Advanced 5-Day Course


Horses in your care will benefit further by your participation in the Advanced 5-Day Course. You will become more adept at The Masterson Method® techniques that will help relieve your horse’s stress and build stronger human-horse relationships. For those interested in becoming a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner (MMCP), it is the next required step.  Read more about the certification process here.

The Advanced 5-Day Course in equine bodywork is an advanced, practical course that is open to anyone with experience handling horses and a basic knowledge of equine anatomy, who is interested in improving relationship, communication and performance in horses. It is also the primary course for the Certification Program.

It consists of five days of practical training. Your group will be visiting a different barn each day within the vicinity of the primary city. This way you will have a variety of horses to work on. Carpooling is recommended and can be arranged on the first day.

This course is spent almost entirely working on horses. You will learn where to look, what to look for, and how to release and clear issues that most affect performance. During this course you will perfect your understanding of the principles of release of tension in the horse, your ability to recognize and use responses of the horse to your touch to get that release, and your ability to enable the horse to participate in the process of releasing tension.

You will also learn evaluation techniques that will help you identify bio-mechanical patterns in the horse associated with possible primary Issues, and resulting secondary Issues.

Course size is limited to ensure one-on-one instruction.

We are accredited by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Organization (NCBTMB) for Continuing Education Credits.

Advanced 5-Day Course Dates

Join us at an Advanced 5-Day Course to learn advanced Masterson techniques as well as Jim’s evaluation process.


See our COVID-19 procedures. See our COVID-19 Waiver (for Canada, the United States and Poland).


October 25-29, 2021  Tucson, AZ with Vanessa Helvey

November 8-12, 2021  Chapel Hill, NC with Sandy Vreeburg

December 6-10, 2021  Houston, TX with Becky Tenges

January 24-28, 2022  Watsonville, CA with Sandy Vreeburg

June 20-24, 2022  Watsonville, CA with Sandy Vreeburg


April 4-8, 2022  Calgary, AB with Lori Hoppe

September 5-9, 2022  Sherbrooke, QC with Lori Hoppe

September 19-23, 2022  Cobourg, ON with Lori Hoppe

Europe & UK

October 27-31, 2021  Egestorf, DE taught in German with Walter Saxe
*Note this is a Wednesday to Sunday course.

Australia & New Zealand

February 27-March 3, 2022  Waikato, NZ with Nadine Vollmerg

What You’ll Learn—Course Details

Advanced 5-Day course schedule for each day is 9am – 5pm. Please plan on arriving 15 minutes before the course begins.

Course Prerequisites

You must have taken the Weekend Seminar-Workshop before attending the Advanced 5-Day Course.

We encourage you to space out the time between the Weekend Seminar-Workshop and the Advanced 5-Day Course. This will enable you to go home and “soak in” what you have learned. That said, we understand that life gets in the way so you are welcome to come to a weekend and stay for the Advanced 5-day if both courses are contiguous.

It is a prerequisite to complete the Beyond Horse Massage Online Home Study Course prior to attending the Advanced 5-Day.  Jim has found that those who have completed the course prior to the Advanced 5-Day come better prepared.

The Advanced 5-Day Course also requires a certain level of physical fitness. You must be in good physical shape to meet the demands of these five days. You will be working with horses every day and often on your feet for the whole day. To give you an idea of the physical requirements needed to successfully complete the course, what would be required would be roughly equivalent to one of the following:

  • Forty minutes of aerobic activity without the need to sit down
  • Thirty minutes of Pilates with hand weights or bands
  • One hour of serious riding (not a gentle hack out)

You must have enough experience with horses that you are able to safely and comfortably perform the techniques taught in the course. In addition to working safely, you should be able to:

  • work in an enclosed space such as a stall, with an unfamiliar horse
  • pick up and handle the fore and hind feet and legs of an unfamiliar horse
  • hold up a leg long enough to examine the foot and leg

Course Outline

Time Breakdown: Approximately 15 to 20% will be spent on lecture, including:

  1. The anatomy of key junctions of the body that most affect performance; the poll/atlas/axis, the neck/shoulders/withers junction, and the sacroiliac/sacro-lumbar junction and major muscles associated with that junction.
  2. The principles and mechanics of release in the muscles and connective tissues of the horse, different levels of pressure, recognizing and using the responses of the horse to touch, and how our use of pressure, movement and position causes a muscle or junction to release.
  3. Initial and final evaluations, primary issues vs. secondary issues, and pain vs. restriction in the body.

Approximately 80 to 85% will be spent in hands-on demonstration and practice of Advanced Masterson Method Techniques on multiple horses with a range of issues.

  • Initial Evaluation – gathering information on what’s going on with the horse’s body
  • Advanced Techniques – purposes, goals, anatomy and demonstration
  • Advanced Techniques – hands-on practice
  • Softening and yielding
  • Refining feel
  • Staying under the bracing responses
  • More responses, releases and tuning in to the horse
  • Flow of the work
  • Pain vs. restriction
  • Safety Working with head-shy, sore and/or difficult horses
  • Discussion of some common primary issues, such as feet and legs, injuries, saddle and tack, TMJ and dental issues
  • Final Evaluation – Putting it all together
  • Working with owners, trainers and other equine professionals

Required and Suggested Reading and Viewing for the Advanced 5-Day Course



There are numerous books on equine massage and bodywork. Any background reading on position release, myofascial release, neuromuscular, craniosacral, acupressure, bio-dynamics and muscles and movement will help. Below are some suggestions:

Books are available on our online store:

  • Whole Horse DVD series, Jim Masterson (5 DVD Series)
  • The Horse Structure and Movement, by R.H. Smythe and P.C. Goody (Good structure, joint and ligament drawings)
  • Horse Anatomy: A Pictorial Approach to Equine Structure, by Peter Goody.
  • Horse Anatomy: Equine 3-D, app for iPhone and iPads (Strongly recommended for iPhone and iPad users)

We are accredited and approved through the following organizations:

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Organization (NCBTMB) for Continuing Education Credits (CEC): Weekend Seminar-Workshop, 14 CEC; Home Study Course, 12 CE; Advanced 5-Day, 32 CEC; Field Work Course, 50 CEC; Certification Completion Course, 32 CEC.

National Board of Certification For Animal Acupressure and Massage  Approved for 14 hours CE credit, for the Weekend Seminar-Workshop

Equine Therapies Association of Australia  Approved Training Provider