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Bibi Degn

Bibi Degn

Bibi was awarded the Tellington TTouch® Instructor level for dogs and horses in 2002. Bibi's unique contribution has been the creation and development of the Angie program (the Tellington Method for children and youth). Her special interests include teaching the Angie courses and spreading the Tellington Method as a therapeutic and educational system for youth. She is also interested in the importance of the work under saddle in the training to become a TTouch® practitioner for horses. Elements from Connected Riding and many years of close work with Peggy Cummings have contributed to it.

Bibi was born and raised in Austria. Her involvement with and dedication to animals began early on. Colonel Neufellner was her riding instructor in her childhood. Bibi earned the Bronze Reitabzeichen at the State Stallion Stable Paura. She participated at western trainings with Jean Claude Dysli. Her other accomplishments in the equine world include: she is a trail ride leader; she participated actively and successfully at several fox hunts and long distance races, and won and placed second at several long distance races both on the national and international levels.

Bibi earned a degree in studies Pedagogic as a elementary school teacher and she studied, extensively, veterinary medicine and Psychology without a degree. Bibi also owned/managed a breeding and boarding stable for Arabian horses in Austria and kept the mare book for the Arab breeding club. The dog breed, Magyar viszlas from Hungary, was another specialty of Bibi's. At her farm, she took care of many horses and dogs and other species for many years.

During 1985 and 1986, Bibi stayed in Andalusia, Spain while she learned dressage and established many contacts in the riding style of southern Spain. Here to she participated in long-distance races and long trail rides. 1987 was a banner year for Bibi when she first came in contact with the Tellington TTouch® Method during a long distance ride in the USA. She met the Tellington TTouch® Training Practitioner Tina Hutton with whom she spent many weeks during the following years. Bibi was introduced to Centered Riding and started incorporating this as well as the Tellington Method to her training. Bibi participated in many TTouch® Trainings, mainly with Linda Tellington-Jones in Germany and in the USA.

In 1996 Bibi took over the TTouch Gilde Office in Germany and continues to manage it. She organizes the Practitioner training programs for dogs and horses in Germany and she teaches many courses for dogs and horses.

Today Bibi Degn lives in Neunkirchen-Seelscheid, Germany and she is working to found a Educational Academy for humans and animals with the Tellington TTouch® Method and Animal Ambassadors® as their focal point. Email Bibi or visit the Gilde

Mandy Pretty

Mandy Pretty

Born and raised with horses, Mandy was literally riding before she could walk. Her exposure to the horse world was somewhat unconventional. Daughter of clinician Robyn Hood, and niece of Internationally renowned horse woman Linda Tellington-Jones, meant that her norm for handling and interacting with horses was several decades ahead of its time. Long before equine chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists were main stream, Mandy and her family were looking for tangible physical and emotional reasons for unwanted behavior. They began phasing out black and white behavioral labels like “stubborn,” “lazy” and “disrespectful.” In Mandy's family, horse behavior was viewed as reaction to a concrete catalyst, requiring looking at balance, pain, fear, fear of pain and issues of rider communication.

At the age of 4 and a half, on the way to her first Advanced TTEAM® (now Tellington TTouch®) Training in Boulder, Colorado, Mandy first met Peggy Cummings, the founder of Connected Riding.

For over a decade Mandy was schooled in Centered Riding and influenced by top Icelandic riders and clinicians. She was immersed in the world of horses, helping to start youngsters, exercise sales horses as well as participating in demonstrations and competitions with some of her parents' Icelandic horses.

Then, at age 17 Mandy met Peggy Cummings again. Although initially skeptical of Peggy's Connected Riding® concepts, Mandy soon understood the influence of posture and its effect on the horse underneath. The proof was in the pudding as it were, and she was soon a “convert” to Connected Riding®. Peggy became Mandy's mentor and riding coach, expanding her knowledge of equine/rider bio-mechanics and ideal function under saddle with Connected Riding.

Mandy trains and teaches all breeds and disciplines full time; incorporating the Tellington TTouch® Method-Connect to train young horses and re-school older horses alike. In addition to training at Icelandic Horse Farm, Mandy travels to teach clinics featuring the Tellington TTouch® Method and Connected Riding. Mandy has taught independently in Mexico, Australia, the US and several Canadian provinces as well as assisting Robyn throughout Europe, South Africa, Australia and North America.

