Surprise! I haven’t been anywhere since our last newsletter. Talk to you next month.
We still have a lot going on. I’ve had time this month to work on a few projects. Getting our Continuing Education Program and next level of Certification going.
This program is for our MM Certified Practitioners to;
- a) improve their knowledge around what’s causing the tension we’re finding in the horse,
2) continue to improve their skill at doing Masterson Method Techniques, and
III) learn new Techniques.
Everything we’re working on in the horse’s body is caused by something; some other, primary issue. We can make the horse more comfortable and help with the tension and lack of range of motion that is caused by its compensating for a primary issue, then we can help the owner determine the source of the tension, then the tension it has been causing will not return.
The list of these “primary issues” is long but here are a few examples; sore feet and foot and leg issues, dental issues, saddle and tack issues, ulcers, metabolic issues, poor or imbalanced riding, conformation, natural imbalances, compensation for past incidents or injuries, etc.
As with humans, plain old work, or over-work – what I call imbalanced conditioning – can obviously be the source of tension in the body. The horse needs a certain amount of muscle tone in order to do its job, but the more you learn about what’s going on, and feel what the horse’s body is telling you, then the more you will start to see where excessive tension in one area or under-work in another, and (and this is a big one) where core or postural muscles are doing the job of the working or gymnastic muscles, is affecting your horse.
Sometimes there is a remedy for these issues and sometimes not. If we can help the owner find an issue that can be corrected then we’re making a big improvement in the horse’s life… and the owner’s check book : )
Most of the knowledge courses we’ll be offering will be available to anyone wanting to learn. The Masterson Method advanced skills and techniques courses will be reserved for MM Certified Practitioners (MMCP) to build on in order to continue improving their skills and techniques.
Advanced Home Study Course
There is another project that I’m excited about (and I don’t excite easily) that my “time off” this month has allowed me to work on. Many people who take the Advanced 5-Day Course aren’t necessarily interested in going on through the Certification process or becoming MMCPs. They come to the Advanced 5-Day because they’re interested in learning more techniques, getting better at them, and gaining more knowledge in general. For them, there is nothing after the Advanced 5-Day Course. Oh, did I say “is” ? What I meant was, “was”.
We’re actively at work on an Advanced 5-Day Home Study Course that will continue to give these people guided practice and knowledge from the 5-Day Course including video, anatomy, more bad jokes, etc. I am excited about this. Stay tuned.
What’s next? Oh yeah, we have three Collaborative Clinics coming up:
Considering the Horse: Mind and Body with Mark Rashid and Jim Masterson, March 26th to 30th in Nicasio, California just north of San Francisco.
Considering the Horse: Mind and Body with Jim Masterson and Mark Rashid (we keep arguing over who gets to go last). This will be July 9th to 13th in Littleton, Colorado.
And a first-time joint clinic: Dressage, Biomechanics and Bodywork with Jec Ballou and Jim Masterson on April 30th to May 4th near Watsonville, CA.
As you all know, Mark and I have done clinics together before, and the results amazed even me (and I don’t amaze easily)!
(Here’s Mark telling me what to do.)
Those of you who know Jec Ballou know that she teaches equine fitness and conditioning, cross-training, focusing on correcting movement dysfunction across all disciplines. She’s the author of numerous books, demonstrates at Horse Expos around the country, and contributes regularly to Dressage Today, Horse Illustrated, Canadian Horse Journal, and Eclectic Horseman magazines. On top of that, I know that she is a dedicated horse woman, is a very good teacher, and lot of fun. https://jecballou.com/
Although Jec and I have collaborated on books and articles before, this will be our inaugural (first) clinic together. The clinic will follow this basic format:
- At the beginning of each joint lesson Jec and I will discuss what the rider wants to work on – any issues the rider might have with the horse, and evaluate movement in the horse with the rider.
- Jec will do a training lesson with the horse and rider in the arena.
- Following that I will do a bodywork session on the horse, giving special attention to any movement or behavior issues the rider has with the horse, that came up during the lesson, or comes up during the bodywork session.
