Letter on Working with Animals

By Barbara Janelle M.A.

Previously Unpublished

Excerpt from a letter

February, 1998

. . .

You ask about working energetically with animals–particularly horses. The first comment I have is that if you do not know anything about horses, do not do it because they are dangerous. If you know something about handling horses, I recommend that you take some training in the Tellington-Jones Equine Awareness Method, to learn very effective and safe ways of handling and communicating with horses.

I have worked with horses for over 40 years, and I have trained with and observed many trainers. I’ve found nothing to compare to the beauty of the TTEAM approach.

In working energetically with horses, it is extremely important to recognise when they have had enough. Many years ago, when I first began using Therapeutic Touch with horses, I had an experience that taught me to continually observe the animal. I was working with a kind and gentle old horse who was lame. As I worked around the injured hind leg, I failed to work lightly and carefully enough. He felt a strange sensation in that leg and lashed out with his foot. If I had been in the way of that kick, I would have been severely injured if not dead, considering that my head was so close to his leg. My awareness in positioning myself to begin with prevented an injury.

All animals are extremely sensitive to energy work–as sensitive as human infants or the frail elderly. You must not work for long periods–they cannot take it. When an animal says that it has had enough and starts to move away, honour it and stop working.

A point that I try to make with anyone wanting to work with animals is that you must assume responsibility for keeping the animal from hurting you. If a horse accidentally injures you (steps on you, swings its head and meets yours and gives you a concussion, bites you thinking you are a fly, startles and leaps on top of you) that animal will gain a reputation for hurting humans, whether it was at fault or not. Horses with this reputation get sold to the meat man very quickly. This is why I stress learning to handle horses safely, for your benefit and for theirs. The same is true for working with dogs. If a dog bites a human, whether it was by accident or not, there is a very strong possibility that it will be put down within a month.

The Tellington-Jones work applies to horses, dogs, cats, llamas and other animals. If you would like more information on it, please call me or contact the TTEAM Office at:

TTEAM Office

5435 Rochdell Rd.

Vernon, B.C. V1B 3E8


I work with the horses at the Special Abilities Riding Institute, a therapeutic riding center for disabled children near London, every Friday morning. You would be welcome to come and observe this work.

Best wishes, Barbara Janelle