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10 Minutes to Trust: Part 2 - Tellington TTouch Training Canada

By Robyn Hood (first published in the TTEAM Connections Quarterly)

 

Tellington TTouch hair slides on a horse

 

 

In Part 1 I outlined exercises for day 1 and 2 in a week’s worth of 10 minute TTouch.  In days 3 and 4 we add two new concepts that most animals enjoy a great deal, the “Octopus” and “Hair Slides”

 

 

Day Three

 

 

“Octopus”

 

 

For most horses and people, doing something with the legs either means picking them up to clean the feet, painting on hoof ointment or putting on bandages or splint boots.

 

If you spend five minutes doing connected TTouch circles down the legs, followed by the Octopus, you may notice an immediate difference in your horse’s confidence and balance.

 

 

Start with the front legs. If your horse snatches up a leg as soon as you touch it, stroked instead with the back of your hand.

 

Stroke one leg and then the other until your horse no longer picks up each foot without being signaled to do so. Why is this important? For one thing, it is very inconvenient if you need to bandage a leg or treat a wound. It has been our experience that this type of horse often lacks confidence, is nervous about poles on the ground or objects around his feet, such as hoses, small animals, water or unusual surfaces.

 

Start at the bottom of the shoulder and do a line of connected Clouded or Lying Leopard TTouches all the way down the leg to the hoof. Repeat the connected circles from the shoulder down in two or three different places.

 

Now move on to the Octopus. This is a bit difficult to describe, so go slowly and refer to the accompanying drawing or look at our YouTube channel and practice on a person. Start with your hands around the horse’s foreleg, a few inches below the elbow, with your thumbs pointing at a 45-degree angle towards each other. Rotate hour hands and slide your thumbs three to four inches down the leg. Push the skin upward about six inches and slide each hand, with the thumb on top, to the inside of the leg. At the top of the lift, slide your thumbs away from each other around to the inside of the leg, rotate and set one hand on top of the other with your palms facing to the ground.

 

Slide your crossed hands lightly down the inside of the horse’s leg to just below his knee. Pause for a few seconds. Rotate your hands so the palms and fingers make contact with your fingers and palms, slide your hands around the leg toward you. As your hands come to the outside of the leg, slide one above the other so the hand of whichever side of the horse you are on is on top.

As your hands move around the leg in the opposite directions toward each other, your wrists will cross so that on is resting on top of the other. Your baby fingers will now be up. Maintain contact with the inside of your hands – fingers on the inside of your horse’s leg and thumbs on the outside pointing towards each other – and slide all the way down to the ground, giving a squeeze on the hoof, and slowly release.

 

Repeat the movement starting at four different places on the horse’s leg – upper forearm, above the knee, a few inches be- low the knee and a little about the fetlock joint.

 

To integrate the entire front leg do one more starting mid fore- arm and when you bring your hands from the inside of the leg, point your fingers up and with a sweeping motion bring your hands up and across the shoulders and continue down to the hoof.

 

 

Dogs

 

 

Although dog’s legs vary in size so much, and are much smaller than horses, there are many TTouches you can use on their legs to help improve awareness, balance and help dogs be more comfortable with nail trimming and handling their paws in gen- eral.

 

As with the horses most dog that are concerned about having their legs touched are much more accepting when you use the back of your hand. Once you get around paws be very careful not to squeeze, there are tiny bones between the phalanges called the sesamoid bone that can be damaged when dogs or puppies paws are held tightly.

 

Octopus for Dogs

 

You can do a modified version of the Octopus on a dog’s leg but an entire body Octopus can be easier. You must know your dog and can start with doing just part of the body and working your way back as is acceptable for your dog. When you get to the hind legs turn your hands and use the back of your fingers.

 

Start with your hands at the top of the shoulders and slide them down the shoulder, around to the chest or stroke out to the tips of the ears – pay attention to your dog’s preference.

 

Start with your hands at the top of the shoulders and slide them down the shoulder, around to the chest or stroke out to the tips of the ears – pay attention to your dog’s preference.

 

Bring your hands back up to the top of the shoulders and then cross your hands and slide down over the ribs.

 

Come back up and uncross with your palms on the hips.Slide your hands over the hips and down the hind legs.

 

As you move down the legs curl your fingers so you are using the backs of the fingers as your reach the feet.

 

Bring your hands back up to the top of the shoulders and then cross your hands and slide down over the ribs.

 

Come back up and uncross with your palms on the hips.

 

Slide your hands over the hips and down the hind legs.

 

As you move down the legs curl your fingers so you are using the backs of the fingers as your reach the feet.

 

Day Four

 

Mane and Tail

 

 

After grooming the mane, lower your horse’s head and start at the withers. Taking a small section of mane, place you thumb and forefinger at the root of the mane, circle the hair, pause and then slide up in the direction the mane grows to the tip of the hair. Repeat this a couple of times and then move up the neck to another small section of mane. Continue up the neck until you come to your horse’s ears. You can them move to the front of the horse and repeat this sectioning and circling of hair on the forelock.

 

It is remarkable how relaxing this can be for a horse. The hair slides and circles on the mane appear to release tension in the neck and can also be used to help settle and relax a horse while you are riding. If you have time, you could also do hair slides on the tail, or save the tail for another day. Here is how to do the tail slides:

 

Stand to the side of your horse so that he can see you. Starting with the hair at the top of the tail, take a small section of hair and slide your fingers out to the end of the hair. As you get into the longer part of the tail, you still want to slide down the hair to the end, although you may find it easier to use both hands.

 

This is also a great way to groom your horse’s tail without taking our too much hair.

 

 

Hair Slides for Dogs

 

 

Doing Hair Slides is an excellent way of making a connection with your dog since it is relaxing for both of you. It provides a pleasant experience that is helpful for dogs afraid of being groomed. The root of the hair is connected to the nervous system, therefore is it an excellent TTouch for dogs with neurological problems.

 

Relaxes, calms and stimulates.

 

Take some hair between your thumb and index finger, or use the spaces between the fingers of your flat hand to gently slide up from the root of the hair to its end.

 

You can also slide a lot of hairs through your fingers in one movement. Slide your open hand with slightly spread fingers into the coat, close the fingers, then gently glide your hand from the roots to the tips of the hair at a 90-degree angle.

 

Start as close as possible to the roots of the hair and follow the direction the hair grows.

 

If you do the Hair Slides slowly and softly you will greatly add to your relationship. You will notice that these are not only relaxing for your dog, but you as well.

 

What if your dog has short hair?  Lift your dog’s skin gently with your thumb and index finger, and slide along the hair while letting go of the skin very slowly. Be careful not to pinch your dog.

 

In Part 3 we will explore the Tellington TTouch Ear Slides, more circular TTouches as well as an introduction to the Playground for Higher Learning.

 

Want to learn more?  Get in TTouch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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