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About Us > Our Teachers > Meet Linda > Accolades

Linda Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree

Linda Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree

On June 21, 2008 Linda Tellington-Jones received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the Wisdom University and was granted the position of Director of the Institute for Interspecies Connection.

This unique university, licensed by the State of California, is accredited by the World Association of Universities and Colleges and the Accreditation Commission International (ACI). The university, a global learning community, is committed to the pursuit of wisdom as a way of life.

Linda Tellington-Jones, the founder of Tellington TTouch Training, has influenced hundreds of thousands of people and animals around the world with her extraordinary teachings. TTouch is a gentle hands-on technique that accelerates learning and enhances behavior, performance, and the well-being of all species, as well as deepening the bond between humans and animals. The work honors the body, mind and spirit of animals and their people.

Jim Garrison, the university's president and chairman, says of this honor bestowed upon Linda: "Wisdom University is giving Linda an honorary PhD for her decades of work with the Tellington TTouch, which has contributed enormously to what we know about both animal and human healing and behavior, and for the work she has done to expand the boundaries of inter-species communication. She is joining the university as Chair of Interspecies Connection and the Director of the Institute for Interspecies Connection."

Dr. Garrison is also founder and president of the Gorbachev Foundation/USA, which set the stage for the establishment in 1995 of the State of the World Forum, a San Francisco based non-profit institution created to establish a global network of leaders dedicated to creating a more sustainable global civilization.

Linda says of her affiliation with Dr. Garrison, "I worked closely with Jim Garrison when he was director for the Esalen Institute's Soviet American Exchange program. In the 1980s and 1990s I went to Russia as a citizen ambassador 10 times, and taught TTouch to the Russian Olympic dressage and jumping teams. I also taught a 10-day course for Russian veterinarians at the Bitsa Olympic Center, as well as working with the Moscow Zoo and the Russian Academy of Science."

When asked if this doctorate degree and director position would change anything for her, Linda smiled and said, "This has given me an umbrella under which to gather and acknowledge the gifts we receive from animals and other forms of Nature. We are now able to prove scientifically why TTouch works on so many levels what we have known intuitively for years. As director for the Institute for Interspecies Connection, it is my intention to support scientific studies and to raise awareness of the many forms of interspecies connection around the world."

Linda Tellington-Jones has been honored with numerous awards throughout the years, including the Western States Hall of Fame, American Riding Instructors Association Lifetime Achievement Award, Horsewoman of the Year Award, the American Riding Instructors Association Master Instructor Award, the Ronald Reagan Good Citizen Award and most recently, the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame. She is also a graduate of the Feldenkrais Professional Training at the Humanistic Psychology Institute, California.

Her latest book is in the field of human health: TTouch for Healthcare. In addition to writing 22 books about her work published in 15 languages, she has developed TTouch curriculum for the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing. Linda has spent decades teaching people how to be effective with TTouch; today there are more than 1,600 certified practitioners teaching TTouch in 36 countries.

About Us > Our Teachers > Meet Our Instructors

Robyn Hood

Robyn Hood

Senior Instructor of the Tellington TTouch® Method, Editor of Staying in TTouch Newsletter and Linda's youngest sister, Robyn has been riding horses since before she could walk. She went through Pony Club and showed as a junior competitor in Alberta. She later attended and then instructed at the Pacific Coast School of Horsemanship in California owned by her sister Linda Tellington-Jones. Robyn competed successfully in hunter, jumper, three-day eventing, endurance, western events and more recently in gaited horses.

In 1982 Robyn became involved full-time with the Tellington Method that was developed by her sister Linda. She has been the editor of the monthly Newsletter for more than 30 years. Since 1986 she has been teaching Tellington TTouch Method on a full-time basis in Canada, the US, Europe, South Africa and Australia and spends about 160 days a year traveling. Robyn has given demonstrations and lectures at various venues including Spruce Meadows; Equitana USA and Germany; Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan; International Humane Society Conference in Vienna and Murdoch University in Perth.

