Last month I was fortunate enough to attend a weekend workshop of the Trust Technique at Mane Chance Horse Sanctuary in Surrey. The course is run by the inspiring James French who is also an animal communicator and reiki master. You probably haven’t heard of the Trust Technique but it is so wonderful I just had to share it with you guys. Hopefully it will spur you on to attending the workshop yourself one day.
So what is the Trust Technique?
If you are working with animals you will know they don’t always want to co-operate how you want them to. Maybe they have been mistreated in the past or they don’t understand what you are trying to help them with. This is where the Trust Technique can come in, on one level at least. Using the skills learned we can make a deeper bond with the animals and build up a 2-way trust between you and the animal. When animals trust completely you will enjoy a much better relationship with them.
So it’s just about getting animals to work with you?
That’s just the tip of the iceberg folks! Using the Trust Technique on animals will bring their level of thinking down. This not only relaxes them but we can even help them achieve a very deep state of relaxation. It’s a bit like helping them to get into a meditative state. This can be a deeply healing place for them which can help them release past emotions and traumas. Clearing past emotional blocks can help the animals to release a lot of tension that may be holding them back from being happy, peaceful and cooperative.
It works in the same way as in humans. When we have things that deeply troubled us in our past it can come back to the surface throughout our lives unless we can learn to get over or release it. This could be something like abandonment, abuse or bullying, or perhaps personal issues that we haven’t fully resolved. These can simmer under the surface and hinder our lives in ways we don’t fully understand. By releasing these we feel lighter, happier and more peaceful in our lives. In human society we have practitioners who can help us out but there are very few who help animals, which is where the Trust Technique comes in.
What is Mane Chance Sanctuary?
Down in the heart of Surrey, you will find a beautiful sanctuary of 42 acres, surrounded by woodland that makes it feel like you are entering a space of peace and serenity. The charity was setup by actress Jenny Seagrove after a call from a friend who hadn’t been able to afford to keep her animals. James French was brought in to manage the land and horses to ensure they would receive the best care possible. From there the charity has developed and now is open to the public with several workers and many volunteers helping out. The Chance 4 Trust programme has been setup to allow young children who have come from unfortunate backgrounds to work with the horses on a one-to-one basis with the Trust Technique, helping both the horses and the children at the same time.
The horses at the Mane Chance Sanctuary have all been rescued from hard times and have been emotionally damaged. Using the Trust Technique and animal communication, James and his partner Shelley have been able to gain the trust of the horses and bring about a healing that would otherwise have been impossible. Working at the horses own pace has been essential in building up a human to horse relationship of trust that can be carried forwards to furthering their development.
Why do animals need healing?
Unfortunately it is a sad reflection on human society that animals don’t always get loving homes with wonderful human guardians. Money is a big issue with some people and at times the pet is the last one to be looked after. The number of abandoned horses is on the rise – the number of neglected equines the RSPCA collected almost doubled between 2009-2014 – a 178% increase. Those horses rescued by places like the RSPCA are the lucky ones, many are left to starve to death with nobody around to help them. The RSPCA have a Homes for Horses appeal – if you can help them in any way please do follow the links on that page.
Other animals like dogs also suffer from abandonment and those that get re-homed can have behavioural issues. Horses that have been neglected have trust issues with people and it’s problems like this that can be helped with the Trust Technique, in conjunction with veterinary help of course. James has worked with all kinds of animals with the Trust Technique, including dogs, cats, birds and even lions! Below is a lovely video showing Millie the horse enjoying a Trust Technique session – just watch as her body releases those old emotional issues through physical movement like twitching and heavy breathing!
How can we heal the animals?
Using the Trust Technique is something everyone can learn and yet it can have such a profound effect on animals. I’m not going to reveal how you do it as the Trust Technique workshops will give you a much better understanding of how it works. Essentially the method brings the thought processes of the animal down to a level where they can relax enough in our presence to begin self-healing themselves. By working with the animal in their own time we can progress session by session to help them reach that deep state of healing. When this happens you can see the physical and emotional problems literally draining out of them, as in the above video of Millie the horse at the sanctuary. I was fortunate enough to have a session practicing the Trust Technique with Millie and it was a very moving and humbling experience. To be so connected to such a great beast and to know that I was assisting her healing was quite emotional. I came away from the weekend workshop feeling like a new journey had begun.
What happens on the workshop?
James and Shelley run the weekend workshop several times a year, but places are limited and they get filled up quickly so if you are interested it could be worth signing up to be notified of the next workshops at www.trust-technique.com which also has lots more info about the therapy alongside some inspiring videos of the work at Mane Chance Sanctuary.
Arriving at the sanctuary we all met up and spent an hour or so chatting and listening to James give a brief overview of the Trust Technique and the sanctuary itself. After a break, he took us for a tour of the land and we got a chance to meet some of the horses, which vary from smaller shetlands to several big beauties that were just stunning to look at and be in the presence of. Horus was a particularly wonderful horse that James was working with to release old traumas and we got to work with him later that afternoon.
The best bit of the workshop was that James provided free chocolate digestives to us all! Actually, no, that’s not the best thing, but it was a nice touch and they did get wolfed down pretty quick! There is a static caravan on site which we regrouped in and James helped us learn the Trust Technique and understand how it can help. Putting it into practice with the horses was a wonderful experience and our group seemed to do it quite easily from the off, so we were all quite chuffed by the end of the day, if a little tired from the mental and emotional experiences we had gone through.
Day two was an early start at 8am to help muck out and get some fresh air. By this time the horses were in a nice quiet state so James allowed us to get present next to their field using the Trust Technique. Incredibly, one by one the horses came over to us and began to relax, some falling asleep and some completely lying down, releasing with twitching nostrils, eyes and legs. Then we were led into the field and got down to business right next to them. Until you experience this it just can’t be put into words in a way that justifies it. Being surrounded by horses that are laid down and in a meditative state just doesn’t normally happen!
Back in the caravan James demonstrated how the technique can be applied to dogs, showing us on a very excitable puppy dalmatian that one of the students had brought in for the day. Afterwards you could see a remarkable change in him, now much calmer and happier.
Working with the horses and with some interesting self-healing exercises you soon discover that by getting into the present moment we are actually healing ourselves at the same time. It’s like reiki and meditation that allow us to find that inner peace at our core that promotes self-healing on a number of levels. By the end of the two days you feel like you have had a life-changing experience. Personally, I know I want to do this more so I’ll be signing up for the practitioner course next year so I can understand it more deeply and offer it as a service to people who have issues with their pets. The great thing is that it works perfectly alongside animal communication and healing. To get a good taste of the Trust Technique you can view some online videos which offer an introduction at a very reasonable rate. It’s ideal if you are keen to learn but can’t make one of the workshops this year. Going on the workshop and being taught by James is the best way though, getting that hands-on experience and being able to ask questions is invaluable.
Since finishing the workshop I have been practicing on my two dogs at home, although they don’t take much encouragement to fall asleep anyway! I have been using it with training them to great effect and it definitely does enhance the animal communications. I’m feeling a stronger connection with them after just a few sessions. I really can’t recommend this workshop enough, you will come away with your eyes wide open to the incredible possibilities this technique offers, and if you can apply your learning to just a few animals you will have done a great service to our four legged friends.
Visit www.trust-technique.com for more details.