and as you release them, they are gone! Releasing tension through the Masterson Method bodywork will put the muscles in an optimal relaxed state. We are almost done with his 2nd time on Ulcer Guard but I’m not convinced it will work. Lateral Cervical Flexion, the Bladder Meridian Technique and much more are in the Beyond Horse Massage book. Also, if there was a loss of blood supply healing of the damaged area is usually diminished. He normally works out of it, sometimes he doesn’t. – will your method release muscle knots and soften tissue hardenings. We work from the “inside-out” in terms of releasing stress directly from the nervous system and the accumulated tension that resides in the junctions and muscle attachments. So as the horse feels the “glitch” and then starts to pull up, go with him and even support him and then slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly put the foot down. He’s a lot better now, but still is defensive. Cheers I did stand behind him at one point and pushed gently on his ischium area, which he seemed to like, he pushed back pretty heavily. Long enough that the owner had come over to see what I was watching and was able to see the hidden responses for her. I had believed that the MM should be done (for a horse used frequently) once a week for a month, then two times the following month, then monthly as needed for maintenance. Then have a good release and all is quiet until next response… holds….. One of the 3 horses is a very restless TB mare which has a serious wind sucking habit. Number two I’m curious if you’ve seen this bite-threat/release phenomenon before. Keep your hand moving, just like you were touching him. Jodie. You’re making big changes, and your pony’s nervous system needs time to process the changes between sessions. While coming back to the barn from the opposite side, I happened to spot her in her shelter…head down, little shake, and then a huge yawn in which she rotated her head and neck in a huge circle. Lastly, it is like peeling an onion, you will take layers off one at a time. If the cause can be determined and removed, the prognosis is often good. The old-timers tell me that just in my lifetime the SB head has gone from jug shaped to looking much more like a TB now. Have you had a vet take a look at him to be sure there isn’t any metabolic changes or illness that is causing this or it’s a rotation of the coffin bone? Should I work on my horse before or after riding? A month ago, she was kicked in the shoulder while out in the pasture. Release of tension in these areas is often accompanied by an improvement in movement and comfort. I do think it helped with circulation, which I believe is the most efficient healer in the horse, and that it kept the episode from becoming more serious. Once a week is a good schedule for training or injury both. Just want to know if you have any experience with this (the vet did MRI and ultrasound and saw only some inflammation of the hock— very small/minor calcification) and what to watch out for/if it’s ok to work on a pregnant mare? This results in soreness in these muscles that have to do the job. It will come with time. Often the horse tells us when our fingers have found a place of discomfort by blinking. I would start with the Bladder Meridian Technique. May your horse be with you,”
Loni Langdon
MMCP, Mentor, Coach, Instructor. The odd thing is when I do get done and she gets a few releases. Whisper, as it turns out, is a horse that had an accident a long time ago and recently, when Jim worked on her at a clinic, she was able to release some of that inner tension that wasn’t apparent after the incident. Please could you give me advice on this matter? My favorite race prep program is to work on the horse right after their 3 racing speed exercise works before their race. I am going to your 2 day clinic in Yarck in November. You may be thinking that we are asking for large changes and stretching the front leg. Regarding the hind end, the muscle quivering is nothing to worry about. If it is deeper tension then we get larger parasympathetic responses such as multiple yawnings. I would try doing a full bodywork session on him of Bladder Meridian – at least on one side and see where the blinks are and if you get smaller releases as you go. I have seen a few posts on Facebook about licking and chewing and saying that it is a stress release from a stressful situation. Even though you have watched our DVD and have attended a weekend seminar, you still don’t have enough information to be effective. If you can’t get them that day, then get them the day after. All it did was knock off some hair. When I touch these areas she is super reactive. We use the information of the “blink” to know that we are on a place that needs our help. Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop on desktop and iPad, and 20GB of cloud storage (1TB available). About ten years ago I had a bone scan done on this horse and the fetlocks did show some ‘uptake’. After a bit, she would release and turn and look at me, as if to say, “OK, I’m ready. and tries to balance the front limbs in a way that make moving/standing more comfortable. Nevertheless, I don’t find tips in your book to help my horse for his “barefoot transition” to overcome…What do you advise in terms of stretch or release to ” neutralize” the stiffness in joints (fetlocks and knees) in this specific period? Thanks a lot for your help! When you use Masterson you are tapping into their nervous system and if there has been an ongoing issue for this horse there can be a sensory overload when their nervous system cannot take any more and they will let you know and yes the best thing is to leave them and come back later after they’ve been able to process what you’ve already done and are feeling a bit better. Poor girl, glad there were no more serious injuries. You will find the reactive areas are where he is carrying tension and stress which would indicate something there has causes pain and/or restriction. Feeding Prior to Equine Bodywork - Does it Matter? I was massaging her pectorals down and under her elbow and she started to do a deep whinny and then stood up on her back legs just like a stallion would to mount a mare. I want to help them; I just have to learn how. After doing the first equine bodywork session and getting good responses, how often can it be repeated? Eventually I could massage very lightly and then get firmer. Now I stay there longer because he still jolts, but it might take a couple of minutes now versus a couple seconds it used to. In the “Dressage Movements Revealed” when Jim was working on the lumbar area and the horse was giving pain reactions, is where my question is directed. When he jerks up, I am not tall enough to ‘stay’ with him, and he can dislodge me from any stool I might stand on. Thank you for your time. So yes, if you have a hand just resting on the horse, it does distract the horse’s attention and interferes with processing and releasing (the same goes for petting). When gut sounds become overly active, it may also not be a good sign. It seems I just can’t master this technique. The licking fro your horse could be the same thing. Those full body jolts are scary. I got a LOT of good releases from this move. Let him lead you. The more you can get her to drop the pelvis on both sides, the better. Number one of course I wonder why she is still this reactive after all of this time. 10:05pm. First I wanted to write and say WOW. The movement techniques use the same principle. I’ve been doing it every day for a week and am still getting lots of release. I would keep working on the scapula release, even if he is limited on his hard side, eventually you will start to see results as you continue with correcting the foot. If you start asking for work too soon, the tension will return. I have been watching your DVD and started today, it blew my socks off. You would want to rule out any health issues as a cause first. Rope Walking Question (and Uncomfortable with Lifting Back Feet and Balancing for Farrier). I have only done the Bladder Meridian with him with great results as far as relaxation. I have had several body workers come to her and they have experience similar responses, but stopped what they were doing and we backed her up and suggested to her that that was not appropriate behavior. Cancel risk-free in the first month or subscribe for … If you get into too much of a struggle on one spot, it will turn into a…well, struggle. One would ask why he is head shy. Was there anything I could have done to refocus her? Mild nerve damage should recover in 6-8 weeks. When he stops flipping his head, just give a micro-wiggle – nothing more. As he releases you could slowly begin to do some “air gap” Head Down technique by having your quiet hand hover over those muscles that lie over the poll-do it the same way that you are doing the TMJ point, follow his head wherever it goes in an airgap or very light touch fashion. I would next perhaps look at his feet? Instead, look at the point of the shoulder (in the release down and forward) to see that it has released down (even if it is minuscule) Use your eyes for right now. I have a 15yr old OTTB gelding that I’ve owned for 4 years. I’m very happy with the DVD. Learn the TMJ, Head Down techniques and many more in the Beyond Horse Massage Book and DVD. My 4yr AQHA mare has become so aggressive that I cannot do the Bladder Meridian work on her right side. Once you’ve done the Bladder Meridian, you can move on with the other techniques, especially the shoulder (Under Scapula Release, C7/T1 and Wither Release) and see what transpires, you will probably see an improvement on the first attempt. Maybe because she was a ranch horse, she is pretty stoic in demeanor (at least at first). Search for a blink and stay there. Would this have an effect on how he does during the lesson? When a horse is working hard, and/or has a lot of restriction from past issues, then it helps to get a few sessions in, although I would probably not do more than three sessions a week for too long. So glad that you are finding out about the Masterson Method and started using it and seeing great results. Relax YOUR whole body. Try all of the Hind End Points in the Beyond Horse Massage book or dvd. (ie, pinning his ears, or grinding his teeth trying to pick up the (R) lead canter, not wanting to move out in general at times, etc.) Keep working, peeling away the layers. He is five and very much in training and so a couple of times a week after a ridden training session I perform The Bladder Meridian Technique on him and as he appears usually the most uncomfortable in his neck I usually follow up with some Lateral Cervical Flexion. We think those three idioms are really important! She gets very agitated if I so much as try to leave my hand on those areas for more than a second or two. Make sure the poll/atlas is loose