Hello from Jim

Hello All,

Heading to the airport to leave for England as we speak. Full courses there, as usual. In England they love to learn, they love horses, and they’re mildly interested in me. I’ll take what I can get. In any case, I love visiting there; the pubs, the people and the ponies. I’m only mildly interested in the weather. We’re just coming out of a cold, wet spring here in Iowa having had a straight week of sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70’s and lower 80’s. The forecast for England says I’m heading back into a couple of weeks of cool and wet. Feels like I’m heading back in time. Oh well. At least there are the pubs, the people and the ponies.
I just got through security and am sitting here at the gate writing this. Went through the usual hassle here at Cedar Rapids-Eastern Iowa Regional Airport. It took an extra 30 seconds for the security guy to wish the lady in line in front of me a Happy Mother’s Day. Then another 30 seconds for him to inform me that I looked much younger than my driver’s license photo. The things we have to put up with from TSA! Took me upwards of a minute and a half to get through security! Now I have 45 minutes to wait for one of the ten or so flights that come in here every day. I love this airport.



We’ve just finished the Minnesota Horse Expo a couple of weeks ago. We did something different this time. For our demonstrations we arranged to have horses that had what we call “mystery performance or behavioral issues” or “mystery lamenesses” horses that have a clear performance, movement or behavioral issue, that have been looked at by a veterinarian but with: 

  • a) no diagnosis – nothing causing it has been found, or
  • b) something has been found and diagnosed, and has been treated and the initial problem healed – yet the horse is still not entirely sound.
The issue may have developed slowly or may have shown up suddenly. It may be for reasons unknown, or the result of a specific incident.
Often a horse that is in an accident or has something unexpected happen, strains or spasms deeper core and postural muscles in the body. These often can’t be felt on the surface but lie deeper. Using lighter work, and following what the horse’s responses tell you during the process often allows the horse to release these deep levels of tension. These spasms may have been caused by the incident or may have developed due to the effects of compensating for an injury or obvious issue. Knowing what to look for, having patience, and letting the horse do its part in releasing the tension often gets amazing results. We’re going to do something  similar at the Western States Horse Expo demos in June. I will list some of the criteria we are looking for with these horses below and you can contact us if you feel you might have a candidate for our demos.
The idea at the demos was to discuss “mystery issues” and potential causes, to work on horses that have them, and then get feedback from the owners in the weeks following on any improvements (or not – part of the deal) for this newsletter.
A Note on the horses below: Most of these horses below have long-standing issues, and their bodies have been compensating for some type of discomfort for a while. If your focus is on trying to “fix” something, then your attention is not on what the horse has to say during the process. The horse will begin to brace internally and it won’t work. You will get fixated on what you think should happen, not on what the horse is telling you. The horse has to participate or it doesn’t work. With this method you’re only looking for an improvement each step of the way. If there is a change or an improvement during the bodywork and afterward, then you know you are on the right track and you do more.
Here are the horses we had in the demos and worked on over the weekend of the Minnesota Horse Expo:

Horse’s Name: Trace 

Trace is large light chestnut show Paint Horse. Trace had been kicked in the stifle a while ago. The stifle was treated and healed, but Trace was still off. He had his SI treated and some other things done that have helped. He has been doing well and is less reactive now, but has a hard time lunging to right. He is rideable and sound, but still noticeably stiff on the right side.
Our Experience of Trace:  Trace was pretty tight all over at the Expo. We did multiple sessions on him. On the second he released major tension behind the withers on the right. We used him in most of the demos so he got a lot of work over the weekend.
First message from Trace’s owner after the Expo, Wednesday May 10:  “Had a nice ride on Trace this afternoon.  He seemed to be much looser and able to bend on the right side today.  Still some minor issues going to right, but that seemed more normal as he is left handed and I am right handed, so that is harder for me.  I really do feel he is on the road to improvement with your treatments at the Minnesota Horse Expo! Thanks for your help and I will keep you posted on his progress.”