- The next day Jec and I will do a follow up evaluation of the horse’s movement and Jec will do a follow up lesson with the horse and rider.
- Jim will have a beer. (Actually, Jim will have had a beer on the first day, and this will be a follow up beer. : )
Auditing is available for all parts of the clinic. Jec and I have also scheduled time around the clinic to give riding lessons, and for me to give Masterson Method bodywork treatments for those interested. There are still some spaces available, but don’t wait too long. Details below.
The Considering the Horse: Mind and Body Clinic (sometimes referred to as the Mark and Jim Show) follows a similar format.
In honor of our Inaugural Clinic with Jec, we’re offering 30% off our Dressage Movements Revealed DVD and/or Dressage Horse Optimized Book, and an additional 20% off (of these products) to anyone attending this clinic. See the details below.
The Considering the Horse: Mind and Body Clinic (sometimes referred to as the Mark and Jim Show) follows a similar format.
I’m expecting that, as with our previous Collaborative Clinic, the total of the whole in both of these will be much more than the sum of the parts. Or is it the other way around? I’m looking forward to learning as well as teaching at both of these. And they’re Fun!
Coming up on March 30th through April 1st is the Mane Event in Scottsdale, AZ. Our Advanced Instructor Coralie Hughes will be doing demos there on Friday the 30th, and I’ll join her on Saturday and Sunday for demos and be available to chat over the weekend. Be there!
Or, if you’re from the middle part of the country, come to the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, WI on April 20th to the 22nd and I’ll see you there!
Or, if you’re at Equitana in Melbourne, Australia in November, I Hope to see you there!
And if we schedule any more horse expos between now and November, as soon as I know dates, you’ll know!
See the Expo page on our website. See you there! 😉
We talked last month about the MM Educational Conference we had in Tucson in February. We’ve decided to continue doing them every other year. There are rumors floating about of organizing something in Europe, as our MMCP population is growing there. Just rumors…
Here are some photos from our Advanced 5-Day Course just this last this week in Watsonville, CA taught by Advanced Instructor, Sandy Vreeberg. She called as I was writing this newsletter saying she had some cool photos of her students working on horses, and begged, I mean, begged me to put them in the newsletter. Actually she didn’t beg, but they are very nice photos and I like to see photos of people working on their horses. So here they are.
(Sandy in purple vest, Asst. Loni Langdon in red, and Class)
Now, get out there and do the same.
Finally, below is a link to a video about the beginnings of The Masterson Method, sponsored by our partner Absorbine. This video opened our Educational Conference in Tucson. It’s a little bit informative, a little bit funny, not too long. So enjoy!
Next time I talk to you I’ll have been to the Mark and Jim Show (Considering the Horse), and the Horse Expo, The Mane Event in Scottsdale, AZ and will have some more news for you.
Until then, like me,
Enjoy your horses!
The Masterson Method
Our quarterly donation from the Equine Massage for Performance Horses video is going to Val Lowe’s Little Longears Miniature Donkey Rescue! Val is featured in this video. She gave Jim his start in horses! Fun listening to her tell about teaching Jim in his early days.
See some cute miniature donkey photos and learn more about what Val’s rescue is doing here: http://www.littlelongears.org
Bodywork Session with Jim
Would you like Jim to work on your horse?
Jim doesn’t usually offer bodywork sessions anymore. However he will be offering a few individual bodywork sessions during the Jec and Jim Clinic in Watsonville, CA. There are 6 spaces currently open. For more information and to schedule an appointment for your horse, email: Kelsey@mastersonmethod.com.
Masterson Method Equine Specialist Program News
Still scratching your head about what this Masterson Method Equine Specialist thing is all about? Well, Jim put it so eloquently in a personal email to a friend that we just thought we’d steal it from him:
It’s a program that uses simple MM Techniques like the Bladder Meridian to help therapy horses, while facilitating emotional or mental health therapy for the participant (e.g., veteran) at the same time. It’s a two-day training (plus some fieldwork) for the Masterson Method Equine Specialist that follows a Weekend Seminar.
