15) What Your Horse Might Have to Say About One-Sidedness Have you ever noticed in training that it is often easier to do lateral work, bending, turning, and lead changes, in one direction than in the other? This may be due in part to a horse's natural predominance of one side; what is sometimes called, “natural crookedness.” Horses are similar to humans in this respect. Between 85% and 90% of humans are naturally right-handed.
14) “What if's” and other questions on the Bladder Meridian/Search-Response-Stay-Release Now you've had time to practice some of the Techniques described in earlier Educational Fridays, and I'm sure you ALL have. (I know some of you haven't because I have an app that can tell that!). You may have some questions about things that have come up so far. Here are answers to some common questions (Sorry I can't answer specific questions about your
13) Tips on Softness, the Nervous System, and Horse Behavior Before we go any further with the Techniques I want to start to go back over what we’ve covered so far, and to touch on some things that may be relevant at this point in your practice. As you may have noticed, just as there are layers of tension that the horse reveals to us with this type of bodywork, there are layers of
Educational Friday 12c) Head Up Technique on Shoulder This article is the third of three. As we said last week, there are three ways to do the Head Up Techniques: a) Chin Lift (Hands Under Chin) b) Head in Arm c) Head on Shoulder This week we will work on c) Head Up on Shoulder This is the third position for the Head Up Technique. Although this is the position that everybody loves, if
Educational Friday 12b) Head Up Technique in Arm This article is the second of three. As we said last week, there are three ways to do the Head Up Techniques: a) Chin Lift (Hands Under Chin) b) Head in Arm c) Head on Shoulder Which you use depends on which the horse is more comfortable with. It Is generally easier for the horse, and you, to start with the Chin Lift, which we did last
12) Head-up Technique: Chin Lift There are three ways to do the Head Up Techniques. This article is the first of three. a) Chin Lift (Hands Under Chin) b) Head in Arm c) Head on Shoulder Which you use depends on which the horse is more comfortable with. It is generally easier for the horse, and you, to start with the Chin Lift. This is especially the case with shorter horses who may be
11) Tongue (and poll) Release The Purpose of this Technique is to release muscle tension in deep muscles around and associated with the hyoid apparatus. This area is associated with tension in the poll, TMJ and jaw, sternum and other areas of the horse. The Goal of this Technique is to encourage the horse to gently work the muscles of the entire tongue, including the hyoid apparatus beneath the poll. This simple yet powerful technique
10) Head Down Technique The Purpose of this Technique is to release tension and improve comfort and range of motion in the poll and atlas. The Goal is to get the horse to relax the head down so that the muscles behind the poll can be massaged, and to get movement in the poll/atlas (atlanto-occipital) junction in a relaxed state by "bobbing" the head. The Trick Is not to try to get the head
9) Lateral Cervical Flexion Anatomy, Tips, & Notes Once the initial tension is released and the horse is capable staying relaxed, increased movement and range of motion can be asked in subsequent passes down the neck. Don’t over-focus on any one area. Be aware that it may cause bracing or discomfort.Soften hands, arms, shoulders and body before asking for movement. Soften when the horse tenses, then ask again. Ask the horse to step away
8) Lateral Cervical Flexion Explanation & Steps With the Bladder Meridian Technique, we began the process of getting the horse to release tension in the body by bringing her awareness to it in a way that she can’t brace against it. When we use no pressure, the horse has nothing to brace against. Now we’re going to use the same principle, but with movement. When we move a joint or junction through a range
7) The Horse's Diagonal and Where to Start With this method of bodywork, in general we start where it’s easiest for the horse, then work through where it’s difficult for the horse. So where do we start? Horses are like humans in the sense that they are not symmetrical. Just as humans have a predominant side - most are right-handed and a few are left - horses are born into a similar situation, except
6) Three Key Junctions The 15 second definition of the Masterson Method is: It’s a method of equine bodywork in which we read and follow the horse’s responses to our touch to enable it to release tension in key junctions of the body that most affect performance. We’ve talked about the responses and levels of touch, and how we can use these to enable the horse’s nervous system to release tension. Now let’s talk
5) How Does it Work? This method works because we work with the horse’s natural instincts as 1) and prey animal, and 2) as a herd animal. As a prey animal the horse’s first survival response to danger, pressure or discomfort is to flee. If he doesn’t have that option, which he usually doesn’t when working with humans, his second survival response is to brace against, both internally and externally. You may have heard
4) Connecting Touch to Response: The Bladder Meridian Technique The purposes of the Bladder Meridian Technique are to: Uncover areas of tension in the horse that he might be hiding Help the horse to begin releasing that tension Connect you with the language of the horse, ie. he gets to know that you’re seeing his body language and mean no harm, and you get to know how this particular horse responds to your touch.
3) The Horse's Responses The key to the amount of pressure (or non-pressure) you use is that it remains underneath the horse’s ability to brace against it. How do you know if the horse is bracing? By his responses – visual and palpable Subtle Responses tell us that the horse is feeling something, but is not yet bracing against it; blinking, lip twitching, change in breathing.
2) Levels of Touch The amount of pressure (or non-pressure) we use is the most important, and often the most difficult part for humans, of staying underneath the horse’s bracing response. When asked “How much pressure are you using?”, rather than say, “Well, I’m using exactly 2.43 pounds per square inch over an area of 6.4 square inches for a period of exactly…” and so on, I decided to use terms that we can
1) Touch Why is Touch so important when doing this work with the horse? For humans, if something is working well we think that even more of it will work better. Working with the horse with this Method, the opposite is true for the following reason: The horse is programmed to brace against or block out tension, pain or discomfort in order to survive. If we use a level of touch that stays underneath