Back from sunny Australia. At the moment huddled next to the fire, dogs shivering at my feet, listening to the shrill shriek of a cold winter wind hurtling across the Iowa prairie battering snow against the windows, the horses’ rumps turned to the wind, noses to the ground, conserving every last bit of energy to make it through the long, harsh… OH, knock it off! It’s not that bad! It’s 40 degrees outside (5 Celsius), a light breeze and hardly any snow on the ground. What’s with all the drama?
What I am doing is sitting next to the fire thinking back over 2018, and the many things – large and small – that have made this year a good one.
Here are just a few of them, helping to warm my heart for the long Iowa winter (I said, knock it off!):
In Europe and South Africa,
- Our first trip to South Africa in January added 12 new Weekend Seminar Students, 23 Advanced 5-Day Students and 3 new Certified Practitioners to our rolls.
- In October, in England I was greatly inspired by veteran Ian Whiting, who took the Weekend Seminar and Advanced 5-Day Course and is going on to the Certification Field Work Course. Thanks, Ian.
- We have new Weekend Seminar Instructors in Poland – Beata Filonowicz, Sweden – Inese Stopele, and Israel – Nikki Kagan.
- We partnered with Chaja Kolthoff of the Emiel Voest Freestyle Academy in the Netherlands where she will be teaching Weekend Seminars.
- We partnered with Horseman Richard Maxwell who will be teaching Weekend Seminars in the UK. First in Suffolk on April 6. I was also excited to learn that Max, who once served in the cavalry unit of the Queen’s Guard, was invited to treat the horses of King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery this year. Looks like he’s got the Monarchy covered.
- Lucie Klaassen of Balanced Rider and Horse, who integrates Masterson Method into her balanced riding program, has partnered with us and will be teaching Weekend Seminars on her tours around Europe and the world.
- Peggy Cummings and I were able to coordinate travels, meet and meld Connected Riding and Masterson Method into an exceptional educational clinic in Wales.
- As you’ll see below we made huge progress getting The Masterson Method out in Australia.
On Our Own Continent:
- Advanced 5-Day Course training in the US was handed over to Instructors Becky Tenges, Sandy Vreeburg, Vanessa Helvey, Samantha Walker and Mary Last. Instructor Coralie Hughes continues roving the country teaching Advanced 5-Day Courses. (This frees me up to develop new courses and write newsletters and stuff.)
- Mark Fletcher and Lori Hoppe are teaching Advanced 5-Day Courses and Weekend Seminars in Canada (that takes care of the language problem. 🙂
- Our Masterson Method Equine Specialist training program continues to grow and Lise Lunde presented at the PATH International Conference in Orlando, Florida.
- On a smaller but no less inspiring scale, Lise Lunde and MMES Coordinator Megan Dushin taught the Bladder Meridian Technique to 80 children at the 2018 Central Area 4-H Horse Camp in Motley, MN. Go 4-H-ers!
- Megan Dushin wrote a very interesting (and relevant) blog on “Mysteries of the Autonomic Nervous System”.
- MMCP Leslie Brooks’s business EquiHands Equine Integrated Bodywork was recently awarded Best Equine Sports Massage Service for 2018 by Global Health & Pharma (GHP).
- Film-maker Elaine Heney created a seven-part documentary entitled “Listening to the Horse,” in which she devoted a small (but powerful 🙂 part to The Masterson Method.
- Field Work Director Becky Tenges organized and outlined tons of training material that will see us far into the future, and keep us far ahead of the fire hydrant of knowledge that the horse has opened onto us.
- Our new Advanced 5-Day Course Manual was finally completed. May not seem like a big thing, but it must be because it took me three years to complete it and my fingers are killing me. Whew, glad that’s over!
- Looking back at the numbers it looks like world-wide we reached a total of 520 new Weekend Seminar participants, 120 Advanced 5-Day Course participants, qualified 54 new Masterson Method Certified Practitioners, and as a direct result of the training were able to reach 2000 equine participants, and countless more who will be practiced on in the future.
More things happened this year than the space in my mental hard drive has room for, and I apologize to anyone or thing I may have missed. But it was an amazing year and I thank everyone who had a part in making it that way.
