Hello from Jim
I just returned from sunny California. Bad news; it rained most of the time. Good news; they may be out of their four-year drought. It’s warmer here today in Iowa than it was most of the week there, but I’m not complaining. I always like to visit California.
Here’s what happened:
First, I spent three days at the Western States Horse Expo in Pomona. That expo has gotten a little quieter the last few years, but this year they called in some of the big guns like Pat Parelli and Chris Cox (… and that other guy that makes horses yawn). It was still a little quiet, especially on Super Bowl Sunday, but we had good turnout at our clinics which is what I like about doing expos, so I am not complaining. It’s interesting to note that lately we’ve had more and more people showing up at expos who already know about the Masterson Method and are there to learn more, but at this one we had a lot of newbies. Good either way. I did feel a little bad that they scheduled a couple of my clinics opposite Pat Parelli’s. It always makes me feel bad to draw people away from those guys ; ) (wink imogee).
I had help in the demos with using some of the horses in the Super Horse Competition at the Expo, and also from MMCP’s Loni Langdon and Certification Student Jasmin Sage – THANKS! (There’s no way I can do these things without your help)
Loni is an official Mule Person, having lots of experience packing mules in the high country, and showing mules in the low country. She is our latest Instructor and will be organizing and teaching Weekend Seminars in the mule area. Read below her bio…..Go Loni!
We have photos of this last week in California on the Jim Masterson Facebook page, and will be posting more there soon, as well as on the Masterson Method Facebook page. Go see!
(Jim and Roanie in line for a beer at the Super Horse Competition)
I got to catch up at the Expo with my favorite west coast hunter-jumper icon, Nick Karazissis of Far West Farms, and bodyworker Tom Mayes. I also met up with Grant Locke of the the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Ridgecrest facility and Amy Dumas, the California Program Manager. That led me to Erika Hunter at Hunter Horsemanship in Vista, CA the following weekend. Hunter Horsemanship houses one of the new Wild Horse and Burro “storefront” facilities which train and present wild horses and burros for sale and adoption for BLM. I had a chance to meet Erika and watch her work, and got to demonstrate how the MM works for her. Grant and I talked about ways that we can work with the BLM to help horses and donkeys find permanent homes. One of the things we talked about was ways we can provide basic Masterson Method training to people who train and who adopt them. Grant and Amy are open to the idea, and the ball is back in our court. First step taken!
The week in between the Horse Expo and Hunter Horsemanship-BLM was spent in the Los Angeles and Tujunga Canyon area with a good group of students at the Pasadena Advanced 5-Day Course. A little cold, but a good week of training at good barns with good students. We now have completed our calendar for the Advanced 5-Day courses for the rest of the year. Those of you who have completed a Weekend Seminar (and those that are planning to attend one) take a look to see if there is one near you. See below pictures of the Advanced 5-Day:
Another nice thing about doing this course in Pasadena every year are the restaurants. They are trendy and within walking distance of our little hotel in Burbank, near Warner Bros. and various TV studios, and hangouts of people “in the business”.
In other news: One big ticket item I want to mention ’cause I’m excited about it is, Mark Rashid and I will be doing a joint clinic at the Happy Dog Ranch in Littleton, CO in July called by some,
“Considering the Horse – Mind and Body”, and by others, “The Mark and Jim Show”. All the spots have filled up for participating in that clinic, however, we will be offering auditing. Email Bernadette Spillane, our hostess for auditing information. I will also be teaching a Weekend Workshop (my only one this year) prior to this course. There is still room available to sign up for that. Mark and I will be planning other courses soon.
Also exciting; I’m happy to be collaborating again with trainer Jec Ballou, an expert on riding and balanced conditioning and author of many books on these subjects. She has very useful books on training and suppling your horse. Her latest article in the February, “Dressage Today” magazine Jec’s article, Modifying Muscle Patterns to Build a Better Athlete includes Masterson Method bodywork techniques.
Our dedicated Masterson Method Equine Therapy team have finalized a training curriculum for MM in EFT, and have put a course on the calendar. There’s a lot involved in pairing Masterson Method with Equine Facilitated Therapies, and it’s been a while in coming but now it’s here. There is an experience prerequisite, and a requirement of having done the Weekend Seminar. Fortunately this course has a Weekend Seminar coupled with it. To learn more about the program and to register see the Calendar below.
We have six (count ’em 6!) new MMCPs to introduce to you this month. Settle in with some popcorn and read about them below. Congratulations all! And welcome!