after each session. However, the Masterson Method is mainly designed to improve performance in the healthy horse. He still doesn’t voluntarily give his head to me but tries to evade but I stay with him and within a matter of seconds he is giving the release. Just hang in there and understand that his issues are real. Eventually you may be able to increase lifting his feet. I guess I am/was trying to fix that problem before moving on to the next problem (that’s how I live life in general so it’s a habit!) You may want to find a MM Practitioner in your area to do a thorough evaluation of your horse or take a weekend class to further you knowledge and get some hands on experience. If any of these happens, stop. Or another example; if you relieve pain or restriction in an area, and when the horse continues working you find that the pain and restriction returns, you need to focus on what might be causing the pain. How does the mare bend to the left, does she seems stiff and can’t round herself?  When you pick up her leg and bring it back or forward is she reluctant to do so, does she seem restricted in the left shoulder and neck?  How familiar are you with the Masterson Method so I can make some suggestions as to what to do for her. If it is truly a joint issue, then MM would help the compensatory muscle tightness but not likely help the “joint/skeletal issue per se. The benefit from this bodywork is relaxation. Sometimes surgery is performed. Sign in with your Netflix account to watch instantly on the web at from your personal computer or on any internet-connected device that offers the Netflix app, including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, streaming media players and game consoles. It is like their hind end has suddenly come awake and it’s probably like your leg after you cut the circulation off and you get the pins and needle feeling. Or is it all normal and healthy and he has just learnt how to reap the benefits of DIY Masterson Method? It is possible that your front work was so effective that she just needed some time to work it all out & her nervous system was still sorting it out. Often as bodywork progresses the horse will get softer and mellower, often just staring into space…this is what we call processing; the nervous system is processing the changes. I’m his 5th owner since he came off the track at 4yrs. You will start to get big releases. It’s a good read, and there is a video attached. It sounds like you are doing everything possible and glad he has a carrying owner. His spine has been X-rayed. Often this helps with the release process. Sensitivity in the ascending pectorals often stems from the fact that a horse is uncomfortable in the front limbs (feet, fetlocks, knees etc.) The thing that makes this method work is the involvement of the horse and the part he plays in the process of releasing tension. And a horse that is easy to read, and releases tension quickly, which is terrific! May your Jockey or Driver be making more money by having your horse win than having your horse loose. When I got to the spot and he did that, I would stop and just do a nice soft pet only once over the area and the whole body and be done, or maybe would switch and do the other side or something else and then be done. I think there has been clinical evidence that it stimulates circulation, which is how horses heal themselves, so my guess is that it probably is effective in that way. This reminds me of a mare I worked on, very nasty to be around on the ground and when I worked on her poll, she was highly sensitive and tried to kick, bite, etc. Issues from front foot soreness will travel throughout the body as the horse will likely brace and compensate adjacent soft tissue in order to shift his weight away from those feet. All the Hind End Points would be a great place to work. We have worked with him for about a year on this and there is improvement but there’s no way I could do any pole work without creating a lot of tension, even just putting my hand up behind his ears would have him locked in tension. First I would start with the Scapula Releases and when I start with the Scapula Down and Back, I rest the leg across my thigh and ask for soft gentle movement in the pastern and fetlock joint. Before I started the Masterson Method Bear would stretch his entire front end out and down with his hind end up and front end down and forward. She has always been a bit touchy on the right due to a hind leg injury from 2 yrs ago. I think, it totally depends on if the horse is in competition, or if it is enjoying trail riding and less strenuous work. But, if you are soft enough and patient, it will come in the form of a yawn, or shaking the head, licking of the lips. I’ve been working hard at putting/keeping weight on her… wet mash feed which she gobbles up. Instinct tells me to take off… but then he’s sort of a “frantic” horse. Amazing stuff…and so much fun to do when the dog is relaxed and just hanging out with you. Masterson Method bodywork techniques bring the horse’s awareness to areas where it is holding (blocking out) accumulated physical stress or tension in the body, in a way that it can’t block or brace against it (no pressure to block against). If he’s been doing this for some time, it’s going to take time to stop the head bobbing as you are peeling away layers. Speaking as a non-vet, often radiographs in joints such as hocks show that the horse should be in pain and on three legs, but the horse can be sound and fine. He has become very tight almost spasmodic in the loin area of the affected leg. If you are working on the horse that is mouthy or nippy, then tie him with enough room to bend and flex as much as he can without reaching you. The owners are thrilled with improvement in their horse’s performance.  