I was first introduced to the Equine Touch in 2000 when I hosted the very first Equine Touch clinic in the UK on the recommendation of the Natural Horse Magazine. Jock and Ivana had arrived at Heathrow from South Africa only three hours earlier, they just rushed in with a quick apology and started. Being a traditional horse person I was more than slightly unnerved at the way he behaved around the horse, but as he explained all his safety rules came from the ring and Aikido. Whatever it was, the horses seemed unpreturbed and I was amazed how they relaxed and did everything he asked of them without any pressure at all, pain vanishing before my eyes. This, was something I just had to learn. I became Jock and Ivana’s shadows, putting on classes for them in the UK, training through all levels, becoming a practitioner then a tutor, and traveled across America with them several times, teaching at the Parelli headquarters in Colorado and then becoming appointed the first UK Instructor back in 2003. I have been dedicated to ET for the past 10 years, teaching in Norway, Sweden and France and never once has my faith been shaken in ET as the greatest gift we can ever give to the horse. I have also qualified in VHT both as a practitioner and Instructor, and under Ivana qualified in 2008 as a Canine Touch Instructor. It is not only wonderful to practice these amazing modlities but also to teach them to others so that they may go out into this world and help not only their own horses, family and friends, but to horses everywhere. I have my own ET, VHT and CT teaching center outside Glastonbury where I live with my husband Jack, my never to be without horses, dogs and several cats. I am often told by my students that Equine Touch has changed their lives, I know it certainly has mine.
I have been sharing Equine Touch with horses and people since qualifying as a practitioner in 2002 and an instructor in 2005. I teach in France and the UK with regular venues in Oxfordshire and Yorkshire. Since a child I have been around horses and it was my first pony that in his very later days benefited from my initial Equine Touch studies. I decided to learn Equine Touch as I saw many horses that were labled as ‘problem’ horses that were not a problem but in pain. This inspired me to learn more so I could help them. For me the Equine Touch was the perfect way to do this – Level 1 is 3 days training and I had something truly amazing! Hard to believe unless I had not seen it with my own eyes. Now I love teaching others how to do this in a relaxed, friendly environment where the horses show us how we can all help them no matter what our level of horsemanship all you need is motivation to do it. Since learning Equine Touch I have had the privilege to work on many different horses and help them through the Equine Touch. Over the years I have experienced different aspects of being a horsewoman from studying British Horse Society exams, natural horsemanship courses, working regularly with Kelly Marks and Monty Roberts, attaining levels in Parelli and appearing as an extra in ‘Lord of the Rings’. I have also attended courses for hoof trimming and cranial sacral therapy, helping me to continue to learn more about how we can help horses. I am also a qualified VHT practitioner, which means I can provide Equine Touch on humans. I can therefore work on both horse and rider a perfect way to further help the horse.
I have always been interested in what makes horses tick but I began my journey of discovery in earnest in around 2002 when I committed to being a student of the horse. I have been fortunate to learn from many wonderful horsemen, from the great names of Natural Horsemanship as well as Classica. The greatest teacher of all is the horse himself and I have been learning how to balance the mental, the emotional and the physical aspects in all that we do together.If I am honest, when I first heard about ET in 2004, I thought it sounded a bit too good to be true. There was a long list of benefits for the horse which I was supposed to be able to achieve, and in a short period of time? I was not entirely convinced, especially as I had little formal training in anatomy or bodywork. However, I had two horses who were very special to me; my oldie at 29 was getting rather rickety and my younger riding horse, was not proving to be the athletic performance horse I was hoping for. In January 2005 I signed up for ET Level 1, and the rest, is history. For me, Equine Touch really filled part of the hole relating to the physical aspects of the horse – removing pain and stiffness. I was already working as a qualified Freelance Horsemanship Instructor when I started teaching Equine Touch in 2007, and besides the physical benefits that can be gained by the horse, I have found it a fantastic way for my horsemanship students to learn to feel of the horse. A relationship between a horse and a human can gel so tight when you are able to offer that unconditional gift of help, build a trust and maintain well-being. I am always amazed at how a group of people can gather and after a couple of days (at times filled with feelings of incompetence and self-doubt!) learn to make such a difference to the horses they put their hands on.
I have worked in the equine industry for 24 years. In 1998 I graduated with a BSc in Equine Science and went on to qualify as a McTimoney Animal Spinal Therapist in 2000, and Equine Sports Massage Therapist in 2005. I discovered Equine Touch in 2006, and was so impressed by the profound results of this unique technique, I became a fully qualified Practitioner and later a fully qualified Instructor of Equine and Canine Touch. I now use the Equine and Canine Touch as my primary address on every horse and dog I see, with some wonderful results. I really enjoy teaching, I just love the amazing transformation in people and horses over the 3 days of the course. Some people have no confidence in themselves at all when they first start the course, but by the end tare enjoying the work so much and getting amazing results. On every course I have taught so far, one or more of the students have had horses lying down after they have performed the Equine Touch body balance, it is amazing. The best thing for me is that students don’t need to have any anatomical or physiological knowledge of horses to come on the course, but after just three days they have a very powerful tool in their hands and can get out there and start helping horses straight away.