And finally, for Dog People: occasionally I’ll work on a dog at a barn, get positive feedback from the owner, and always positive feedback from dog. We get even more positive feedback from people who use MM on their dogs. Below we hear from a happy Jack Russell Terrier who was recently MM’ed. Yes, I know that Jack Russells are ALWAYS (and often disturbingly so) happy, but that’s beside the point. You can read about Jack (yes, Jack) from Jane Austin, MMCP below. And you can try this at home.
Can’t wait to let you know what’s in store for next month.
In the meantime – like me – enjoy your horses (and mules, mustangs and dogs)!
Horse Expo schedule
The Masterson Method® will be presented at:
(Presented by Theresa Burns, MMCP)
Introducing: New Instructor, Loni Langdon with a Focus on Mules
My journey with the Masterson Method has been an amazing ride! From a desire to help my mule Feather feel better, I learned of Jim Masterson and the Masterson Method® of Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork. Little did I know that from a place of wanting to help Feather feel better, I would find a passion in myself for helping others learn the Masterson Method® techniques.
When I worked at the Tuloumne Meadow pack station in Yosemite, the best part of my day was turning loose the horse and mules in my string. They would immediately find the most coveted place in the pen, where it was sandy and soft. Each animal would plop down to roll, often taking a moment to relax with a few deep breaths. One of the packers, a pretty savvy horseman in his own right would always comment how important and necessary it was for the stock to take care of their backs through the simple act of rolling.
I believe that most living beings, and especially equines have an innate wisdom to care for their bodies and to seek comfort. But from time to time, we need a little support to feel our best. As a Masterson Method® Certified Practitioner I find great joy in helping to facilitate that comfort for and between equines and humans. For me, it’s all about learning, sharing, caring, listening, reflecting, and being of service. I am grateful that I have an opportunity to do this great work with an organization such as Masterson Equines Services who has created a global team where we collectively work towards “improving performance, communication and relationship with your horse” (and to that I will add mule or donkey). I am proud to be a Masterson Method® Certified Practitioner, Coach & now Weekend Workshop Instructor.
Jim has asked me to reach out the mule loving community. I would like to invite those interested in hosting a Weekend Workshop specifically for mules to please contact me directly. Check the “Find a Practitioner” or the “Instructors” page and look for my name, Loni Langdon. Looking forward to hearing from you long-ear enthusiasts!
The Masterson Method used on Dogs by Jane Austin, MMCP
I have had the opportunity to use the Masterson Method techniques on Jack, a eight year old Jack Russell Terrier. Jack was diagnosed by a Veterinarian with a slipped disc.
The Vet told the owner he could have surgery for $3000, or lock Jack in a small crate.
The owners could not afford the surgery and they did not feel comfortable locking Jack in a crate. When I went to work on Jack for the first time he was dragging his left hind leg. He wasn’t eating. I was afraid they might lose him. The first session I did with Jack, his muscles felt very tight and sore. He did not want me near his left hip. I could not go anywhere near his left stifle. He had a knot in his muscle in the middle of the saddle outline on the left side.
I started with the Bladder Meridian on the right side. I went all the way down to his paw. On the left side he did not want me to go past his hip the first session. When I was done with the first session, I set Jack down on the grass and he walked a little ways. He was using his left hind leg much better and he pooped. He had been very constipated.
On the 2nd session I could go down his left side while doing the Bladder Meridian and end at his paw. He would lay in my lap while I worked on him. I did his hind end points and hamstrings…His groin muscles were very tight. But, he was so relaxed the 2nd session and I could feel him relax his tight groin muscles. I could do the left stifle point and all his hind end points on the left. And he was walking so much better.
By the end of the week of bodywork sessions Jack was running around the house and he was off all pain medication. Jack is still doing well 6 months later. He has a active life style hiking, paddleboarding, and snowboarding with his owners. Some of the techniques I used on Jack were Hind end points: Under Tail Points, Sacroiliac Point, Hip Joint, Pelvic point, stifle point, Bladder Meridian, Hamstring massage, Groin massage, Head Up, Sacrum Float, Lateral Rocking, Psoas Release, and Accordion.
Tip of the Month from Crissi McDonald
If you think you’re going slowly, and touching oh so ever softly, try to slow down and soften even more. Horses are the best guides to discovering how subtle we can be. Watch for the blink, the deep breath, the closing eyes. *Spoiler Alert: you might just feel really relaxed too.
In this Masterson Minute, well, a little bit more then a minute…….Is the difficulty you and your horse are having with a specific movement a behavioral problem, or a physical problem? This clip, taken from the DVD: Dressage Movements Revealed shows you the most common areas of physical restriction in the dressage horse, and how to release tension that may be affecting your horse’s performance and behavior.
