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Toni Shelbourne

Toni Shelbourne

Toni has worked with domesticated and wild canids since 1989. After a long and successful career with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, she started her own business as a Tellington TTouch Companion Animal Practitioner in 2000 after being one of the first people to qualify in the UK.


In 2001 her skills in TTouch took Toni to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust where she met a pack of socialised wolves. She went on to work with them for over a decade as a Senior Wolf Handler and Education Officer for the organisation.  Through observing the wolves, she has a unique insight into their behaviour.  This led to her questioning the ingrained ideas about the alpha theory with dogs, ideas that were often in conflict with her own knowledge and observations.


In recent years she has updated her skills and qualifications obtained through her career with Guide Dogs to include being a Real Dog Yoga Instructor and Animal Behaviourist, as well as being a Tellington TTouch Companion Animal Instructor. She loves to look at the emotional side of dogs and specialises in fear-based issues and stress management.


She is the author and co-author of seven books (The Truth about Wolves and Dogs; Dispelling the Myths of Dog Training (Hubble and Hattie), Among the Wolves: Memoirs of a Wolf Handler (Hubble and Hattie), HELP! MY Dog has a Canine Compulsive Disorder (Skinny Dog Books) and HELP! My Dog is Scared of the Vet (Skinny Dog Books), HELP! My Dog is Scared of Fireworks, HELP! My Dog doesn’t Travel Well in the Car and HELP! MY Dog is Destroying the Garden. Many more are planned.  


She has also had articles published in Your Dog, Dogs Today and Edition Dog magazines, as well as numerous blogs, and rescue newsletters.


Toni lives in South Oxfordshire, England. She works with clients locally and teaches nationwide and internationally. Toni is also the referring behaviourist for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary where her skills in TTouch are invaluable for helping the traumatised animals that find themselves in the sanctuary’s care. As well as teaching TTouch both in-person and online, she gives webinars and talks, is a Senior Instructor for the Dog Training College and tutors for The International School of Psychology & Behaviour.


Toni works under her maiden name of Shelbourne, but you may also know her as Toni Sherman, which is her married name.


Web address:

Website: (HELP! My Dog…book series)

Facebook: Toni Shelbourne Animal Behaviourist and Author




About Us > Research & Studies

Human 2017 Impact of TTouch® Pain Severity of Patients with Angina Pectoris

Impact of TTouch® Pain Severity of Patients with Angina Pectoris
Sadegh Mahdavi Pour and Ali Akbar Vaezi

Introduction: Heart pain may cause change of vital signs, increasing of the heart oxygen need and increasing of mortality of patients with heart diseases. There are many on-medicinal methods for pain control, such as massage, and massage if continues by stimulating thick fibers and local provocation of endorphins prohibits pain transfer, so this study was conducted with the aim of determining the impact of frontal chest massage by the nurse on pain severity of men hospitalized patients. 

Published in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research

Read More

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.


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:


  • Python lifts
  • Leg exercises


  • Ear work
  • Mouth work


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


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 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.


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:

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 > TTouch-for-You > hy TTouch-for-You

TTouch & Heart Resonance & The Role of Intention

By Robin Bernhard LCSW, MED

The universality of Linda’s methodology is unique to TTouch. Linda didn’t have to develop different techniques to teach horses, whales, snakes, parrots, cats, dogs or humans. TTouch works for all species. Through touches that are universally understood, Linda and her students of TTouch, invite their animals to participate in harmonious mutual communication; cell to cell and heart to heart. In her book, Tellington TTouch, Linda states: “Instead of seeing the TTouch as something that I do to animals, which would create separation between us, I view the circles as a way to come into cellular harmony with them, a way of allowing my cells to speak to theirs. At a cellular level, no living thing is alien to any other, and so the sense of connections remains the same whether I’m working with a gerbil or a lynx, a kitten or an elephant.” Both the practitioner and the animal benefit from the mutual communication.

Linda believes that the TTouch practitioner’s intention for healing is communicated from the person to the animal (or person to person) on many levels. These intuitive ideas are now being scientifically documented by The Institute of HeartMath with new research about mind-body communication and the heart. Research at The Institute of HeartMath has shown that we can regulate heart rhythm coherence by holding positive feelings and intentions. Increased heart rhythm coherence produces more alpha brainwaves, enhanced awareness and improved cognitive performance. Alpha frequencies induce a state of tranquility, not unlike the tranquility experienced during TTouch, and interestingly, alpha brainwaves are associated with peak performance. The results of the research at the institute of HeartMath supports the hypothesis “that the changes in brain activity that occur during states of increased psychophysiological coherence lead to changes in the brain’s information processing capabilities. Results suggest that by using heart-based interventions to self-generate coherent states, individuals can significantly enhance cognitive performance.” It would be very interesting to see if TTouch enhances heart rhythm coherence. I suspect that it does.

The heart produces an energy field that can be measured for five feet in all directions. It is quite possible that all species are able to perceive influences from another being’s heart from a short distance. When humans communicate and touch is involved, the brain registers the heartbeat of the other in the EEG, physiological evidence that we are influenced by another’s heart rhythm chaos or coherence. Research has shown that horses are sensitive to the heart energy fields produced by humans and that humans are sensitive to the fields produced by the horse’s heart. The practitioner of TTouch knows well the experience of peace that comes while engaged in the practice of TTouch. Scientific knowledge about the energetic communication from the heart suggests that TTouch practitioners are energetically engaging their animal partners at the deep level of the heart. When the TTouch practitioner consciously holds the intention of healing and a compassionate attitude to generate heart rate coherence within the self, the person or animal being touched benefits from the calming influence of the energy field created by the practitioner’s heart. The research at the Institute of Heart Math suggests that the heart to heart engagement is reciprocal and thus, we have the beginnings of scientific documentation for the experience of healing intention, compassion, respect and positive regard that is part of TTouch practice.

