June 11 – 18, 2017 (26th annual Bitterroot Ranch TTeam Training)
The Tellington Touch Equine Awareness Method (TTEAM) is a way of training, healing and overcoming common resistances in horses.
In this hands-on training participants will learn the three phases of TTEAM: the Tellington-Touch, Learning Exercises from the ground, and an introduction to the TTEAM applications to riding. The Bitterroot Ranch setting offers a unique experience to work with untrained ranch bred Arabs who will be integrated into the ranch’s exceptional string of saddle horses.
This approach to training emphasizes the development of trust and partnership between horse and rider. During this week, participants will have the opportunity to school young horses who are quiet but have had very little handling. Learn the TTEAM techniques to teach horses how to lead through all of the exercises which comprise “Playground for Higher Learning” with plastic, labyrinth, pick-up-sticks, and trotting poles. Teach them to pick up their feet and stand quietly for grooming and saddling. The techniques teach a gentle, safe way to train young horses. The horses, in turn, learn to accept a rider without bucking or fear. These fundamental skills can be applied to horses of all ages. For over 20 years this annual event has attracted horse people of all levels, from experienced competitors to new-comers to the horse world. Each participant will work with horses appropriate, interesting, and safe for their individual level of experience.
This clinic is not necessarily geared to the professional horse person, but rather to the many horse owners and horse lovers who want to increase their communication skills with these animals. It is an effective, non-confrontational technique, particularly useful when starting a young horse.
SUNDAY: Arrive at the Bitterroot Ranch in the afternoon.
MONDAY: Meet the 4 year-old Arabs who will be your partners for the week. Since being halter broken as weanlings, they have had very little handling other than worming and farrier visits. Groom the horses and discover where they do and do not like to be touched. Learn the techniques used in the world-renowned TTouch program, while practicing your newfound skills on the young horses. In bringing them to a greater awareness of their bodies, you become profoundly conscious of the effects your body language and movement have on the horses. Included in today’s session are: lowering the head, working the mouth, exploring the body, tail work and leg exercises.
TUESDAY: Today you will practice leading positions and introduce the horses to the wand and lead chain. Exercises over poles on the ground and through a labyrinth encourage the horses to focus.
WEDNESDAY: Learn about ground driving, first from the chest and then with a second line attached to the halter. Work with plastic, persuading the horses to walk on it and under it, while learning to trust their handlers.
THURSDAY: Preparations for saddling include belly lifts and a body wrap. The saddle pad, surcingle, breast collar and girth are introduced and the horses continue ground driving.
FRIDAY: The horses are saddled and walk between people standing above them (on hay bales) at the horse’s eye level. When they are comfortable, the horses are stopped between the bales where TTouches are done.
SATURDAY: Continue ground driving and work between the bales. If the horse is ready, it will be quietly backed and take the first steps with a rider.
SUNDAY: Departure after breakfast.
A mid-week trail ride gives participants a chance to relax and enjoy the magnificent lands encompassing the Bitterroot. Many of the trail horses are graduates of previous years’ clinics.
“This was a remarkable experience. I gained a deep appreciation for the work done by TTEAM and an even deeper appreciation for the transformational effect it had on both the horses and me. We ended the week as a “true team.” I can’t wait to get to work on my own young mare.”
For a personal account of the TTEAM clinic at the Bitterroot, read a review by a former clinic participant.
Read more about The Tellington Touch Equine Awareness Method (TTEAM)
- Helping Knick Knack Find His Feet At The Bitterroot – by Mandy Pretty – TTEAM Connected Riding Practitioner
- Bitterroot Training 2009 – Debunking Common Training Beliefs – by Mandy Pretty