One question we often get by equine-facilitated coaches or therapists at our trainings is whether or not they as therapists can process feelings that may arise for their clients in the middle of doing a bodywork session on the horse. The answer is, “Ideally not during the session, unless there is an identified need (but yes, afterwards),” and this is why (again, Jim Masterson explains):
There’s a twist to the way that we’re looking at using the horse to help humans: It’s not about the human getting the therapy, it’s about the horse getting the therapy. The human participant is not getting the therapy; the human’s giving the therapy. The minute you make it about the human then the value to the human of helping another Being through this connection is lost. You take away the human’s value to the other Being, and in the process, to themselves. In order for the human to get the value, it has to be about the horse. The psychological value to the human is in helping the horse. This is important to people like veterans to whom there might be a stigma attached to accepting therapy. With this, you’re not going to get therapy, you’re going to give therapy. And that’s how you get the therapy!
Will you be at the Midwest Horse Fair April 20-22 in Madison, WI? Lise Lunde, lead MMES Instructor and MMCP, will be sharing about the MMES program there (as well as Jim et al). Come find us!
Kudos to Mary Kay Burkhart, MMCP and certified MMES, for introducing the Masterson Method to therapeutic riding instructors at Sprout Therapeutic Riding and Education Center in Aldie, Virginia on February 22nd. Therapy horses need bodywork too!
See more at http://mastersonmethodequinespecialist.com
Masterson Method Practitioners Doing Demos Around The Globe
This batch is actually in North America. But it is happening all over the globe! 😉
Send us your photos of expos and/or demos you attend.
Leslie Brooks MMCP giving a demo at the Rockleigh Equestrian Centre in Rockleigh, NJ. See a short video of her demonstration on our facebook page.
Danna Antoine MMCP had a booth at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo.
Lise Lunde during her demonstration at Main Stay Therapeutic Farm’s Horse Expo in IL.
Left to right: Daniela LeBlanc, MMCP, Lise Lunde, MMCP & Instructor, and Melody Tuper, MMCP at Main Stay Therapeutic Farm’s Horse Expo.
Left to right: Kathy Reid, Field Work Student and Kathy Hanneson, MMCP at the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association Annual General Meeting.
Masterson Method Video
A Clip from Dressage Movements Revealed DVD
Discount this month!
We are offering 30% off the:
*For students attending the Jim and Jec Clinic you will receive an extra 20% off! You’ll be receiving an email from the main office.
New Certified Practitioners
I have loved horses all my life. My horse career started by working in exchange for lessons during college. That led to a job offer at a lesson/boarding/training barn. I continued to look for opportunities to pursue my passion and spend more time with horses and worked part time at a Morgan Breeding Farm/Stallion Station and also worked as an exercise rider at a Quarter Horse Racing Barn. I spent 17 years as the Horse Program Director at a group home for teenage girls and it was there that I was first introduced to The Masterson Method®. After seeing a demonstration at the MN Horse Expo I had a one day clinic at the group home. I was so impressed with the horses’ responses to the work and the therapeutic benefits for the girls that I knew I wanted to pursue certification. I love the Masterson Method® because of the softness in the work and that the horse participates and has a voice in the process! My goal is to always be a student of the horse, continually learning and growing!
Jim’s note: Bridget shows us how to do Lateral Cervical Flexion on a horse whose head weighs more than she does?
I grew up around draft horses and Angus cattle, and my love of animals led me to The Ohio State University where I received my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Animal Science. I received tenure as faculty and worked for OSU for 15 years. For the next 20, I worked in the in the business world as co-owner of 6 restaurant franchises. During that time, I stayed connected to animals by raising three children on a farm in northeastern Pennsylvania, where they were involved in raising sheep, pigs, goats, dogs and horses. This drove my passion to form Lattner Equine Performance, which seeks to provide a holistic approach to performance enhancement, preventive maintenance, and rehabilition therapy for your pet or equine athlete in order to restore the synchronized flow of motion required for a healthy lifestyle and elite athletic performance.