There are more neurons running from the heart to the brain than from the brain to the heart. Some research suggests that the heart directs brain regulation and not the other way around. Linda has stressed the importance of holding a compassionate attitude coupled with the desire to support healing as the correct mind-set for the TTouch practitioner to allow the heart to influence the work. The research on the power of the heart from The Institute of HeartMath documents the scientific basis for what Linda understood intuitively about the heart’s influence on TTouch outcome and the mutual benefit for the practitioner and the animal when the practitioner intentionally generates a genuinely positive heart felt connection between the self and the animal during a TTouch session.

On the other hand, forceful methods generate fear and impede “thinking” as the horse moves into its instinctual fight/flight survival mode. During fight/flight activation, thinking is shut-down in favor of split-second non-thinking reflexive reactions that the horse can’t control. It is often in this fear driven state that horses can’t meet the demands placed upon them, for which they are frequently punished and pushed further into fear, pain and freeze responses. Instinctual reactions may be activated through a dominating relationship, and animals can be managed through such training methods. TTouch does not elicit instinct driven behavior mediated by the limbic system, rather Linda seeks to calm the limbic system and stimulate learning that is mediated by the cortex through a relationship infused with a heart-felt connection.

Effects for You!

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

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

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

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

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

You wonder how TTouch affects the whole brain?

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

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

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

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

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

Linda Tellington-Jones



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

Ear TTouch® on a Plane

"I was sitting fairly close to the front of the plane. The woman in the seat kitty-corner behind me complained of feeling ill. She felt nauseous and had pale, clammy skin. The nausea came on very suddenly sometime after we were aloft.

"The stewardess went looking for a Doctor. I got up and went back to her and asked her how she felt, etc. She was pretty uncomfortable and a little out of it. I asked her and her friend that was flying with her if it would be ok if I tried something that might make her feel better. They said "ok." I stroked long ear slides over both of her ears from lob to top of ear for a couple of minutes. She was starting to look and feel a little less nauseous and a little more clear-headed. By that time, the stewardess had returned with a Doctor that she had found in the back of the plane.

"To be honest, I don't remember exactly what the Doctor did, except maybe look at her pupils and probably take her pulse. I had moved back to my seat to get out of the way. He didn't stay with her very long; it seemed as if she was feeling better, so he went back to his seat. Maybe, a half hour to forty-five minutes later, the lady started feeling the same way again and she had her friend immediately ask me if I would try to help her.

"I went back and sat in the friend's seat and she took mine and I did more ear TTouches as well as some circles around the temple area. I still didn't work on her more than a very few minutes, but I did stay and talk to her and her friend. They thought that it had been something that she had eaten earlier.

"After a bit, she said that she felt much better (she wasn't as pale or clammy any more either). Sometime after I was back in my seat, the stewardess came and asked me what I had done. I told her briefly about TTouch®. She took my name and address for their records and a couple of months later, I got a nice thank-you letter from Southwest and a free ticket."

   - Tom Equin, Tellington TTouch® Practitioner for Companion Animals

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

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Rehabilitation of Horses - Booklet

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Worldwide > Animal Ambassadors International

1990 TTEAM and Special Education

TTEAM News International October, 1989 Vol 9 No 3 Pp. 21-23

Bonnie Lieuwen of College Station, Texas attended a workshop with TTEAM Instructor, Copper Love who encouraged her to write about how she had been using TTEAM in her special education classroom.

FOCUS: As a special education teacher I am most concerned with my students increasing their focusing skills. As we all know, if a person can focus & concentrate their focusing skills then they can expand academically, emotionally, socially, and physically. Sort of like a snowball effect, expanding in their skills, independence, and self-esteem. In my thirteen years of experience, this was the first year that I taught at the elementary age level (ages six - ten). Due to the students' handicaps, young ages, and extreme amount of energy, focusing was not one of their strong qualities. I tried many different techniques to increase their focusing skills with very little growth for the effort that was expended. It was not until I began using some TTEAM techniques that I started to see notable growth.

Other areas that I saw results from using TTEAM with the students were: body-awareness/use/carriage, relaxation, and decrease in hyperactive behavior. Increase in socialization, increase in behavioral self-control, increased awareness of self, others, and the environment, increase of following directions skills, decrease in aggressive behaviors, increase of willingness and enjoyment of being touched and touching others, the skill of waiting, increased feelings of acceptance, increased feelings of bonding and trust between student and teacher, and more I'm sure.

In special education there are so many variables and different specialists that work with these children (speech, adaptive p.e., physical/occupational therapists, counselors) and everyone has good input into the growth of these children. It is always difficult to pinpoint the most effective techniques and many times it is a combinations of everyone's input. But I do know that when I began using TTEAM, I began seeing exciting changes and other people (plus parents) were reporting these changes too. I will not be working with these students next year so I will have no idea of the lasting effects in their growth. Please remember these are only my observations and feelings. It is my gut feeling that TTEAM had a crucial positive effect on these children.

In the following paragraphs I will briefly tell you about the TTEAM activities and adaptations I used and the five students that received the most TTEAM energy. The time span was about two months, but not on a daily basis. In fact I found myself becoming very frustrated that I did not have the time I wanted to spend doing TTEAM. I saw the benefits and ached with the thought "if I only had more time to spend individually with each student."

In a school setting I thought it might look odd to use my horse wand so I substituted the wand with a drum major's baton. I found it worked well because it has the two white rubber ends and I could remind the kids to look (focus) at the white tips (we called then marshmallows). There are many stick things that would work well (is conductor baton, a painted stick, etc.) I just happened to have the baton.

With the baton we did:

  • open the gate
  • walk, turns, backward walk, run
  • wave to stop
  • dagger; this was especially for "J" who I will tell you about later.

Obstacles: I used sticks that were about 6 ft. by 1 inch (they were light weight and easy to arrange).