Just finished the trip to Australia in November. Things are starting to pick up in Australia and New Zealand. Our amazing, talented and tireless Overseas Manager Vicky Devlin and I taught three Weekend Seminars (35 students), an Advanced 5-Day Course (13 students), and finished 5 new students who worked hard over the past year to become Masterson Method Certified Practitioners; bringing the total to 10 new MMCPs in Australia and New Zealand. Good on ya’!
In the course of these, uh, courses, close to 100 horses were worked on, and that number will grow exponentially in the coming years with each new student and MMCP trained.
I want to acknowledge Andrew and Nikki Bowe, owners of Mayfield Barefoot Centre for hosting us at their facility in Yarck, Victoria for much of the trip, and Steve and Irena Halfpenny for hosting us at Silversand Equestrian in South Australia.
We hooked up with Steve and Irena and Andrew and Nikki at Equitana in Melbourne this trip as well as with our partner Jochen Schleese, all of whom were presenting there. Was also very excited to meet Dr. Raquel Butler and Thirza Hendricks at Equitana to discuss developing continuing education modules for MMCPs from their holistic approach to equine biomechanics. Was an amazing trip all around.
Andrew Bowe’s booth at Equitana
Steve Halfpenny at Equitana
On the Horizon
- Close on the horizon, coming up on December 29 in the Netherlands is a Weekend Seminar with Chaja Koltoff-Voest at their beautiful Freestyle Academy facility in Ruinerwold. A good way to start the New Year.
- Winter months are generally slow however Instructor Sandy Vreeburg has offered to teach an Advanced 5-Day to a smaller group of from four to six students in Watsonville, CA near Santa Cruz starting Jan. 28th to Feb. 1st. If you’re looking for the extra attention that a smaller group gives, then try to sign up for this course before December 28th. You won’t regret it.
- Last winter we had our first Educational Conference for MMCPs in the US, and coming up in June we’re planning an Educational Conference in England for our UK and European MMCPs at the Unicorn Trust Equestrian Facility in Gloucestershire. Keep an eye on our Calendar and this newsletter for details and plan for 3th and 4th of June. See you there.
- Mark Rashid and I will be participating in at least two more collaborative clinics in 2019, and more in the future. I continue to learn at those things. They’re great. Details on our Course Calendar.
Evidence Based Horsemanship
One more exciting bit of news: A few years ago I read a book by neuroscientist Dr. Stephen Peters and horse trainer Martin Black called “Evidence Based Horsemanship” and have been intrigued by it ever since.
“Evidence-Based Horsemanship combines science and the understanding of brain function with an empirical understanding of the subtleties of a horse’s behaviors, reactions, and chemical states.” http://www.evidence-basedhorsemanship.com/
I’ve always been interested in how the horse’s nervous system works. I’ve always known that The Masterson Method works with the horse’s nervous system to release tension, but have never really known how. Now is my (and your) chance to learn.
On July 6 and 7, just before the Mark and Jim Show in Littleton, CO, Mark Rashid, Dr. Peters and I will be participating in a three-way exploration of this from the point of view of training, bodywork, and the horse’s brain. This course will be limited to 50 people. It was just organized this week and registration has just opened, and I know it will fill quickly. See the details below. I’m already signed up. You better hurry!
So, things have gone well this year. I have a lot of people to thank for this and not enough space on the hard drive to thank them all. Thanks to all of you.
Our Courses and Seminars have expanded in 2018, bringing us a little closer to our goal of every horse on the planet having experienced at least the Bladder Meridian Technique. One way or another.
If you haven’t had a Seminar in your neck of the woods and would like to host or help us find a host, take a look at the Host Application below. It’s a great way to earn a free spot in a Seminar. If you have hosted a Seminar and would like to host another, it’s a way to make few bucks helping people with their horses… by helping their horses. Kind of a win-win-winnie situation (sorry).
See you next year. Looking forward to it.
Until then, like me,
Enjoy your horses.
Remember The New Hosting Incentive We Rolled Out in October’s Newsletter?
We want to let you know it’s still alive and well, and if you’re interested in hosting, we’ve got cash for you!
