September 2020 E-Newsletter
Hello All,

More at Home

Normally these newsletters contain amazing monthly accounts of travel, training, and general horsing around in various parts of the country and world.
This year’s been a little different. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re sitting around doing nothing at home, although, if you were to pull up to our house that might appear to be the case.
Notice, however, that the lawn Popper’s lying on needs mowing, and if you were to look closely at the previous picture, you might see that the furniture could use a little dusting; and the cat isn’t helping.

One reason these chores aren’t getting done is that there has been a lot going on here at the Masterson Method offices.
As I said last month, one exciting thing to come out of this time at home is that it’s enabled us to work on new means of bringing education to you. And not just me, but a whole Team of dedicated and talented people. I would have included a photo of them, but they won’t hold still long enough.

If you didn’t catch last month’s newsletter, we explained the upcoming Advanced Home Study Course, and Masterson Method Education Monthly Membership Program. There’s a lot to them and we’ll be announcing their release as soon as we’re sure that they’re online and functioning properly. If you’re anything like me (meaning older) nothing’s worse than fancy new technology that’s too complicated to use. We’re not going to let that happen, and we’re going to let you know as soon as it doesn’t. So, fingers crossed!

Tonic for the Soul
One of the horses who’ll be helping us to teach bodywork techniques in the Membership Program is Tonic. Her real name is French Gin Fizz - which is why we call her Tonic. Tonic belongs to a barrel racer here in Iowa. Tonic now bends left, and has won her first race. She’s a well-meaning horse who came to her owner with physical, and a small amount of mental/emotional, baggage. The cool thing about Tonic is that once she let go of the physical part, the mental/emotional part followed on its own. She’s a good, solid horse who’s shed her baggage and will have a good future with her owner. She’s a horse anybody could own… but I doubt she’s for sale. Sorry.

Masterson Method Instructor, Diane Howard

Masterson Method Certified Practitioner and Europe Instructor Diane Howard has been notified by the University of Edinburgh that she’s been awarded an MSc in Equine Science with Distinction. This came as no surprise to us as Diane is constantly on the move learning and isn’t one to let her mind sit idle. Diane has been with us since… before time, and we’re thrilled and proud to continue to have someone on our team who is constantly upgrading and adding to her knowledge of the horse. Congratulations Diane! Read about her below.


If you’ve ever called in to the office, you probably know Jo Bartruff. She’s one of the happy, helpful voices that picks up the phone and gets whatever you need done, done. It just so happens that if what you need is beautiful horse art, she may surprise you. A few years ago she started bringing beautiful chalk portraits of our horses into the office. Below are some examples of more abstract art of hers.
When I saw these, I asked her if we could share them with you. She said, “Yes.” 

I said, “You should sell these.” 

She said “I am.” 

I said, “Where?”

She said, “Here.”  

Originals, prints and/or commissioned pieces available by contacting Jo Bartruff at

It was a brief and to-the-point conversation. 

She’s normally a little more talkative but may have been a little self-conscious about the conversation. In any case she’s very talented. Give your eye-balls a break and take a gander.

Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary Eco Cabins

A few years ago, Mark Rashid and I went out to the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary in Deer Trail, CO to work with some of the mustangs there. It’s a beautiful, secluded place located on the prairie near the foothills of the Rockies. Away from the main ranch, in the center of the sanctuary nestled among the pines, small “eco-cabins” were being built over-looking the prairie. I recently received an email from the Sanctuary letting me know these were available to people wanting to get away, (far away), and experience nature, mustangs, silence (a lot of silence). It’s a beautiful place, with a beautiful herd of mustangs to be enjoyed. Now I know where to go when I want to get away… and it’s allowed.

Weekend Seminars

After you’re rested up, motivated by mustangs and “nature-ized”, remember that we have a whole passel (how many in a passel?) of Weekend Seminars on the Calendar for you to attend around the country if you’re feeling safe and healthy, or want to be somewhere safe and healthy. Check the Calendar listings below.


We have a Certification Completion Course here in Fairfield this week. Time to mow the lawn. Six dedicated students who are ready to break out and really work on horses… as if they haven’t worked on a ton to get here. You can ask anyone who’s been through the certification program; it’s a lot of work. But it’s with and for horses, so it’s worth it. Congratulations, just for getting here!
Listening to Horses

There’s tremendous benefit to knowing how to tell what the horse is telling you. When you “get” what the horse’s body is saying, you’re able to find and help the horse release accumulated tension. 

A second dimension to that is; once the horse “gets” that you’re “getting” what it’s saying, trust develops. This makes the bodywork even more effective and rewarding. So far, so good, eh? 

Well, now you have to deal with, “What’s the horse saying about you when you’re not looking?"
This was demonstrated in a "Far Side" like moment, when this horse was caught giving Instructor Sandy Vreeberg unsolicited feedback at a course in California this summer.

There is no Photo Shop to this. That’s his face, his eyes, and his comment. Thoughts from anyone on what he might be saying? You can post them on the Masterson Method Facebook page. Can’t wait to read what comes back.

