, who is supposed to be show able but couldn't be led. She was described by the boys as being mean and wild. I first observed them working with her and then showed them how to quietly do the circles on her head and her horns and up and down her legs. When we went to lead her which I was told was impossible, I discovered that the calf halter they had on her was really uncomfortable. They had a chain under her chin and when she would pull it would hurt her and the halter would twist around and dig into her. I tied the halter under the chin with some twine and put the chain over the nose as we usually do with the horse and attached a second rope on the other side. Between the wands and the Homing Pigeon position we were able to lead her in and out several times without difficulty.

The boys were really pleased and empowered by their success and by the fact that the heifer was no longer afraid. I love the picture of the one little boy stroking her legs with the two wands. Normally she kicked and wouldn't allow them to touch her legs.

Martha Jordan, Sally Morgan and Carly Buckley came to observe and assist with the children. Martha got some really nice shots of the interaction. I had another small therapeutic riding group with four adolescent boys, one of whom does not like the pony he rides because she attempts to bite him on the foot every time he is in the saddle. I had the children work on her body and on her face and ears. For the first time she did not put her ears back and attempt to bite him when he rode her.

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.

1988 A Phone Call from Moscow

TTEAM News International August, 1988 Vol 8 No 3 Pp. 1-2

An Animal Ambassador® connection made the front page news in Meridian, Idaho. In the last newsletter I reported that I had sent 30 letters from the school children to whom Ann Finley had taught an Animal Ambassador week-long program. The letters went to Moscow with Nancy Grahame, Assistant Director of the Institute for Soviet/American Relations, to be given to three different groups with whom I have worked in Moscow.

The problem was, however, that no answers to the letters could be sent back to the US before the end of the school year the last week of May. The Idaho children were excited about a connection with the Russians but many of them thought it improbable that they would hear anything back. Whoever would think it possible to have a Russian connection with a small town in Idaho? Ann felt it was important that we got some acknowledgment for the kids before they finished the school year. She was attending the advanced training program in Oregon with us and there were only four days left before the kids finished school for the summer.

I put on my thinking cap and called Andre Orlov in Moscow. Andre is the Russian free-lance journalist who has spent many hours showing me around Moscow and has assisted me so many times by translating for my TTEAM clinics that he often receives calls for help with horse problems when I'm not there although he has no other connection with horses. He is responsible for introducing me to the Club Healthy Family back in 1985 and interpreted for me the first time I conducted an Animal Ambassador program in Gorky Park. Andre also created the TTEAM logo - the flying horse with a hand for a wing.

Well, I called Andre and asked him if he could meet with the Club Healthy Family, or one of his other school clubs, in time to give them the letters from the Idaho school children and have them draft a telex to the American kids assuring them that their letters and drawings had been received and that replies would be waiting for them in September when they returned to school.

Andre said he would go one better. That he would meet with a group of children - tell them about the Animal Ambassador program and give them the letters and then telephone the Idaho class the day before school ended. We only had to set up an agreed upon time for them to receive his phone call. Ann called the Idaho school and we agreed upon 10:30 A.M., which was 8:30 P.M. in Moscow. The Idaho teachers were warned that it could take some time to get through by telephone, particularly since it was the week before the Soviet/American summit meeting with Reagan and Gorbechav in Moscow.

Ann and I were waiting on pins and needles on Thursday morning. Sure enough the call came through, and everyone in the whole school heard a 30 minute conversation with a Russian talking to several of the teachers and kids. The local phone company had wired all the classrooms so the kids could hear the conversation over loudspeakers. The local TV station televised the kids waiting excitedly for 45 minutes since the phone lines between the US and the USSR were so blocked with summit business.

The call was a great success and was reported on the front page of the local paper next to the summit news. It was great for me too, because when Ann started teaching the program in Idaho she felt great about the results of teaching the kids the TTEAM work but couldn't see how the Soviet/American exchange could ever work. It was too much of a dream. I had no idea when this phase would materialize but I just kept trusting that when the time was right it would. The following is a letter which Nancy Grahame brought back with her and translated for us.

To Adam Nimmo 1327 W. Carlton Meridian, Id. 83642

My dear friend Adam,

My came is Anya. I live in Moscow. I was very happy when I received your letter. I don't know English yet, so my papa translated your letter for me. I am very interested to find out about your life. I think that it will be interesting for you to learn about me. I am eight years old. I study in school. I finished second grade and can now read and write, and I am going into the third grade. What grade are you in? Like you, I also love animals very much. We don't have any pets at home yet, but mama and papa promised to buy me a kitten or a puppy. But I would also like to have a parrot. I love to draw, and in the fall will start attending art school. We are part of the "Healthy Family" club. In the winter we swim in an ice hole in the river, but in the summer just in the river. We go to the public steam baths and to the swimming pool.