Besides teaching the Tellington Method on the road and at her farm in Vernon, BC, she and her husband have been importing and breeding Icelandic horses since 1976. In addition to their Icelandic herd which numbers around 80, they also share their farm with two cats, three dogs and a very talented parrot named Frances.  Robyn Hood

 

About Us > Research & Studies

Horse 2001 Trailer Loading Study

Loading stress in the horse:
Behavioural and physiological measurement of the effectiveness of non-aversive training (TTEAM) for horses with trailer loading resistance.


This study was conducted by Stephanie Shanahan when she was a student at the University of Ontario Veterinary School at Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The research was funded by a grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for Research targeting the Improvement of Animal Welfare. Stephanie won the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's 'Award for Student Excellence in Applied Animal Behavior Research'. Permission to post from Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.

Abstract

Resistance to trailer loading in the horse is a common source of stress and injury to horses and their handlers. The objective of this study was to determine whether non-aversive training based on Tellington-TTouch Equine Awareness Method (TTEAM) would decrease loading time and reduce stress during loading for horses with a history of reluctance to load.

Ten horses described by their owners as "problem loaders" were subjected to pre-training and post-training assessments of loading. Each assessment involved two seven-minute loading sessions during which heart rate and saliva cortisol were measured. The training consisted of six 30-minute sessions over a two-week period during which the horse and owner participated in basic leading exercises with obstacles simulating aspects of trailering. Heart rate and saliva cortisol were shown to increase significantly during loading as compared to baseline (P<0.001 and P<0.05, respectively). Reassessment after training showed a decrease in loading time (P=0.01) and reduced heart rate during loading (P=0.001). Seven good loaders were also subject to loading assessment for physiological comparison. Increases in heart rate during loading were significantly higher in the good loaders (P<0.001). Non-aversive training simulating aspects of loading may effectively reduce loading time and stress during loading for horses with a history of resistance to loading.

As most of you know, in the summer of 1999, I conducted research retraining horses with trailer loading problems using TTEAM. So I'd like to give a general outline of what I did and what I was trying to do. In a later issue, I will present some of the interesting case studies that came out of the research.

Horses who are reluctant to load into a trailer are not difficult to find. In fact, it is one of the most common behaviour problems horse people are familiar with regardless of the breed of horse or discipline they are involved in. Unfortunately, trailer-loading accidents are also a common cause of injury to horses and their handlers.

My intention in this project was to scientifically ascertain the effectiveness of a TTEAM training program at improving willingness to load. I also wanted to know if the stress of loading would be measurable physiologically and furthermore, if TTEAM training could measurably decrease loading stress.

We started with 12 horses who, according to their owners, were difficult to load. The horses included a Shire/Thoroughbred yearling, two and four year old Quarter Horses, Arabian crosses, Canadian broodmares and a few thoroughbreds. The oldest horse in the study was 20 years old.

In the initial assessment, the horse had two seven-minute opportunities to load, one with the owner and one with an independent handler who did not know the horse or the purpose of the study. We measured heart rate and took saliva samples to measure cortisol before, during and after the loading. We performed this assessment with all the problem horses as well as with 8 horses who were considered to be good loaders.

In almost every case loading time was not significantly different when the owner or the person unfamiliar with the horse was loading.

One of the "problem loaders" loaded readily and one of the good loaders did not load so we didn't use them in the study but we did work with both of them anyway.

After the assessment some horses started the training while others waited and had a second assessment before the training. This was done in order to keep the independent handler blind to the training status of the horse.

The training program was based on a wonderful article by Marion Shearer, "Prepare your horse to load", which was recently reprinted in the May-June 2000 TTEAM Connections. The sessions were every other day for two weeks. It is definitely beneficial for horses (and people) to have a break between sessions in order for the brain to integrate the new information. Every other day is better than every day. Some horses may benefit from more than two weeks of training while others might only need to be asked differently at the time of loading.

