Exciting news in my progress with TTouch. I found a certified practitioner in our town who trained with Linda Tellington-Jones and her sister Robin in the '80's and has been using and teaching the concepts in Spokane ever since. She's going to come to my place on Monday and give me a lesson using my older horse, Red. In her words, It's a great gift we can give to our older horses who have done so much for us.
I told her what I'd been doing and my belief that I'm not doing it quite right. She didn't think it mattered that much that it be perfect or in a certain order. In fact, she prefers it not be in the same order every time. She did say that she can probably help me get more out of it.
I told her what had happened so far and she was happy to hear that Cowboy had got so much from it. She doesn't venture guesses too much as to the "whys," saying instead that no matter how a horse got here it's the same principles being applied.
Which leads me to Jasmine. As we were discussing her she made it clear we can't really guess why a horse has developed as much stress as Jasmine has. It could be any number of things, even genetics, but she said horses like that often get the most out of TTouches.
My daughter held her for me Monday while I did the touches. It was a windy day and something had been bothering all the horses when we got to the barn. They were on HIGH alert, looking the same direction out toward the neighbor's, and running circles. Jasmine was the same way and didn't really want to be haltered, but let me "catch" her in the stall.
She was tight and nervous, and the strangest thing, when I got to massaging around her face, she started to cry. I'd read that it happens, but hadn't seen it so far. I'm guessing that the relief of the tension in her face allowed her to develop tears. At the end of the session, she didn't seem as tuned into me as from a couple days before, and she returned to her stall still worried about whatever was happening at the neighbor's.
Yesterday I had no one to hold the horses so I had to let Jasmine stand ground tied. Let me back up a second, when I went to halter her, she didn't walk away at all. She acted like a normal horse for the first time. I walked her into the breezeway and dropped the lead...she stood still for me the entire session. She had every opportunity to walk away as I TTouched all over her body, but she chose to stand and be TTouched.
This TTouch is giving me one more tool to work with my horses, a tool that gives them better quality of life and me a better understanding. They gain so much, though, toward their training, too--practice standing calmly, ground tied, and being respectful of my boundaries, practice having their feet and legs picked up and touched and surrendering those legs entirely, practice with hands around their muzzles and ears, work in their "cinchy" areas, and work on their relationship with me and mine with them.
I'm quickly becoming a walking sugar cube.