  • Labyrinth (varying the pattern)
  • cavaletti (arranged at different heights/distances)
  • star
  • the "pick up sticks arrangement

Other obstacles:

  • a tic-tac-toe design. I would use the baton to point to a square for the student to step into, this one worked very well for teaching them to focus on where the baton point, for increasing the awareness of space and feet placement, and for waiting in one place.
  • Box Lids. (I'm sure you have seen when stores cut in half, all the way around, a case of canned soda and each box part is about 2 inches high, well that is what I used). I would arrange the boxes on the floor in varying patterns and again I used the wand to point to the box I wanted the student to step into.

The boxes and tic-tac-toe were terrific for a group because I could direct one student and while the one student learned to wait in one space I could direct another, and so on. This really helped my students that were very compulsive in their movements, They had to think in order to control their bodies. It was a great exercise!

Other things:
Labyrinth - when the students became skilled in these (in the beginning they would plow right through the sticks, absolutely no awareness of the sticks or that they were plowing through) I made the addition of two labyrinth patterns. We used chairs with wheels and without. It was really neat to see the students expand from plowing through, to thinking their own bodies through, to having enough control to push a chair through the pattern.

Flashlight - After they had learned to focus on the baton I would sometimes use a flashlight beam instead of a baton. I would turn down the lights and shine the flashlight to direct them in the obstacle patterns. This is interesting: I had used a flashlight all year hoping to increase their focusing skills, but it was not until they had learned to focus on the baton that they finally were able to truly focus on the flashlight beam.

I did not get a chance to use the following ideas but I thought they might be good.

  • Rope: Take a long rope or several ropes to make varying obstacle designs.
  • Tires: Substitute the large tires (used with the horses) with bicycle tires or tubes, hoola -hoops, or some other light weight circular shapes.
  • Rag squares pattern.
  • Pulling a wagon
  • Varying the body movements through the labyrinth: while crawling, hopping and running.

And of course I used the wonderful "CIRCLES"!

Students: J., N. , K. , M. , C.

J. (10 yrs, he has a mental retardation handicap, very hyperactive) - when J. came to
my class in late October he walked with his shoulders hunched over, head down towards the ground, and his hands hold in a wrapped position on top of his head. His body language told that he was hiding within a shell. He did not talk, he only made a very occasional vocal sound (but he had Used words occasionally throughout his life). He was shy and withdrawn socially, would not focus on anything or anyone. He would not follow directions and when he was corrected on behavior he would fall to the floor with tantruming, crying and screaming. He frequently hit peers or tried to play too aggressively. He would often, just out of the blue, take off running away from staff. He was very hyperactive and easily over excitable.

I tried many techniques to improve his posture, nothing had much effect. In the month of February I tried doing circles on his shoulders, neck, and back. These areas were extremely tight, by my feel and by his own reaction. It was interesting that while doing the circles he would lower his arms but they would return minutes after I stopped doing the circles. Daily I did circles on his shoulders, back, and neck and daily the length increased that he would leave his arms down. At the end of March, after I had attended a TTEAM clinic, I began increasing circle time/ body areas and incorporating TTEAM activities. With the increase of TTEAM I began to do, J. really improved in all areas. His major growths were truly observable by the end of May. He walked upright, hands down with only an occasional verbal reminder, he learned to walk and stop which greatly helped staff because it decreased the number of times they would have to run after him. He made great leaps in his ability to focus and attend to tasks, and he began using words to state his needs i.e. water, bathroom, ball, play, others' names, bus, etc. Socially he became more aware of those around him and he was interacting non-aggressively. At lunch time all my students had a regular education student for a lunch buddy. Each of my students would sit with their lunch buddy at the lunch buddy's class table. Daily I watched J's interactions with the lunch class/ buddy become more calm and appropriate. He became more calm/relaxed and he definitely increased his ability to follow directions and to accept correction calmly. I feel sure the TTEAM obstacle activities had a great effect on his self-control, focusing, increased awareness of' his environment, and the decrease in his compulsiveness. J. loved the circles so much that he would take my hand and show me where he wanted circles, he also would try to do circles on others. It was a total joy to watch the growth he was making.

N. (6 yrs. mental handicap, slight degree of' cerebral palsy). M. had extreme baby behaviors: he refused to follow directions by excessive tantruming, hitting, spitting, crying, and throwing himself on the floor. He was extremely dependent on others to do things for him. Very low focusing abilities and very short attention span. When N. first came to my class in October I thought if this child learns to remain in his seat for five minutes it will be a miracle. Well N. passed that goal up by far. He made wonderful progress with a lot of physical guidance and verbal direction. He had already come a long way when I began doing TTEAM with him in the end of March. And once again I don't think it was coincidence that this student began to make progress more rapidly when I began the TTEAM. N. resisted the circles at first so I had to stick to the 'flick of the bear's paw" for the first week. After that he was very receptive to the circles and by the end of May he would ask for circles. I feel that N. made a lot of emotional progress in body awareness and use. It's as if he had discovered his body and its movements. N. also grew in independence and in following directions. I could see him improve and feel good about the TTEAM obstacles and learning these simple task directions seemed to carry over into following directions in other areas.

K. (7 years. Learning Handicap, hyperactive). K. was my speed student. He sped through everything just to get it done. His focusing ability was very poor. K. was in my room only in the morning so the only TTEAM I did with him was the Circles and the baton, open gate, walk, stop. I feel this greatly improved his ability to slow down and to focus. I would also let K. run in a circle around me plus focus on the baton and verbal directions. This seemed to be effective in releasing his excess energy, increasing his focusing, and increasing his following direction skills. K. seemed to react to the circles very emotionally. Some days he was very resistive to the touch. He was a child that did not feel comfortable with touch. Several times after I began circles on him he would have crying episodes (not within the circle session, but at later times). I took the circles very slowly with K. in case they were causing the crying. In time he became more receptive to the circles and the crying episodes ceased.

M. (10 yrs., Mental retardation handicap, very cerebral palsy, Used a walker to walk). M. came to my class the last month of school so he did not participate in a lot of' TTEAM. I observed some progress that I feel was a result of TTEAM. M. was not happy in our class when he first came. He had recently moved from another town where he was very happy in his class. I feel the circles helped him feel more trusting and bonded in our class at a more rapid speed than he would have without the circles.