Here are some of the most important components of the program we used (for more information, I strongly recommend reading Marion's article):

Lower the Horse's Head

Many of the problem loaders had naturally high head carriage. When they were concerned their head would go even higher making it difficult to negotiate getting into a trailer. This is a normal reaction for horses, a part of the flight response. They are raising their head to shift their weight back which lightens their front end so they can turn around quickly and get away from what is scaring them. The problem arises when the handler has no way of asking the horse to lower its head. It appears that lowering the head actually changes the horse's reaction to a situation. When the head is lowered, a horse is able to move forward to approach and investigate what it is concerned about. This gives the horse the opportunity to realize that the situation is okay. With his nose in the air, a horse is neither going forward nor giving the situation a chance, he is asking to leave.

As part of our training we used as many different ways as we could think of to teach the horses to lower their head when asked. Some of the ways are listed here:

Leading position:

  • Putting the chain up the side of the halter

While standing:

  • A gentle signal and release downward on the chain, or "milking" of the chain
  • Stroking of the horse's chest and forearms with the wand

While walking:

  • Allowing the horse to walk into the wand which is held in front of the horse midway between the knee and shoulder

Body work:

  • Raising the back with the tips of the fingers pressing on the midline of the abdomen
  • Tail work
  • Mouth work and ear work

These may not lower the head directly but can be very useful to get the horse to pay attention and think about what you are asking when you are stuck

Since we only had a short period of time to work with and the owners were not familiar with TTEAM, we did not teach ALL the possible tools that COULD be useful when working with horses to improve their willingness to load. We focused on a few basic principles and were very happy with the results we got.

The training sessions involved the introduction of these TTEAM techniques at the pace that seemed appropriate for that particular horse and owner:

Leading positions

Cheetah: This was used as the BASIC leading position. The important principles were to habituate the owner to being further away and further ahead of their horse while leading. We emphasized that the horse would better be able to listen if they could see the person leading them. It was also an opportunity for the handler to learn to use the wand to more clearly communicate what they wanted the horse to do.

Dingo: This is considered a very important part of trailer loading problem solving. The horse must learn to go forward from a signal. It seems that horses understand the signal on the croup combined with the signal on the chain very well, but it is important for the handler to learn to coordinate this movement in a consistent manner.

Dance: It is believed that many horses are more concerned about backing OUT of the trailer than getting into the trailer. Imagine backing out of something and not being able to see or feel the ground behind you! Teaching a horse to back one step at a time and to negotiate backing over obstacles, inclines and off bridges makes the horse more willing to load onto the trailer as well as backing out more calmly and safely.

The obstacles we used were whatever combination of poles, planks, tarps and barrels was available. We tried to simulate the different aspects of what CAN be difficult for a horse when trailer loading:

1. Stepping over or onto something i.e. poles raised or piled, bridge, cavalettis

2. Stepping onto an unfamiliar surface that makes noise i.e. plastic tarp, plywood sheet, bridge

3. Walking into a narrow space i.e. poles raised on barrels, tarps hanging over the poles, plywood

4. Walking under a low roof i.e. an arch of wands, a Styrofoam pole, a rolled tarp

The horse would walk up to the obstacle and be asked to halt. If the horse's neck was above the horizontal, the handler would ask the horse to lower its head and then proceed with the obstacle. It is not necessary to stop EVERY time before negotiating an obstacle. It is useful, however, in order to make every step clear and intentional to practice stopping and moving forward in a controlled manner with the head lowered.

Some of the horses appeared not to know that their limbs were connected to their body. So we used the body wrap to help them get a sense of how they might coordinate legs and body as a unit. For the horses who could not step over a pole without tripping, the body wrap seemed to make a world of difference!

Body work

We also included one session of bodywork for each horse. We were focusing on touches that would help ground, calm and connect the horse. We started with an exploration of the horse's body, which the owners found FASCINATING. The reactions of the horse fit with the pattern of difficulties that they had with them on the ground and under saddle. All of a sudden they seemed to understand that the horse was not stubborn or difficult but tight or sore or habituated to a particular way of carrying itself.