Very beautiful thing this Masterson Method! It’s so simple (as you know) yet so powerful. This may be the case if he had a lot of tension in the body and you worked on him for a long time. Yes, isn’t it amazing that we are healed too while doing this subtle Getting the horse to do lateral/dorsal arching (up and to the side at the same time) can sometimes help, as well as gently working the lumbar section during lateral rocking. We have videos on our Website under Training Videos that you can get a start right away. How about when you tack him up, does he appear “cinchy” on his left side as you tighten the girth? Lucky you! I encourage you to keep investigating her front limbs. Or, just place your hands as if you were going to do Lateral Cervical Flexion…so very lightly…and do nothing. * Add Adobe Stock. You are not trying to DO anything, just put your attention on softening your hand (even though you aren’t touching him) and do the Bladder Meridian. Is massage appropriate in this situation? I have a horse that has advanced Shivers (this is not Stringhalt; they are completely different issues). Fritz Pop’s pioneering research on the colors emanated by cells resulted in the development of soft lasers for physical therapy application. Bodywork after your farrier visits is equally good. SCENARIO for a horse that has always been sound, supple, energetic and athletic, and is still visibly sound in his movement, but with known physical issues: Has club foot on RF (right front). You will now be taking those wonderful TMJ releases that you are getting and helping your horse to release just that much more. And, when in doubt go lighter. As this continues to change the foal is going to start to compensate by transferring weight to the opposite foot to relieve any pain and soreness that goes along with this development. He also stated that she was very nice to ride (Note: The current owner is a trainer who wanted a quiet horse for him to teach beginners on). That might indicate progress? The last three days I have worked with her. He is having difficulty holding and relaxing with his feet being held up. I tried to help one of the mares in our care who spends her days with her ears pinned back. If no improvement is necessary, if there isn’t any tension or stress, then there would not be a reason to work on it. She had an accident less than a week ago where she got a fright as I was removing her bridle and ran backwards with her mouth still clamped on the bit. If your farrier is like mine, he appreciates a horse that is easy to get around. I owe it to her to research all options and opinions. Find your yodel. If you could have one of them come out they may be able to help her release tension that’s accumulated in the TMJ and surrounding muscles as a result of her arthritis, and show you some things that you may be able to do that might help. Shake your hands once in a while to make sure they are soft, and remind your body to be soft too! I got almost to the sacrum and hip area and he swung his head around and looked at my hand and then at my face. I just spent a couple weeks working in India in March and got to spend some time at the race track in Bombay and Dehli, so now I am Swami Equinanda… I wish I had a crystal ball for questions like these…The interesting thing about Standardbreds is that they are completely different than Thoroughbreds. It’s the law. I was wondering your thoughts on giving Masterson Method when the horse has an ulcer. He yawned and yawned and yawned. Sometimes head-shaking can be directly related to physical pain or tension in the poll-atlas and/or TMJ. The lack of use of the muscles usually follows some sort of trauma or any lesion of the limb or foot. I am 5’3″, he’s 15.2.I can reach his poll area, but he “freaks out” with any kind of pressure, even light pressure.  Just a thought. Wonderful to hear that you are having great results. -Fits my ears perfectly (medium size tips, Size 2). I just got a new horse and have been working on her poll and neck she has a lot of issues. Cannot Hold the Weight of the Horse for Hind End Release, Using The Masterson Method on a Recently Gelded Horse, Frequency for Using Basic Techniques of The Masterson Method. He has nubbins for top teeth & wears a cribbing halter. Don’t ask for anything more. Watch Netflix on your smartphone, tablet, Smart TV, laptop, or streaming device, all for one fixed monthly fee. So this is not a bad thing, as you’ve opened up some pathways that have been closed off for awhile and now things are circulating again. Was I applying too much pressure or was this way of releasing? I have hardly started drawing his neck round towards me and he just blinks, licks, chews. When encountering a horse that is resistant to lateral rocking I want to make sure I did all I could to release tension in the lumbar section by working with the release points and getting as much ‘torque’ in a relaxed state as possible. It sounds like his nervous system is readjusting. All was well. She responds to body work with a “shivers down her spine” sort of thing (as well as the more typical head tossing and