Updated on May 15th
– “He continues to be better on the right and has better flexibility that way. I think he is fixed!”
Horse’s Name: Kiowa


Kiowa is a Cream Draft Horse that went off for driving training and returned with issues with the harness when pressure is put on his chest, although he ground drives just fine. If any weight is put on his chest he panics. The owner suspects there may have been an accident or incident which caused this change in behavior.
So the question the owner has is; Is this new behavior due to an accident that created physical discomfort, or does he associate pressure on his chest with an incident that might have frightened him during his training; meaning, is it mental? A vet has looked at the horse and nothing was diagnosed.
Our Experience of Kiowa:  At the Expo, Kiowa was initially pretty tight in the poll, reactive in the sacrum, and had some stickiness in the withers. He was worked on twice and was in three demos, so he got quite a lot of bodywork while there.  
Message from the owner of Kiowa last week: “Kiowa has been working well the last two weeks until last Sunday, where he showed up lame on the right rear ligament above the Pastern. Not sure what that was about. I have not tried to drag anything yet. Wanted to try that this week before I left and it didn’t happen. 
Will attempt to drag from the saddle horn on Saturday or Sunday and will let you know. If I can I will get someone to video us and put on YouTube for you.  Will be in touch.”
Note on Kiowa: A horse will get used to using his body in a certain way to compensate for discomfort. When that’s changed, it can cause the horse to use his body in a different way that shift loads to another area. In this case we’ll have to see how Kiowa does after this most recent injury has healed.
Stay tuned…

Horse’s Name:  Chimmer (pronounced Chimer)

Small chestnut mare, 15 yo, has done everything with her young rider – from drill team to trail camping.

About a year ago she walked out of the stall lame after a drill team competition, right front. Vets felt something in the flexor tendon but not much else. She has no sign of injury now, but has been lame in front since.

Our experience of Chimmer:  Masterson Method Certified Practitioner, Lise Lunde and I worked on her a couple of times, and she was in the Friday and Saturday demonstrations. I asked the owner to give Chimmer a week off in the pasture before doing anything as she had received quite a bit of bodywork over the weekend.

Message from the owner of Chimmer:  I spoke with Kara on Monday 5/8, one week after she left the Expo. Kara reports that she took Chimmer off Previcox (NSAID) the day following the Expo to see how she was doing, and that she has moved very well in the pasture this past week. Her disposition is also much improved. She was planning on riding Chimmer today but she (Chimmer) came up with an abscess on the left hind over the weekend. She will ride her as soon as the abscess heals and report on her progress.
Notes on Chimmer: Similar to the above note on Kiowa. Stay tuned. Will report later.
Horse’s Name:  Disco

Disco small chestnut mare – cutting horse, 16 yo, has been off for a year.
“I have a mare that is lame only at the trot – and doesn’t like to lope. She’s 15, a show horse (cutting), pulled her suspensory last spring. After 8 weeks of stall rest, wrapping, etc. followed by injections and supplements followed by just turning her out in the pasture – she never did get better. I’m not very hopeful there is a ‘cure’ for her, but I’d be willing to bring her to Expo to find out. “
Disco has been treated by a vet. She is probably the most extreme case in the group. She has trouble standing relaxed, and is uncomfortable standing with her hind legs together and under herself. She has been in the pasture for a year and her owner doesn’t hold much hope for her recovery.
Our of experience of Disco:  Expo Assistant and Masterson Method Certified Pracitioner (MMCP) Lori Thompson, (seen above at the demo with me) and I both worked on Disco a couple of times. I worked on her on Saturday, and she did quite a few demos. She has something deep in the hind end, and I felt excessive tightness in the left groin. She has trouble relaxing the left hind, and was resting it more than usual on Saturday according to the owner. She was dragging the toe more by the time we left. She did run around the paddock on Saturday.

Update from Owner:  “Hi Jim! Disco has been doing well!  She still looks great and is moving more freely.  Shelby trail rode her on Sunday and she was GREAT!  We didn’t trot her – just walked, but she stretched good!  Her trot is still off in the pasture, but I also notice her resting her back legs more than ever before!  
We did receive our book and we’ve started going through it.  We haven’t started any treatments on her, since you suggested 1-2 weeks off.  This week we leave Thursday for a horse show, so we figured we’d get at it next week.  MMCP Lori Thompson is scheduled to come out on Thursday to give her a ‘once over’ and give me some pointers.  Hopefully I have the book finished by then!  
I really appreciate the opportunity and all the time you and Lori spent with Disco at the Expo.  You are wonderful people and I’m feeling MUCH better about Disco’s condition.  I’m very hopeful that with continued work she’ll be good as new in no time!  Well, maybe SOME time…but we’d rather work with her all summer and have a sound horse than no horse at all. 
Also, can you subscribe me to your newsletter?  I can’t wait to see the follow-ups on all the horses!  Just let me know if you need additional information from us.”