- U.S. hosts can opt for either payment of $500, payable after course completion OR opt for a free spot in the course – which is applied toward your continuing education prerequisites.
- Horses used during the clinic always appreciate a weekend of Masterson Method® bodywork.
- Notoriety for you, your business, and your facility! Your event will be advertised in our newsletter, our website, our Facebook page, expos, and at other Masterson events.
- Network with other equine lovers who enjoy mindful approaches to bodywork.
It’s Easy to Apply! Simply complete the Host Application on our website, or contact Tamara in our office for the application.
Jim is teaching a Beyond Horse Massage Weekend Seminar in Tucson, AZ February 2-3, 2019!
Jim rarely teaches Weekend Seminars in the USA, so don’t miss out on registering before it’s full. (2 spots left)!
Exciting News: Registration is Now Open!
July 6 and 7, 2019
Your Horse’s Brain: A User’s Manual
Join us for two days of learning about the science behind what makes horses do what they do and how we can learn to communicate more clearly with them.
Dr. Steve Peters, Neuropsychologist, horseman and co-author of “Evidence Based Horsemanship” will be at Happy Dog Ranch to lecture on the ins and outs of horse’s brains and the science behind how they think, feel and process the world around them.
He will be joined by equine clinician and author, Mark Rashid as well as Jim Masterson, the founder of The Masterson Method®. Both equine professionals will add their perspectives on where bodywork, and training intersect with brain science and how we can use all three perspectives to understand and deepen the relationship with our horses.
This two day seminar is for those who are seeking to expand their knowledge of horses, and will include not only a lecture segment, but practical demonstrations, an equine brain dissection, and a round table discussion with Dr. Peters, Jim and Mark.
Space is limited for this seminar to ﬁfty people, and we expect this to sell out quickly!
To register or for more details, please contact our host, Bernadette Spillane: email@example.com
Watsonville, CA Advanced 5-Day
Come learn more Masterson Method Techniques and expand your current knowledge of The Masterson Method!
Register by December 28th!
“5 good reasons to take the Advanced Course
- 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 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 Loden
Masterson Method Equine Specialist Program News
Congratulations to our training graduates from Cold Spring, New York!
Many thanks to Topfield Equestrian Center for hosting our first MMES training in New York! This setting was gorgeous in the Hudson River Valley. Thank you Megan Dushin for assisting!
Congratulations to our training graduates from Sherrard, Illinois!
We had a wonderful training in Sherrard at New Kingdom Trailriders with our biggest group – 10 students! Thank you Dawn Rick for assisting!
A Word About Fieldwork
Once you complete the MMES Training, you have the option to go on to fieldwork to become certified as a Masterson Method Equine Specialist. Fieldwork is very accessible and easy to complete. We’re excited to have several new fieldwork students from both of the above trainings! Learn more about Certification Training & Fieldwork.
See Upcoming Trainings in our course listing below.
Interested in Hosting a MMES Training?
We are always looking for equine-assisted activity or therapy (EAAT) facilities to host the 3-day Masterson Method Equine Specialist training. There are many benefits to hosting, including one free seat at the training! Learn more about how to Host a Training.
The Masterson Method Equine Specialist specializes in sharing specific light touch Masterson Method techniques with persons served in equine-assisted learning and therapy programs. By doing this bodywork on horses, participants deepen their connection with horses while also gaining self-awareness and self-regulation skills; meanwhile, therapy horses are tended to through simple bodywork and learn a new way of relating to people. It’s a win/win!
Questions? Contact the Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a Merry, Jolly, Happy, Blessed NEW YEAR!
Happy Holiday’s from the MES Office!
This may be a little off the wall but we’re using our smiling faces to bring you a wall chart discount! 😉
In the back: Tamara, Weda, Kait, Jo, Kelsey
In front: Conley & Jim
*GREAT gift idea! Holiday Sale: NOW through Jan. 31, 2019
The Beyond Horse Massage Wall Chart is 25% off!
Enter Coupon Code: happy
*Unlimited number of uses, ships within North America
Lateral Cervical Flexion using The Masterson Method
Learn how to use your horse’s nervous system to release tension and improve performance.