C.* (9 yrs., regular education. student that was placed in my classroom due to severe emotional and aggressive outbursts within his regular classroom. C. is very intelligent, creative, and sensitive.) A teacher's aide worked with him in a partitioned off area of my classroom. I worked with him for 30 minutes a day. We worked on social/personal skills, breathing, guided imagery, and of course CIRCLES! C. loved the circles, especially on his face. He told me the circles made him feel relaxed and peaceful. We used the circles many times when he was feeling upset. Every time he would feel better and refrain from inappropriate or aggressive behavior.

I hope that I have at least been able to cover the highlights of what I feel TTEAM did for my students. I'm not sure who benefited the most from TTEAM - my students or me. I do know that now I have seen the benefits with my horses, with my students, with myself and I thank you for sharing TTEAM with the earth.

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 Animal Ambassadors International - Pilot Program in Idaho Schools

I've just been through a remarkable experience. It actually began last fall, when I did a pilot program introducing Animal Ambassadors International® and TTEAM to elementary school children in my home state of Idaho. The TTEAM portion of the program was exciting and well received. We could see a wonderful thing happening: children becoming more responsive, more caring. We did not so much teach the children as awaken something they already had within themselves, something that can be very beautiful in a child. I say "we" because it was the animals who were the teachers. The TTouch was the connection that made it possible, but I was as surprised as anyone at some of the "lessons" the animals taught us.

We also demonstrated how an Animal Ambassadors International unit can be used to teach natural history and science. Each child chose an animal to befriend, protect, and learn more about. Many of the children also wrote a poem on behalf of their animal.

The content was rich, the program was successful and yet something was missing: the cross-cultural element Animal Ambassadors International began as an international celebration of the importance or animals in our lives. Linda Tellington-Jones invited American children to send pictures of their pet to her to take to Russia. Many children responded. The pictures were displayed in Gorky Park and the Russians were deeply touched by this expression of friendship.

I tried to introduce an international awareness into my school program, but it just didn't have the energy of the other elements of the program. In trying to analyze it and discover what was blocking the flow I realized pretty quickly that it was myself. I could not project interest in what I knew so little about. I could not make it real for them.

Fortunately a chance came to remedy the situation a little bit. On January 5, Linda organized an Animal Ambassador day for 15 Russian children who made a whirlwind tour of the US with Youth Ambassadors. Out of this experience grew the past two days and some exciting suggestions from teachers that I can hardly wait to pass on. But first let me describe what we did and what happened.

Most of the children had had at least a brief introduction to TTEAM last fall. A few had earned Animal Ambassadors International certificates. So it was a heartwarming reception I got from these children when I returned. The age range was 7 through 13, with most being 8 or 9. They were quite a bit younger than the Youth Ambassadors. But I was to find out they still responded to the Youth Ambassadors as one child to another.

I began by telling them about the Russian Youth Ambassadors in San Francisco. I told them everyday things, for example some of the comments the Russians had made about our food in the Youth Ambassador newspaper, "The Bridge." We looked at a globe to see what an immense country Russia is, and I talked about how the Soviet Union is actually many countries in one. We traced on the globe to find a Russian city exactly opposite us, only to find a city with a name we couldn't pronounce. After a few minutes' discussion I put on a record of Russian music -- explaining"balalaika" as best I could -- and then I taught the kids the dance the Russians had done the night of the concert at the Dakin home in San Francisco.

Fun? The teachers couldn't stand it. Soon teachers and aides -- everybody -- was whirling around. Nobody wanted to stop. The kids could do the difficult steps so easily it was amazing. We all had a grand time. This happened in class after class. In one class it was super because after we stopped the dancing one child said, "I wish we could write to some Russians." What a lead-in. We left the Russian musician and they wrote their letters.

The next day was thrilling because the kids had been doing some thinking on their own. They wanted to know about the Russian alphabet, why we spell their country U.S.S.R. and they write it C.C.C.P. One boy wanted to write his letter not about animals at all but about stopping nuclear warfare. I told him to give it a try if he wished, but he decided on his own that maybe his first letter should be about animals because he really had a super animal story to tell. Last fall he had adopted wolves as his totem animal and this winter he had had a chance to help a wolf. He would save nuclear disarmament for another letter.

It's important to remember that some of these letters are from kids who have never written a letter before. Many of these kids are what they used to call "under-achievers." They don't try. Well, today they tried. They tried so hard. I think they did a beautiful job. I hope it comes across how genuine and honest these letters are. The kids were not being creative, they were just being. They put their hearts into these letters and they did it in their own way, trying to be neat and readable, trying to spell the words correctly to make it easier for the Russian child who would read it. I'm not sure the Russians will understand what kind of dog a "cocker spaniel" is, but otherwise...

I wish I could put into words how important I feel this program is. These kids are not the privileged, some come to school in rags. They may never have another chance to make this connection. Yet in 10 years most of them will be voters. Will they still care about wolves and nuclear disarmament, and will they still be capable of signing "Your best friend" in a letter to an unknown 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.

1986 Awarding the First Animal Ambassadors International Certificates to Russian Ambassadors

TTEAM News International December, 1986 Vol 6 No 5 Pp. 3-5

One of the highlights of my October trip to Moscow was awarding the first Animal Ambassadors certificates. In Moscow a translation to Russian had been prepared so I took 100 blank certificates to have them printed in Russian, but the Club Healthy Family thought it would be nicer to receive them in English. Many of the same children who participated in the very first meeting for Animal Ambassadors International® attended the gathering. I had thought I would give certificates to all the children who had chosen their animals to protect, but the club adults felt they should have to earn them and are making a proposal for me to consider on my next trip.

We did agree, however, that two of the children there had earned them and the first certificate was given to the 10 year old boy who had chosen a type of tiny snail to protect. His sister received the second certificate, and interestingly enough had chosen horses as her animal.