The touches we used:

Grounding:

  • Python lifts
  • Leg exercises

Calming:

  • Ear work
  • Mouth work

Connecting:

  • Raising the back
  • Tail work
  • Lick of the cow's tongue
  • Noah's march
  • Zigzags

Results

Seven of the ten horses who completed the study loaded in the allotted seven minutes on the final assessment, a very significant improvement from the initial assessment. Three of these seven loaded instantly, in less than 30 seconds, and did so repeatedly during the 14-minute loading assessment.

Of the three horses who did not load:

  • one had fallen when the lead shank broke during the initial assessment
  • another owner had chosen not to participate in the training sessions
  • the third owner had been absent for the initial loading assessment and was so nervous at the final assessment that she was crying.

By analyzing the data we had collected, we were able to show that the heart rate and saliva cortisol increased significantly when a horse was asked to load. While after TTEAM training the willingness to load was significantly improved AND heart rate was significantly lower when they were asked to load. The saliva cortisol measurement was not sensitive enough with the small number of horses we had to show a difference after training.

Good loaders

One of the most interesting things we found was that the good loaders had a higher increase in heart rate when they were loaded onto a trailer than the problem loaders. We don't have a specific explanation for this. My guess is that even though these horses are obedient enough to load when asked, loading onto a trailer is still stressful, definitely more stressful than standing in the crossties! Conversely, the horse might associate the trailer with going somewhere exciting, like a competition or trail ride, and their excitement is reflected by the increase in heart rate.

We also noticed that the horses who moved around and whinnied the most while they were in the trailer had LOWER heart rates than the horses who just walked on and stood there. That was a real eye opener! How often we forget that freezing is a panic response!

  • "He was just standing there, quiet as could be, and all of a sudden, he just exploded!".
  • "He's not scared, he's just stubborn. He just stands there and doesn't move."

Just because an animal isn't showing overt signs of being stressed, it doesn't mean he is relaxed.

Discussion and further questions

When I told my childhood coach about my research project, her response was: "I think you should measure the stress of the handler instead of the horse". And I think there's some truth to that. I think a key component of the training program was the owner involvement. Learning to communicate more clearly what we want from our horses allows them to feel safer doing things that seem inherently unsafe, like getting into a trailer.

Will horses who have had a bad experience with a trailer benefit from this training?

In this training, we did not use a trailer at any time other than the assessments. There were specific orders that the horses should not spend any time near a trailer during the study. We did this in order to show that the fear of the trailer itself is often not the problem. When a horse is more confident about its coordination and balance and receiving clear communication from its handler, the trailer is suddenly no longer a problem. In some cases however, being in the trailer is much worse for the horse than loading onto the trailer. Some horses will load readily and as soon as they are in the trailer, their heart rate triples and they are sweating profusely. The response to specific exercises will vary from horse to horse because in each case, we don't know EXACTLY what the horse is concerned about. And there will be some situations in which this training will not be the answer.

What would happen if the good loaders went through the training program, would their heart rates be reduced?

Well, we don't know. It's possible. It is possible that doing TTEAM groundwork with these horses because of its many benefits unrelated to trailering may improve the horse's comfort with trailer loading by improving its balance and coordination.

What about using the Clicker? Why didn't you use a Clicker?

I didn't use a Clicker in this project because I wasn't very familiar with them at the time. Also, the more variables you introduce in research, the less meaningful it becomes. I have since spoken with MANY people (behaviourists, trainers, TTEAM Instructors) who would include Clicker and Target Training in a trailer loading program. I think it's a great idea. Definitely horses learn very quickly and enjoy learning with positive reinforcement!

Why didn't the saliva cortisol show a decrease after training?

We're still just in the beginning stages of applying the use of saliva cortisol to measure stress in horses. The number of horses and the interval of testing we used was not sensitive enough to be able to say whether or not there was a decrease. Though the increase during loading was significant, a lesser increase after training could not be demonstrated.