Horse’s name:  Otis  

Otis is a horse who came to us during the Expo. He’s a Trail and Search and Rescue horse who developed a bucking behavior at the lope or canter “out of nowhere.”  When changes like these occur, unless you’re specifically training the horse to buck, the horse is usually trying to tell you something is uncomfortable. Otis went to a very respectable trainer, Michael Sparling, who was able to smooth out Otis’s lope, however at the last minute before he was to return to the owner the mystery buck reappeared.
Otis was rushed to the Expo Saturday morning (high drama) where I worked on him in the stall, and we used him in the Light to the Core demo. He’s a very solid horse, and nothing visibly released during the stall session but he did relax during the demo. Certification Field Work Student Sandy worked on him after the Expo at his home stable, and reports getting good visual releases, but the owner has not yet had a chance to ride him at the lope. We will let you know how he progresses.


Back to England. We’ll be doing a Final Certification Course at Emily Baker’s Equine Ethos training and educational facility in the Cotswolds. Gerd Heuchmann and I regularly miss seeing each other there – although I did take him up in my plane a couple of years ago in Indianapolis. (These incidents may be related – I don’t know – he didn’t seem scared at the time.) Emily’s place is always beautiful, and she is fun. And she knows how to train and condition horses in a way that is beneficial to the horse. (Not to mention that she has a very nice pub in her village.)  We’ll have a Masterson Method Practitioners’ Day where we’ll all get together and share notes on Friday, and a Weekend Seminar Workshop there on the weekend.
Then down to Salisbury for an Advanced 5 Day Course, another Weekend, and another 5 Day. This may seem like a grueling schedule to some, but when you’re working with like-minded people on horses who need and appreciate the work, in the beautiful English countryside, with some very quaint, often European style gastro-pubs nearby at the end of the day, then it doesn’t really feel that much like work.

We have a lot going on in Germany. After a few Weekend Seminars in Germany last year we now have an Advanced 5-Day Course in England where half of the students are German horse people. Go Walter!

Walter is also involved in introducing MM bodywork to the German Mustang Challenge.  I’ve been wanting to do that here in the States, and Walter’s beat me to it. Don’t lay a challenge down in front of a German, especially if he’s a German horseman! One thing we’re trying to do is change the way horses are competed in Germany, and the way they are trained and rehabilitated in the US.

We have a few more certification graduates – MMCP’s to introduce to you today….Nancy Horne from Kila, Montana, and Denise Montagne from Reno, Nevada.  Denise finished her certification in 2016, but we had not highlighted her accomplishments here.  


Congratulations! You’ve earned it! 


We’re looking to schedule some more Weekend Seminar-Workshops this summer, If you’re interested contact Tamara at tamara@mastersonmethod.com.  We’ll come to you!
Please take a look at upcoming Weekend Seminars and Advanced Courses below, as well as at our Advanced 5-Day and MM Equine Specialist courses. There has to be one near you, and if there isn’t, then contact Tamara in the office (641-472-1312) and have her help you organize one. That’s how it works! That’s how easy it is!
If we didn’t see you in Pomona or Minnesota, then come to sunny Sacramento, California and learn some more from us at the Western States Horse Expo. And have fun. That’s what we do!
Well, that’s about it, until I come back from merrie ole’ England, and merrie ole’ California.
Like me, Enjoy Your Horses!


Walter Saxe, MMCP and Instructor in Germany Report from the Mustang Makeover


“Today I got to know Andrea and the little Mustang mare. I am very happy, that I can work with Andrea! Her way of preparing the horse is fully the same as the Masterson Method Idea: Put the clock to the side, only the horse decides the speed.

I would describe Andrea’s philosophy as follows: the way is the goal and not the result.
The little mare had to settle in the first days without having to cope with new tasks. Trust building is the first motto.

