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

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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Laterality in Horses: What We Know and How Can It Help Us

by Diane Howard, MMCP, Coach, Instructor In mentoring and coaching fieldwork students, some of the most frequent questions asked are about diagonals, for example, how to determine the diagonal and whether the diagonal can change between sessions. The certification course, in particular, provides excellent information on these issues, but because laterality in horses has been…

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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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Bladder Meridian Technique

Bladder Meridian Technique   Goal: To bypass the Horse’s survival-defense response and connect directly with the part of the horse’s nervous system that holds and releases tension.   The results: This simple yet powerful Technique establishes the basis of communication between you and the horse through touch and response. It puts you both on the…

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Tips on Softness, the Nervous System, and Horse Behavior

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…

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Head Up Technique on Shoulder

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…

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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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Tongue (and poll) Release

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…

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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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