How significant was the bodywork in the training program?

Well there's no way of knowing this either since we did not have a group who received ground work without bodywork. But the owners definitely seemed to find it very important. If nothing else, it allowed them to look at their horse in a different way which is an essential part of learning to work with them differently.

Happy trailering, Steph Shanahan

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®.

Horse 1999 EPM. Neurological Study

Tellington TTouch as a Complement in the Rehabilitation of Horses with EPM and Neurological Deficits

The manual has been given to several veterinarians for the use of their clients and has been found very effective. Additional study and documentation required.

A study of the rehabilitation of horses with neurological deficits, using TTEAM, started through the efforts of Dr. Mark Meddleton and his wife, Becky. Becky's horse, Jewel, was severely affected by Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) and Dr. Mark was trying all the forms of experimental medication. During the times that the medication seemed to be working, Becky decided to try TTEAM to rehabilitate Jewel. Becky applied her basic knowledge of TTEAM and was impressed by what she was observing with Jewel.

Becky and Mark came to a TTEAM workshop at Galisteo Creek Farms in April, 1999 to learn more and to talk with Linda to see if TTEAM would cooperate in a study of rehabilitating horses with EPM. Becky explained to the group that initially she had thought that only the ground exercises would help, but after talking with TTEAM Instructor Carol A. Lang, she tried the TTouch and realized it too was a key element.

To initiate the study, Linda and Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky at a client's farm. A neurological exam was performed by Dr. Mark on three horses. TTEAM techniques were shown the horse's owner and Dr. Mark set up a basic schedule of rehabilitation with instructions the owner was to follow. In a few weeks, Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky at this client's farm. Dr. Mark reexamined the horses and both he and the owner agreed that improvement had been made. Carol taught the owner more TTEAM techniques and Dr. Mark scheduled another evaluation of the horses.

In June of 1999, Dr. Mark, Becky and Carol worked with Jewel and Mark's horse, Dugan, who also had been diagnosed with EPM. Dr. Mark did a neurological exam of each horse. Then, as they did TTEAM and TTouch with both horses, Dr. Mark, Becky and Carol discussed which techniques were working, the timing of the sessions, the sequence of TTouch and the work in the TTEAM Confidence Course. They also made a first draft of a checklist for the owners to keep track of their horses rehabilitation program.

Carol accompanied Dr. Mark and Becky on visits to at least three clients who had horses with neurological difficulties. Each owner was shown TTEAM techniques and Becky recommended the rehabilitative process. Dr. Mark's scheduled follow-up neurological checks in order to track progress. Becky reported that the percentage of improvement of the trial horses was very high and that the owners were very satisfied with the results.

To continue the development of a protocol that Dr. Mark planned to present to the AVMA, Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky and TTEAM Practitioner, Kirsten Henry several times over the next year. They filmed a video demonstrating how to do TTEAM techniques specifically for rehabilitation of horses with neurological deficits and developed a modified Confidence Course.

They did many trials with TTEAM techniques, in particular the use of wand and lead, the TTEAM body wrap and TTouches.

Carol prepared a booklet of TTEAM techniques to be distributed to participants of the study. Dr. Meddleton reviewed this booklet and made suggestions from his perspective as a veterinarian.

Hoping to receive a grant, Dr. Mark presented this protocol to a veterinary conference in the fall of 2000. The evaluation and advice offered about their study gave Dr. Mark and Becky new insights and direction. However, Dr. Mark's veterinarian practice was expanding so much that their time for continuing this study was curtailed.

In March, 2002 Dr. Mark reported to Carol that he could not proceed with the study of a protocol for EPM/neurologically impaired horses. He offered to share his and Becky's work with any veterinarian that Linda might find who would be interested in continuing.

We know that TTEAM has been very effective in helping horses rehabilitate from neurological deficits. We offer this booklet as a guide to TTEAM Practitioners and others who will use TTEAM and TTouch to facilitate their horses' rehabilitation.

