From the Desk of Linda Tellington-Jones

I crossed the threshold from the year 2009 into this final year of the first decade of the 21st Century with an attitude of gratitude and passion for life that fills me with hope and deep appreciation for family and friends and animals of all species. I’m thrilled to report that this passion continues to inform my work here in Hawaii as Roland I prepare to head to Europe later this month.

I’m often asked what gives me the strength and enthusiasm to travel the planet sharing TTouch with people and their animals. I believe enthusiasm is the key. One definition of enthusiasm is “intense and eager enjoyment or interest”; another is “inspired by God.” That all fits, but what gives me such joy and inspiration is all of you marvelous people who integrate TTouch into your lives and the fact that so many animals and their people are sharing in the gift of TTouch.

I’ve been home for three months now – with the exception of a quick trip over the big pond to France for a week in January – and it’s the emails that keep me juiced – like the following report from Massimo Da Re. This was his
first TTEAM training as a newly-minted TTouch Teacher and the improvements in the horses were tremendous. Although we see such improvements in every weeklong training, it never ceases to amaze me.

Massimo Da Re is a veterinarian and TTouch Practitioner for horses. He and his wife, Silvia Torresani, also a veterinarian, head the organization for Tellington Training for horses in Italy.

Massimo riding another horse at the training

Here’s Massimo’s training report on Vertigo, an Italian TTouch training participant:

During the introduction of the horses, Vertigo, a beautiful black 4-year-old show jumping gelding, was presented by the owner of the stable. He was said to be really gentle but difficult to keep active and “present” while working under saddle, in particular seemed not to pay attention to the poles when exercising with small jumps or cavaletti and always tripping over them.

He apparently does much better when he follows another horse doing the exercise. However he is always so polite that he can be ridden by children and beginner riders: never bucks, never goes too fast. In Italy we say he is a “soldier.” While I was checking his body he stood quietly and had no reactions other than he started to bite the soft lead rope, an indication of stress.” Interesting,” I said.

I asked the owner to lead him around and over the poles of the labyrinth. As expected he tripped over most of the poles and was even worse when I used the promise wrap on him….interesting. He was getting worse and worse every time he was lead over the poles.

After four or five times over the poles I stopped him and started to TTouch him with the wand all over the body and tapped his feet with the button end. I did Coiled Python Lifts on the front legs and tried leg circles but he did not want to pick his feet up and started again to bite and nip.

I then removed the body wrap and positioned a wrap around his nose and the forehead like a figure 8, leaving the nostrils free, to give him a sense of his head. Then I asked him to move forward using Dingo to activate the back and the hind legs.

As soon as he started to move he seemed more relaxed and in a couple of minutes did not bite anymore. I decided that was enough information for the moment and told the participants we would do another session with him in the afternoon to see if any improvement could be seen.

A couple of hours later he seemed much better and walked over the poles without touching them, this time wearing the promise wrap. It was a big improvement. At the end of the day we decided to ride him to give a little demo of neck ring and balance rein. He was very collected and did not move the mouth at all, but seemed to be really stiff in the highest part of his neck. Even when ridden with really gentle hands he did not change with the Balance Rein
and Neck Ring together as long as the bit was in his mouth. But as soon as we took off the bridle and rode him bridleless, he released and tossed his neck, started chewing and took a very deep breath and after a little while gave a gentle buck. Then his trot became relaxed and he seemed very happy!

I think one of the problems is that Vertigo really does not feel his body. That is pretty normal in a horse that lives 23 hours per day in a stall with no contact with other horses and people. It’s rather amazing to see so much change in such a short time. If we give horses the opportunity of learning they can. The smile of Vertigo and the participants after the Neck Ring riding left me in a state of joy and peacefulness.”

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