Our Masterson Method Home Office (Fairfield, Iowa) is on the Map

I was recently asked to participate in an article for Venture Forward (by GoDaddy) on "How Tiny Fairfield, Iowa, Became a Microbusiness Capital". Fairfield, Iowa is home to a large number of small, internet-based microbusinesses, and The Masterson Method is one of them.

Wired magazine had dubbed the Fairfield area, “Silicorn Valley for it's strong entrepreneurial based businesses. Read the article and see what you think.

Until then,

Like me, enjoy your horses

Blog Post from
Light To The Core Video -
How Often Can I Do This Work?
Every horse is different. Different horses have different histories and different things going on, and different nervous systems.

A draft horse has a different nervous system than say, a thoroughbred. And with this method you’re working with the horse’s nervous system. His nervous system is releasing the tension.

In general, if something you do while working on a horse gets a huge release and makes a big change in the horse’s behavior during the session, then the horse is going to need more time before the next session.

I would say as a rule, if you were to do these light techniques every day for an hour, it's going to be too much for your horse. If you do this every other day and don't do too long of a session, then that might be fine for your horse, or if you do just a little bit every day, then it might be ok.

But don’t be too concerned that you’re doing too much if you’re paying attention to what the horse is telling. The horse will tell you, ultimately, if you're doing too much.
Sale on Seminars
The Masterson Method is offering a rare opportunity
to enjoy a discount on
Weekend Seminars and Equine Specialist Courses.
Now extended through September 27th, 2020
In these hands-on workshops, you’ll learn how to recognize and use the visual responses of the horse to your touch to find and release accumulated stress in key junctions of the body that most affect performance.

Work directly with an instructor on multiple horses to perfect your knowledge and practice of
The Masterson Method foundational techniques!
This sale is valid for all Weekend Seminars and Equine Specialist Courses worldwide!
This offer is not to be used with other discounts.
Diane Howard
Masterson Method Certified Practitioner (MMCP), mentor, coach, and instructor Diane Howard has recently been awarded an MSc in Equine Science with Distinction by the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Science, University of Edinburgh. The degree is the culmination of two years of intensive study involving a year of full-time course work, followed by 12 months of research to produce a dissertation.
During the course work, she learned how to not only engage in high-level scientific research, but also how to interpret and present the latest scientific findings to the general horse-owning public, with the aim of increasing human knowledge and skills to improve equine welfare. 
Her dissertation project was the creation of a short questionnaire to help horse owners recognize and monitor signs of osteoarthritis pain in their horses. This involved extensive reading the fields of osteoarthritis, equine behavior, and pain indicators in multiple species, as well as consultations with experts in various disciplines and interviews with regular horse owners. The hope is that having an easy-to-use monitoring tool will help owners notice osteoarthritis pain in the early stages and get appropriate help for their horses sooner rather than later. 

Read Diane's Blog Post on "Laterality in Horses:
What We Know and How it Can Help Us" below
Beyond Horse Massage
Translated into Japanese
Good morning Jim,
Wish and you shall receive. Tomoko Sembongi's efforts have worked. We received a nice offer for Japanese rights this morning from Equinet in Japan. The deal is to publish within 24 months of contract. I will accept right away. 😊
Best, Martha 
(From Martha Cook, editor at Trafalgar Square publishing, publisher of the Beyond Horse Massage book)

We are so excited to announce the translation of the Beyond Horse Massage book into Japanese by Block 3 student, Tomoko Sembongi. Tomoko wrote a few articles for the Japanese Horse magazine pictured above. Looking forward to reading (?) the new translation, or at the very least, looking at the letters on the page.
Newly Certified Practitioners
Linda Allen
Winterset, Iowa

I have loved and been a student of the horse for most of my life. My earliest picture on a horse was as a one-year-old with a bunny snow suit being held on by my grandfather. I had the biggest grin on my face and it has never stopped with the horse.

I have loved and been involved with horses all of my life. As I grew more involved with horses and people, I began seeking answers to my growing list of questions I had about the horse. It was after that I became aware of a different kind of horsemanship when I met Harry Whitney, a clinician, about 20 years ago. This was a turning point in my life, as I became aware of being with the horse in a different way than I had ever been. I also learned a lot about myself.

From this experience I became interested and pursued learning about therapeutic riding, and the benefits. 13 years ago I became certified with PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). I realized I didn’t have experience with individuals that had different needs and ways of learning so I began volunteering and working at various non-profits to augment my learning.
In the last few years I’ve become involved with unmounted work with the horse. I’ve completed two seminars with Elaine Davis and her program “Unbridled Faith.” This is in direct line with Greg Kersten’s program and series “OK Corral”, Greg was also involved with the foundation of the EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) model.

Through the years I've worked with many horses. Some have been my own and some have belonged to clients. At times I've seen or felt something wasn’t right. I've used different veterinary and chiropractic services which have helped. I've searched for answers and in the last few years, I found The Masterson Method®. It's amazing and worthwhile work! Working with the horse, watching them release and seeing them more comfortable has been very rewarding. I am now certified as an Equine Specialist with The Masterson Method® and have recently become certified as a practitioner in Masterson Method Integrated Bodywork.