yawning, blinking, etc.). Looks all good to me!! That last degree is the “Sweat Barrier” and some horses and people go into it easily and comfortably, while others get very agitated and uncomfortable or angry when approaching that last degree before the sweating release. Keep up the good work! Two nights later he walked right into his stall with no assistance. He has been checked by a dentist/vet. (peronally I don’t believe this) however it is very difficult to explain to people about this. Keep up the good work. I feel it’s something deep? This comfort treatment is every day. I am wondering, if he had Sweeney shoulder, but it was never diagnosed and not treated properly, would light work benefit it? Good luck and let us know how this goes. Doubt the Doubt! It’s like peeling an onion, one stress at a time. I have been riding 20 years and this has made me closer to these animals than ever. That is why it is so difficult to evaluate lameness in many horses. I was half way working the meridian on the right side (had already done the left side) when the horse stepped over to a salt/mineral block in her stall and started licking it. There was only one area that seemed restricted. I just have to tell you that I went out and did some work on donkey after we wrote. By flooding a dysfunctional area with light from specific wave lengths the cells begin to behave more normally or healthfully because it effects the functioning of the Matrix. Same thing is happening but the stress is the mental pressure put on by the training. Then, all other therapy like muscle manipulation, light or laser (if planned) will have an even better effect. He’s in good hands! The more experience with horses we have, the more effort we have put into understanding them and their way rather than thinking about how they fit into our plan, the faster we will learn to accurately read the language of the horses responses to our touch. Most massage technicians find that after learning The Masterson Method, they rarely use any other modality. Meaning they turn their head away like they are looking at something. When the chiro looked at her she was really pleased with the improvements and feels she will always need some soft tissue work to keep her freed up. That tells you how much time they need to recover from a decent Masterson Method, Myo-fascial, Microcurrent or Instrument-assisted spinal adjusting session. And we weren’t asking quietly enough. Thanks for contacting us and if you are familiar with The Masterson Method (MM) at all you know that this can provide relief for a horse ins so many ways. Take it easy on yourself. I have a gelding who has gravel crunching bare feet, never been shod, who will tighten his skin and react at that spot. He has ulcers. “In America I had boyfriends, mostly boy-dash-friends, I had lunch or dinner with. Just keep being open to this and allowing him to feel the intension (which he can’t block or brace) of your hand. Here’s hoping to get on your five day course next year! Are there specific things that could be done to address her possible TMJ problem? If it’s a really big race and you’ve never worked on the horse before consider giving it even more time, especially in a TB. Remember, what you do to the front end affects the hind end and visa versa. It’s amazingly light but deeply effective in releasing stress. Now after many months of massage work she is still 100% reactive in these areas yet the bite threats are nearly immediately followed by releases, even yawning. It holds all of the various organs and tissues together and is responsible for cell-to-cell communication (which occurs not only with cellular molecules such as peptides and proteins, but also with light and electricity and temperature as some of the healing peptides and molecules are only produced under certain temperature conditions, such as Heat Shock Proteins) and the transfer of groceries into and toxins out of the cell system. Remember, it takes 99 Calories of energy to raise water to 99 degrees Celsius, and another 99 Calories to raise it the last degree to start it boiling. Also, I would suggest you read about “Whisper” in our April Newsletter. I like the idea of working with the horse and not causing undo pain, looking for pain, to a horse that is already ouchy. If you do this long enough, and soft enough, you will by-pass the horse’s ability to hold the tension, and his body will have to respond and release. Nothing!  Just let them relax onto your arm or shoulder (often the shoulder can be too high for them to start with) This alone is giving them a lot of help. The horse will not be able to relax the shoulder, even if tension is dispelled. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. Yes the TMJ would be good as well as Poll/Atlas and Lateral Cervical Flexion. Some are uncomfortable showing release responses, and holds them back until you are done and step away, or even leave the stall. I heard the same advice from a physiotherapist who works with race horses in Kentucky, while at an internship at Kesmarc Equine Rehab center last year. points and be helping his head and neck! There are certain areas in the HQs that are also untouchable (stifle and flank areas on both sides). Circulation will come to the area and it will start to relax. A friend suggested your method. The back/ribs know to back off, she will allow me to rehab her slowly and deliberately instead of over! 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