About Our Instructors
Linda Tellington-Jones, PhD (Hon) | Robyn Hood | Edie Jane Eaton | Debby Potts | Bibi Degn | Kathy Cascade | Sarah Fisher | Marty McGee Bennett | Lucie Leclerc | Karin Freiling | Tina Constance | Lauren Mccall | Lily Merklin | Lisa Leicht | Eugenie Chopin | Marie Miller | Lindy Dekker
Linda Tellington-Jones, PhD (Hon)
Founder of Tellington TTouch Training
Linda Tellington-Jones' highly effective and revolutionary approach to working with animals has brought her worldwide recognition. She is the founder and president of Tellington TTouch Training with certified TTouch practitioners for horses, companion animals and humans in 27 countries.
Her pioneering work has its roots in a philosophy that sees all beings -- humans and animals alike -- as reflections of a Divine Whole. The Tellington Method was first created 4 decades ago as a system of animal training, healing and communication that allows people to relate to animals in a deeper, more compassionate way -- a way that furthers inter-species connection and honors the body, mind and spirit of both animals and their people. She is the author of 17 books in 13 languages.
In 2007 she was awarded an honorary PhD from Wisdom University and appointed as Chair for the Wisdom University Institute of Interspecies Connections.Learn more about Linda Tellington-Jones»
Robyn Hood, Senior Instructor of the Tellington TTouch Method, Editor of TTEAM Connections Newsletter and Linda's youngest sister, has been riding horses since before she could walk. She went through Pony Club and showed as a junior competitor in Alberta. She later attended and then instructed at the Pacific Coast School of Horsemanship in California owned by her sister Linda Tellington-Jones. Robyn competed successfully in hunter, jumper, three-day eventing, endurance, western events and more recently in gaited horses.
In 1982 Robyn became involved full-time with the TTEAM and TTouch work which was developed by her sister Linda. For the past 17 years she has been the editor of the TTEAM Newsletter. Since 1986 she has been teaching TTEAM and TTouch on a full-time basis in Canada, the US, Europe, South Africa and Australia and spends about 160 days a year traveling. Robyn has given demonstrations and lectures at various venues including Spruce Meadows; Equitana USA and Germany; Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan; International Humane Society Conference in Vienna and Murdoch University in Perth.
Besides teaching TTEAM and TTouch on the road and at her farm in Vernon, BC, she and her husband have been importing and breeding Icelandic horses since 1976. In addition to their Icelandic herd which numbers around 80, they also share their farm with two cats, three dogs and a very talented parrot named Frances.
Edie Jane Eaton
Born in New Zealand, Edie Jane spent much of her childhood living in Ireland where her father, a Canadian diplomat, was posted. One of her first priorities upon arrival in Ireland was to find a way to get near a horse, and eventually she persuaded her parents to buy her a pony to join the donkey, a lamb, and various cats, dogs and a hamster.
Edie Jane's interest in horses was never quite outgrown and when she settled in Canada, she started a small teaching and thoroughbred breeding stable. In 1980 Edie Jane became intrigued by the Feldenkrais Method, having seen it's influence on human recovery from physical and mental impairments. A Feldenkrais Practitioner told her about Linda Tellington-Jones and a weekend demonstration in Toronto began her involvement with TTEAM and TTouch. Edie Jane's fascination with the Feldenkrais Method - the principles of which underlie the TTEAM and TTouch work - led her to become a Feldenkrais Practitioner.
She also travels the world as a TTEAM and TTouch Instructor. When not traveling and teaching, Edie Jane keeps busy with her private Feldenkrais practice and workshops, and delights in being at home with her friends, family and her garden. For more information about Edie Jane, visit her website www.ListeningToWhispers.com.
For as long as she can remember, Debby knew she would spend her life working with animals. She began to live the TTouch philosophy of creative problem solving even before she had any idea this would be her life’s work; she was extremely allergic to anything covered with hair or fur!
