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Body work can be incorporated into the ridden work giving the horse and the rider the opportunity to experience the freedom of movement both may be keen to achieve. The patterns of poles used in the in hand exercises can add variety to any schooling session increasing focus, flexibility, proprioception and co-ordination.
It is not necessary to adopt the entire TTouch approach when helping your horse to reach his potential under saddle. Whilst ridden work can build on the exercises taught from the ground, TTouch Riding Techniques can also be used on their own.
Specific equipment such as the TTouch Promise Wrap and the Balance Rein for example can bring a dramatic improvement in both performance and behaviour and the combination of Connected Riding Exercises which address bracing and tension in both the horse and the rider are a beneficial addition to the TTouch work.
The Balance Rein is a simple took for helping horses that have a tendency to work on the forehand and/or those that are built downhill due to conformation, poor balance or growth spurts. The rider gives an ‘ask and release’ signal on the base of the horse’s neck which encourages the horse to lift through the withers which lengthens and ultimately strengthens the back. The Balance Rein also helps to improve rein contact and rider posture and is useful for horses that fall through a shoulder on turns.
The Promise Wrap is a four inch elastic wrap which can also be used as a Body Wrap for in hand work. When attached to the girth straps the Promise Wrap encourages hind limb engagement and improves balance, proprioception and gait. It is also beneficial for horses that are nervous about movement behind them and can help to reduce the tendency to spook.
For safety this exercise should always be introduced from the ground.
TTouch equipment also includes the Lindell Bitless Bridle, the TTEAM Training Bit, the Promise Rope and the Neck Ring. For more information please visit the online shop.
Information on the work of Peggy Cummings can be found by following the link to her website on the Links page to the right of the screen.
To watch Linda Tellington Jones working with a nervous mare under saddle click the link below