Welcome to the Equine Bodywork Blog

The Masterson Method Equine Bodywork | Techniques and Tips

The equine bodywork blog reviews Masterson Method teqhniques such as the Bladder Meridian, Tongue and Poll Release and the Head Up technique along with blog posts explaining equine anatomy, bodywork tips and how The Masterson Method works.

The equine bodywork blog features posts from The Masterson Method Founder, Jim Masterson, along with many Masterson Method Certified Practitioners currently practicing equine bodywork.

We hope the equine bodywork blog posts are educational and get you interested in learning more about The Masterson Method. If you have specific questions about The Masterson Method or equine bodywork, check out the Bodywork Questions and Answers page. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact us to submit a question

Influencing Horses Through Intention and Connection

By MMCP Barbara Glass Hey Jim, It was great attending the meeting today. I always learn something more from listening to and watching what you do. I also continue to learn while working on the horses – how to influence them through the bodywork and through intention and connection. It’s amazing how clearly they respond…

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A Biomechanical Theory on How a Horse Jumps Part 2

By Coralie Hughes MMCP Coach and Instructor Last month we looked at the first part of an analysis of the biomechanics of jumping. The jump was broken into the Approach, Take-off, Suspension and Landing phases. In Part 1 we looked at the Approach and Take-off phases. This month we’ll see the horse finish the jump…

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A Biomechanical Theory on How a Horse Jumps-Part 1

By Coralie Hughes, MMCP, Coach and Instructor The following analysis of the biomechanics of jumping by MMCP and Advanced Instructor Coralie Hughes has been developed based on a current understanding of the literature concerning how the horse’s musculo-skeletal system works, how the horse uses his body and from many hours watching slow motion videos of…

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Primary Issues of Tension in the Horse’s Body – Part Three

In Primary Issues of tension in the horse’s body, Part 1 and 2 we talked about performance or behavior issues and possible primary issues that might be behind them and discussed Masterson Method® techniques that may help with the (secondary) tension caused by them. All of what we work on in the horse’s body is…

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Discovering the Masterson Method: Slowing Down – Coming Home

by Lisa Star, Fieldwork Student The gelding put his head near mine and blew softly – his warm breath on my neck and shoulders.  I was both thrilled and yet felt a bit vulnerable – for the intimacy of this action surprised me. This has happened a few times recently and I doubt I’ll ever…

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Teaching The Masterson Method® to Youth Groups

by Mimi Duffy, MMCP I saw Jim Masterson giving a demo at a Horse Expo in Sacramento. While watching the demo, I thought, “this is something I can do to keep my horses healthy!”  I was working full time as a Registered Nurse and up to my eyeballs finishing a Master Certification at the Academy…

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Primary Issues of Tension in the Horse’s Body – Part Two

In Part 1 of Primary Issues of Tension in the Horse’s Body, we talked about performance or behavior issues and possible primary issues that might be behind them and discussed Masterson Method® techniques that may help with the (secondary) tension caused by them. All of what we work on in the horse’s body is caused…

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How I Became a MMCP

by Stephanie Wilkins, MMCP and Coach To answer how I became a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner (MMCP), I have to share why.  It was because of our spotted saddle horse Lincoln, who was having intermittent lameness and performance issues that were becoming chronic.  It got to the point where we questioned if his career was…

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Primary Issues of Tension in the Horse’s Body – Part One

Tension in the horse’s body is caused by something.  It is secondary to, or created by, some other primary issue.  We can clear tension in the horse’s body until the cows come home (which is always good), but if we can help determine what’s causing the tension and then remedy it, then the tension likely…

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Head-Shyness in Horses

When discussing head-shy horses, often the first question that is asked is whether it is a behavioral issue or a physical issue?  One of the first signs that something may be a behavioral issue would be how relatively easy it is to train through.  If a behavior is unreasonably difficult to train out of the…

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Masterson Membership

Over the last 15 years The Masterson Method® has taught thousands of people equine bodywork techniques in Weekend Seminars, Advanced 5-Day Courses and the Fieldwork program. Tens of thousands of people have learned the techniques from the Beyond Horse Massage book and DVD and it has always been Jim’s goal to make the method accessible…

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For the Love of Aria Success Story

by Gina Kuttrus, MMCP Meet Star, a horse we helped mentally and physically with the help of the Masterson Method® in collaboration with veterinarians, trainers and her humans at The Right Step Horse Therapy in Colorado. Star is an equine-assisted services horse who primarily did adaptive riding (formerly referred to as therapeutic riding). She injured…

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A Summer without Summer Camp

My name is Jenna and I am lucky enough to live and work at Ekone Ranch, a multi-faceted organization in the Columbia Gorge area, in rural Washington.  Ekone is home to Sacred Earth Foundation, a nonprofit land trust covering 1,138 acres.  White Eagle Memorial Preserve, one of only a handful of natural conservation burial grounds…

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The Nature of the Prey Animal: Finding and Releasing Tension

The horse is the ultimate prey animal. When feeling threatened by something in the environment, he is hard-wired to run away first and ask questions later. Survival for millennia has been dependent on living in the protection of the herd. Consequently, horses try not to show discomfort in their body. They hide it until a…

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What your horse might have to say about lead change issues.