Mandy creates a positive experience for horse and rider; improving performance without compromising physical, emotional or mental well being. Her clinics easily apply to an all breed format although often geared toward the Icelandic Horse. Mandy teaches one to five-day workshops throughout the year, offering several at The Icelandic Horse Farm. She is available for demonstrations, riding lessons, lectures and clinics.

Mandy is a Tellington TTouch® Equine Instructor and a Certified Connected Riding Practitioner. She lives near Vernon, BC down the road from Robyn and Phil (aka Grandma & Grandpa) with her husband Walt and two young sons on their "Faux Farm." Visit her own website:

About Us > Research & Studies

Human 2003 Therapeutic Intervention Study

TTEAM® and TTouch® as a therapeutic intervention for the socialization of recovering alcoholics through working with horses using TTEAM.

Masters Thesis of Relana Müehlhausen.

Read More , Germany Sports University, Cologne, Germany.

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.

Horse 1985 Stress Reduction Study

Study of the Effects of TTouch® for Reduction of Stress
Bitsa Olympic Center, Moscow, Russia

In a TTEAM and TTouch® 13 day training, 8 Veterinarians, along with riders and trainers participated in a study to measure levels of stress hormones and benefits of TTEAM for sport horses. Twenty horses were included in the study. All of them were worked daily in dressage or jumping training and all 20 had daily blood samples drawn to check the level of stress hormones. Ten horses were TTouched and TTEAMed daily by the course participants, and the other ten were not. The results showed significantly lower levels of stress hormones in the TTEAMed horses.

The following letter is a translation from the Director of the Moscow Soviet Professional Unions Horse-Sport Complex and head veterinarian, Dr. Nina Khanzhina, regarding the study. Conducted over a period of 14 days.

L. Tellington-Jones

Esalen Institute

Soviet-American Exchange

From March 28 to April 10, 1985, the veterinarians of the Moscow Horse Center at Bitsa and the sportsmen and trainers of various clubs and representative teams of the USSR, took a practical study course in the teaching of TTEAM method under the direction of L. Tellington-Jones and the method teachers of D. Thompson and L. Will.

At the same time, the Department of Standard Physiology of the K.I. Skryabin Moscow Veterinarian Academy conducted scientific research on the influence of these methods on the presence of stress hormones (adrenaline and nor-adrenaline). In the experimental group of horses, on which the TTEAM method was applied, an improvement was recorded in the stress hormones.

Furthermore, the horses improved in their outward appearance, and their ability to work increased. The veterinarians noticed that the horses became more calm in behavior, that their capability to give medical aid had increased, and that constraint in movement, caused by injuries, trauma, arthritis, etc. had disappeared. It is possible, in applying the TTEAM method, to eliminate unhealthy conditions in the muscular system and contracted tendons. It is also possible to teach the horse to break bad habits and to improve its capacity to work in sport activities. We express our gratitude to the Esalen Institute for the afforded opportunity to conduct practical courses in the TTEAM method. We hope that this collaboration will continue.

V. Akivis, Director KSK

N. Khanzhina, DVM

First Published in the 1985 TTEAM News International Pp. 14-15

The following is a translation of a 1985 letter from Dr. Nina Khanzhina, Head Veterinarian of the Bitsa Sports Complex:

Dear L. Tellington-Jones,

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with you and to study the TTEAM method. Your method for me is absolutely new and very interesting. To apply the TTEAM method to work with horses opens a vast array of possibilities for veterinarians, sportsmen and trainers. After the horse is in a state of relaxation, it is very easy and simple for a veterinarian to apply medical aid. And this same method is healing for many conditions of horses: colic, myosis, etc.

The experimental group of horses, which we used to conduct the exercises according to your method, have had an improvement in general condition and in jumping technique, as well as a disappearance of constraint and unrhythmical movement. I would like to continue working with you and improve my knowledge, as well as to help horses and people find a common language.

N. Khanzhina, DVM
Head Veterinarian
Bitsa Sports Complex

Back Issue of TTEAM News International 1985 Pp. 14-15

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

Human 2007 Changing the World One TTouch® at a Time

Changing the World One TTouch® at a Time -- Abridged Version

by Robin Bernhard and Sandy Rakowitz

TTouch® has been changing the course of therapeutic healing with animals and people around the world for over thirty years now. This ground-breaking work, developed by pioneer, Linda Tellington-Jones, is being studied by Robin Bernhard, LCSW, a psychotherapist who owns and runs the Virginia Neurofeedback, Attachment and Trauma Center in Charlottesville, Jessica Eure, Med, Ed.S., a new counselor who specializes in neurofeedback with Bernhard at VNATC, and by Sandy Rakowitz, a practitioner of Energy Healing Medicine and TTouch, who owns and runs One Heart Healing Center for People and Animals, also in Charlottesville.