I was so pleased to show the certificates to our American Ambassadors in Moscow, Arthur and Donne Hartman, who have followed the unfolding of the concept since the beginning. Ambassador Hartman was very pleased with the name Animal Ambassadors. He chose the fox as his animal (one of my totems, as those of you who have seen my fox ring know) and Donna Hartman chose the bear.

At the meeting I had with the Club Healthy Family one of the adults, who is a teacher, asked some important philosophical questions about animals. "What should a child do if they find a stray or injured animal on the street?" I was reluctant to give an answer without more thought so I answered that it was a question which needed consideration. On Friday afternoon I taped an answer to be translated for their club.

I find it always best for me to answer from a personal base of experience instead of from the theoretical. I often see stray animals on the streets and have no opportunity to take them with me. To turn away and ignore them would be a way of protecting my feelings of helplessness or sorrow, but I do not think that is a good idea. That kind of reaction tends to harden our hearts. I like to take some minutes of my time and sit and visit with them. It may mean momentary pain, but then that is a part of the path to appreciation of joy.

I have been greatly influenced by the philosophy of The Little Prince who advises that it is much better to have a friend and leave him than to never have experienced that connection. Khahil Gibran's chapter on Sorrow and Joy has influenced the past 25 years of my Life. As I remember it, "The self-same well from which your sorrow flows, will also flow your joy." When I read these words during a very challenging time in my life I was exhilarated. "Come on tears," thought I. "The more sorrow I experience, the deeper this well will some day be filled with joy."

I have not been disappointed. Realizing that an experience that may hold sadness can also nurture appreciation of Joy is a gift worth receiving.

The image of a small dog on a cold night in Tblisi, Georgia in the southern part of the USSR, often finds its way into my mind. I saw her huddled up on a piece of newspaper late one night as I was returning by foot to my hotel. I squatted an the deserted, windy street and visited for a long while, gently working on her ears, talking to her and doing the TTouch over her whole body to strengthen our connection and companionship. I wrestled with the possibility of taking her with me somehow, considered the difficulties of getting her veterinary papers through friends in Moscow and realized it was impossible for me to keep her since I am on the road constantly. I mentally flipped through the names of friends who might be willing to adopt a Russian animal ambassador.

The difficulties finally became too obvious and I resigned myself to simply enjoying our camaraderie. I think of her frequently and send her my love through thought-form. I can be as strong a connection as a physical touch, with practice.

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 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.

1995 Animal Ambassadors International Presentation to Arab and Jewish Children

TTEAM News International Spring, 1995 Vol 15 No 1 Pp. 1-2

My Israel trip was a miraculous happening, the primary purpose of the trip being an Animal Ambassador presentation to 40 Arab and Jewish children through a program sponsored by the Tel Aviv SPCA and sanctioned by the Department of Education. While I was there I did a fund-raising demonstration for the ILPH - the International League of Protection of Horses; gave a morning demo to the Therapeutic Riding group on a kibbutz south of Tel Aviv and a demo to 50+ horse enthusiasts at Galilee; worked on an orphaned elephant and chimp at the Jerusalem Zoo; and met with Avi Lourie, a senior zoologist raising and releasing endangered species into the desert of Israel.

I had a wonderful time meeting so many special animal loving people, but the highlight was the work with the children because it was expected to be difficult and the teachers were not sure of the outcome.

I taught the TTouch to 40 Jewish and Arab ten year olds at the SPCA on Sunday afternoon on January 29. The program is inspired by the work of Nina Natelson, director of a Washington, D.C. organization called Concern For Animals in Israel. The teachers were thrilled at the outcome. These kids were from two separate schools and had not interacted much at all in their first gathering a week prior. After I demonstrated on a dog, I had them work on each other - first within their own group and then interacting between the two groups. They loved it. Many came up to me to be TTouched for assurance they had it "right." Several Arab boys refused lathe beginning but ended up all lining up for their turn under my fingers. The kids got really quiet and concentrated while practicing the TTouch on each other.

After a break and work on a cat it was back to working on each other with the ear strokes. Several of the boys spontaneously lined up one behind the other and started working on the ears of the child ahead of him. Like a grass fire igniting, the entire group of kids fell into line in a circle around the room working on the ears of the child ahead and then started a snake dance -through the chairs - around and around - yelling and screaming and laughing in a Congo line as though they had known each other for ages.

The afternoon was a great success and I'm looking forward to returning. I ran into an intriguing story while on a two day break in the south of Israel at Eilat. I was told about a lone dolphin who hangs out at a beach by a Bedouin village on the Egyptian shore of the Red Sea about 90 kilometers south of Eilat. Her mate was killed several years ago and she became very friendly with a young Bedouin fisherman who is deaf and mute. They began playing in the water together and one day she followed him to shore. Now she swims back and forth - back and forth - on the same path - waiting for him to be with her on the shore of die village. Her movement is not healthy and the feeling I got was one of intense loneliness. I spoke with Maya Zilver, a trainer at the Dolphin Reef research park in Eilat about her. Maya has spent 5 days in this village on two different occasions observing her. Apparently the villagers are very protective of the dolphin, believing her to be a messenger from Allah. The Bedouins also believe that people who are handicapped are special and are honored - so it is a very powerful combination and very touching. The interspecies bond is fascinating. Those who think dolphins respond only to food reward need to take note of this story.

When three years ago I attended a WOMAN'S PRAYERS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST CONFERENCE I followed it with a trip to Egypt. I put out a question on my trusty computer musing about what I was really doing there. The response was to bring together Arabs and Jews around horses. I felt a little like John Denver in the movie "Oh, God" and I thought "Right. GIVE ME ANOTHER ASSIGNMENT". However, I persisted step by step and made two trips to Jordan and Syria teaching that year with a very successful connection to Princess Alia el Hussein in April. She brought me back to Jordan a second time in September to teach veterinarians. Now the Israel Equestrian Federation is inviting this same veterinary school to my demonstration in March in Galilee at the Vared Hagalil (Rose of Sharon) guest ranch owned by Yahuda Avni. I visited this ranch in 1979 on a trip around the world and was amazed that they remembered me.