We’ve talked before about how discomfort, tension or restriction in the muscles of the horse can affect the horse’s movement, performance and even behavior. We’ve also discussed how horses are similar to humans in that each has a more predominant side, eye, or direction. This natural unevenness builds uneven tension in the horse’s muscles. The…

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Letter from Finland about Harness Racing Horses

Dear Sir / Hello Jim (whatever suits you best) I have a Standardbred gelding, 8 years old, and two Shetland pony mares, 12 and 5 years old. They are either in training or harness racing.  We have quite an active harness racing community for ponies here in Finland. The performance of the elder pony has been…

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Light To The Core – What If My Horse Is Constantly Fidgeting?

What if my horse is constantly fidgeting? What if he appears uncomfortable and wants me to stop?” Often when we find something in the horse that’s uncomfortable, he’ll fidget, or he’ll tell us it’s uncomfortable. This is part of the communication. When that happens, we have to find the right level of pressure or non-pressure,…

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Mysteries of the Autonomic Nervous System

by Megan Dushin MMCP, MMES If you’ve seen Jim Masterson or a certified practitioner demonstrate The Masterson Method®, then you’ve seen what some common “releases” look like when a horse lets go of tension. A horse may lick and chew, shake his head, scratch himself, sigh or snort, rest a hind leg, yawn profusely, or…

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Light To The Core – How Often Can I Do This Work?

How Often Can I do this Work? Every horse is different. Different horses have different histories and different things going on, and different nervous systems. A draft horse has a different nervous system than say, a thoroughbred. And with this method you’re working with the horse’s nervous system. His nervous system is releasing the tension.…

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Masterson Method with Cutting Horses – Part Three

By Lisa Haldane, MMCP and owner of Avalon Performance Horse and Rider Support In Part One of this series, I talked about the daily routine for cutting horses in a training and show environment. In Part Two I talked about the Masterson Method techniques that are most useful in supporting the mature cutting show horse.…

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What’s Good for the Horse is Good for Us Too!

by Nikki Kagan Anyone who follows Jim Masterson’s work, as well as those of us who treat horses with the Masterson Method know full well its effectiveness on horses.  In fact, it works so well, that I began noticing its effect on people too. When I decided to study the Masterson Method and eventually become…

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Masterson Method with Cutting Horses – Part Two

By Lisa Haldane, MMCP and owner of Avalon Performance Horse and Rider Support In Part One of this series, I talked about what the daily routine is like for cutting horses when they are in a training and show environment.  It was descriptive of the life of the horses that show at the highest levels,…

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Rocky’s Mystery Hind End Lameness

by Crissi McDonald, MMCP When we shut the truck doors and let the dogs jump out of the backseat, our clinic horse Rocky raised himself from a warm morning nap he’d been taking. He pushed on to his front legs, rocked forward, and then got his wobbly hind end underneath him. As he walked toward…

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Masterson Method with Cutting Horses – Part One

By Lisa Haldane, MMCP and owner of Avalon Performance Horse and Rider Support As many of you know I got certified as a Masterson Method practitioner in 2009 and started teaching weekend seminars over the next few years.  Later I developed the online courses that are now offered through Avalon Performance Horse and Rider Support…

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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.…

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Masterson Minute – What If My Horse Tries To Kick Me?

What if My Horse Tries to Kick me? If he’s tries to kick you, it’s because you’re finding something with your hand that he’s been covering up and blocking out, but now that you’ve found it it’s bothering him. He’s now letting you know you’ve found something uncomfortable. You don’t even have to know what…

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Masterson Minute – Can I Do This Wrong?

Can I do this Wrong? We use techniques with this method that use no pressure or movement, and some that involve different levels of pressure and movement. But they all rely on reading the responses of the horse, and softening when we run into resistance. If you’re doing this then 1) you can’t hurt the…

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The TMJ and a Whole-Horse Approach to Knowledge

Article by Becky Tenges, Certified Practitioner, Instructor and Certification Block 3 Mentor ~ Since becoming certified as a Masterson Method Practitioner and Instructor, I have been on a continuing education quest to become a better bodyworker by learning more about anatomy, biomechanics and possible primary causes of discomfort in my horse clients. For a couple…

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The Tense TMJ

Temporal mandibular joint issues can create tension in the poll, and vice-versa says, equine bodywork therapist Jim Masterson. And conversely, pain or restriction in the poll will affect other parts of the body. “Issues in your horse’s body have a way of reflecting in his poll and atlas,” explains Masterson. Therefore, tension and pain he…

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Every Horse is a Song by Coralie Hughes

By Coralie Hughes ~ I am often struck by the similarities between what it takes to ride well and what it takes to be a good practitioner of the Masterson Method. At a recent dressage training clinic I attended, the internationally famous trainer kept repeating “every horse is a song”, with the admonition that the…

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The Principle of Non-Resistance in Equine Bodywork

The Masterson Method of Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork comprises of two basic categories of techniques: those that release tension in situ, and those that release tension through range of motion in a relaxed state. Releasing tension in the muscles and restoring flexibility and range of motion to the skeleton work together. Relieving tension in the…

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