Of course she dreamed of having a dog. Her turtle named Herman and her canary, Tangie, were wonderful but it wasn’t the same as thoughts of walks around the block with her very own dog. One day her parents learned that poodles didn’t shed. Shoni, a silver miniature poodle, soon became her best friend.
Debby’s interest in health and well-being was sparked by her childhood companion animals, and continued with her becoming one of Oregon's first board certified veterinary technicians. She grew up breeding and showing horses, which gave her an extensive background into working with many different breeds and disciplines of horses. A horse born with severe neurological damage initially brought Debby to TTEAM and TTouch in 1984 after the veterinarians had done all they could to help the filly. The amazing progress Spirit made inspired Debby to use TTEAM and TTouch to improve the lives of animals and their people on a physical, mental and emotional level.
Debby’s passion for helping people and animals in a fun, positive and creative way is evident in the many workshops and trainings she teaches every year. She has been a popular speaker at various international conferences including the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the International Symposium on Rescue Dogs. She established TTouch in Japan and oversees the TTouch Companion Animal Practitioner Training there.
From the beginning, Debby has used TTouch to help humans as well as animals. Today Debby frequently works with people to help them reduce pain, recover from illness or injury and to improve mobility and function. She finds the TTouch work and philosophy to be an important part of helping people to find balance and well being in their lives. She often says, “TTouch isn’t just what I do, it’s who I am.” TTouch philosophy has strongly influenced her life and that of her family. Her 2 wonderful sons were raised with these concepts and often asked their mom for TTouch when they had bumps and bruises.
Debby travels much of the year teaching trainings and working privately with individuals in North America, Europe, South Africa and various parts of Asia. She lives near Portland, Oregon with her human and animal family. For more information about Debby visit her website www.IntegratedAnimal.com.
TTEAM and TTouch Instructor, Bibi Degn was awarded the Tellington TTouch Instructor level for dogs and horses in 2002. Bibi’s unique contribution has been the creation and development of the “Angie’s” program (Tellington Method for children and youth). Her special interests include teaching the “Angie” courses and spreading the Tellington Method as a therapeutic and educational system for youth. She is also interested in the importance of the work under saddle in the training to become a TTEAM practitioner. Elements from Connected Riding and many years of close work with Peggy Cummings have contributed to it.
Bibi was born and raised in Austria. Her involvement with and dedication to animals began early on. Colonel Neufellner was her riding instructor in her childhood. Bibi earned the Bronze Reitabzeichen at the State Stallion Stable Paura. She participated at western trainings with Jean Claude Dysli. Her other accomplishments in the equine world include: she is a trail ride leader; she participated actively and successfully at several fox hunts and long distance races, and won and placed second at several long distance races both on the national and international levels.
Bibi earned a degree in studies Pedagogic as a elementary school teacher and she studied, extensively, veterinary medicine and Psychology without a degree. Bibi also owned/managed a breeding and boarding stable for Arabian horses in Austria and kept the mare book for the Arab breeding club. The dog breed, Magyar viszlas from Hungary, was another specialty of Bibi's. At her farm, she took care of many horses and dogs and other species for many years.
During 1985 and 1986, Bibi stayed in Andalusia, Spain while she learned dressage and established many contacts in the riding style of southern Spain. Here to she participated in long-distance races and long trail rides.
1987 was a banner year for Bibi when she first came in contact with TTEAM during a long distance ride in the USA. She met the TTEAM Practitioner Tina Hutton with whom she spent many weeks during the following years. Bibi was introduced to Centered Riding and started incorporating this as well as TTEAM to her training. Bibi participated in many TTEAM Trainings, mainly with Linda Tellington-Jones in Germany and in the USA.
In 1996 Bibi took over the TTEAM Gilde Office in Germany and continues to manage it. She organizes the Practitioner training programs for dogs and horses in Germany and she teaches many courses for dogs and horses.