The Masterson Method® is an innovative form of equine massage that allows the horse to release deep, accumulated pain and tension in muscles and connective tissue. Through the use of light touch and gentle movement in a relaxed state, and observation of a range of the horse’s responses (these visual and palpable responses tell you what the horse’s body is feeling), you’ll open doors to improved health and performance while enhancing communication with your horse.
New Certified Practitioners
Valley Lee, MD
Alice Long’s love for horses was ignited as a young girl growing up in southern Maryland. The country club she called home rented out horses by the hour in the summertime. Alice and her friends would help out at the barn all summer long every year, riding and taking care of the horses stabled there. Oftentimes, Alice and the other kids would ride the horses with makeshift bridles that consisted of nothing but hay strings, as during the off season, the tack was no longer available. She was more comfortable riding bareback than in a saddle.
Her love for horses continued to grow well into her late-teen years, when she was finally able to have a horse of her own. She mostly enjoyed packing lunches and going on extensive trail rides with her husband and friends. She especially liked successfully showing in judged trail rides, both English and Western. For Alice, horse ownership has always been so much more than just riding. She enjoyed every aspect of horse care, which helped cultivate the love and compassion she still has for them today, and has passed down to her daughters. Alice played instructor and show mom and went above and beyond teaching her daughters everything from cleaning stalls to riding patterns in the show ring.
Alice has worked for several equine stables, including assistant manager, and two veterinarians in her lifelong career with horses. The presence of the horse has always been a constant in her life. With over forty years of horse experience, Alice still has a heart for these beautiful animals. This is what inspired her to open her own practice in equine bodywork and aromatherapy. She studied essential oils extensively and began providing services, such as the Equine Raindrop, first to her friends horses, and then it quickly turned into a professional service. With the urging of her daughter to add massage to her practice, she began her journey in this area and received certification in Equine Sports Massage and Body Balancing from the Equine Studies Institute through Breyer State University.
As Alice serviced her clients, she quickly realized that she was missing key components to being able to release deep-seated tension in the horse’s body. She specifically came upon a horse that had extreme tension in the psoas muscle, restricting the horse from being able to perform as it had before. In her search of trying to find a way to help this horse and owner, she kept coming across The Masterson Method. In 2017 Alice began her studies in The Masterson Method and by 2018 she acquired the status of Masterson Method Certified Practitioner. The feedback from clients has been phenomenal! Alice understands the power of equine bodywork, and it is her goal to use her education, knowledge, and experience to help our equine partners feel and perform their best!
Los Angeles, CA
Amelia Nalli rekindled her love for horseback riding when her daughter took riding lessons in 2006. From western pleasure in Palos Verdes to trail riding in the Angeles National Forest, she is now training in the elements of dressage. Amelia enjoys most disciplines of horse riding and recently acquired a traditional Hungarian horse bow. She practices archery in her backyard with the intent to shoot arrows from a galloping horse.
An avid learner, Amelia obsessively watched natural horsemanship videos, learning techniques to upgrade her riding skills. Landing on a video of Jim Masterson demonstrating lateral cervical flexion, she immediately purchased his Beyond Horse Massage book and DVD.
The next day Amelia searched for a reaction on a horses’ neck, and by the time the horse released, she was hooked. She had found the connection to horses she’d been looking for, and the technique worked on every horse.
Each day since has shown a deepening of the horse/human connection and a clearer understanding of what a horse is trying to convey through body language. While completing the fieldwork for certification, some horse owners were interested in learning about the method, so Amelia taught them the basics of Search-Response-Stay-Release. The beauty of seeing someone’s face light up when connecting with a horse is her favorite part of The Masterson Method.
Amelia volunteers at the Red Bucket Horse Rescue in Chino Hills, California and at the Duchess Sanctuary in Oregon, donating massage hours for horses able to be handled by humans. This method works so well on all interactions with horses, even when a horse cannot be physically touched. Going forward, Amelia will be training in Equine Assisted Therapy and continuing to serve the needs of horses by improving their performance and enhancing our understanding of their world.
