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TTEAM FOR ENDURANCE

Naomi Preston, TTEAM Practitioner

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TTouch Earwork

The following sequence of pictures show Naomi doing the TTouch Earwork on Belesema Lyrica.  Earwork is an
extremely useful TTouch, as there are acupressure points in the ear for every part of the body.  If a horse (or other animal including humans) is in shock from some kind of trauma, working the ear can be useful to bring the horse out of shock.  When wanting to "stimulate" the body, earwork is done more rapidly.  Conversely, if you ware wanting to relax a horse (at a vet check), you would do the earwork more slowly. 
 
Here I am starting at the base of the ear, with my thumb on the left side, and the rest of my hand on the right side.
Note that my left hand is firmly secured on the noseband of the halter.
  
 
 
Then I'll compress my thumb against the rest of my hand folding the ear on itself, and slide my hand up the ear to the very tip.  The tip of the ear is especially important, as there is an acupressure point for shock there. 
 
 
Now I'm starting another slide, and you can see how Lyrica has lowered her head, and appears to enjoy the work.
You can see how effective the earwork would be at a Vet Check in an Endurance Ride, to relax the horse and
speed the recovery process. 
 
 
Leg Exercises

Here I'm starting leg exercises with Lyrica, which is probably one of the TTEAM exercises I use most
frequently with my endurance horses.  The leg exercises are useful for increasing range of motion,
increasing stride length, warming a horse up before training, or helping with tight or fatigued muscles at a competition.  It is also useful for young horses, to prepare them for the farrier, or horses that might be having issues with their legs being picked up.  I start by lifting the foot, with me in a
balanced position, feet a hip's width distance apart, and my left elbow secured on my left thigh.  My
left hand is supporting the hoof, being careful not to put my fingers directly under the hoof, for
safety in case the horse would suddenly put their foot down and stomp on my fingers!  My right hand
is under and supporting the fetlock joint.  This position is the "center" of an imaginery circle I will
trace with the hoof. 
 
Here I am tracing the circle, coming forward towards me.  Then I will follow the circle around until the foot
is behind the other leg.  The circles can be done clockwise and counterclockwise, and you can do them at
different heights above the ground.  You can also "spiral up" and "spiral down" while doing the circles.  The
size of the circle is not important -- this is where "less is more."  Start with a small circle which is comfortable
for your horse, and focus on keeping the circle a true circle.  If at any time you encounter any tightness, make the
circle smaller.  We are not trying to "stretch" the horses's leg at all.  Just do circles that are comfortable and
easy for your horse.  Repeat this on the other front leg.
 
 
Here I'm starting a hind leg circle.  Note my balanced stance, again with my left elbow secured above my left
knee.  My left hand is again supporting the hoof, and my right hand is holding the leg above the fetlock.  From a
position even with the opposite hind leg, I will bring the hoof forward, tracing an oval towards me and back to
even with the other leg.  We do not take the hoof behind the other leg on the hind legs as we do on the front legs.
Again, stay within the free-moving comfort zone of the horse, do not stretch the leg against any resistance. 
Remember, "less is more."  These hind leg exercises are especially helpful when a horse may become short-
strided or tighten up in the hind end at a competition. 
 
 
Here you can see I'm bringing the leg forward, tracing a long oval shape.  Then I will trace the oval back to even
with the other hind leg and repeat.  Shammy has a lot of freedom in her hind leg here -- when a horse is tight they
will only be able to do very small ovals or circles -- don't push beyond what they can easily do.