It's fascinating to see how once again the animals open doors. During my visit with Avi Louri I was able to work on a hyena (one of the most responsive, heart-warming animals I ever TTouched) ; a member of the world's smallest desert fox whose ears are almost as big as his shoulders, and a very depressed mountain goat who is a member of the original species of die domestic goat. The goat is part of an extensive menagerie living on a Kibbutz near Haifa. After an injury, he had a section of bone removed from a leg and had not recovered. His hooves were too long, his thigh muscles atrophied and he was very reluctant to move. I worked on him for quite some time, establishing a connection to him, and suggesting the hoof trimming for a start with lots of TTouch to give hint a new lease on life. I'm hoping to bring him to my horse clinic in Galilee when! return so we can give him some real attention.

I also did two sessions on an African grey parrot belonging to a veterinarian who had come to blows (bites) with each other. "Max had been raised from a chick by Gaddy Follweiler and they had been bosom buddies until Gaddy went to Europe for an extended stay. Upon his return Max was very aggressive and bit badly and refused to be handled. The two had never resumed their friendship.

I recognized this behavior as Max being ticked off that Gaddy had left him and he wanted to express his anger. That is exactly what my cat Sybil used to do after I would return from a trip. First she would ignore me and when she would come she would roll on her back and bite and scratch my hand and arm until she was satisfied that I got the message of her disapproval Then we would become best buddies again.

As I did with Sybil, I suggested Gaddy wear gloves and push his finger into Max's open beak - gently - when he bit I put on gloves and wrapped him in a towel leaving only his head out. After working for 20 minutes he relaxed, stopped attempting to bite and closed his eyes. The second session he thoroughly enjoyed being once again in the towel with several of us visiting in the living room while he reveled in the TTouch.

I hope this renewal of lost friendship between the Gaddy and Max will mirror improved relationships between Arabs and Jews that will develop through the Animal Ambassador TTouch program in Israel.

The work with the chimp and elephant was intriguing. Zoologist Tamar Or was given a copy of my book, read it overnight, and called me to say she had to meet with me. Ihad not a minutes time, I replied, but when she insisted that an elephant calf and a orphaned chimp "needed me" of course I couldn't resist. So I shortened my demo at a Kibbutz which is the home of Therapeutic Riding in Israel, promised I would come back again, and headed for Jerusalem. The primary keeper for the elephant was in Thailand so all I could do was make some suggestions of the necessity of providing some company for this very disturbed and lonely elephant calf. The chimp, however, was a cinch. His problem was a lack of grasping reflex. If he wasn't held firmly by his human he would fail to hang on and fall. It looked to me as though he had been held like a baby under the buttocks and not been taught to grasp. It took only 20 minutes of Raccoon TTouches and Python Lifts up his back - over the arms - and on every centimeter of his hands and fingers until he "got the hang of hanging on". Tamar and his keeper were delighted.

There was the same feeling of magical and Divine Intervention on this trip that I experienced in Moscow when I was told the American! Russian interaction could never happen as it did. I'm looking forward to returning to Israel. The Israeli Equestrian Federation is organizing a demo for me near Galilee inviting veterinarians and horse people from Jordan and Egypt. Dr. Geora Avni, representative of the Israeli Equestrian Federation and a teacher at the school for veterinarians is organizing the trainings. He is delighted at my interest in the Arab/Jewish connection for peace and communication through the medium of horses and other animals.

I've also been invited to teach a two-day TTouch training to a group of Palestinian women in Gaza who wish to help children and adults who are traumatized by the current level of tension and fear. I was planning to return in March and teach with the assistance of Alia Gurevich and several Jewish women I worked with in Moscow and "TTEAMsters" Nena Norton and Jane Ellen Kovacevich. However, I have too much going on here in the U.S. so Jane Ellen and Nena will be working with the TTouch and the women and children's programs. Janet Kahn, who has been working in Israel with conflict resolution and Jewish/Arab interaction for many years, will be organizing the programs in Gaza and Jerusalem. We worked together on this trip and its thanks to her connections that the TTouch will be brought to Palestinian women. This is a big step as there is much fear and shutting down of communication at this point in Israel, and great fear of entering the Gaza territory.

I've also promised to do a fund raising demo for the Jerusalem SPCA who will bring together another group of Jewish and Arab children. As you can imagine I'm in a great state of gratefulness and looking forward to my return. You can make a difference by sending your prayers and holding a positive image that an improved and peaceful solution will be worked out in Jerusalem and through out Israel for an understanding and acceptance between the Jewish and Arab cultures.

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.

1990 TTouch for Developmentally Delayed Students

TTEAM News International Back Issues, 1990 Pp. 91-92

TTEAM Practitioner and Educator Erika Hull works with a class of Developmentally Delayed students (ages 12 -21) in Bracebridge, Ontario. She has taken a number of week-long TTEAM Trainings with Linda Tellington-Jones and Robyn Hood. She also owns and rides two horses and has a dog and two cats.

About eight years ago, first used the Tellington TTouch on one student who was totally out of control - the student was screaming and could not sit or stand. In "self defense" Erika did a few light-pressured Clouded Leopard circles and the screaming eased while Erika was doing the circles. Since that time, the use of TTouch in her classroom has become, in her words, "a way of being" that is integrated into the rest of her teaching. However, with some students, she may spend a little more time to deal with specific problems.

In January, 1990 I visited Erika to observe, video, and write about some of these special cases, so that they could be shared at the first Tellington TTouch Workshop for Humans held at Esalen Institute in February 1990.