Fun Note: Andrea gave her the name M (the boss of James Bond).

How did I experience the small Mustangs mare? She is very timid and cautious. Although she is looking for closeness with the nose and follows the lead rope, all of my attempts to touch her body create her subtle retreat. Here, the Bladder Meridian Technique can show what it is capable of accomplishing. Easier said than done. The only part of the body that I could approach by my hand was the lower mane part. Well it went up to 20 cm! Here our contact strength term “air gap” is really taken seriously :-). But – the mare shows a subtle reaction, was there a blink? Back again and again to the spot – and she blinks again. Bingo! I hold my hand for about 20 seconds in this position and her eyes get soft and the face relaxed. This is simply a wonderful feeling, when such a “conversation” develops. I have to accept that she only endures my approach up to the withers. I can finally touch the mane’s comb and the neck quite easily, and she releases her tension several times with licking and chewing. I cannot tell if it took 30 minutes or 60 minutes. In the end, my fingers lay gently over her eyes on the bladder meridian, and in front of me stood a completely relaxed Mustang mare with closed eyes, chewing and licking from time to time and satisfied with herself and the world.

I did not want more and more could not have been possible.

I am sure, however, that next time she will allow the complete bladder-meridian technique.

I will continue to report”

(editors note:  To follow Walter’s progress, please follow on the Masterson Method Facebook page)

One Day Workshop taught by MM Instructor, Coralie Hughes on The Biomechanics of Dressage: What we are asking the horse’s body to do for us (applies to any equestrian discipline)

On Friday, April 21, 2017, twelve dressage riders, trainers and judges gathered to learn how the horse’s body functions, in other words, Biomechanics of dressage. Coralie Hughes, the co-author of The Dressage Horse Optimized reviewed the functional skeletal and muscle anatomy of the horse in relation to the biomechanics of various dressage movements and collection. Attendees then painted the skeleton on one side of an FEI level horse and muscles on the opposite side. The horse was then ridden while the students watched how the horse used its body at the walk, trot, canter, halt, rein back, leg yield and half pass. Everyone agreed that this clinic was fun and very informational. Since the horse was painted, you could clearly see how the neck muscles, ribs, stifles and hocks worked.

Testimonial from a course participant:

Hi Coralie,

I snuck out during your bodywork yesterday just as you were moving to the hind end; unfortunately I needed to get back home to prep for a busy weekend and didn’t get a chance to say goodbye or how much I enjoyed your presentation and the opportunity to observe a horse perform with musculature & skeleton painted on them.  I really loved watching the movement of the hips, especially the difference between the trot and the canter, and the actions of the pectorals and the subclavius during the side passes.  As I’m sure you’ve heard before, its one thing to read that a muscle is an adductor, or an abductor, but it is so much easier to truly absorb that concept, with its many ramifications for bodywork, when you can see it in action.  Thank you so much for offering this, I’m sure it will have positive effects on my work during Block 3 and for many years to come.

I hope all goes well with this weekend’s 2-day workshop and you have safe return to Indiana.

Thank you,
Sarah Supulski Adams

Topics covered on the one-day clinic  
  • Functional skeletal and muscle anatomy of the horse (presented at a level to be useful to riders/trainers. No latin names or insertion points or highly technical facts. Just how the organism works)
  • Biomechanics of bend/circles
  • Biomechanics of collection
  • How the horse uses his body in the major movements of upper level dressage. When you understand this you can adapt the information to any discipline.
  • How we use our bodies as riders (of any discipline) that makes the horse’s job harder 
  • What causes excessive negative tension/discomfort in the horse
  • Paint the skeleton on one side of the horse and the major muscles on the other side of the horse
  • Watch the painted horse move in walk trot and canter on the longe and in in-hand work
  • Watch the painted horse be ridden performing the upper level movements of dressage
  • Discussion
  • Masterson Method Bodywork live demo with free-flowing commentary connecting what I feel in the body, how excessive negative tension might relate to potential performance issues in that horse and how it is released

Editor’s note:  Coralie is willing to add this one-day workshop on to any Weekend Workshop that she teaches.  Please contact Tamara at tamara@mastersonmethod.com for more information.