Carol A, Lang, TTEAM Instructor
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Purchase the Booklet in our Shop.

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®.

Human 2007 TTouch Classes for Traumatic Brain Injuries

TTouch taught to a small group of people who had experienced various kinds of Traumatic Brain Injuries

by Robin Bernhard and Sandy Rakowitz

From June to August, 2007 Robin Bernhard and Sandy Rakowitz offered a series of six classes to teach TTouch to a small group of people who had experienced various kinds of Traumatic Brain Injuries. The class met at One Heart Healing Center in Charlottesville, VA.

After the series of six classes were complete, the participant's enthusiasm for the group was so strong that the group decided to continue to meet once a month.

Download the entire article in PDF format.

Attendees Log-In > Files for Training

Events

Tellington TTouch-for-You®

Enter this online program anytime, listen to empowering previous class recordings, become part of the private Facebook group with our global community, and join us for upcoming live, interactive classes in the TTouch-for-You® six-month online program called "Co-Creating Heaven-on-Earth - Awaken Your Perfection" where we will be merging Quantum Science, Spirituality & TTouch-for-You®. Live classes are March 3, April 14, May 5, June 2, July 7 and August 11, 2019 with Linda teaching. And you can access the recordings anytime 24/7, year round. 

Tellington TTouch-for-You®

Enter this online program anytime, listen to empowering previous class recordings, become part of the private Facebook group with our global community, and join us for upcoming live, interactive classes in the TTouch-for-You® six-month online program called "Co-Creating Heaven-on-Earth - Awaken Your Perfection" where we will be merging Quantum Science, Spirituality & TTouch-for-You®. Live classes are March 3, April 14, May 5, June 2, July 7 and August 11, 2019 with Linda teaching. And you can access the recordings anytime 24/7, year round. 

Tellington TTouch-for-You®

Enter this online program anytime, listen to empowering previous class recordings, become part of the private Facebook group with our global community, and join us for upcoming live, interactive classes in the TTouch-for-You® six-month online program called "Co-Creating Heaven-on-Earth - Awaken Your Perfection" where we will be merging Quantum Science, Spirituality & TTouch-for-You®. Live classes are March 3, April 14, May 5, June 2, July 7 and August 11, 2019 with Linda teaching. And you can access the recordings anytime 24/7, year round. 

Tellington TTouch-for-You®

Enter this online program anytime, listen to empowering previous class recordings, become part of the private Facebook group with our global community, and join us for upcoming live, interactive classes in the TTouch-for-You® six-month online program called "Co-Creating Heaven-on-Earth - Awaken Your Perfection" where we will be merging Quantum Science, Spirituality & TTouch-for-You®. Live classes are March 3, April 14, May 5, June 2, July 7 and August 11, 2019 with Linda teaching. And you can access the recordings anytime 24/7, year round. 

Our Method for > Horses > Success Stories

Confidence gained

"Just wanted to drop you a note on how TTouch has benefited my horse Harry since I took the Tellington training at Bitterroot Ranch in June. Harry seems more cooperative as far as his work.

"He is more confident on trail rides. He does not dance around on the cross ties. He stands patiently. I have increased the length of each cross tie to allow Harry to move freely, lower his head, and decrease the tension in his neck and back. He seems to really enjoy the mouth work, and hands on experience. Given our busy lives, most of the time I would rush from work to the stable and spend the little time I had before riding cleaning him. Being gray (he certainly requires more cleaning maintenance than dark colored horses).

"I now take  that extra time to work with TTouch, so he now anticipates a more pleasurable experience than just the usual cleaning ritual.

"My riding instructor has also seen a difference in him as well. I gave her my TTouch video to view. She has reviewed in several times and is now using the Tellington method on her horse as well. I just wanted to tell everyone how TTouch has made a difference in mine and Harry's life. Thank You, Linda Tellington Jones!"

   – Regards, Lois Rosenberg

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."