Both Bernhard and Rakowitz have over twenty years of experience in their areas of practice, and together, they are making headway in the use of this specialized touch to help with people who have suffered from brain injuries. Bernhard and Rakowitz would like to see Charlottesville become a center for TTouch research and training. Just last year, they did a study which showed exactly what they and others have been concluding all along - that this specialized work can improve brain function.

The article "Changing the World: One TTouch® at a Time" written by Robin Bernhard and TTEAM Practitioner Sandy Rakowitz, first published in Echo Newspaper, is now published in the new e-book by Laura Bruno, M.A., entitled, If I Only Had a Brain Injury: A TBI Survivor and Life Coach's Guide to Chronic Fatigue, Concussion, Lyme Disease, Migraine or Other "Medical Mystery". This compelling story is also a special resource for Caregivers, Survivors and Treatment Providers. Included in the electronic book is the author’s own inspirational story, 52 Healing Hints, and contributions by 13 other Survivors, Caregivers and Treatment Providers.

Read More


Tellington TTouch-for-You®

June 11-16, 2022. Touch-for-You® Seminar with Linda Tellington-Jones. Training classes 3/4 from 9:30 AM. to 5:30 PM. Different intensities and speeds of the Tellington-TTouches® invite you to consciously feel your body and to improve your kinaesthetic perception. Reorient yourself - feel, understand, change. Linda is looking forward to inspiring you at this seminar! Training course: US $925 (approx €840.00). Different intensities and speeds of the Tellington-TTouches® invite you to consciously feel your body and to improve your kinaesthetic perception. Reorient yourself - feel, understand, change. Linda is looking forward to inspiring you at this seminar! Training course: US $925 (approx €840.00). To Register: Please email us at office@tteam and pay for this event.. Questions? please contact Martin Lasser – +43(0)664/1 250 252. Where: "Hotel College Garden" in Bad Vöslau, Johann-Strauß-Strasse 2. Please reserve your room yourself - phone: 02252 79025

Tellington TTouch-for-You®

TTouch-for-You® Seminar with Linda Tellington-Jones. Learn ways for self-help as part of the Touch-for-You® advanced training. June 11-12, 2022 from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Many things can be written about, but Tellington-TTouch® has to be experienced. Treat yourself to these two days in a pleasant atmosphere. Experience and learn the basics of Tellington-TTouch®. You will be fascinated, relaxed and strengthened - a gift for yourself and others. Special price, as part of the training course: US $420 (approx € 380.00). To Register: Please email us at to pay for this event. Questions? please contact Martin Lasser – +43(0)664/1 250 252. Where: "Hotel College Garden" in Bad Vöslau, Johann-Strauß-Strasse 2. Please reserve your room yourself - phone: 02252 79025.

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Shop > Dogs > Books

The Tellington TTouch®: Caring for Animals With Heart And Hands

The Tellington TTouch®: Caring for Animals With Heart And Hands

2008 edition with a new cover and some edits.

All Wrapped Up: Improving function, performance & behavior with Tellington Body Wraps

All Wrapped Up: Improving function, performance & behavior with Tellington Body Wraps

Everything you always wanted to know about Body Wraps for Pets.

from $20.00

Shop > Horses > Books

All Wrapped Up: Improving function, performance & behavior with TTouch® Body Wraps (Horse)

All Wrapped Up: Improving function, performance & behavior with TTouch® Body Wraps (Horse)

Everything you always wanted to know about Body Wraps for Horses.

from $16.00

Shop > Horses > Videos and DVDs

Dressage with Mind, Body & Soul and a DVD

Dressage with Mind, Body & Soul and a DVD

Get a SIGNED copy of Linda's book and a DVD!

from $44.95
Solving Riding Problems In the Saddle DVD

Solving Riding Problems In the Saddle DVD

How to use a variety of TTEAM equipment.

The TTEAM Approach to Handling Stallions and Mares DVD

The TTEAM Approach to Handling Stallions and Mares DVD

Tips on handling, breeding and foaling.


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.

