What is The Equine Touch?
... answers to this and other commonly asked questions

equine touch
Equine Touch provides an enjoyable experience for the receiver and giver alike. It is a unique form of bodywork that anyone can learn and use.

We at Natural Horse Magazine are often asked about Equine Touch. Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions.

What is Equine Touch?

Equine Touch is a non-diagnostic, noninvasive, energy and connective soft tissue discipline which works at a complete holistic level; that is, it addresses the equine as a whole without paying any particular attention to any named problem as such. On a practical level it consists of a series of gentle moves performed over specific points in predetermined patterns which are interspersed with waiting periods to allow the equine to recognizes and process the effects of these subtle procedures.

These procedures when performed with Accuracy, Integrity and Intent (A.I.I.) have the effect of inducing deep relaxation, releasing hypertonic and traumatized muscles, encouraging muscle tone recovery from injury and atrophy, reducing the pain spiral, and assisting in detoxification and lymphatic drainage. The horse through these series of gentle moves is trained to rebalance not only physically but emotionally, energy blocks are released, unwanted structures appear to dissolve, and the flow of Ki is stimulated through the meridians, allowing the equine to attain and maintain the ideal state of homeostasis in which its own innate healing power is able to work to its maximum potential.

The Equine Touch is not designed or intended in any way in whole or in part to be a substitute for orthodox allopathic veterinary practice. It is not a therapy as such but a holistic gift to the equine which is as complementary to allopathic address as it is to chiropractic, homeopathy and herbal medicine as well as the horses own healing system.
The Equine Touch has been described by leading equine vets as the ‘ultimate hands on therapy for horses’.

Specific moves on specific areas of the body, in sequence, set up the body to adjust and rebalance itself.
The thumbs perform this hindquarter ‘move’ on one side ....
... and then the other, during the Equine Touch Basic Body Balancing.
Muscle attachments in key areas are addressed, such as the stifle
... and broad muscles such as the gluteals.
Instructor Ivana Ruddock gently performs the second move in the neck procedure...
... and points out the location of the third move for the class.
The forequarters are addressed by a series of three moves in the Equine Touch Basic Body Balancing.  Ivana shows how to use one’s entire body to perform the move effectively.

It is important to repeat that First and foremost the Equine Touch is not a ‘therapy’ under the definition by law which sates that ‘Therapy’ is defined as being the treatment to heal a specific medical problem by means other than surgical intervention. Similarly a ‘therapist’ is a person who tries to fix a specific problem usually under the direction or control of a licensed medical practitioner. The Equine Touch is quite simply a discipline, a set of pre ordained procedures that the student or practitioner applies to the horse no matter what problem the equine presents at the time. The fact that the equine is able to deal with long standing problems after a session of ET and that there is undeniably a remedial and therapeutic effect, wherein the horse is, as a result of its own innate healing system, freely able to process and ultimately dissolve unwanted structures while in the balanced state of homeostasis.

Is Equine Touch Compatible with recognized therapies?

While having the unique ability to stand on its own as a positive corrective system at all levels, one of the most valuable assets of the Equine Touch is its total compatibility to work in a complementary and harmonious synergy with many recognized equine healing modalities including alopathic, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, Bach flower remedies and chiropractic. The Equine Touch is not only compatible with equine therapies but with all types of equine address such as trimming, shoeing, saddle fitting and correction, balanced riding, training, rehabilitation and nutrition, all essential elements in creating and maintaining stability and health in any horse.

Equine Touch was developed in 1997 by Europe’s leading Bowen consultant and pioneer of the Vibromuscular Harmonization Technique (VHT), Jock Ruddock. Jock originally addressed the equine’s body by transposing his VHT soft tissue moves from the human to the horse using his own unique aikido based muscular vibration move. Later however, after he was joined by his veterinary surgeon wife Ivana, he studied and researched the mechanics of the animal as an individual species as well its associated energy patterns and the emotional armor. Subsequently he amended and evolved his approach to where the Equine Touch is now recognized as a premier equine care discipline taught world wide from Norway to New Zealand.

Is Equine Touch recognized by any known associations or bodies?

The Equine Touch is the first equine bodywork discipline in the United Kingdom to be awarded National Education Credits. With the UK government providing this accreditation of the Equine Touch Levels they became the first recognized standards to be developed in this field anywhere in the world. With the adoption of the Equine Touch standards of instruction now being unified in UK, USA, Scandinavia, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, this represents an exciting future for all ET instructors and practitioners. The most valuable part of this recognition and formal endorsement by various UK agencies is that we are no longer self-accrediting which will be a positive in the acceptance of ET both from the teaching ad practicing paradigms.

The Equine Touch was also the first Equine discipline to be recognized by: The British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA) The British Register of Complementary Practitioners (BRCP)and The Institute for Complementary Medicine (ICM). It is also recognized by the Hypiatric Society and the Veterinary University in Czech Republic and was publicly endorsed by Parelli Natural Horsemanship (PNH) and Equinology in the USA. Further credence has been given to The Equine Touch by Equine Ethology in UK, NZ and Australia and by the number of veterinary surgeons who are now learning the discipline in all countries and giving their support including the highly acclaimed Dr Judith Shoemake and Dr Luann Groves, as well as:

Dr Zdenek Zert , head of surgery at the University of Veterinarian Studies in the Czech Republic and one of the most respected equine veterinarians in the world, had this to say,

“The Equine Touch Practitioner as well as the veterinarian can use this type of specific movements on the horses body for releasing hypertonic and traumatic muscles in the equine athletes before competition and for unspecified convalescence after or during race events. Interesting is the Equine Touch mono-therapy of some diseases such as inflammation of the lymphatic veins, sprains, combustion’s, some neurological and musculoskeletal problems. It reaches many interesting and encouraging results, however the most important indication is the support of classic allopathic therapy with this type of treatment. Together with homeopathy and acupuncture the Equine Touch is an important member of the alternative medicine in the horse.”

Lyle ‘ Bergy’ Bergeleen, legendary farrier, instructor and hoof expert in the USA who experienced the Equine Touch first hand made this noteworthy comment:

“I have been shoeing and trimming horses hooves for over 30 years and I am more than well aware of the effect of tight and spasmed muscles on the horse and its effect upon the work of ferriers. In all my years I have never seen anything as powerful and effective, gentle, simple, act so quickly and yet be long lasting as The Equine Touch.”

The Equine Touch is also unique in the fact that it is:

CRITIQUEABLE (therefore)

PLEASE NOTE: Information for confused students.

The Equine Touch is not “Bowen for Horses”. The origin of that work must be attributed to Ali Gower in Australia and is the marketing name and umbrella used by various horse therapies derived from her work.

Equine Touch was originally developed in its rudiments in Scotland by Jock Ruddock who acknowledges the inspirational influence of Tom Bowen in the pioneering stages of his human discipline ‘Vibromuscular Harmonization Technique ’ from which the foundation for the Equine Touch was initially transposed.

Over the years The Equine Touch has grown from a simple basic form of body balancing to a totally unique equine bodywork discipline which with dedication, research and experience has evolved onto such a higher plane of content, focus and address that no comparison between the afore named therapies can reasonably be made.

The Equine Touch in its dogma, address and practice has been enriched and nourished by contributions from vets and equine body workers from all parts of the world as well as the continual creativity and research of Jock and Ivana.fin


Jock and Ivana are currently scheduling for the 2007 seminars. Please visit
www.TheEquineTouch.com for hosting information.