Masterson Equine Services Media Page
Interviews • Articles • Reviews

On today's show Lisa Wysocky and Jamie chat with Patrick Kayser about the upcoming Southern Equine Expo, Dr. Cubitt explains some nutrition terms, Jim Masterson explains his massage method and we weigh in on mares vs. geldings. Listen in...




Head Shy Horses: He may be in pain and it's important to listen to him as Jim Masterson explains

How often have you overheard someone say something like, "My horse makes such a drama about putting on and off his bridle. He throws his head straight up and acts like it's the end of the world!"

There are various levels of behavioral issues that come up in training and riding that may affect the performance of your horse.  Some, such as trailer loading, spookiness or bolting for the barn may be simply that; behavioral issues that can be modified with training.


Performance Equine Bodywork

Masterson Method Bodywork is designed to meet the needs of the equine athlete. Body suppleness and the forward reach of the legs—medially (toward the middle of the body) and laterally (outward)—are compromised when range of motion of the skeleton is restricted. Range of motion of the joints becomes restricted when muscles become tight and lose their natural ability to contract fully and relax fully. When a joint is restricted by excessive muscle tension too long, permanent damage can occur to the joint.

In general, tension develops in the muscles over time merely due to the effort it takes to do the work our horses do for us. Additionally, learning a new skill or movement calls for developing new states of balance, new motion coordination and strength in new muscle complexes. This further challenges the musculoskeletal system and can build tension in the muscles.



Masterson Equine Services announces new pilot program: Masterson Method® Equine Facilitated Therapy Program Specialist Training.

The Equine Facilitated Therapy is a growing field, with equine therapy centers offering programming to a variety of clients and incorporating horses experientially to provide clients with physical, mental and behavioral health benefits and therapy. 

We are excited to announce that we are developing a new specialty within the Masterson Method® brand that will be called, Masterson Method Therapy Program Specialist.



Masterson Method Equine Facilitated Therapies: What’s it all about?

"There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man."  Winston Churchill

This puts into words a sentiment humans have recognized for a long time: that there’s a quality to the horse beyond its physical capability to carry us to new levels. Our physical and mental interaction with the horse inspires us to deeper levels of partnership­­­, and our partnership with the horse inspires us to higher levels of achievement.

With equine bodywork we try to give back to the horse. Anyone who has used the Bladder Meridian Technique as shown here in earlier editions (or from the Masterson Method Beyond Horse Massage book or DVD, or one of our weekend courses - sorry, had to get the plug in) knows how rewarding this simple technique with the horse can be. This interaction begins the process of releasing tension in the horse through slowing down and observing subtle changes in the horse’s body language. This simple process brings our mind closer to the level of in-the-moment-ness of the horse, and allows the horse to begin releasing physical tension. When the horse begins releasing tension that has accumulated for who-knows-how-long, it can be overwhelming for the human as well as for the horse.

An interesting thing happened recently that demonstrates how powerful this interaction can be. A Masterson Method Weekend Seminar-Workshop was recently taught at an in-residence ranch for at-risk teenagers, to teach them techniques that they might use themselves to help their horses. A few days after the seminar, a psycho-therapist from the therapy side of the facility called the stable to ask what had happened during the seminar, as a couple of the kids had had breakthroughs in therapy.

Using horses to help humans in mental and physical therapies has been around for a while, but this was a situation where the clear and unintended benefit for the human came out of an intention to treat only the horse. In fact, the benefit for the human isn’t there unless the focus remains on the treatment of the horse!



Giving barrel racers and other horses that compete in timed events The Treatment They Deserve can pay off for both you and your horse.

Any athlete will perform better when his or her muscles are relaxed, joints are pain free, everything is in alignment and full range of motion is restored. It is true with humans, and I believe, it’s true with horses.

You don’t just send the pitcher home after a major league baseball game. The team’s trainers will work with him to relieve any soreness or tension and prepare him for his next outing. We should do the same for our competitive horses.

Just like a human, a horse’s muscles will continue to tighten over time, reducing stride and range of motion. When you release stress and tension in the muscle, the horse performs better. This allows the horse to perform better than his competitors, and who doesn’t want that?

From the perspective of improving performance through bodywork, anatomically speaking the equine body can be divided into three key junctions: the poll (where the neck meets the head) the shoulder/withers junction (where the forelegs join the body), and the sacroiliac junction (where the hind limbs join the body). Tension accumulation in these key performance-related areas can manifest itself in numerous ways, including head shyness, sensitivity to touch in the poll area, flexion stiffness, bending issues, one-sidedness (pulling or fading to one side), uneven gait, lameness and even behavioral problems.

Performance Horse Digest, Page 42



Training, and the Effects of Tension on the Horse’s Performance

Tension accumulates in the muscles and connective tissues of the body that can negatively affect range of motion, performance, and willingness to perform in the horse. The accumulation of this pain and tension can be the result of many things. The normal ones we would think of from the perspective of the human athlete would be repetitive motion and over-exertion of the muscle. We would recognize these from the pain, or from the noticeable effect on our performance, and we would do something about it. Usually the first thing we do is complain, either to ourselves or to others. Then, if we’re smart and want to feel and perform better, we do or have something done about it. Miscommunication doesn’t seem to be a problem here.

Australian Performance Horse Magazine, page 42



Is My Horse Hurting?  Releasing Tension in the Poll-Atlas and Neck

We’ve all had the reoccurring thought, "Is my horse hurting or is he just mis-behaving?" Tagging along right behind that thought is, "If he is hurting, how can I find out where and what can I do about it?" In this issue we will share with you some simple, effective ways to find out if your horse has pain, where it might be, and things you can do yourself to help relieve him of it.  If you think your horse is lame or truly hurting, you should call a veterinarian. The discomfort we are talking about here is indicated by changes in your horse’s behavior prior to lameness, or in some cases complicated lamenesses that are difficult to diagnose.

Performance Horse Digest, Volume 8, Issue 11, Page 32



Releasing Tension Using the Horse's Natural Instincts

Does your horse have a tendency to feel "off" sometimes for no discernable reason?

Volume 8, Issue 9 - 10 page 32