David (not his real name)

He came to Erika's class at the age of 12 years suffering from Cerebral Palsy. At that time, he was violent and disruptive. He had no friends, did not talk, did no work, and had to wear diapers. His head moved constantly, he could not see anything, and was unable to focus. Go could not straighten his arms, and they were always on his chest. He was unable to feel heat, cold or pain.

Erika told him that if he wanted to remain in her classroom, he had to be smart like everyone else, and that his brain was the boss. She began TTouch by working on his arms and hands with the Clouded Leopard, doing Noah's March down both arms, and telling him that he had a telephone connection from the brain to his fingers. This was the "beginning of a new life" as Erika puts it, "he began to get an idea of where his body was."

Two years ago, a hamstring operation was done and his legs were in full casts (from the hip to the toes). His mother was told by the doctors that he would never have sensation or movement in the toes. Erika did Clouded Leopard and Raccoon circles on his toes, working on him for about 20 minutes each day for six weeks while he was in the casts. After the casts were removed, she did circles over the feet and legs. To help him stand, she put his feet in high ski boots. She used the wand to direct the brain signal from the head to the foot, and he is now able to wiggle his toes. He is also able to stand without the ski boots and instead of 100% of his weight on the heels, it's now 60% on the heels and 40% on the toes. He is now able to walk without assistance. By doing TTouch down the outside of the leg David is beginning to be able to turn his feet straighter (instead of out), and is able to walk backwards.

To assist David with his writing and improve his eyesight, Erika did TTouch circles on David's temples. He has learned his letters and numbers, and is now able to write them. He has become very social, has many friends, and can have a sensible conversation with people. He can dress himself, is able to use a urinal, and doesn't wear diapers any more. During the TTouch work, a great deal of emphasis was placed on breathing - because the breathing helps to "unfreeze the neural impulses that direct the muscles". Erika says that David is now one of her host students.

She has been in Erika'a Class for 1 & 1/2 years. It the beginning she had no speech, and had so little strength or balance that she was unable to got on the school bus. Her speech problem was related to an inability to take air into the lungs. She was unable to rotate her spine, which interfered with her washroom activities . TTouch was done on her feet and legs to improve their strength and she is now able to get on a ladder.

When first TTouched on the back, four months ago, Tara gasped, due to extreme sensitivity probably caused by inflammation of nerve endings. Very light Python Lifts and Raccoon touches were done all over her back to help improve her breathing and enable her to rotate her spine. Tara can now be TTouched all over her back with the Abalone without feeling any discomfort and can use the washroom. Her parents are very pleased with the changes in her.

Bill was expelled from every school and every school bus due to violent behavior. (e.g. throwing a VCR through the window). His Ontario Student Record is 1" thick with incidents. He was placed in Erika's class in November 89. At the beginning, Erika did not use the TTouch on him, but she used the TTEAM Philosophy of offering alternatives instead of force, as she had learned in TTEAM horse clinic. Whenever force, (in the form of coercion) had been used with Bill, he had exploded (as some horses will). When offered alternatives, he began to be able to cope.

More recently (March, 90) Erika began doing the Python and Butterfly on his arms and hands (his hand would shake,, and he had difficulty writing. She also used Tarantulas Pulling the Plow and Lick of the Cow's Tongue on his back; sometimes she only does Noah's March. If Bill receives some TTouch twice a day, his behavior is acceptable, and he is beginning to be helpful with other students. It seems that Bill possibly suffers from the opposite of tactile defensiveness - he becomes sick if he is not TTouched. When he first came to the class, he could not use the computer with his hands, but would use his nose instead. In March, he began to use the computer with his hands. When the TTouch is done on his arm and hand, he will write. He was not able to do this six months ago.

Erika continues to integrate the TTEAM philosophy and TTouching her students. She has also maintained a delightful sense of humor as she works in situations which can be stressful.

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.

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.

Is a gray elephant
Eating in the jungle.

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

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.

1993 Animal Ambassadors International in Syria

TTEAM News International Summer, 1993 Vol 13 No 2 Pp. 1-3

What on earth were we doing in Syria in April?

Off on another Animal Ambassador journey: weaving the webs of friendship between lovers of animals. Some of you will remember that before the Iron Curtain fell, I was teaching and building bridges-of-understanding between horseman and horsewomen, working with veterinarians, zoo personnel, Olympic riders, and a very special group called the Club Healthy Family.

In 1984, upon the culmination of my first trip to Moscow, the birth of the phase ANIMAL AMBASSADORS, in recognition of the unique role animals were playing in opening so many impenetrable doors inside the then Soviet Union.

Then in 1985, the birth of the Animal Ambassador concept of taking an "inner journey" to find an animal as a personal teacher. In Gorky Park, that spring, I led a group of 165 Russians, ages five to about sixty-five, on an "inner journey" to find the animal who would be their inner teacher, using the Native American model of an animal's totem as protector. My friend, Andre Orlov, translated into Russian for me. It was Andre who added the unique idea that we, in turn, must reverse the role and become "protectors of the animals". We must become their "totems."

Now, that same concept leads me into the Middle East, looking for way, to bridge the cultural gaps in that ancient area of the world, which is currently the "hot spot".

In February, at the suggestion of my friend Joan Ocean, Carol Bentley and I journeyed to Israel to join an international conference: "Prayers for Peace in the Middle East". (Some of you may have read Joan's inspiring book describing her work with dolphins.) We spent several days with my Russian friend, Alya Gurevitch, founder of the Club Healthy Family, now immigrated to Israel to work with Israeli and Arab children.

After spending time in Israeli, we decided that we also needed to meet with the Arab peoples. Having been informed it would take days to get a visa to Egypt, and having been warned travel was somewhat dangerous, a lovely woman attending the conference informed us we could simply fly to Egypt and get a visa at the Cairo airport. Sure enough, we disembarked after a one hour comfortable flight from Tel Aviv, and spent a magical three days in Cairo which, in terms of richness, could have been three months. I was completely unprepared for the welcome, for the hospitality, the friendliness we encountered.

