May 30, 2012

That Forest, Tree Thang

So I go to a LTJ clinic. I actually went to more than one. They were all interesting, entertaining in ways Linda perhaps had not intended, and I always came away with lots to think about.

There were always some serious horse people (i.e. me), some clueless newbies (‘I have a two yr old unbroke stallion! He loves me! I can tell cause he bites my neck!’), some sycophants (‘Linda is GOD! See the WAND! Worship the WAND!’), and a couple of bored boyfriends of various attendees. I learned to bring my own coffee and donuts; these were tea, hummus, and granola events. I always wore jeans and paddock boots. There were always lots of pink and purple Kerrit tights, even though we weren’t riding. There was a LOT of talk about feelings.

I did grow up in California in the the 60’s and 70’s, so its not like I hadn’t been around the horse psychic amulet wearing crowd, but this was the east coast in the 90’s, and the Linda clinics were kinda like the Land That Time Forgot. Think beads, batik, and feathers. But be that as it may, they were fascinating.

They were also frustrating. It was hard to sift through the physiological stuff, imagined psychic stuff, and the various ego and attention getting stuff. We spent hours, literally, hours, going over the circles thing. The TTouch circle is the basic of all Team work, and man, they Need to Be Done Right. One needs to start at the right place, and to end at the right place, and they need to be done at the right pressure at all times. ‘Pressure’ is defined as a 1, which is the lightest, through to a 5, the heaviest.

Here. Let me show you. Let’s practice with one finger. I am pressing on your arm. This is a 1.

Crap. Wait. No, that was probably more like a 2. Sorry, sorry.

I’ll try again. Here’s a 1.

What? That felt like a 3?! Are you sure?

Ok, ok. *This* is a 1.

A 5?! WTH? It’s a 1, dammit!

An hour of twenty people going through this, over and over, and I was ready to smack them all, “Here’s your 10!”, and get the heck out of there. They were so caught up in the 1 to 5 thing, and whether the circle started at 9 o'clock or 6 o'clock, that most of the time they didnt even notice what the *horses* we were working on were doing.

It was crazy. But in spite of the 1s, 2s, or 5s, the horses responded. They always did. When Linda started doing her thing, whether it was the TTouch or the ground work with the poles and the wand, the horses always settled, they always got that thoughtful look, they always ended the session quieter and softer than when they started. It was amazing. It was worth all the goofiness. There was something to it. What it was, I didn’t know at the time, but it didn’t matter. There *was* something to it, so I stayed. And I learned.


  1. Okay, does it really matter whether you start at 6 or 9? Or is it just the touch itself that makes the difference? I've been playing around with the Masterson Method and have been amazed at what a simple touch can do.

  2. Lindas Encyclopdia has a thorough and non-woo-woo explanation of the circle touch, and how she discovered its effects. I guess basically the correct application is important, but in the years since the clinics, I can't say that perfect circles and perfect pressure are vital to the success of the work. I know now that her work is based on Feldenkrais principles, which are sound and sometimes astonishingly effective. But at the time, the minutiae of the endless pursuit of circular perfection about made my head explode >;->

  3. Through the years, I've used the TTouch circle (don't they have some name for it, is it the reclining zebra or the entertaining elephant?) in different forms, most often varying from Linda's strict positioning, which has never felt right to me. Call it my "intuition." Linda would!

    Nevertheless, as you say, it works, even when we vary from the "best practice. " Except for one horse of mine, whom Linda declared "too sensitive" for TTouch.

    1. Snerk! Puking warthog, I think it is. The work is so sound, and I understand why she felt the TTouches should be named, and identifiable. But its like Parelli and the 'Games'...its hard to take the work seriously when it has all the goofy apellations. But the old 'Horse Don't Lie' adage is the best one. The horses responded to the TTouches no matter what we called them. And thats what mattered!

  4. Abby....You are PRICELESS. I love reading about your experiences at all these clinics and thank you for expressing exactly what other NORMAL horse lovers are thinking and feeling. Thanks for so many healthy belly laughs. OH! I feel myself getting younger and younger.....

    1. Ha! Elaine! Thank you so much for that. I am glad you are laughing. All these years later, I still laugh at the memories of those clinics. I learned so much, and the work has proven itself time and again, but man, some of the situations were just too much. Its a good thing we werent all there together, we'd have gotten in to too much trouble >;->