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TTouch (also known as TTEAM) helps horses to overcome a wide range of difficulties and one of the primary aims is to help improve the balance of the horse which naturally has a positive effect on both performance and behaviour. Visual observations and a flat hand assessment isolate areas of tension and bracing held in the body and the body work TTouches and ground work exercises encourage the horse to release tight muscles and lengthen and strengthen the top line enabling the horse to use his body more efficiently.
Many horses are stiff on the right hind and fall through the left fore as a result. When you look at a horse head on you may notice that his head and neck is carried to the left which will increase the difficulties he has when asked to work in balance on the right rein. Whilst this is in part due to the habitual movement of all quadrupeds our own handling of the horse from the near side exacerbates this pattern. If we want the horse to work evenly on both reins we may need to adapt our own habits so that time in the saddle can be spent on advancing skills rather than un-doing the habitual tension patterns that are inadvertently created through the day.
You do not have to use all the TTouch techniques to make a difference to your horse and incorporating simple techniques such as the Leg Circles when picking out the horse’s feet will help to increase stride length and improve gait. You will probably notice that one or two limbs may be stiffer than the others and this will have a direct correlation with how the horse moves under saddle.
Ear Slides help to release tension from the head and upper part of the neck and as the neck is linked to poor balance and many unwanted behaviours such as rearing, reluctance to be caught, bridling issues, pulling back when tied and so on simple exercises to improve the quality of the neck will go a long way to reducing many associated difficulties. If the neck is free and the horse is able to lift through the withers, the top line can develop and the horse can truly engage the power muscles of the hind quarters.
Many horses are taught to stop from pressure on the head and have not learnt how to move the centre of gravity back. As a result a high proportion of horses work consistently on the fore hand. TTouch ground work exercises improve co-ordination and self control and Practitioners use a TTouch lead line and long dressage schooling stick to give clear but subtle cues to the horse giving him the opportunity to work in true self-carriage.
TTouch has improved the lives of many horses world wide and even horses that cannot be touched due to fear of the known or the unknown can gain trust in humans in a few short sessions.
TTouch has been used successfully for rescued horses and ponies, competition horses, racehorses, family horses, youngsters, horses that are recovering from injuries or ill health and those that may be suffering from the effects of old age. It provides many valuable tools for helping horses to overcome common problems such as spooking, bucking, running out, loading difficulties, poor performance, rushing, jogging, difficulties standing for the farrier or at the mount block, bolting and so on.
TTouch is an excellent way to start or re-start all equines and gives the horse a solid foundation on which further education can be built. TTouch teaches horses to act as opposed to react and enables them to move beyond instinctive and often fear based behaviours.