Saturday, February 2 – Sunday, February 3, 2019
Saturday, February 16 – Sunday, February 17, 2019
Saturday, March 2 – Sunday, March 3
Saturday, March 9 – Sunday, March 10
Saturday, March 30 – Sunday, March 31, 2019 taught by Jim Masterson
Saturday, March 30 – Sunday, March 31, 2019
Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28, 2019
Saturday, May 18 – Sunday, May 19, 2019
Saturday, June 22 – Sunday, June 23
Saturday, July 20 – Sunday, July 21, 2019
Saturday, Aug. 10 – Sunday, Aug. 11
Saturday, August 24 – Sunday, August 25
Saturday, Oct. 19 – Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019
Saturday, May 4 – Sunday, May 5, 2019
Alder Flats, AB
Saturday, May 11 – Sunday, May 12, 2019
Rosedale (Chilliwack), BC
Saturday, May 11 – Sunday, May 12
Saturday, Sept. 28 – Sunday, Sept. 29
Rosedale (Chilliwack), BC
Saturday, December 29 – Sunday, December 30
Saturday, February 23 – Sunday, February 24, 2019 (taught in German)
Saturday, March 30 – Sunday, March 31 (taught in German)
Saturday, April 6 – Sunday, April 7
Saturday, May 11 – Sunday, May 12 (taught in Polish)
Saturday, May 18 – Sunday, May 19 taught by Jim Masterson
Saturday, May 25 – Sunday, May 26
taught by Jim Masterson
Saturday, May 25 – Sunday, May 26
(taught in Dutch)
Saturday, June 8 – Sunday, June 9
(taught in Dutch)
Saturday, June 20 – Sunday, June 21, 2019 (taught in German)
Saturday, Oct. 3 – Sunday, Oct. 4
(taught in German)
Saturday, Oct. 26 – Sunday, Oct. 27
(taught in German)
Masterson Method Equine Specialist Training
MMES Training Seminar
Friday, March 29 – Sunday, March 31, 2019
Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28, 2019
Friday, May 31 – June 2, 2019
Friday, June 14 – Sunday, June 16, 2019
Ranchos de Taos, NM
Masterson Method Collaborative Clinics
Considering the Horse – Mind and Body Collaborative Clinic with Mark Rashid and Jim Masterson
*Auditing is available, see link above for more information.
Advanced 5-Day Course Schedule
USA Advanced Courses
Watsonville, CA with Advanced Instructor Sandy Vreeburg
Monday, January 28 – Friday, February 1, 2019
Wickenburg, AZ with Advanced Instructor Coralie Hughes
Monday, February 25, 2019 – Friday, March 1, 2019
Arroyo Grande, CA with Advanced Instructor Sandy Vreeburg
Monday, April 29 – Friday, May 3, 2019
Cedarburg, WI with Advanced Instructor Becky Tenges
Monday, May 27 – Friday, May 31, 2019
Watsonville, CA with Advanced Instructor Sandy Vreeburg
Monday, September 23 – Friday, September 27, 2019
Tucson, AZ with Advanced Instructor Vanessa Helvey
Monday, October 28 – Friday, November 1, 2019
Europe Advanced Courses
Egestorf, Germany with Jim Masterson and Instructor Walter Saxe
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 – Sunday, March 17, 2019 (FULL)
Salisbury, UK with Jim Masterson
Monday, May 20 – Friday, May 24, 2019
Salisbury, UK #2 with Jim Masterson
Monday, May 27 – Friday, May 31, 2019
Canada Advanced Courses
Fraser Valley, BC with Mark Fletcher
Monday, May 13 – Friday, May 17, 2019
Cobourg, ON with Mark Fletcher
Monday, May 27 – Friday, May 31, 2019
Fraser Valley, BC #2 with Mark Fletcher
Monday, September 30 – Friday, October 4, 2019
Certification Completion Course Schedule
Tuesday, February 5 – Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Saturday, June 1 – Sunday, June 2, 2019
Expos and Demos
Demo at Bancroft Ranch January 12, 2019 with Malia Rose Aldrich
Carmel Valley, CA
Demo at Sterling Pointe Farm January 13 with Jennifer Verre
Equitana Germany March 9 -12, with Jim Masterson and Walter Saxe
Western States Horse Expo May 9 – 12, 2019 with Jim Masterson
Rancho Murieta, CA