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

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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Head Up Technique In Arm

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…

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Head Up Technique Chin Lift

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…

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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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Head Down Technique

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…

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Lateral Cervical Flexion Anatomy, Tips, & Notes

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,…

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Lateral Cervical Flexion Explanation & Steps

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…

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The Horse’s Diagonal and Where to Start

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…

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Three Key Junctions of the Horse

Three Key Junctions that affect performance   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…

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How Does The Masterson Method Work?

How Does The Masterson Method 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…

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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…

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The Horse’s Responses to Touch

The Horse’s Responses to Touch   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,…

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Levels of Touch

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…

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Importance of Level of Touch

  Importance of Level of 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…

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Masterson Method Equine Specialist

Masterson Method® Equine Facilitated Therapy Program Specialist Training. Equine Facilitated Therapy is a growing field, with equine therapy centers offering programming to a variety of clients and incorporating horses experientially to provide clients with physical, mental and behavioral health benefits and therapy. We are excited to announce that we are developing a new specialty within…

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