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Worldwide > Animal Ambassadors International

1985 Animal Ambassadors International in Gorky Park

TTEAM News International May, 1985 Vol 5 No 2 P. 13

I had so many highlights in this trip, I can’t say which is the highest, but the thrill of the self initiation of 150 children and adults into the Animal Ambassadors International® concept is impressed most deeply in my mind. On Sunday, April 14th, 1 gave a three hour presentation of my interspecies work to members, of all ages, of the Gorky Park Family Club. They had been well prepared for my visit by freelance journalist Andre Orlov. The month before my visit, Andre had presented the dolphin legend to the group and had them accompany the flute of Paul Winter and the howling wolves which Andre had from a personal interview with Paul in Moscow. The universe works in amazing ways. The same week that I had written my vision of the second phase of Animal Ambassadors International - that we humans should be ambassadors for the animal kingdom and speak for them - Andre had presented the same idea in a different way to this group. He told them that American Indians in the past had chosen various animals as protection for themselves. These were their totems. Andre suggested that now we become the totems for the animals. In junior high school Andre was an Indian as part of their school function. He had an American Indian name and his class had a private, locked room which was filled with Indian artifacts and officially recognized by the teachers. Only members of the Indian council could enter the room and the responsibility was passed along very seriously.

That custom still exists in his school today in the central part of the USSR and I intend to take some Indian artifacts back with me to send to the school. If any of you have any Indian books or other material you'd like to send with me to Moscow in July, it would make a wonderful connection.

In my presentation I led the group in doing the TTouch on each other. Since this was not a horse group, each person being worked on decided what kind of an animal he or she would be. I also shared the idea of Animal Ambassadors International and we all closed our eyes and did a dolphin breathing meditation together during which each person chose an animal that they would like to protect. We shared animals and one six-year old asked if I thought a type of minute snail was important enough and if so, how could he do the TTouch on it. I said small beings are as important as the large ones. You can touch these snails with your "mind."

I wore my Indian ceremonial dress and of course shared with them that I am adopted Cherokee Indian, having felt the spirit of an Indian in me all my life. Andre translated the messages from Orca whales which I received last year. Because he has written so much about my work in the Soviet media, he knows the whale messages almost as well as I do. There was an easy feeling of flow as though the translation was almost a non-verbal communication with the group.

I finished my presentation by reading an Indian 'give-away' poem. During the reading everyone closed their eyes and I had them visualize that they were American Indians sitting on the central plains 100 years ago - feeling the whisper of the wind stirring the grass and their hair - feeling the rhythmical breathing of Mother Earth under their haunches as they say upon her - feeling the stirrings of memory in their beings of that American Indian connection to the forefathers who came across the Bering Strait from Siberia many generations ago. Our connections were very powerful and Andre is translating the poem to Russian.

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 Animal Ambassadors International Introduced to Elementary School Children

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

I want to share some of my experiences of the last few weeks: introducing TTEAM to elementary school children. So far I've given four presentations - ranging in length from one hour to a week - to students in Grades 1 through 6. Forty-four children have earned Animal Ambassador Certificates. An additional estimated 200 have had hands-on experience doing Raccoon or Clouded Leopard circles on a horse.

Animal Ambassadors International® and TTEAM® were presented to the teachers as ends in themselves and as vehicles for learning empowerment. I wanted to demonstrate that TTEAM can be more than just an interesting sidelight to a school program. It can be a valuable adjunct to the program itself.

To that end the two week-long units that we did were by far the most productive. They gave us time to set specific goals and objectives that addressed both cognitive and effective modes. For example, last week I worked with Celeste Klmerico, who has charge of her school's Gifted-and-Talented and Remedial program. One of the really exciting things Celeste wanted to do was bring these two groups of kids together in a week-long Animal Ambassador unit. One purpose for doing this was to raise the prestige and confidence of the remedial group, to make it easier for them to leave their classrooms each day for "Special Ed." Meanwhile the kids at the other end of the spectrum would be gaining practice in sharing their skills and being supportive while everyone broadened their knowledge of animals and natural history through TTEAM and an imaginative search for a special animal to befriend, protect and learn more about.