Today Bibi Degn lives in Neunkirchen-Seelscheid, Germany and she is working to found a Educational Academy for humans and animals with the Tellington Method and Animal Ambassadors as their focal point. Email Bibi or visit the Gilde website www.tteam.de.
Kathy's introduction to dog training began in 1991 when a slightly wild and wonderful Alaskan Malamute puppy came into her life. Kathy and Spirit's partnership lead them to the obedience ring, participation in flyball, agility, and as a visiting Therapy Dog/Handler team in hospitals and nursing homes. Searching for a truly respectful and gentle approach to working with animals, Kathy and Spirit attended their first Tellington TTouch workshop in 1994. The work resonated so much with Kathy that she went on to complete the first two-year TTouch Practitioner Certification Program, graduating in October 1996 and later becoming an instructor in 2003.
With her professional training and experience in Physical Therapy, Kathy offers a unique perspective on the neurophysiological and sensory aspects of TTouch to her students. Known for her creative, engaging, and often-humorous teaching style, Kathy believes learning should always be fun for both humans and animals alike.
Kathy’s skillful approach to working with dogs with aggression and fear issues lead her to develop a series of seminars titled S.A.N.E. Solutions for Extreme Dog Behavior. Her calm, confident demeanor serve her especially well in working with these cases, and she has had great success helping many reactive dogs make the transformation from living in a state of fear to feeling safe in the world.
Living on a 40 acre mini-farm in Stillwater, OK allows Kathy to share her life with five horses, three dogs and four cats! ! You can learn more about the four legged crew and Kathy at www.sanedogtraining.com.
Sarah trained with Linda Tellington Jones and Robyn Hood and is the UK's highest qualified Equine and Companion Animal Instructor.
She runs the UK office for TTEAM and TTouch International, writes for national magazines and teaches one and two day workshops as well as working with private clients.
Sarah works with the Holly Hedge Sanctuary and Battersea Dogs Home. She also teaches staff workshops for many national animal charities including Wood Green, DogsTrust (NCDL) and the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre.
Sarah runs the teaching Centre for TTEAM and TTouch. For further information contact Sarah Fisher, Tilley Farm, Farmborough, Nr Bath Somerset BA2 0AB Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 01761-471182.
Marty McGee Bennett
Marty McGee Bennett’s first llama jumped off the back of a pickup truck and into her heart in 1981. Since then Marty has devoted her professional life to the well being of llamas and alpacas and the education of camelid enthusiasts. After attending her first TTEAM demonstration in 1985 Marty attached herself to Linda for the next ten years learning the work with horses and adapting it for camelids.
In addition to her studies with Linda, Marty brings a variety of experience and qualifications to her work with camelids, including a B.S. degree in Animal Behavior and a professional background with fiber. This combination makes "Camelidynamics" the world’s most popular, and enduring training/handling system for camelids. Marty has taught the principles of camelid handling and the TTouch to veterinarians and veterinary students at veterinary schools around the county and was the only non-DVM invited to contribute to the Veterinary Clinics of North America series on Camelids.
Her books (including one co-authored with Linda), videos and training clinics have helped thousands of llama and alpaca owners more fully understand, appreciate and enjoy this magical animal. Marty’s most recent book "The Camelid Companion" published in 2001 has received rave reviews in publications worldwide.
Conducting hundreds of clinics in North America and around the world including numerous trips to Australia, New Zealand and Europe have kept Marty on the road for much of the past 20 years. Marty her husband Brad and their family of four-leggeds recently settled down in Bend Oregon. Marty and Brad have recently purchased a ranch in Bend and have opened a training center for camelids. 2004 marked the beginning of a practitioner program specifically for people interested in teaching Camelidynamics. For more information about Marty, clinics, and the practitioner program and products for camelids log on to www.camelidynamics.com.
Lucie Leclerc’s third birthday gift demand of a real horse, with a stable to live in the backyard of their suburban home, was a foreshadowing of her desire to be with animals! Since she did not get the horse, after a bit of negotiation with her parents, she brought home feral cats and lost dogs instead. She has shared her life with animals ever since.