Write me about yourself. I'll be waiting for your letter.

All the best! Anya

This letter is for me another step in the realization of the Animal Ambassador vision to connect children, and adults, from various countries for a better understanding between us, with the animals as a focal point.

I've had many school teachers, and TTEAM people, wanting to know bow they can teach the Animal Ambassador program in their schools. We're working on a brochure and I intend to eventually make a video. Patience, patience! The Animal Ambassador vision has been unfolding for years and has had its own rhythm since I got the first piece of the puzzle in 1969. It's fascinating to see how the parts manifest.

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.

1987 The Value of TTouching Stuffed Animals

TTEAM News International December, 1987 Vol 7 No 5 P. 6.

The following article appeared in Bear Tracks - The Journal of the Good Bears of the World. The article is charmingly written and presents a side of Animal Ambassadors International® which recognized animals as our friends and teachers. However the reporter failed to state why the children brought their stuffed animals to class to learn the TTouch on them. Including stuffed animals as a part of teaching the TTouch in the schools recognizes the importance of stuffed-animal-friends for children who don't have animals at home. Just because stuffed animals don't need to be fed doesn't mean they don't have individual personalities.

The idea of having a stuffed animal to demonstrate the TTouch came to me several years ago in Los Angeles when I was asked, at a social gathering, how the TTouch worked. There was no cat or dog in residence, but a lovely soft stuffed polar bear was lying on the couch. I demonstrated a few minutes of circles on him and someone said delightedly, and maybe kiddingly, "look his eyes are softening." Since that day we have had many stuffed animal volunteers. How many of you have teddies and other stuffed animals in your house?

ANIMAL AMBASSADORS
by John Watson

In our last edition, Teddies to the Rescue by Alexandra Kurland was reviewed in the "Bears and Books" section. While it's a charming and beautiful book in and of itself, there is much more than meets the eye here! Author Alexandra Kurland has been using this book, along with her real life teddy Kenyon Bear, in a wonderful program that encourages understanding between people and animals around the world, the Animal Ambassadors International® Program.

Teddies to the Rescue tells the story of Kenyon Bear and his bear friends who live at the Shuttle Hill Herb Shop, (Alexandra notes that the bears and the herb shop are indeed, quite real.) The book, beautifully illustrated by Mark Kenyon, finds the teddies rescuing a fellow bear from a home where he is unloved. During the rescue mission real animals assist the bears in their efforts and friendships are formed.

We all know the importance of animals in our lives. Many of us find friends and teachers in our pets. From our childhood pets, we learn love, loyalty and responsibility. The Animal Ambassadors International Program is an international cultural exchange organization whose primary goal is to celebrate the importance of animals in our lives while encouraging intercultural understanding.

Here's how it works: school children bring their own stuffed toys to meet Kenyon Bear when he and Alexandra Kurland visit classrooms. Alexandra uses the book and the bears to guide the children through the story telling process. Kenyon takes the children to many lands where different animals are met through the children's own imaginations. The children ask each animal if they have any stories, words or songs for them. By the end of the session each child has his/her own special animal friend.

"I end by telling them that their animals would always be with them to tell them stories," says Alexandra. "All they had to do was listen." She adds that there is something the children can then do for their animal friends. "Many of the animals who come to us need our protection. They're having a tough time surviving, and one way we can help them is by learning more about them." She then asks each child to read a book about the animal who came to them.

Kenyon Bear acts as a story collector for the Animal Ambassadors International Program. There are story collectors in other parts of the world. The all collect animal stories. So, Alexandra asks the children to send in the stories that their animal friends have shared with them to Kenyon at the herb shop. Kenyon then sends each child an Animal Ambassadors International® Certificate.

The stories are then sent on to Animal Ambassadors International® headquarters in San Francisco where they are compiled into newsletter form and sent to children participating in similar programs as far away as Australia and the Soviet Union! Stories from the children overseas are sent back to San Francisco to be shared with the American students. Thus, not only are stories and information exchanged, but an international goodwill link is made between children of many countries.

Alexandra adds that the program is not limited to school groups. "Anyone who loves animals can join in the sharing," she says. In fact, wouldn't our own Good Bear Dens be just the perfect type of folks to join in? "Bear Dens could spend a wonderful evening telling animal stories which could then be compiled and sent on the Animal Ambassadors International®," says Alexandra. We couldn't agree more, Alexandra and we'd love to hear from any of our dens or bears-at-large who decide to participate. We would love to have our Good Bear Dens associated with such a worthwhile project.

Reprinted with permission.

 

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