One of the most striking impressions in Cairo was the inordinate number of animals throughout the city. Donkeys, horses, camels and buffalo make up a surprising percent of the population. Most of the horse we saw looked to be in reasonable health, although the image of a 900 pound horse straining with every ounce of his energy to pull a wagon brutally overloaded with metal rods remains fixed in my head. Thanks to Princess Alia el Hussein's influence, the condition of the horses at the pyramids has apparently been considerably upgraded. Princess Alia's Egyptian mother also supports the remarkable Brooks Animal Hospital in Cairo. Injured, exhausted and worn out animals from the streets of Cairo are brought to this hospital: there is no charge for care, and the sympathetic veterinarians sometimes take in animals just for rest. They often buy donkeys or horses who are no longer in condition to continue, and need to be put down out of kindness. They are kept in special "yard" or paddock, where they are fed and loved for a few days before they are sent on to the "pastures in the sky".

Flying out of Cairo, I wondered why this magic carpet trip?

What was I really doing there? I pulled my trusty Macintosh Power Book out of its case at my feet, while forming in my mind the image of a circle of animals which I refer to as "The Animal Council". The screen lit up with this suggestion: I should plan an Animal Ambassador Celebration in honor of the role of which horses, camels and donkeys play in the Middle East with the aim of unifying Arabs and Jews beyond, and outside of politics. I simply began to write about the next steps in the Middle East.

At first, I was shocked by the seemingly impossible idealism of such a task. However, before my first trip to Moscow nine years ago, I was assured that I would never be able to meet the Russian populace, and would have to be content with only reaching government officials. Nevertheless, in complete trust, I decided to simply begin to take small steps: see where the path would lead, and let the animal ambassadors open the doors.

Because of the remarkable synchronicity which so often occurs in my life, sharing some of the steps with you is fun, and I think this synchronicity has a tendency to happen even more frequently when it is acknowledge and appreciate.

Christine Jurzykowski, founder of Fossil Rim Wild Life Center, and a dear friend, is on our Animal Ambassador Board of Directors. Whilst at Fossil Rim in February, working with two of their young and very wild cheetahs, I mentioned to Christine that I intended to go to Jordan and Syria and, hopefully back to Israel in April. So would she like to come? Christine was to speak at a conference in Denmark the day before my scheduled departure from Frankfurt, so it seemed natural to have her join me.

The next pieces of the puzzle were held by Gabriella Boiselle, one of Europe's very best photographers, known for her exquisite portrayals with a very special "feel" - a view which no other horse photographer has managed to capture. During Equitana, Gabriella asked me what I was doing. I told her I was hoping to visit Jordan over Easter, but all the seats were booked due to the holidays. She said, "Don't worry. Princess Alia El Hussein is a friend of mine and would be fascinated by your work. I'll call her".

Two days later, Gabrielle had managed to get the seats on Royal Jordanian Airlines, organized the trip to Jordan and Syria for us; and had contacted a Syrian friend, Basil Jadaan, whom she had met at a WAHO horse show in Cairo.

Basil Jordan was one of the kindest, most hospitable gentleman I have had the pleasure of encountering in a longtime. He is establishing a troupe of pure Arabs which, approved by WAHO (World Arabian Horse Organization), and they are beautifully maintained. He hosted us on the first afternoon, seated in a Bedouin tent on cushions laid upon carpets on the ground, with glasses of hot, sweet tea and the traditional welcoming sips of very black, Arab coffee served, thank goodness, in tiny cups. The horses were paraded one by one in front of the tent, where Gabrielle photographed from all angles; she also got some photos of me working.

Our second day there, Basil's friend loaded up four horses and trucked them out of the city into the desert where we galloped and whirled for Gabrielle's cameras. She is the most entertaining photographer and personality imaginable; a live wire, with beautiful blond often wild hair which charms every man who comes within 20 feet of her. We all had a marvelous time working with her.

We drove from Damascus to Amman, Jordan, crossing the border in the record time of one hour, to keep our first appointment with Princess Alia. Princess Alia is a warm, lovely, intelligent woman.

She was most interested in the TTEAM work. She greatly honored us with a Bedouin meal in a beautiful tent set out in spring-green barley fields near the royal racetrack. Horse after horse was paraded before us prior to sitting down to a traditional meal of boiled lamb on a bed of rice, eaten with the hands. It is a rare occasion to be treated to this ancient way of eating.

We had a long discussion about TTEAM work and some of the horses which I was to work on the following day. We were awakened bright and early by the 5 a.m. call to morning prayers which resonates over the hills of Amman, and we arrived at the Royal Stables in plenty of time to catch the early morning light which Gabriella so loves. I worked with Princess Alia's veterinarian, a young Iraqi woman who was very interested, very kind to the horses, and very intelligent.

Princess Alia has some favorite horses, one of which was a young stallion, a very bad stall walker. And one of the tensest horses I have worked with. He's the first horse whose ears I could not get to in the short time we had; which, to me, is a very good indication of a tense condition in the rest of the body. I left the veterinarian with suggestions for working him, and am invited back to teach a group of veterinarians and horse owners who are gathering for an annual Arabian Horse Show by invitation of King Jussein in September. We're working to see if we can put together a clinic in time to include it with the September show.

In 1969, Went and I organized the first North American Endurance Ride Conference at Badger, California. The Jordanians are interested in endurance riding, so I am working with Catelyn O'Reardon to see if we can get a conference together in time. Catelyn was the executive secretary for the Great American Horse Race from Syracuse, N.Y. to Sacramento, California in 1976, when I was the international coordinator. So, we are going to see what we can arrange in the Middle East with veterinarians and some top, experienced riders from the US and Europe, to join together, rather than competing. Each team of three to be composed of two Arabs from two different countries with an experienced endurance rider from either Europe, or the US.

It's a great Animal Ambassador project which could result in opening many new doors towards understanding and cross-cultural pollination.

LindaTellington-Jones from Fayence, France

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 our organization. Currently, that is Tellington TTouch® Training.

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

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.


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.

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