Does he consistently have more difficulty with movements in one direction over the other? Does he sometimes feel stiff or resistant to training?
These are some of the more common issues that can be addressed with the Masterson Method® of Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork. Although The Masterson Method® was developed to improve performance in equine athletes competing in high-demand environments such as FEI jumpers, endurance and driving events, a by-product of this bodywork is its intuitive and interactive nature to access deeper levels of communication with your horse.
The horse survives because of his awareness and sensitivity to outside stimuli. Working with this sensitivity, we can access a level of the horse’s nervous system that enables him to release deep stress in muscles and connective tissue. We do this by reading what the horse is “telling us” through his responses and body language.
As a herd animal the horse relies on body language for communication and survival: From the most obvious flattening of the ears, to the slightest softening of the eye, or shifting of weight. When it comes to pain, the horse will instinctively do his best to block out pain in order to prevent being picked out of the herd by a predator, or forced out as a weak link. This is why it’s often so difficult to accurately evaluate lameness in the horse.
When practicing 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 handle the horse, that option is blocked, so it falls back to its second survival response, which is to guard, push against, or brace. This can happen either externally or internally. The Masterson Method® teaches you to stay under the radar of this "survival response" by applying pressure to the horse lightly enough and slowly enough to bypass his internal bracing or guarding. By doing this, it enables you to access that part of the horse's nervous system that will yield, or release tension.
Masterson Method "Hind End Release" sponsored by Absorbine
By using the correct techniques, and knowing the responses to look for, you are able to get a release of accumulated stress that affects mobility, comfort, attitude, training and performance. Muscular and structural balance, and natural alignment are restored, and your horse can respond to your training without stiffness and pain.
The Bladder Meridian Technique, the first technique taught in the Beyond Horse Massage book and DVD, is a soft and subtle technique that relaxes the horse and shows you areas of stress or tension. By going slowly and softly, you by-pass the horse’s fight or flight response and work directly with the nervous system to release accumulated tension. The by-product is a deepening of communication with your horse that allows him to “lead” and for you to “listen”.
About the Masterson Method® of Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork: The Masterson Method is an integrated, multi-modality method of equine massage. It is a unique, interactive method of equine massage in which you learn to recognize and use the responses of the horse to your touch to find and release accumulated tension in key junctions of the body that most affect performance. In contrast to most traditional modalities, it enables the horse to actively participate in the process of releasing tension. It is something you do with the horse, rather than to the horse. This participation and interaction is what makes the method fascinating for those who use it. In fact, if you do not allow the horse to participate, it does not work!
To find out more about the Masterson Method® techniques, books and seminars leading to certification go to: https://mastersonmethod.com/masterson-method