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TTEAM for Horses
How will TTEAM benefit my horse?
TTEAM offers a training approach that encourages optimal performance and health and presents solutions to common behavioral and physical problems. TTEAM horses demonstrate marked improvement in athletic skills and increased willingness and ability to perform. Not only does the horse benefit, but also a deeper rapport grows between horse and rider because of increased understanding and more effective communication.
What types of problems can TTEAM help solve?
TTEAM has been used successfully with:
- bucking and rearing
- clipping, pulling manes, giving shots
- head tossing and tail wringing
- inconsistent performance
- lameness or unevenness of stride
- nervousness or tension
- pulling back when tied
- resistance to grooming or saddling
- resistance to the vet and farrier
- sore backs
- stubbornness or laziness
What's a TTEAM workshop or clinic for horses like?
TTEAM offers a variety of one-day and two-day workshops and demonstrations as well as week-long training clinics. Participants have a hands-on opportunity; they are instructed as they do the TTouch or ground exercises. Auditors listen and watch, but do not work with the horses; they do have hands-on experience with the TTouch.
- One-Day Demonstration
- Using 3-4 horses, the practitioner demonstrates TTEAM techniques. The purpose is to give an overview of what TTEAM offers.
- Two-Day Demonstrations
- Linda, Robyn and TTEAM Instructors demonstrate the TTouch, ground exercises and some riding.
- Week-Long Trainings
- 5-8 days with 15-20 people for intensive hands-on experience in all phases of TTEAM.
The two-day workshops can be an introduction to or a continuing education in the TTEAM methods. We usually take four or five horses with a variety of problems, lameness, and/or common resistances. The first day we demonstrate the TTouch techniques and give the clinic participants a chance to experience what the TTouch is like. The second day we show the TTEAM ground exercises and then ride one or two of the horses to show the exercises which can be done from the horse's back. We also demonstrate some of the equipment specific to TTEAM.
The week-long (5 to 8 day clinic) training is intended to "chunk" down the various parts of the TTEAM methods and give people a chance for a "hands-on" experience. The week usually begins with a weekend introduction which is especially useful for those who have never attended a TTEAM clinic.
It is our intent at the week long trainings to provide a learning environment that is as non-threatening and non-habitual to the human participants as well as to the horses. Unlike many horse activities, these trainings are not competitive and the atmosphere is one of sharing information and ideas. The teaching methods are intended to support and be positive. The sharing we do after each working session is invaluable because people experience things from various points of view and sometimes the insights or "ah ha's" of another really hit home.
How do I become a TTEAM Practitioner for horses?
Many people see TTEAM, Tellington TTouch Equine Awareness Method, as an extremely effective way of working with horses. Some of these people attend one or two workshops and incorporate TTEAM into their own training programs or with their horse-related activities such as 4-H groups, Pony Clubs or Therapeutic Riding. We encourage and appreciate the integration of TTEAM in these ways.
Others, after seeing TTEAM demonstrated want to become a practitioner and teach TTEAM to others.
Accreditation as a TTEAM teacher takes considerable commitment, time and money. There are five certification levels of practitioners. Becoming a practitioner at the first level requires a minimum of four week-long trainings. The cost of each training varies from $535 to $650, depending on the number of days of the training and the Instructor. Usually budgeting $100 per day is a good idea. Details about the qualifications required to teach at the various levels are outlined here.
Often we get calls from people who want to make a career change and wonder if they can make a living as a TTEAM practitioner. Anyone who has been in the horse business knows that most people work with horses more for love than for money. Unless one has a supplementary income, we do not recommend TTEAM as a career. Many TTEAM practitioners teach TTEAM for their personal satisfaction.
TTouch for Companion Animals
How will TTouch benefit my dog, cat, bunny, bird, or other companion animal?
The Tellington TTouch is a specialized approach to the care and training of our animal companions. Developed by internationally recognized animal expert, Linda Tellington-Jones, PhD (Hon), this method based on cooperation and respect offers a positive approach to training, can improve performance and health and presents solutions to common behavioral and physical problems. It also helps establish a deeper rapport between humans and animals through increased understanding and more effective communication.
What types of problems can TTouch help solve?
The Tellington TTouch can help in cases of:
- Excessive Barking & Chewing
- Leash Pulling
- Jumping Up
- Aggressive Behavior
- Extreme Fear & Shyness
- Resistance to Grooming
- Excitability & Nervousness
- Car Sickness
- Problems Associated With Aging
What's a TTouch workshop or clinic for companion animals like?
When people hear about the work and have not experienced it, of course they are skeptical. At one two-day training in Pasadena, we had five men and several women professional dog trainers who were skeptical of how the TTouch worked. There were some very difficult dogs and some remarkable turnarounds. Georgiann Schneider has been a trainer for a decade and a half and specializes in Rottweilers. On her evaluation form she wrote:
"I have had my female Rottweiler for one month. I have had many Rotties over the years but this new one was very hyperactive. I have always used a lot of touching to develop a bond with new dogs. This new female was so stimulated by me being near her that I could not get her to hold still to be petted. She'd jump all over me in her excitement and never settled down, so after 10 minutes I would have to confine her to her crate or kennel.
"On the second morning of the seminar, my 'hyperactive' dog entered the seminar room, looked around for 10 minutes and then lay quietly at my feet (awake - not asleep!) for the next 50 minutes. I would have been satisfied if she would have held still for 10 minutes, but for her to be able to lay quietly in a room full of dogs (not always quiet) is truly unbelievable. If I hadn't been there in person, I wouldn't believe it!"
How do I become a TTouch Practitioner for dogs, cats and other animals?
We offer a formal certification program, which consists of six sessions over a two-year period. The total tuition for the Program is $5,000.00.
This Certification program is designed for people who want to share the benefits of TTouch with their own animals as well as for people who want to work with animals on a full or part-time basis. There are hundreds of professional TTouch Practitioners all over the world.
Some work full-time with private clients, many do TTouch part-time in addition to their other jobs, and some incorporate what they have learned into their work with animals in shelters, obedience schools, veterinary clinics and zoos. The rewards of this training program include an inspiring way to relate to animals and a new appreciation and understanding of themselves.
The certification program to become a TTouch Practitioner takes at least two years and requires a considerable investment of time and effort. The program consists of six sessions (three per year), each lasting between five and seven days.
More detailed information about the program and becoming a TTouch Practitioner can be found here.
How will TTouch benefit me?
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 Elephants" 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.