I discovered Equine Touch in 2006 by chance during a (main) career break when I was searching for an equine modality that was less onerous on my hands than the massage techniques I was currently using on my own horses. I was immediately hooked qualifying as a Practitioner and subsequently becoming a Regional Instructor in 2008. I also am a Canine Touch Instructor. Having researched other modalities, the joy of ET was being able to go back to my horses after the Foundation Level 1 course and really help them, not just my old boy Oyster, who being arthritic appreciated the gentleness of ET and the greater mobility it gave him, but also improving the trainability and performance of my competitive carriage driving horse. The satisfaction as an ET Instructor introducing these skills to like-mined people for the benefit of more horses is immense. There is always such a diverse range of personalities coming to learn ET, all joined in their desire to make an improvement to their horse’s well being. The dynamics of each course are different and the opportunities to exchange experiences make the whole process invigorating. It’s said you never stop learning with horses and it is the same with Equine Touch, ultimately it is the horses that are the real teachers. ET has provided me with this fantastic ability to offer help anywhere, anytime with willing hands, body mind and spirit. It is enormously fulfilling.
I have been a human Homeopathic Practitioner for many years but had worked with horses from my teens and was often asked to help when a pony or horse had become a problem. I loved being able to help these tense, fraught animals to calm down, feel safe and trust people again. I recognized that some of the behaviour I saw was due to pain but felt unable to help much with that. I first discovered Equine Touch while looking for a gentle form of bodywork to help my young rescued mare. However, after completing the Level 1 course I was amazed by the profound effect even my first ET session had on all my horses. It was exactly what I’d been looking for and I went on to become a Practitioner in ET and VHT as well as training in CT more recently. I have been working as an ET and a VHT practitioner for a few years now and I still feel as inspired by the fantastic results that can be achieved as I was after my first class. I love to be with a group of people as they first discover this wonderful tool that enables them to start to remove pain and tension and to bond in a new way with their horses; to listen to their horses in a way they could not before, while giving them this unique gift.
To be honest I was blown away with the amazing results as I studied through all levels and still after 9 years of being a practitioner in both – it still amazes me every day. The experience is life changing not only for the clients but also for the students and practitioners.
I live in Standerwick, Nr Frome, Somerset where I have a very successful client base.
I have qualified as a VHT instructor earlier this year and very much look forward to teaching new students as well as supporting existing students/practitioners in the wonders of VHT.
My interest in Equine Touch first began when I realised how much it helped my dressage horse Sunny with a sacro-illiac sprain which had been struggling to improve. I had considered retiring Sunny at that point, but with the help of Equine Touch not only did he return to work, but now at the age of 28 he is more supple than he was as a teenager and he point blank refuses to retire as he loves his work. He has always been my biggest Equine Touch addict and he was the reason I did my Level one course. However, I soon realised how powerful the modality is and continued through the levels to gain my practitioner status. Helping both friends’ horses, my own expanding herd and later clients’ horses, I was repeatedly struck by how horses hide discomfort as a prey species, yet also how wonderful it is to see them become truly pain-free and in total harmony with their body. There is a huge change in how they move, their mental outlook and their connection with their owner/rider. It truly is a gift to horses, and through teaching people how to help their own horses, I hope there will be more and more horses who will benefit from this powerful form of bodywork. As a dressage enthusiast I enjoy seeing improvements in a horse’s posture, greater ease in their movements and how Equine Touch can help with both preventing injuries and also with recovery. As a horse lover, I get a huge buzz every time a horse discovers deep relaxation and a happy horse usually also means a happy human! I am also a VHT practitioner so I can assist humans to be more balanced as riders. I teach from my base at Starlight Cottage in Oxfordshire and I look forward to introducing you to my herd of Equine Touch addicts who love it when a course is scheduled.
Visit Babette‘s website [link to www.starlightcottage.co.uk]
Email Babette [link to firstname.lastname@example.org]
Heather, who lives in Northern Ireland was a competitive horsewoman and riding instructor for several years before she began studying Equine Touch with Jock in 2001 in Ireland. Intrigued and committed she then traveled to England regularly to study further, qualifying as a practitioner in 2003. In 2004 she was appointed an official ET Tutor and spent a year flying back and forward across the Irish sea assisting Jock and Ivana as well as other instructors on ET courses in the UK. In November 2005 her dedication saw her being appointed the first ET Instructor for Ireland where she has been teaching ET courses regularly in both the North and the South ever since. Heather works with horses full time using Equine Touch, as well as VHT on riders who fall off horses that have not been ET’d.
Based in the West of Scotland, Emma has been an holistic therapist for over 20 years. Initially working with people, she branched out into working with dogs when she became owned by a pack of working Siberian Huskies! For almost 15 year she has been utilising her skills in Aromatherapy, reflexology and massage with dogs but felt something was missing. Emma was pleased to find Canine Touch which she finds beneficial for her working dogs and canine clients and offers courses around Scotland. Emma also works with reiki for people, canines and equines.