Masterson Method Equine Specialist Training

Do you volunteer for an equine-facilitated program serving veterans, people with disabilities, people recovering from addiction, and others receiving the healing benefits of working with horses? Consider applying your interest in the Masterson Method to therapy horses and their clients! Doing bodywork on horses helps clients develop a new relationship to their horse while the horse releases tension: it’s a win-win. Register for the Masterson Method Equine Specialist (MMES) Training in Liberty Hill, Texas on July 17th-18th to learn how to bring the Masterson Method to equine-assisted activity or therapy programs.

UPCOMING DEMO: July 6, 2017 * Cold Spring, NY
The Putnam Horse Council in NY State is partnering with Topfield Equestrian Center in Cold Spring, NY to offer a free, public demo of the Masterson Method! Come watch Masterson Method Certified Practitioner Tanja Kraft demonstrate the basic principles of this bodywork, and hear MMES program coordinator Megan Dushin briefly share about this new application of the Masterson Method in coaching or therapy settings. Email mdushin@gmail.com

for more details.

Do you have 8-10 horses who serve in equine-facilitated programs? Are you interested in hosting a training in Masterson Method Equine Specialist Programming? Earn a free seat plus 20% discount on the prerequisite Weekend Seminar course by hosting a 2-day MMES training at your site. Learn more about hosting requirements on our Masterson Method Equine Specialist website

10% off DVD’s Spring Special

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All Video’s (DVD’s and Streaming) are now 10% off through the end of May.
Happy Memorial Day!

Use coupon code: springsale to receive the 10% discount

Masterson Method will be presented at the Western States Horse Expo, June 9th – 11th

Come meet Jim Masterson booth #1415

Topics and Location of Presentations:

Masterson Method – Dealing with Mystery Issues: Days 1, 2 and 3

Friday – 9:15am – Western Horseman’s Spirit Arena
Saturday – 5:00pm – Western Horseman’s Spirit Arena
Sunday – 1:00pm – Western Horseman’s Spirit Arena  

Jim works with different live horse case study issues that involve unexplained or undiagnosed “Mystery Issues”. Many horses suffer from performance, movement or behavioral issues, the sources of which cannot be found in the feet, legs or on the surface of the horse. Often the origins of these problems lie deeper in the core and postural muscles of the body. The Masterson Method® is dedicated to teaching owners how to find and release hidden tension that may be affecting their horses’ performance, movement or behavior, by learning to read and follow what the horse’s body is telling them.

These sessions use horses with unexplained performance, movement or behavioral issues such as extreme head shyness, short-strided in front or behind, or who have been involved in injuries or accidents such as serious falls or trailering accidents in which afterwards the horse is just “not quite right” or “not the same”.

On Friday’s demonstration horses with unexplained performance, movement or behavioral issues will be evaluated and worked on using the Masterson Method®. Techniques demonstrated and areas worked on will be determined by the particular issues these horses bring to the demo, and what each individual horse tells us through his/her visual responses to the work.

Each day, following an explanation of the Masterson Method®, follow-up work on the previous day’s horses will be done if needed, and then a fresh set of horses with different performance, movement or behavioral issues will be evaluated and worked on.

These demos are educational, full of practical information, and give you specific Masterson Method® bodywork techniques that you as an owner will be able to take home and use to improve not only your horse’s performance, movement and behavior, but communication and relationship with your horse as well

