The Masterson Method™ is a unique method of bodywork that recognizes and then follows the visual responses of the horse to touch, to find and release accumulated muscle and structural stress in key junctions of the horse’s body that affect performance.

Jim Masterson with a Horse demonstrating Masterson Method

Part I: Touch and Response

Staying Under the Radar: How the correct use of touch bypasses bracing or guarding.

When practicing massage and bodywork on horses, we can only achieve good results if the horse remains cooperative and relaxed. This can be challenging. In nature, the horse’s first survival response to intrusion is to flee. When we are handling the horse, it normally doesn’t have that option. It falls back to its second survival response; to guard, push against, or brace. This can happen either externally or internally. You can stay under the radar of this “survival response” by applying pressure to the horse lightly enough and slowly enough and therefore bypass this internal bracing or guarding response. The Masterson Method™ enables you to access that part of the horse’s nervous system that will yield, or release tension.

Achieving releases: How subtle responses from the horse lead to release of tension.

As a prey animal, the horse will attempt to always appear strong. If the horse shows signs of pain or weakness it will be the one first noticed by the predator, or may be left behind by the herd. Every horse will guard against showing signs of pain, weakness, lameness in the body. That is why it can be so difficult to evaluate lameness in a horse.

By applying the Masterson Method™ you can access that part of the horse’s nervous system that will give you certain signs that tell you where tension is being held in the body, and when it is being released. If you use the correct level of touch or pressure, and follow what the horse’s own body is telling you, it will release the tension it is holding onto.

Part II: Key Areas Of the Body That Affect Performance

Achieving Improvement By Releasing Tension in Key Areas:

Certain areas of the horse’s body accumulate stress and tension that affect mobility, comfort, attitude and performance. This can come from any number of areas including feet, saddle, teeth, conformation, lameness or just plain work. When the tension is released you see immediate improvement in mobility, comfort, attitude and performance.

The Masterson Method™ focuses on releasing tension in key junctions of the body that most affect performance such as the poll, neck/shoulder/withers junction, and sacro/lumbar junction.

Part III: Improved Relationship With Your Horse

Creating Trust and Winning Your Horse’s Cooperation:

By learning to read and follow the horse’s responses to your touch, bodywork becomes a fulfilling interactive process. You are able to create a trusting bond and win the cooperation of just about any horse.