Why Tellington TTouch Method for your Horse?
People often wonder what the Tellington Method is all about.
Is it bodywork? Non-invasive, non-habitual bodywork is just one part of a whole horse method.
Is it energy work? While many use conscious intention, the techniques work effectively in their own right.
The Tellington TTouch Method for horses offers a training approach that encourages optimal performance and well-being. Based on the understanding that behavioral issues are often caused by pain, soreness, fear or tension in the body, our method addresses these underlying issues through a combination of bodywork, specific ground exercises, and Riding with Awareness along with an overarching respect and consideration for the horse.
The Tellington TTouch Method goes beyond what you do with your horse and how you do it; it changes how you believe in your horse, and how to understand your horse at a deeper level; beyond behavior and labels. This low-stress, logical method of dealing with horses seeks to take them beyond the reflex of instinct and to educate them how to think and act rather than re-act to stimuli.
Attitude and Philosophy
One of the most important pieces that you will have from a workshop is this tenet: "Change your mind, change your animal." This means how much our perception and labels affect how we deal with a specific animal or behavior. We look at behavior as a means of communication rather than as the personality of a horse. We work to find the root cause of behavior, because there is always a reason!
The Tellington TTouch Method looks at the connection between physical, mental, and emotional balance and uses a variety of exercises to improve posture and balance that help horses feel safer, so they can be more self-confident and achieve mental balance. When animals are self-confident, they have better self-control and emotional balance. When animals have better self-control, they can make better choices and act rather than merely react. This means that the Tellington TTouch Method is not simply "training" a horse to do a specific behavior. Our method can provide a horse with the education to adapt, cooperatively, to different situations.
Bodywork called Tellington TTouch
Tellington TTouch practitioners use a light touch exploration to find areas in a horse’s body that indicate tension, fear of contact, soreness or discomfort.
Specific touches and movements known as TTouches are then applied to the horse's body and can release muscle tension, ease discomfort, and improve posture which leads to better mobility and performance.
Many techniques may resemble massage, but our intention is not to directly manipulate the muscular-skeletal system. TTouch works with the nervous system to change physical patterns at some of the deepest levels through gentle, non-habitual movement. Many aspects of these techniques were inspired by the Feldenkrais Method.
Ground Exercises called The Playground for Higher Learning
Ground exercises enable a horse to override habitual patterns of posture and movement and to learn without fear or force.
Changing postural patterns through movement helps retain the effectiveness of bodywork as well as change behavioral patterns associated with pain or tension. Using a variety of elements (including labyrinth, ground poles and plastic), Tellington TTouch exercises in the “Playground for Higher Learning” result in improved self-control, focus, self-confidence, cooperation, balance and coordination. Moreover, many unique ways of leading a horse provide opportunities for both horse and rider to increase ability and coordination which can then be transferred to work under saddle.
Tellington TTouch groundwork is not done quickly or with the ideas that you will "tire a horse out," "make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard" or "show the horse who's boss". TTouch groundwork helps horses find coordination and balance, which enhances self-confidence and makes it easier for horses to do what we ask of them.
Riding with Awareness called The Joy of Riding
The Joy of Riding combines Linda's more than 60 years of teaching classical riding and her experience as a Feldenkrais practitioner. Riding with Awareness increases the comfort, performance and confidence of horse and rider by using unique tools and exercises to improve balance, posture, communication, and overall way of going.
Our special equipment includes the Balance Rein, Promise Wrap, Training Bit, Lindell and Body Wrap that help enhance a horse's balance and overall body awareness. These different types of equipment are used in groundwork and riding exercises to support and encourage a functional posture and healthy way of going, without force or restraint.
Starting Young Horses
Combining the components of the Tellington TTouch Method (Bodywork, Groundwork, and Riding with Awareness), we quietly educate young horses from their first interactions with people to schooling under saddle This method encourages confidence, cooperation, and awareness without jeopardizing the safety of horse and handler. Each year our Starting Young Horse clinics take participants of all levels through the steps of safely and effectively teaching young horses to be ridden, in a low-stress and comprehensive way.
Horses often 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 better understanding and more effective communication.
Who Uses the Tellington TTouch Method for Horses?
The Tellington TTouch Method is used by many world-renowned trainers and riders. The list includes:
• Klaus Balkenhol - Olympic Dressage Rider
• Frederic Pignon - Founder of Cavalia
• Ann Kurskinski - US Show Jumper
• Ingrid Klimke - Olympic Three-Day Event Rider
• Becky Hart - World Champion Endurance Rider
These are just a few of the many high caliber equestrians who have worked with Linda and appreciate the Tellington TTouch Method.
Anyone who shares their life with animals can implement the Tellington TTouch Method!
What is covered in a Tellington Training for horses?
• Philosophy and principles of the Tellington Method, as developed by Linda Tellington-Jones.
• Physiology of stress and the relationship to behavior.
• Observational skill-building: posture, balance, conformation, gait, and interaction with the environment using objectivity.
• Skill-building in the techniques of TTouch bodywork.
• Use of the equipment.
• Skill-building in the Tellington Method of leading and groundwork.
• Application of the Tellington Method to specific behavior issues.
• Skills, exercises, and equipment used in the Joy of Riding.
• Introduction to problem solving and investigating external factors attributing to low performance (i.e. saddle fit, dental issues, physical issues, handler error).