About the Certification Program

Jim Masterson’s Practitioner Certification program provides a systematic method to make a difference in the horse, make a difference for the owner and trainer, and make a difference in the equine bodyworker and their business. It’s all about results. If you can get an improvement in performance, movement and comfort in the horse, they’ll call you back!

The Practitioner Certification program attracts horse-people for a variety of reasons, some of which are listed here:

  • to develop skills as a professional equine bodyworker
  • to improve equine performance and wellness
  • to have a vocation where you’re giving back to the horse
  • to increase personal knowledge
  • to become a better all-around horse-person
  • to better understand the horse

Journey to become a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner

Steps to Becoming a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner

To become a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner (MMCP), students must:

  • Have adequate skills in horsemanship, handling, and safety, and the basic physical fitness (strength, stamina, and stability) needed to safely and effectively complete a whole horse session;
  • Complete all of the training requirements of the program, including anatomy requirements or equivalent experience (see below); and
  • Demonstrate proficiency in all Masterson Method Techniques taught in the program.

The coursework is outlined below, and depicted in the infographic. Click each step to expand the section and learn more.

Prerequisite: Read and watch the Beyond Horse Massage Book and DVD

Beyond Horse Massage Weekend Seminar-Workshop
You must have taken the Weekend Seminar-Workshop. This is our foundational workshop where the basic principles and techniques of The Masterson Method® are taught.

Tuition: $495 (course fees may vary by region)

Click here for the schedule of Weekend Seminar-Workshops around the world.

Prerequisite: Beyond Horse Massage Home Study Course
Online course that provides a guided study and structured practice of the techniques taught by Jim Masterson during a Beyond Horse Massage Weekend Seminar-Workshop.

Tuition: $99-$179.95 (discounted rate of $99 given to Weekend Seminar students; regular rate $179.95)

Advanced 5-Day Course 
The Advanced 5-Day Course is a fully immersive experience, typically taught Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm each day. The advanced techniques you learn will increase your success in bringing about positive change in the movement and performance of the horse. You will also learn evaluation techniques that will help you identify patterns that point to possible Primary Issues that often create compensatory and Secondary Issues in the body.

Tuition: $2125 (course fees may vary by region)

Click here for the schedule of Advanced 5-Day Courses worldwide.

In order to begin Fieldwork, students must demonstrate skills in horsemanship, handling, and safety, and have the basic physical fitness (strength, stamina, and stability) needed to safely and effectively complete a whole horse session. If we feel you are not ready to move on to Fieldwork, you could be asked to get further training.

Prerequisite: The fundamentals of anatomy, physiology, and health considerations in the horse are essential to effective bodywork. Before attending the 2nd Coaching Course, students will need to have either taken our approved anatomy course, Equine Anatomy and Health Considerations through Avalon Performance Horse, or have equivalent anatomy training. Each applicant will take a Fieldwork Entrance Quiz to evaluate their proficiency in equine anatomy. This evaluation plus the applicants experience and past training in anatomy will be used to determine if the applicant will be required to take additional anatomy coursework.
Tuition:  $185

Fieldwork Course

  • Students complete a series of Case Study assignments on local horses, and attend an in-person coaching session for each of the Three Blocks. Fieldwork typically requires some travel, both depending how far away the nearest coach lives.
  • Students write a report after each Case Study and submit them online for Mentor feedback. Students need access to a computer (or tablet), email address, and Internet connection, however accommodations can be made for those without technology equipment.
  • Each Block of Case Studies has a different focus:
    • Block 1: Basic proficiency in Masterson Method practices and principles, advanced techniques, and evaluations
    • Block 2: Improving competence in the principles, techniques, and evaluations; gaining a working knowledge of anatomic structures as they relate to the bodywork
    • Block 3: Continuing to improve competence in the principles, techniques, and evaluations; considering primary issues and “putting it all together”
  • At the completion of each Block of Case Studies the student will attend a Coaching Course at which the student will work one-on-one with a Coach. The coach will both guide and evaluate the student’s progress with the Techniques.
  • At the third Coaching Course the student must demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in order to be able to go on to the Certification Completion Course. The final Coaching Course must be completed at least 3 weeks priorto attending the Certification Completion Course.

Tuition: $2100 ($700 will be paid at the beginning of each Block)

Certification Completion Course

This is a two or three-day course, depending on the number of students. Students will review with Jim the Techniques practiced during the Fieldwork Course, and demonstrate proficiency in the Techniques. Students will then be taught additional evaluation and bodywork Techniques by Jim. After completion, the student earns the title, Masterson Method Certified Practitioner.

Tuition:  $1100

Note:  Participation in the program does not guarantee certification. You must successfully complete all Field Work requirements and be deemed proficient by Jim at the Certification Completion Course to become certified.

Timing through steps 3 and 4—the Fieldwork Course and Certification Completion Course—is important. As the graphic shows, students should expect each Fieldwork Block to take a minimum of 2-3 months and maximum of 6 months. In total, students should complete the Fieldwork and Completion Course at minimum in 9 months, and no more than 2 years.

Masterson Method Certified Practitioner Minimum Training Hours

The Masterson Method® Certified Practitioner program is a rigorous, high quality training program that will prepare you to become a professional equine bodyworker. In total, you will be completing roughly 426.5 hours of Instructor Contact, Guided Study, and Practical Externship, which amounts to about 8.5 hours per week if you aim to complete the course in one year.

Instructor Contact: ~91.5 hrs
Weekend Seminar-Workshop: 15 hrs
Advanced 5-Day Course: 37.5 hrs
Fieldwork Course (3 all-day Coaching Sessions): 24 hrs
Certification Completion Course: 15 hrs

Guided Study: ~260 hrs
Beyond Horse Massage Home Study Course: 65 hrs
Equine Anatomy Course: 75 hrs
Fieldwork Course (30 Case Study write-ups, ~4 hrs each to write): 120 hrs

Practical Externship: ~75 hrs
Fieldwork Course (30 Case Study sessions, ~2.5 hrs each to conduct): 75 hrs

Total: 426.5 Hrs

Masterson Method Courses are accredited and approved for Continuing Education Credits by the following organizations:

Laws Governing the Practice of Alternative Therapies

The laws that govern equine massage and alternative therapies vary from state to state. If you intend to practice equine massage and alternative therapies as a business, it is important that you become familiar with the laws in your state. You may also find it helpful talk with equine massage and alternative therapists in your area as well as your veterinarian to get practical understanding of how practicing in your area works.

The purpose of The Masterson Method® is to improve performance, well-being, relationship, and communication in the healthy horse, and is not a replacement for veterinary care.