4th Quarter Donation of the Gross Sales of the Equine Massage for Performance Horses DVD Goes to: Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary in Deer Trail, CO
From the Great Escape Sanctuary website:
We offer education and awareness about mustangs and burros, collaborate to support wild horses on the range and provide training, adoptions and sanctuary to those in need.
A sanctuary- peaceful, safe and nurturing. In 2012, we found the perfect location for the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary in Deer Trail, Colorado, securing approximately 900 acres of beautiful rolling open meadows, stands of pine trees, arroyos and ponds. We offer animals and people a place to connect with themselves and connect with the land, while showcasing the diverse topography unique to the Palmer Divide and the Black Forest….and even though we’re east of Denver, we sit at approximately 7,000 feet. A magnificent place for the wild ones.
We provide training, adoption and education about Mustangs and Burros, while offering a sanctuary for those in need. We foster a connection with children and adults through community outreach, tours, field trips, overnight retreat programs, therapeutic programs and clinics in order to increase awareness and education.
For more information: http://greatescapesanctuary.org/
Danna Antoine, New Certified Practitioner, State College, PA
Jesse, my first and only horse, an OTTB, has been my equine partner since July 2008. I got my B.A. in art from Berea College in Berea, KY in 1977. I became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 1996.
My love of horses and my ability to help those who are in discomfort led me to a desire to pursue learning to help horses as well. After searching for an equine massage/bodywork protocol I believed would be most helpful for the horse, I decided upon the Masterson Method® and began my journey of learning.
I have enjoyed my journey, meeting many wonderful people and horses along the way. I have seen significant changes in horses that I have been privileged to work with. I consider MM to be a way we can give back to these creatures who bring us so much pleasure and work so hard for us.
As a human massage therapist and MMCP, I work with both horses and riders. I enjoy the sport of dressage, and love all animals. I live in State College, PA with my husband Bill, dog Ebony and three cats Sylvester, Mickey and Jazz.
Kathy Fox, New Certified Practitioner, Saginaw, MI
I have loved horses and dogs my entire life, and over the past ten years have been fortunate enough to pursue careers with them, learning more about animal behavior, training, biomechanics and anatomy.
The journey to becoming certified has been a wonderful experience. Have met so many new people and horses of various backgrounds. They have inspired me to want to further my education in as many ways possible!!
I also enjoying training and showing my dogs in agility and obedience. Both Masterson Method® and dog training have given me skills to “talk” to the animals. They have lots to say we just need to be listening!
Touchstone Integrated Equine Bodywork LLC
And on Facebook
Barbara Glass, New Certified Practitioner, Redmond, WA
I saw my first horse up close at the age of five and was immediately fascinated. A new family had moved in to our neighborhood along with their 33 year old quarter horse mare, and much to my delight the mother of the family was willing to let the kids in the neighborhood ride. The interest wore off for some, but mine persisted and soon I was learning the specifics of grooming, picking hooves, catching the horse when she didn’t want to come, with a little grain when desperate, and getting to ride in that big Western saddle. I was even able to have my own horse for a couple of years. It was a childhood dream to be with the horses and to feel the freedom that came with a good ride.
Many years intervened between my initial years of riding and 2009 when this love and connection with horses all came back to me. I intended to make a short stop at a riding barn to find out about potential lessons for my daughter. As soon as I walked in, the smells and sounds of the barn reminded me of what I had innately known at the age of five: that the horses had always been significant in my life and that they allowed me to feel more like myself than anything else had. My daughter was interested in lessons for a short time but I was off and running. Within a year I owned my own horse and began studying dressage.
I found The Masterson Method® when my horse Tye suffered a hind suspensory ligament injury. He underwent surgery and I wanted to provide support to promote healing as he attempted to come back to work. I discovered The Masterson Method® when looking online. I immediately thought it sounded like something that would help him, and would also help maintain our connection as he went through a time of stall rest and rehab. There were many months of hand walking and not knowing whether he would ever come back to work. As I began practicing, I appreciated the fact that using The Masterson Method® supported relaxation, (for him and me!), improved range of motion, and overall mobility as we worked on getting that right hind leg to heal. I also saw that doing The Masterson Method® had a positive effect on his attitude and “soundness of mind”. He became more positive, tolerant and willing, even more than he had been before the injury, and with whatever we faced together in this slow process of healing. Later with his ability to do more work, and with a second horse I now owned, I saw the work of The Masterson Method® carry over into performance for both horses. Each horse showed a greater ability to be soft, to accept the aids, and to understand himself as a collaborative partner. The work done in the stall was showing up in the training and the ride. This work made both me and the horses better. The Masterson Method® proved to offer more than what I had understood “at first glance” and this motivated me to work towards certification.
