Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork:
Advanced 5-Day Course
The Advanced 5-Day Course in equine massage 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. This 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.
This course attracts horse-people for a variety of reasons, some of which are listed here:
- to improve professional skill as an equine therapist
- to improve results as an equine competitor
- to increase personal knowledge
- to become a better all-around horse-person
- for a better understanding of the horse
- a sense of accomplishment
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.
The advanced techniques taught in this course are those used successfully by Jim Masterson on FEI Nation’s Cup, Pan American, World Championships and World Equestrian Games equine competitors to improve performance.
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.
First Prerequisite – Beyond Horse Massage 2-Day Seminar-Workshop
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 for you to go home and “soak” with what you have learned. That said, we understand that life gets in the way, and you are welcome to come to a weekend and stay for the Advanced 5-day if both courses are contiguous.
Second Prerequisite – Physical Fitness
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. It is physically demanding and we want you to be aware of this and be prepared for it. 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:
- Thirty 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)
Third Prerequisite – Horse Experience
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 a leg long enough to examine the foot and leg
Fourth Prerequisite – Basic Knowledge of Equine Anatomy/Horsemanship
Once a student has registered, the student will be asked to complete a horsemanship and a basic equine anatomy quiz. These quizzes will help both you and us to evaluate your level of understanding of horsemanship and basic anatomy and will enhance your preparedness for the Advanced 5-day Course. The anatomy questions tests your basic equine anatomy knowledge that is covered in the Beyond Horse Massage Book, and is an open book quiz. The horsemanship questions quiz your level of basic equine husbandry.
Completion of both these quizzes with scores of 90% is required to complete your registration for the Advanced 5-day Course. You can retake each test as many times as necessary to receive the 90% prerequisite scores.
Jim encourages those attending to have reviewed the Home Study Course prior to attending the Advanced 5-Day. For those continuing on to Certification in the Masterson Method, the Home Study Course is a prerequisite for Certification and is a good resource tool going forward.
Time Breakdown: Approximately 15 to 20% will be spent on lecture, including:
- 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.
- 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.
- Initial and final evaluations, primary issues vs. secondary issues, and pain vs. restriction in the body.
Approximately 80 to 85% will be spent practicing and perfecting techniques and advanced techniques on multiple horses with a range of issues.
Following are topics that will be covered during both the lecture and practical parts of the course:
- Initial Evaluation
- Advanced techniques (take out Nervous reflex, and adoptive response)
- By-passing the survival response
- Nervous reflex, and adoptive response
- Working on different body types
- Manipulation and Release
- Important: Head Shy Horses
- Pain and behavior
- Pain vs. restriction
- Relationship of primary issues to secondary issues
- Feet, and pain in the body
- Touchy issues like saddle fit and pain in the body
- Other joints and junctions in which restrictions are commonly found
- Follow ups
- Working with owners, trainers and other equine professionals.
- Final Evaluation – Putting it all together
5 Good Reasons That You Should Attend an Advanced 5-Day:
- It will increase your confidence in handling horses
- You will get a better understanding of how a horse thinks
- It will make you look at yourself as to your affect and approach
- You will make a new friends from all over the world!
- You will be challenged, no matter what level of experience and go home knowing that you learned something
~ Crystal Lode: Advanced 5-Day Student
Required and Suggested Reading and Viewing for the Advanced 5-Day Course
- Beyond Horse Massage DVD, by Jim Masterson. Can be purchased here on the website.
- Beyond Horse Massage Book, Jim Masterson with Stefanie Reinhold. Can be purchased here on the website.
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:
- Whole Horse DVD series, Jim Masterson (5 DVD Series).
- Tug of War: Classical Versus “Modern” Dressage, by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann. (Strongly Suggested. Excellent on biomechanics from the horses point of view. Not just for dressage enthusiasts)
- 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)
The Home Study Course is strongly suggested for those attending the Advanced 5-Day. For those continuing on to Certification in The Masterson Method, it is a prerequisite.
We are Accredited and Approved Through the Following Organizations:
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Organization (NCBTMB) for 32 Continuing Education Credits.
International Institute for Complementary Therapists Approved Training Provider
Equine Therapies Association of Australia Approved Training Provider