1988 The Animal Council

This report comes to you direct from the Animal Kingdom! What do I mean? Well, I had planned to write a detailed report of the Pt. Reyes week-long training, the fun, the "dolphin games" we play, the steps necessary with unusually difficult horses to make the transition from the ground exercises to riding. But I ran into blocks all day while I was writing the report. My computer disk was full. Then I couldn't find an empty disk. My printer started printing some strange computer language that not even my brilliant sister could have figured out. What was going on?

Well, I finally got it. You see, I have this funny connection to the animals. Often in my mind's eye - in bright daylight - not only in dream time, I get a picture of a circle of animals sitting together concentrating on sending me messages. Actually, they send them out to everyone who will listen. But I seem to have a mainline of communication to them. How lucky it's not on AT&T or the bill would be enormous!

They were telling me they wanted the Animal Ambassador report printed. Ah, said I, as I finally got the message.

I've been getting this communication for many years. It was back in 1969 that it first began. I was giving a lecture on endurance riding at Prescott College to a very large audience one evening. Out of the blue, I had a feeling I should use the opportunity to begin with some inspirational words in appreciation of the gifts our horses bring to us - and of the gift of nature. I stepped out of the back door of the auditorium and spread my arms in greeting to the sinking sun, asking for some guidance.

A whole flood of information came to me, but did not begin to sink into my consciousness until the drive back across the desert the following day.

What came to me was similar to a dream. I saw a whole plan similar to a blue print of my life which would unfold over many years of my life and would include school programs and camps where animals would be the teachers to children.

There have been many steps along the way: the first one being to set off to Europe in 1974 to find out how I could create a program which would bring a special appreciation for the animals in our lives (all animals not just the horses I worked with all my life).

The second step was developing TTEAM. The third was returning from Europe in 1980 and meeting Peter Caddy from Findhorn. Peter said, "Linda, I know what your Mission is on this earth. You're here to explore the relationships between mankind and the animal kingdom."

Then came my trips to the Soviet Union and the magical, and at that time, unusual connections to grassroots citizen through the animals. The Animal Ambassador concept began to take form, and I saw the excitement it generated. Alexander Zguidy, a Russian film producer, immediately saw the possibilities and said he would like to take the idea to the U.N. Alexander and his wife, Nana, have produced over 20 award-winning motion pictures with animals as heroes. I know they also have a direct line to the council of animals who guide me.

The next steps are in process in the U.S. school systems. Alexandra Kurland in New York state and Ann Finley in Idaho are taking the program into schools. Alexandra likes to be known as the spokesperson for Kenyon, known to the world as a stuffed bear, but many of us know he's much more than that. He actually is one of the reps for the Animal Council. If you would like to get to know Kenyon better write to Bear Hollow Press, 110 Salisbury Rd., Delmar, N.T. 12054 for a copy of Teddy's To The Rescue by Alexandra Kurland - a lovely children's book.

Ann is coordinating the "Animal Ambassador research and development for schools" program. In January I organized an Animal Ambassador day for a group of 15 Russian school children who were invited to the US by Youth Ambassadors, headed by Linda and Ed Johnson. They were hosted in San Francisco by Henry Dakin of the Dakin Toy Company who makes many of the wonderful toys we use for teaching the TTouch with stuffed animals.

I invited Ann to join us for the day so she could get a connection to the Soviet Union to share with her children in Idaho. We spent the day with a 4-H group of children and their parents and teachers at Point Reyes Station, California. The 4-H children demonstrated their animals and explained how they trained them and I gave a short demo of TTEAM. The Russian children were given honorary memberships to 4-H, and several of the Pt. Reyes 4-H'ers spoke the 4-H pledge in 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.

2005 Animal Ambassador Program in Germany

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of TTEAM Instructor Bibi Degn, our Animal Ambassador Program thrives in Germany. Bibi developed the "Angie Program." after the horse angel in my Let's Ride book, so that children and youth can learn TTouch and TTEAM in a setting designed to awaken their appreciation for nature. Bibi has the vision of making the TTEAM philosophy and attitude of love and respect of animals officially accepted in the German style of teaching children to ride and relate to horses.

The vision keeps expanding! In 2004, Bibi began collaborating with Relana Melhausen, who completed her study on the Effects of TTEAM and TTouch on the Socialization of Teen-age Girls. To date, their program for youth, under the non-profit umbrella of Animal Ambassadors International®, continues to develop.

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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