Sarah Hein, New Certified Practitioner, Milwaukee, WI
I grew up loving horses, riding and taking lessons as often as possible. I came back to the sport as an adult, taking lessons in hunt seat at a local stable, leasing and owning a number of horses. Eventually I taught, then managed, the large riding school at that stable.
I was introduced to the Masterson Method® by Becky Tenges, who spotted the very anxious rescue pony with which I was working. Using the Sacrum Float, she brought that pony its first moment of relaxation, ever!
So, off I went to the weekend course. I then practiced the basic techniques learned at that course on the rescue pony, who clearly benefitted. I started practicing on horses in the riding school, and watched Becky when she came to work on border’s horses at our stable. Wanting to know more, I attended the 5 day course, and fell in love with the Masterson Method® system. Now as a new Certified Practitioner, I am excited to be working on horses and seeing the positive results.
Lisa Snyder, New Certified Practitioner, Bishop, CA
My Love of horses started when I was a little girl growing up in Washington State. My father worked for the Fish and Wildlife Department, which had a string of pack horses and mules. Being unable to ride the horses as much as I desired, my father brought home an old broken down saddle. He tied it onto a branch of our apricot tree, which gave me and my younger sister the ability to ride every day. Many rides later, at the age of 12, my dream came true when I was given my first “real” horse. My father always knew this day would come!
I joined our local 4H Club and was blessed to have many wonderful teachers and mentors along the way. When I went to college to earn my degree in Parks and Recreation Management, I took my best friend, my horse Alpha, with me. College summers were spent facilitating at a summer horse camp for the Catholic Youth Organization. I was also lucky enough to ride along with pack trips in the back country of the Northern Cascades. I have ridden and competed in many of the Western and English disciplines, including dressage, western dressage, reining, pleasure and equitation. In 1990 I became a Flight Attendant for a major airline and I now live in the Eastern Sierra. When I’m not out flying, I can be found either on a hike with my husband and dogs, or on a horse, enjoying the great outdoors. As my trainer once said, “She’s out finding her soul.”
In 2011 my dressage horse, Stormy, was diagnosed with COPD. In addition to veterinary care I began to look into alternative ways to help heal him and to bring him some relief. My husband and I took Reiki classes, and this introduced me to the Masterson Method®. I found that the Masterson Method® was a modality that really worked well with horses. A great addition to my Reiki work, the Masterson Method® used light touch, and promoted relaxation that helped release tension and improved performance. I have seen great results on the many horses I have worked with. I enjoy working on a variety of horses and feel that every horse is special and has something to offer. Having received so many gifts of love from the horses in my life, I now want to give back by offering help and healing in the best way possible. The Masterson Method® is enabling me to do just that. It has been a rewarding and challenging journey! I am very grateful to now be a Certified Masterson Method® Practitioner!
I can be reached at:
Lori Price, New Certified Practitioner, Eugene, OR
Lori has a long love and history with horses. While in high school, Lori (secretly) leased a horse, in trade for barn chores (stall mucking, bucking hay, AM/PM feeding, driving the tractor, etc.). She maintained the care of the horse and took lessons from the local barn owner/trainer for several years before her parents discovered where she was spending all of her time, before and after school. She then purchased her first horse and began showing Arabians in Dressage, Costume, and Hunter-Under Saddle. For many years she worked with Connected Riding® Instructors to improve her communication with her own horses both from the ground and in the saddle. More recently she has moved into the AQHA and Ranch Riding.
Lori was looking for additional ways to help horses work through tension patterns found within the body. Lori was introduced to the Masterson Method™ by her Connected Riding® Instructor several years ago, while attending the Albany, Oregon, Horse Expo. Having a horse with special needs, she knew from that moment this was the missing piece to help her own horse – and the results and journey have been profound! Lori then realized she must continue this work beyond her own horses and provide Masterson Method™ Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork™ along with Reiki to any equine, working within any discipline, to assist in their journey with their human partner.
Lori has a unique method of combining both Reiki energy work with Masterson Method™ Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork™. Through Reiki and the Masterson Method™, she is able to help the horse develop a healthy posture, while promoting energy rebalancing, recovery from injury, and injury prevention through relaxation and release of tension.
Lori is willing to travel to perform bodywork at your farm.