From the Desk of Linda Tellington-Jones

Monday, September 15 – 20, 2008
TTEAM Training, Switzerland
A mixture of experienced TTEAM practitioners from the most experienced coming for inspiration, to share her knowledge and to brush up on the latest nuances – Annemarie Gmür-Suter. Annemarie did her first TTEAM training 20 years ago, is a Practitioner 3, and is a member of the seven-person Swiss Guild Board.

Thursday, Sept 19, 2008
It was a pleasure to spend the weekend with such enthusiastic horse fans. The excellent organization and wonderful venue that kept us dry and sheltered from the sudden change in weather was very much appreciated. And having that tasty food and ever-ready espresso or tea and cookies passed out by a smiling Lorenzo was a special treat. I loved dancing with you all – and reminiscing over the John Denver songs. They were especially poignant for me because I spent time with John Denver in Moscow in 1985 as a citizen Ambassador and hearing the music always takes me back to wonderful times when we were working to create peace between citizens even as our governments were so aggressive.

I’ve thought a lot about you and the horses we all worked with and I’ve been thinking about how you can continue to benefit from our time together. One way is to take a few minutes before you ride to slow down – get grounded and connect to your horse.  Click “more” to read the rest and to see some beautiful photos of the training.

Swiss TTEAM TRaining 2008. This mare was claustrophic and tended to rush in the laybrinth until we put a face wrap and lindel on her. she settled beautifully and performed very well at a trail competition two days later.

Swiss TTEAM TRaining 2008. This mare was claustrophic and tended to rush in the laybrinth until we put a face wrap and lindel on her. she settled beautifully and performed very well at a trail competition two days later.

his Appy gelding could not stand still. The face wrap was one of the tools that helped get him into his body

This Appy gelding could not stand still. The face wrap was one of the tools that helped get him into his body

This exercise in the narrow L with 2 people leading inthe  Homing Pigeon, helped this appy gelding to learn how to be still and trust people. The body wrap makes such a difference for a flightly horse.

This exercise in the narrow L with 2 people leading inthe Homing Pigeon, helped this appy gelding to learn how to be still and trust people. The body wrap makes such a difference for a flightly horse.

Students learn to respect the contact and pressure on the lead line, and appreciate the soothing effects of the magic "wand".

Students learn to respect the contact and pressure on the lead line, and appreciate the soothing effects of the magic "wand".

It was such a pleasure to see Jody and Bella and “Gaucho” have smiles on their faces as big as the smiles of their riders when they had just the liberty ring around their necks and no bits in their mouths.

And to see Bella accepting three men working with her and actually enjoying it was an inspiration, I hope, for Valeria so that her fiancé can relate to Bella. It will take patience and understanding that her aggressive-looking attitude of pinning her ears is her communication of her deep fear. And when that is realized then the fear can be overcome.

I have thought about “Gaucho” and Franco a lot. Gaucho would not go in the trailer with the normal methods we use. He was very polite about his refusal, and never tried to hurt anybody. When the normal methods I use did not work, we tried the suggestion of using a rope around his hindquarters, but that did not work either, and I have to say, so often a horse can escape from it as he did.

What has never failed for me is what we did in the end and should have done sooner and that was to make the trailer ramp level. As soon as the trailer was backed up to a slope, he walked in and stood. But the clue came when Franco drove away. He was much too fast and I suspect Gaucho simply did not trust going into the trailer for two reasons: 1. He has severe claustrophobia – which we clearly saw when he was in the corner of the arena in “Taming the Tiger” which really made him nervous, but usually calms a horse.
And 2. I suspect Franco does not realize what its like in a horse trailer and drives too fast around curves. My suggestion for all of you is to get in your horse trailer without a horse and have someone drive you around curves and stop and start and see what it is like. I have ridden with horses numerous times in my life and am amazed at how unstable a feeling it is. Like being pulled along the highway in an orange box at 60 miles an hour!!!
I am really impressed with what a kind horse Gaucho is and how hard he tries. We saw as soon as he was more comfortable with the bit – or lindel – or neck ring, he did everything Franco asked.

Some Daily Tips
Do A few Heart Hugs a Day for Your Health & Happiness
When you come to the barn you could stop for just a few moments and do a few Heart Hugs – placing one hand over the other on your chest with just enough contact so you move the skin lightly in a circle instead of sliding over the surface.

Imagine an imaginary face of a clock on your chest 6 oclock at the bottom of the circle toward your feet. Move the skin once around the circle past “6 oclock” and stop at “9 oclock” – making just one and a quarter circle. Then take a deep breath – empty your mind – and only pay attention to your in and out movement of air in your lungs.

Then make another slow circle and repeat.

At the end of the 3rd circle, think of three things for which you are grateful today.

Make the circle in which ever direction is most comfortable for you – clockwise or counterclockwise is your choice.

When you come to the stable after a busy day it is normal that there are many thoughts going thru your mind. A few Heart Hugs will slow you down and reduce your stress.

If you do the Heart Hugs in the stall or outside the door where your horse can see you s/he will also benefit from you slowing down.

For Your Horse
Tips: If you slow down your grooming and make it pleasant for your horse you will both be more relaxed when you ride. The fast, hard, circular movements that are normally taught – when the horse is throwing his head, or moving from side to side, or switching the tail, create tension before you ever mount. Think of your grooming as part of training so your horse looks forward to it – and you too.

TTouch before Riding
If you take 5 minutes each day before you ride and do any of the TTouches that you received in your hand-0uts from Silvia and Massimo, you will help improve your horse’s attitude and performance.

Change your routine from day to day and choose a variety of TTouches. One day you might choose a few minutes of quiet Ear TTouches – especially in the cold weather it helps to warm the whole horse.

Some quiet Lick of the Cow’s Tongue – a soft slide from the midline of the belly to the back – starting behind the elbows and working back to the flanks. Repeat 3 times from girth back to the flanks – on both sides of your horse and you will find your horse will be more supple.

Do slow Lying Leopard TTouches with a pause at the end of each circle over every inch of your horses face and TTouch the mouth.
(this can be enough for the 5 minutes).

Coiled Pythons (A circle with a lift and a pause at the end) starting from the elbows down to the hooves) will help ground your horse.

These are just a few reminders.
Have a wonderful time and stay in TTouch!! Ciao, Linda

Hey Pony Express Gang,
In 1976, 32 years ago today, we rolled into Old Town Sacramento after having the time of our lives on the Pony Express Trail. A memorable summer indeed.
Hope you are all well and having a great day.

— Shannon Weil

© Linda Tellington-Jones 2008

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