Some years later, while doing Equine Studies in Quebec she came to realize that horses were usually attached to people and detoured from her original dream -- to work with horses (alone on a mountain) -- and went on to learn, through life lessons, how to relate to people.
She soon realized that she liked to help people figure out what their dreams were and how to put them on paper in order to become reality. In her search to find a better balance in herself. she studied or experienced a variety of alternative therapies and eventually completed a Bachelor in Biology.
At a time when she was looking for an alternative approach to help one of her dogs with a health issue, she heard about Tellington TTouch. After reading a book she opted to go and see if it was just a beautiful story or if the method was as great in practice as on paper. Definitively the teachers were walking their talk and she just could not stop going to trainings from then on. As a TTouch and TTEAM student she never felt judged in her process of learning and to this day she applies that principle with animals and people alike. Her passion is looking for solutions and possibilities instead of problems, in animals as well as in people.
She relishes seeing the animals blossom towards their full potential and as a teacher loves finding ways to help people truly connect with the animals through the TTouches and understand the powerful impact that finding balance has on any being.
She brings TTouch and TTEAM to French speaking people in Quebec.
Karin Petra Freiling was born and grew up in Germany. Since her early childhood, it has been a matter of her heart to practice and communicate connection and oneness between humans and animals. She discovered multiple ways of communicating with animals. Karin did her Master's degree in Biology on the interaction between pygmy chimpanzees and zoo visitors in several zoos in Germany. In the mid 90s, she discovered the Tellington TTouch as an essential way of interspecies connection and worked with TTouch on the apes.
She is an instructor for TTouch for You the Tellington Method for Humans, and also an Instructor for TTouch for dogs, and teaches many workshops for adults and children. She has been responsible for the rehoming of countless dogs that were considered to be untrainable from a local animal shelter. She inspired Linda Tellington-Jones to develop a certification training for humans in Europe and worked closely with her to establish the first European "TTouch for You" Curriculum.
Her versatile skills include profound knowledge of whole-brain and brain friendly learning, from which she developed an improved method for optimized learning and reading. She is also a natural practitioner for psychotherapy, NLP Master, dog physiotherapist, animal behavioral therapist, and lecturer for brain fitness at a notable German academy. Now she is working on her Ph.D. about interspecies connection worldwide in order to help people to open their hearts again and reconnect with animals and nature.
She lives in the wonderful countryside of Northern Germany, together with her wonderful cooking husband, her own little zoo comprising 5 dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits, chicken and always several animals for physical and behavioral therapy. Children love to learn TTouch with these various species at her place and learn to interact in a respectful and loving way. For more information about Karin visit her website at www.viasolaris.de.
Tina has worked with animals for many years and joined one of the first TTouch Practitioner Training Programmes here in the UK. She has worked as a Practitioner for Companion Animals and Horses for over thirteen years and became an Instructor in 2009. Tina has worked at Tilley Farm, the centre for TTouch in the UK, for the past eight years and is a valuable member of the team.
Tina works closely with Sarah Fisher and has appeared in all of Sarah’s books. She works with the horses coming in to the farm for rehabilitation and training, assists on every Practitioner Training Clinic and sees private clients on a one to one basis. Tina also teaches workshops and travels with Sarah around the UK.
Tina is the proud owner of a Springer Spaniel, one horse and one pony. Her horse, Wellington, came to Tilley Farm in 2005 and had multiple problems. The TTEAM exercises have been an invaluable part of his rehabilitation and Tina has been successfully competing him in the Veteran showing classes.
Lauren has lived in 8 different countries, including Barcelona where as a child her first experience with an animal was a lion cub; a rather unusual gift from the zoo. As the lion got older, and larger, it moved to a more suitable habitat, but the experience of forming a close understanding with an animal never left her.