Although with each program I realize how much I have to learn. I'm excited about the programs we are doing right now as well as possibilities and plans for the future. Out of the two week-long units a workable, flexible framework has evolved that include the following components.

  • Introduction to TTEAM, Animal Ambassadors International and the stuffed toy animals on which they will learn and practice the Tellington TTouch.
  • Live animal demonstration with Tehya, a horse, and Bud, a dog – both gentle, beautiful animals who are Ambassadors to the children from the whole vast Animal Kingdom.
  • An imaginary, guided tour with Linda aboard a winged horse throughout the animal habitats of the world, looking for a special animal to befriend and protect.

This journey begins at Monkey Mia, in Australia, swimming with dolphins. The children loved making the sound of dolphin-breathing. They journey to the California coast, where sea otters spend almost their entire lives in the surf, rocking to the music of the waves.

On the beach they meet the winged horse, first as a toy animal with wings shaped like hands; with their TTouch it becomes the magical, gentle horse who carries them to Africa, to Australia and eventually back to North America.

The drawings from my coloring book are used to give framework and focus to the imagery. Last week I ended the journey with a recording of wolf howls.

Then everyone rises from their chairs and joins hands in a Friendship Circle while they choose an animal to befriend and protect.
 

  • Back to the left-brain mode. Over-night I have drawn a picture of each child's animal. This is not as difficult as it may sound because many children choose the same animal. Last week we had four eagles. The children use library books to research their animal's color, plus several interesting facts about the animal, which they will write down. They'll also color the animal.
  • Children who complete the research may wish to write a poem about or for their animal.
  • Validation: Children read their presentations before their classmates and are awarded their Certificates.

It is necessary to remember that this program must be flexible in order to meet the needs of the children with a wide range of abilities. For example, last week we had a gifted first grader, at least one hyperactive older child who usually can best be reached only on a one-to-one basis and a gifted eighth grader who chose to design her own project based on the TTEAM newsletter.

In evaluating the children's responses it is important to point out that most of the children we've worked with so far have been in remedial programs. The hyperactive children are tremendously exciting and challenging. They'll wear you out, but when a hyperactive child sits still for an hour - working on his project - you know your program has got to have some strength.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about ways in which a TTEAM-Animal Ambassador program, with additional components of art and guided imagery, can be used in a whole-brain learning approach. A lot of credit must be given to teachers and teachers' aids, who know how to make the most of a program like this. I have learned so such from the teachers!

Every program we've done so far has served as a springboard for further activity, some initiated by the children themselves. Anne Gahley's remedial classes began asking for more animal books to read, an indication that we provided incentive to nonreaders. One child elected to redo her project. Ms. McCathryn's 'Introduction to TTEAM' was the start of a month-long Animal Unit for Second Graders. Dorabeth Adams plans to use our poetry writing venture as a start to help the children develop vocabulary and imagination in creative writing. Some of Celeste Almerico's students may bring their pets to school to give a TTEAM demonstration for the other children. Her 8th grade is working on a special project to send to Linda.

I believe the program is powered, to a great extent, by the live animal demonstration. The children appear to be positively affected by the presence of the horse. Perhaps they are awed by the horse's size. They press close to the rails of the portable corral, watching the TTouch being done on the horse. They are quick to notice the horse's every reaction. When their turn comes to enter the corral, one at a time, their eyes are shining with pride and anticipation. I am amazed and delighted at how much they have learned working with the stuffed toy animals, and at how well they remember the names of the different TTouches.

When they got to the dog there is sudden laughter. They have invented a new name: Lick of the Dog's Tongue.

I would like to conclude with a poem written by an eight year old girl on behalf of' her animal, the elephant.

Freedom
Is a gray elephant
Eating in the jungle.

Happiness
is a burnt umber elephant
With her calf in the rain forest.

Sadness
Is a brown elephant
Asleep In the zoo.

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.