To advance the mission of Lattner Equine Performance, I pursued advance training and certification in several equine modalities, including The Masterson Method. Working with the horse instead of working on the horse, resonated with my life experiences of how animals function optimally, and offered an avenue for me to intertwine my certification in equine and canine sports massage, Reike, and Lymphedema therapy. By learning to recognize a horse’s response to my touch in order to release tension in the key junctions of their bodies, the critical components of feel and timing of the Masterson Method allowed me to synergize my techniques to have further impact on animals’ bodies.
I believe in the benefit of a team approach that involves coordination among owner, trainer, veterinarian, nutritionist, farrier, dentist, and body worker, leading to a healthier, happier, and therefore, more productive horse.
Lee Ann Sommerfeld
Horses have always captivated me. They embolden my spirit and remind me that a part of me has been alive for centuries. I was three years old and a little brown pony with blonde mane named Cricket started it all. From that moment on I have only grown more enamored.
A few years ago I rescued an Anglo Arabian mare. Through the process of rehabbing her I discovered a passion for wanting to connect on a deeper level with horses. I became a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist and studied Equine Acupressure. Somehow, I was still missing pieces to the puzzle. Then I discovered The Masterson Method. Eureka! It brought everything together.
The learning is a life long journey and the community is a blessing. But the biggest gift of knowing horses has been to be humbled by their generosity and strength. Being of benefit to them is where I have found one of life’s greatest treasures: joy.
I am a retired teacher who has always been an animal lover, all four-legged types. I knew that I would be retiring soon and that I wanted to hopefully work with animals. I had been riding horses for some time and in the course of my “retirement” search, I stumbled upon equine bodywork, aka horse massage. A few summers back, I became a certified equine massage therapist, and am currently a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner (MMCP). Two years ago I formed my LLC, Major’s Horse Massage, and had been working and volunteering on a part-time basis, initially, and now it is more full time. We moved to Texas in 2016 from Las Vegas, and I have been slowly building a clientele since our arrival. I also volunteer at SIRE, Houston’s Therapeutic Horsemanship program. I am a retired Army Reserve Major, which is where my business name comes from.
My biggest struggle, like many new small businesses, is getting started. As I mentioned, we are relatively new to Cypress (Texas, really), so my biggest struggle has been building up a clientele. This business truly is based upon the maxim that it is all about who you know; it is such a word of mouth business. I don’t view it as a struggle, really, because I LOVE being in the company of horses. The oh-so-visible results from a horse that is truly relaxed after a bodywork session is amazing. That in itself is a large reward.
My business is very much a niche business. When I tell people that I do horse massage, they never realized that horses do like and need a massage! My slogan is ‘a happy horse is a happy rider,’ which as any horse owner knows, there is a great deal of truth in that. I can take a horse that for whatever reason doesn’t quite ride right, may have an attitude, may be in pain, or where something just isn’t quite right, and make subtle changes and improvements with them over time, assuming that there are no underlying medical issues. I have had clients tell me that they can see improvements in their horse with only one session. Though most results of bodywork tend to be cumulative, even seeing just small changes in a horse in a short period of time, knowing that you are helping the horse feel and perform better, is something that I am proud of.
An owner has entrusted their prized possession—their horse, their child’s horse—into your care, is something that I am also proud of and genuinely take very seriously. What sets me apart is that I use the principles of The Masterson Method, a unique, interactive method of equine bodywork where you recognize and use the horse’s response to your touch to release tension in the horse. The horse must participate in the process or it doesn’t work! Certification in The Masterson Method takes 1 -2 years of pretty intense study and practice. There are very few certified practitioners in the greater Houston area, which if I do say so myself, is a feather in my cap! I approach each horse feeling committed to working with them, leaving them feeling better than before.
I believe business success takes luck but more so I believe it takes grit. I have worked hard before being in business, and have carried those ideas of grit and treating people well into my business. In this small, narrow field of equine bodywork, it is lucky to meet just the right people (in the know) which I have met a few, that has been both lucky and helpful.
Phone: (346) 818-7254
Facebook: Major’s Horse Massage