After getting her MA in International Relations, Lauren embarked on a long career as a marketing specialist. Her move from England back to the US in 1998 proved to be a turning point in her life. The family Malamute’s health and behavior issues drew Lauren to TTouch and animal communication. Realizing how effective TTouch was, she became a Practitioner and worked briefly as the Executive Director of the TTouch organization. Lauren continues to enjoy sharing the benefits of TTouch with people whose animals are experiencing health or behavior issues. However, it is the bond, the heart connection that TTouch enables people to make with their animal companions that truly excites her.
Through her work as an animal communicator, Lauren became interested in helping people with pet loss by presenting the animal’s perspective on life and death. Her book, The Eternal Gift, is a #1 best seller in Japan. She divides her time between teaching groups and giving private sessions on TTouch and animal communication in several countries.
Lauren was made a Tellington TTouch Method Instructor for Asia, in the spring of 2010. She currently lives in Oregon with her partner, a dog, cat, rabbit and two very squeaky guinea pigs. To learn more about Lauren, visit her website www.IntegratedAnimal.com.
Lily Merklin has always loved all sorts of animals: No matter if it was slugs crowling over her hands, deer that she saw in the woods near her parent’s house, her friend’s dogs and horses, the family cat “Peterele”, insects that scared other people or – she was fascinated by all of them already as a small child.
Later in Switzerland, Lily got to know the Tellington Method and became a physical therapist. She has a strong record in training horses and finished her studies in Psychology at Freiburg University in Germany with a thesis on animals in prisoner rehabilitation programs.
Books of hers have been published by Kosmos and she has been contributing articles to the journal “Pegasus” for many years. She is a trained Cranio and Polarity therapist, has taught courses in physical therapy as well as the TTEAM method. In her work she focuses on recognizing the individual strengths of people and animals and helping them to develop it.
Lisa Leicht grew up in a farmer’s village of one hundred souls on the border between the German and French part of Switzerland. Her parents had a well known gourmet restaurant and Lisa was fascinated with the interesting guests, telling her stories in many different languages that she unfortunately could not understand. She decided to change that as a grown up and she did; today she does her story telling and teaching in Swiss, German, French and English.
As a child, Lisa equally loved spending her days out in the woods and in the farmers’ barns, communicating easily with nature and all the animals she met in a language that doesn't need words. She was always being taken care of by her dogs and cats who followed her everywhere. At the age of nine she founded an animal rescue place, to where the children of the village brought injured and harmed animals, and where they tried to heal them with food and love and their hands. Visiting the farmers and watching the people working for her parent she very early got in touch with stress and distress in people and animals. These issues have become the central themes in her life.
In her professional life she has worked in healthcare and education, marketing and event coaching. Enhancing comprehension and communication and handling stress have always been priorities. For twenty years Lisa has been studying and practicing meditation.
Because of her Jack Russell, Golfy, she got into contact with the Tellington TTouch method in 1996; this, to her was like a circle closing. Since then she has been learning and teaching the Tellington method for companion animals and their humans. Lisa is also a certified TTouch four YOU practitioner, dog trainer and adult teacher. She sometimes writes articles for the German Tellington Newsletter, loves giving interviews, organizes the Swiss Companion Animal Practitioner Training and is on the board of the Swiss Tellington Association.
She gives demonstrations and workshops for people, dogs, cats and rabbits in Switzerland and France, trains therapy and assistant dogs and their people and loves working with children and old animals. Together with a befriended agronomist she is currently working on a TTouch program for cows.
She plans to offer the first Tellington TTouch Training for dog professionals in France in 2013.
Congratulates to Eugenie Chopin for becoming the first TTouch Instructor in South Africa! Eugenie was recently honoured by Linda Tellington-Jones at a Tellington TTouch Celebration in Santa Fe, New Mexico for her years of work in this field along with her tireless energy in promoting the work in South Africa.
