What is TTEAM and TTouch and how can it help your animal companions?

Would you like to form a true partnership with your animal and achieve your goals together? Working as a TTEAM – you can get a better understanding of your animal and solve problems together. TTEAM is a wonderful, kind approach to training that can be learned by anyone.

TTEAM is an acronym for the Tellington TTOUCH Equine Awareness Method – which was developed by Linda Tellington-Jones. More recently it is being used for Tellington TTOUCH Every Animal Method.

How TTEAM developed

Linda Tellington-Jones (pictured above, left) is a life-long horse person who has extensive experience in training and teaching many disciplines. She realised that there was a great need for a kind, non-dominant approach to animal training and handling which could be taught to anyone. This led her to develop TTEAM, which she used on horses initially.

During her Feldenkrais training, Linda Tellington-Jones realized that if you could affect the human nervous system so dramatically using small, non-habitual movements with no fear or pain – the same must apply to horses (and, in fact, anything with a nervous system). She immediately went out and tried some unusual movements with horses’ bodies – and noticed dramatic changes. In the course of this work she also started doing a series of circular touches and lifts on the body which evolved into TTouch as we know it today.

In bio-feedback studies with horses in the 80s, it was found that all four brain waves are stimulated simultaneously when TTOUCH was used, while stroking and petting did not have the same effect.

Exercises on the ground using obstacles such as the labyrinth help improve confidence.

Leading from both sides gives the animal a new experience, helping to break habitual behaviour patterns.

Bodywork includes TTOUCHes and lifts which work on a cellular level in the body, releasing fear and tension, leaving your  animal calm and relaxed.

There are three phases of TTEAM:

  • The Tellington TTOUCH (Bodywork)
  • Exercises on the Ground
  • The Joy of Riding (horses)

TTouch The Tellington TTouch is incorporated in the TTEAM approach. This is a unique way of working with and caring for your companion animals. It's a hands-on therapy which uses a series of touches and lifts on the animal's body.

TTouch works on a cellular level, helping the body release stressful responses to stimuli. The specific touches and lifts help the body to release tension and fear in a gentle and non-habitual way.

It aids relaxation, increases learning ability as well as helping animals cope with fearful situations calmly. TTouch improves confidence and awareness, helping to improve behavioural and health issues.

Exercises on the Ground

Confidence courses (playground for higher learning) are set up – asking animals to walk through labyrinths and over poles with unusual layouts. This helps to break habitual patterns, creating awareness in the body. These exercises help animals to balance their bodies – and when you have the physical balanced – very often the mental and emotional balance comes along for free! With balance also comes self control and focus – resulting in animals that are much easier to handle.

TTEAM as an approach to training

Linda discovered that by breaking ‘the problem’ down into smaller pieces it encouraged animals to cope easily and move without fear or pain.

Operating from a basis of mutual respect and partnership, TTEAM offers a training approach that encourages optimal performance and health in your animal – giving solutions to common behavioural and physical problems.

Bodywork helps to release tight muscles and at the same time creates a wonderful connection between animal and handler.

Groundwork helps animals improve their balance, focus, self confidence and self control – and at the same time helps the handler become more coordinated and focused.

The combination of TTOUCHes and groundwork help animal and handler perform at their best.

The Joy of Riding (horses)

Once the horse is balanced in its own body – carrying a rider becomes much easier. Combining Linda’s 30+ years of experience of riding and teaching riding , as well as her experience as a Feldenkrais practitioner – various tools to help with riding have been developed. The balance rein, neckring and TTEAM training rollerbit can all be used to help create a new awareness in horse and rider.

Working with TTEAM can help animals and handlers in any discipline. You don’t need to be a professional to enjoy the benefits of TTEAM with your animal. There are first aid techniques that can be applied while waiting for the vet in cases of colic and shock and if your animal has a long lay-off period you can help speed up recovery with body work and later ground work – and greatly increase your connection with your animal.



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