Denise Montagne, Certified Practitioner from Reno, NV

Denise Montagne
Reno, Nevada

Denise’s journey with horses began later in life at 34 Since then she has enjoyed several disciplines including endurance riding, dressage and hunter\jumper. But she truly loves a great trail ride and simply being with horses.
Denise has been a human physical therapist for the past 27 years specializing in outpatient rehab with an emphasis on Manual therapy, Pilates and Gyrotonic. She really loves and excels with the manual therapy part of assisting the body to function optimally as well as how to then train it to work more efficiently. In 2003 her first horse Sham was exhibiting some behavior that appeared to be caused by pain radiating from his back into his flank. He would spin and bite himself, causing welts on his side. After seeing a few vets with no diagnosis, she decided to try some manual therapy techniques as she would on a human. Her therapy, sure enough alleviated the symptoms! This led her to seek further training in equine therapy and bodywork. Her first class was with Narelle Stubbs BaaSC PT. M. Animal ST. PhD Equine Back Pain in 2004. In 2008 she achieved certification as an Equine Rehab Therapist (CERT) through Animal Rehab Institute in Florida again under instruction with Narelle Stubbs and Hilary Clayton BVMS, PhD. She then acquired a license as an Animal Physical Therapist in the state of Nevada in 2009.
Finding there was a need for total equine bodywork in the Reno area, Denise sought a method to treat the whole horse, not just the broken part. She realized she had several goals in working with the horses; enhance performance, rehabilitate, improve emotional well- being and strengthen the relationship between horse and rider. A client had mentioned the Masterson Method® to her during a session with her own horse. She was drawn to the methods after taking a weekend course. She then realized that was the ticket she sought! The Masterson Method® intrigued her because it’s much more than what is done to a horse-it is about working with the horse to release tension, increase ease of movement and enhance performance. Much the same as is accomplished with her human therapy based in osteopathic medicine and Pilates training. Completing her certification in the Masterson Method in October 2016, Denise is excited to be a part of the The Masterson Method community which attracts a wonderful group of people dedicated to improving the lives of horses.
Denise enjoys educating owners about ways to help their own horses feel better physically and emotionally. She tremendously enjoys seeing the horse move more freely. Observing horses transform through sessions with the Masterson Method has been especially satisfying. She enjoys being in the moment when working with a horse, feeling, sensing, observing and following her intuition. It’s a healing time for both horse and practitioner.
You can get in touch with Denise at: dmpt96@yahoo.com or by calling;  775-813-6361


Nancy Horne from Kila, MT, Newly Certified Practitioner

Nancy Horne
Kila, Montana
I began my career as a custom furniture maker and also taught woodworking. I transitioned to computer design, database development, website design and teacher of Online Adobe courses in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver for a community college in Oregon. Counter balancing the technical work with my Equine passion, I pulled the diversity of skills together and created the Greater Good Ranch on my 30 acres in Salish Mountains in Kila, Montana. Currently partnered with 4 horses, 3 dogs a cat and chickens, there are endless possibilities for activities and healing. Computing. teaching plus abundant trail riding, equine clinics, workshops promoting wellness, communication and connection are the main focus of daily life.
My introduction to horses can be described as a mid-life passion that began in 1999.  The desire to find common interest with a friend turned into full blown passion for ‘everything horse’ after just two riding / equine care lessons.  With RFD-TV available, I studied every horse program available when not out working with horses. 2003 began the study of acupressure and red light therapy, soon followed by the Masterson Method® DVD’s and Book after seeing Jim’s demonstration with Rick Lamb on “the Horse Show”. The communication and results with every horse are simply astounding.
After years of intensely studying and applying multiple modalities of ground work, riding, Beyond Horse Massage techniques, equine healing and rehab methods, I earned her CEMP certification through Western Montana School of Equine Massage, followed by initiation as a Reiki Master and Acupressure, Tucker Bio Kinetic Certification L1, Horse Muscle Care along with other modalities. After all this I felt the Masterson Methodology was still the key work needed for a solid foundation of understanding and awareness with horses. The MM 5 day course, field work study and certification course sparked the drive for learning and doing way more than ever considered possible. Extended study is now an unending focus.
I have an innate ability to connect and communicate with the horse to determine what the horse needs and will adjust our session accordingly. My mission is to share and teach awareness, connection, communication and maintenance techniques to all equine enthusiasts to help keep horses safe, sound, happy and healthy. To date I’ve specialized in Therapy horses, non working horses, and those who have given their all throughout their lifetime and are now left with muscle bound restriction and discomfort. The empathy and understanding to peel away layers and layers of issues to rediscover the best the horse can be now and for their future is a huge reward. Knowing what your horse needs for nutrition and fitness and having the awareness of who to call for help is a powerful tool to have on hand for being a proactive owner and for building a support team for our companion’s long term welfare.
Website: www.GreaterGoodPoints.com for Equine Bodywork.
Website: www.GreaterGoodRanch.com for clinics and events.


https://www.youtube.com/user/Ownedby3Horses/featuredLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancy-horne/