Spotlight on the Equine Touch

How and When To Use The Equine Touch®
By Jock Ruddock

Complete relaxation is just one of the benefits of the gentle yet profound Equine Touch.

This is a question that is continually brought up in class. The answer is unfortunately not carved in stone, so only guidelines can be given. The fact is that only the practitioner's own level of equine intuition is going to provide a satisfactory answer and the key to that is the experience that only time, practice, and learning to listen to the inner voice will bring you. However, let me try to give you all some guidelines on which to focus.

The first question you must ask and answer yourself is: Are you working on the horse because it has a specific chronic or acute problem you wish to address or are you performing quite simply a body balance to relax the animal?

If you have decided that it is a general, balance, tone up, relaxation feel-good session for the equine I would only work him once a week at the very maximum. Then after a month of weekly addresses treat the horse to an E.T. session once every two weeks or as the horse ‘asks’ for it or requires it.

If the horse has an evident problem, I would very often work him three days in a row and then leave him for at least a week to process, adjust and if his body decides, to heal.

If a horse is injured and on site, I would immediately give him a basic body balance without waiting the two minutes and then address the area of concern.

It is essential that the horse be balanced as soon as possible to reduce the compensation factor, which in the equine can be rapid in its onset. If it were a limb I would of course address the better leg first after I had opened up the holistic body. Please remember that the equine will not want to lift the better leg as he will not want to place its weight on the leg of concern.

If it is a hindquarter injury I would start at the TMJ hoping that by the time I reached the area of concern the horse would be adequately relaxed and vice versa. I would always address with basic balance or pre-event tune up after a horse has been transported over some distance to an event or back home from one.

I would not address a horse prior to a race with the full body balance, unless I had personal experience of that particular animal and knew that he would not be too relaxed or fast asleep at the starting gate, and that E.T. would enhance his performance.

I would not try to work on a horse in a stable at feeding times. A horse first and foremost is an eating machine; he will not focus on your work while he is worried about hay arriving or wondering why all his stable mates are eating and he is not. Also I would not work on a horse that has a problem until one hour after he has consumed his main meal.

The equine should also always be holistically addressed after shoeing and before, as well as 24 hours after trimming, to bring about rapid rebalancing and proprioceptor adjustments due to any new hoof angles or compensatory misalignment that the horse itself may have created resulting from the tenderness or pain induced from the hoof trim or shoeing.

About the author:
Jock Ruddock pioneered The Equine Touch, a retraining, rebalancing, and some would say healing modality for the horse. Jock and his veterinarian wife, Ivana Ruddock, have turned the Equine Touch into a discipline that is now recognized and applauded by all who see or use it, including veterinarians throughout Europe. For more information, visit