I found The Masterson Method when I was looking for a way to help my horse Bombero. Two veterinarians told me I could never ride him again and that maybe I should take a drastic decision.
I was looking for anything that could help him to find relief in his right front leg. Of course straightness training has helped him a lot, teaching him to carry more weight on the hindlegs, but sometimes you find in your training that there is an energy block or that the neck or spine is not aligned or can not bend correctly and you can’t improve it in your training. Then this method can help to find the area of tension and help the horse to relax through them with soft touch and gentle movement.
I believe in combination of training and bodywork, it both brings the same power to your horse yet in another form. You can add this valuable 'tool' to your training and help your horse even better!
The places in the equine body that hold the most stress are the poll and neck, the shoulders and wither and the sacroiliac and lumbar junction, just like us! There are many different therapies out there today and I am in favor of any of them that show results. The reason I am applying the technique of Jim Masterson is that you are not doing it TO the horse, but you are doing it WITH the horse. In fact, if the horse is not actively participating, it is not working. Through touch and response and taking our time we start a mutual conversation.
By learning to find his body parts and junctions where he holds stress, and practicing release techniques, we can help the horse to release both mental and physical tension and create a deeper bonding. You learn to find subtle responses like the blink of the eye, twitching of the lip, change in breathing, softening of the eye and of course also the larger responses like licking and chewing, yawning, snorting, shaking, rolling back the eyelid and self stretching.
You are looking for a correlation between what you are doing and the behavior of the horse in response to what you are doing. It takes patience to watch, wait and see what the horse has to say about it. In order for the horse to participate in this process, you have to allow him to do so on his own time.
You will find a deeper connection with your horse, as the horse will feel "I SEE YOU!"
Since 2017 I am Masterson Method Certified Practitioner (MMCP) and in 2018 Jim Masterson asked me if I could teach the 2-day Masterson Method workshop. I also give a 1-day introduction workshop 'Body Awareness and Release for Horses'. Check the Agenda for upcoming workshops.
Click the pictures to enlarge