Spotlight on The Equine Touch

The Equine Touch®
By Yvonne Welz
Reprinted from The Horse's Hoof, Volume 1, Issue 3

Jock and Ivana Ruddock explaining one of The Equine Touch movements

On April 21-23rd, 2001, The Equine Touch came to Scottsdale, Arizona. This 3-day Basic Course, presented by the method developers Jock and Dr. Ivana Ruddock, was geared specifically for horse lovers - no experience in alternative therapies was required. Several of the participants were equine massage therapists and body workers, but many were just ordinary horse owners.

Jock and Ivana are fabulous teachers, very bright and personable, and extremely patient. The course was thorough, with lots of hands-on practice. This technique is very easy to learn, although it does require practice to get it just right. Watching Jock and Ivana execute the movements was amazing; it looks so effortless!

Jock and Ivana applied the techniques first to the human participants every day. This gave us the added benefit of learning not only The Equine Touch, but also the human Bowen movements. Feeling the incredible results of a simple movement applied to your own body was quick to banish any doubts about the effectiveness of this method! We practiced extensively on each other, gauging the skill of our own newly-learned technique.

After practicing on humans, we then moved on to the horses. Groups of 2-3 people would practice together on a horse, with The Equine Touch instruction manual by our side. What seemed so easy in our mind now became awkward, but with practice, everything began to flow. The horses seemed to greatly enjoy this work, even if we were beginners at this.

Jock demonstrating this gentle technique

The Equine Touch is non-diagnostic and non-invasive. All the movements are very safe to perform. It is very different from other bodywork, such as that performed by chiropractors, rolfers, massage therapists, etc. The simple moves of The Equine Touch bring relief and often what seems to be an almost miraculous healing. It addresses the whole body, which in turn addresses its own problems, and brings about the healing itself.

Jock and Ivana were clear to point out the two instances where The Equine Touch cannot fix the problem: teeth and hooves. These problems must be independently addressed by a specialist in those fields.

The Equine Touch seminars are now available for interested horse owners and Bowen Practitioners throughout the world. The seminars, Basic and Advanced, are each held over three days. Each seminar is certified by The International Academy of Somatic Harmonization, and The Equine Touch has now been recognized by and is a member of the BCMA (British Complementary Medicine Association), is affiliated to the ICM (Institute for Complementary Medicine) in the UK and is recognized by Equinology in the USA. Please see the Ruddock's website at:

For more information on holding an Equine Touch seminar in your area, please contact the USA national coordinator, Natural Horse Magazine, PO Box 10, Holtwood, PA 17532, 800-660-8923,

Ivana (left) instructing two clinic participants

About the author:
Yvonne Welz is editor and publisher of The Horse's Hoof, a 16-page color newsletter journal dedicated solely to natural hoofcare. She and her husband James have almost completely rehabilitated their severely foundered mare, Inty, through the process of natural hoofcare utilizing the methods of Dr. Strasser of Germany, and James is a now a Strasser Certified Hoofcare Specialist. Yvonne has found The Equine Touch to be an additional help to Inty in easing the soreness and muscular discomfort in her body while her hooves are healing.

Reproduced courtesy of The Horse's Hoof, PO Box 40, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340-9998,

The Bowen Technique was developed in Australia, in the mid-20th century, by a man named Tom Bowen. What is remarkable is that Mr. Bowen had no formal qualifications, but the bodywork that he introduced seemed to instantly relieve people's aches and pains, with surprisingly little effort. Bowen's work, spread by word of mouth only, became so popular that by the 1970's he was officially accredited by the Australian government as treating 13,000 patients per year. The majority of his patients required only 1-2 visits to completely resolve their symptoms.

All the horses seemed to enjoy the moves.

This gentle, non-invasive technique produces outstanding and often immediate results through a series of specific movements across tendons, muscles and fascia. How does it work? Even Tom Bowen himself did not know. It may work by stimulating the body and actually re-balancing the connection between body and brain. The Bowen Technique should not be considered therapy, but rather an energy release modality that works in harmony with the body's inner wisdom.

Now this technique is available for horses in the form of The Equine Touch, with the Bowen movements translated into the unique structure of the equine. The Equine Touch was developed in 1997 by Bowen specialist and instructor Jock Ruddock. Jock is joined by his wife Dr. Ivana Ovesna, a Veterinary Surgeon, in teaching, researching, documenting and developing the Equine Touch. Together they travel the world teaching horse-lovers everywhere how to use the simple, easy to learn methods of The Equine Touch.