Eugénie is American born from Louisiana, although she has now been in South Africa for over 35 years. She was an animal lover from a young age but was never allowed a dog as a child as her father was handicapped and on crutches. She maintains she’s still trying to make up for it! Eugenie came to TTouch when her dog SPCA special, Danilo became the neighbourhood villain and bully. After trying many traditional methods she came upon TTouch, which not only changed both their lives, but probably saved Danilo’s as well. Eugenie maintains that most unwanted behaviours that clients want to work with, she has experienced with Danilo, and so empathy and experience come fairly easily!
The results with Danilo were so amazing that Eugenie soon wanted to share the work and thus began the Tellington TTouch Program in South Africa. She runs this Program and the TTouch Office in South Africa and works to ensure that practitioners stay current with new techniques as well as old ones. The program has been running since 2001 and South Africa now boasts over 75 Practitioners.
Eugenie has a Master’s degree in Applied Music and spent many years performing Opera and teaching singers. She never dreamt that she would end up following a career with animals. Her real passion is dogs and she loves teaching people about ways to interact with animals that are neither frightening nor forceful. Because of this, she has spent extra time in the US becoming an expert on clicker training which she combines with TTouch when it’s appropriate and useful.
Eugenie runs 2 or 3 Day Clinics, 6-week Classes and consults privately. She has done television spots for both 50/50 and South Africa Today as well as other “specialty programs”, written articles for leading animal magazines and done numerous radio interviews. She also teaches week long TTouch trainings for the South African Police Dog Unit. She maintains that life is full and good and yes it is possible to work with the things you love!
While assisting Linda Tellington-Jones at the UK Advanced TTouch/TTEAM Practitioner Training, Marie received the wonderful surprise of being awarded certification as TTouch Companion Animal Instructor. She was introduced to Tellington TTouch by reading Linda's book and trained on the first companion animal practitioner clinics in the UK. Since graduating Marie has assisted at many companion animal practitioner training clinics, teaches one and two day TTouch workshops and demonstrates at many events. Sarah Fisher and Marie frequently work together teaching courses and workshops and have co-authored two books about dog training and problem solving, combining TTouch and Clicker Training.
Marie has had a life long love of animals and spent many happy hours growing up with animals from the local farm and ponies from the local stables. Dogs and cats became fully part of her life when she left home and was able to have pets of her own. She began to study companion animal behaviour and in 1980, set up Paws'n'Learn, a training and rehabilitation practice which uses force free methods. Marie is passionate about puppy training and the prevention of behaviour problems. She runs weekly classes, works 1-2-1 with companion animals and teaches workshops. Marie has been the resident trainer and behaviour advisor at Hollycroft Veterinary Centre since 1981.
To learn more about Marie, visit her website, www.pawsnlearn.com.
Lindy started riding at age 10 in Stellenbosch near Cape Town, South Africa. The majority of the horses were rescued racehorses with problems. She was always surrounded by animals and her parental home was never without at least two dogs and two cats. She was given a rescued donkey in 1967 and had him for 4 years.
After studying Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics at university, Lindy moved with her husband Rick to Johannesburg in 1979. There she changed careers to become a computer programmer, and she is still involved in doing support for a consulting company.
In 1987 Lindy reached her dream and acquired her first horse ‘Babyshoes’ (ex-racehorse TB gelding) who stayed with her for nearly 21 years. Lindy has competed in dressage to Elementary level. In March, 1999 she attended a Natural Healing course for animals that included Reiki and Aromatherapy as well as an introduction to TTouch. She started her own therapy business in 2000. In January, 2001 she attended her first five-day TTEAM workshop and hasn't looked back. She has been organizing the TTEAM practitioner training clinics in Johannesburg since 2002.
In 2004 Lindy started the TTouch for Companion Animals programme and is now a Practitioner level 2. Besides organizing the practitioner training clinics for the Tellington TTouch Method for horses (TTEAM), she gives clinics as well as private consultations for both horses and companion animals while traveling to all sorts of interesting places!
To learn more about Lindy, visit her website, www.lindydekker.com.