I am enjoying this journey and I look forward to where it will take me.

Phone: 515-240-7508
Elizabeth Appleyard
Wheaton, Illinois

Elizabeth’s life with horses began as a youngster involved in the United States Pony Club. She has always been equally fulfilled riding, grooming or companioning with her horse herd. Elizabeth developed herself through yoga, chiropractic work to heal an injury, mindfulness training, and meditation. This led to an awareness of how interwoven her physical experiences and her emotional and stress responses are to one another. With time, she saw echoes of the same connections of body, mind, and spirit emerging within the horses around her.

Elizabeth witnessed horses and their human companions’ struggles to improve performance and health while remaining contented and sound. By being attentive, she became aware of what horses can teach us about the power of subtlety, connection, and presence. Her horse teachers have included Morgans, Thoroughbreds, Percheron crosses, Mustangs, and Rocky Mountain Horses and involved trail riding, jumping, and dressage. Her interests led her to study equine nutrition, anatomy, conditioning, and general wellness, as well as practicing to become a certified Masterson Method bodyworker.

After learning from Jim Masterson at the 2-day course and then again at the Advanced 5-Day course, she was struck by the gentleness and effectiveness of the techniques he developed. She found the Masterson Method value of working “with” the horse, instead of “on” it to be inspiring. Throughout the certification process, the thoroughness of the training program and the support provided by a team of mentors and coaches was invaluable.
As a trainer and bodyworker Elizabeth brings compassion, harmony, and connection to horses and their people, encouraging them to move differently in the world. This work, combined with continuous study, provides a holistic approach leading to improved relationships, health, and performance.

Elizabeth received her Master’s degree in leadership studies from North Central College, a Bachelor’s degree from Smith College, is a certified yoga instructor, and a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner.

Phone: 630-877-4968
Weekend Seminar-Workshop Schedule
* If the course you had your heart set on is sold out, please email to be added to the waiting list, or if you'd like to host your own weekend (and earn a free spot) please email
USA Seminars

September 19-20 Sebeka, MN

September 26-27 Sharon, VT

September 26-27 Apex, NC

Sept 26 - 27 Portola Valley, CA

October 3-4 Runnels, IA

October 10-11 Ada, MI 

October 10-11  Perryville, AR

October 10-11 Cheyenne, WY

October 17-18 Ringoes, NJ 

October 24-25  Kalispell, MT 

October 24-25 Houston, TX

October 24-25 Cheyenne, WY

October 31- Nov 1 Bristol, TN

October 31-Nov 1, Sharon, VT

November 7-8 Briones, CA

November 7-8 Sherwood, OR

November 14-15 California, KY

December 5-6 Horace, ND

December 5-6 Winston-Salem, NC

December 5-6 Delray Beach, FL

December 12-13 Crownsville, MD

February 20-21 Milton, FL

March 6-7 Bandera, TX

March 20-21 Stockton, NJ

April 10-11 New Cambria, KS

April 24-25 Watsonville, CA

May 1-2 Indianola, IA

Canada Seminars

September 26-27 Campbellcroft, ON

September 26-27 Shaunavon, SK

September 26-27 Richmond,QC

April 24-25 Granby, QC
(taught in French)

May 29-30 Ponoka, AB

June 12-13 Saint-Nicolas, QC
(taught in French)
European Seminars

September 19-20 Rzeszyce, Poland

October 3-4 Pfaffenhofen, Germany (taught in German)

October 3-4  Oxfordshire, UK

October 8-9 Hertfordshire, UK
(Thursday - Friday course)

October 10-11 Warwickshire, UK

October 17-18 Brockenhurst, UK

October 24-25 Hergatz, Germany (taught in German)

October 24-25 Großefehn, Germany (taught in German)

October 31-November 1 Uddel, NL (taught in Dutch)

November 7-8 Graz, Austria

November7-8 Wesepe, NL
(taught in Dutch)

March 27-28 Cornwall, UK

April 24-25 Uddel, NL (taught in Dutch)

Australia & New Zealand Seminars

October 17-18 Te Awamutu, NZ
Advanced 5-Day Course Schedule

USA Advanced Courses

October 5-9 Watsonville, CA with Sandy Vreeburg

October 12-16 Coatesville, IN with Coralie Hughes

November 2-6 Tucson, AZ with Vanessa Helvey

November 9-13  Georgetown, TX with Becky Tenges

February 15-19, 2021 Watsonville, CA with Sandy Vreeburg

June 21-25, 2021 Watsonville, CA with Sandy Vreeburg

European Advanced Courses

October 12-16  Oxfordshire, UK with Vicky Devlin

October 19-23 Salisbury, UK with Vicky Devlin

November 25-29 Dillenburg, DE taught in German with Walter Saxe
*Note this is a Wednesday to Sunday course.

March 5-9, 2021, Egestorf, DE taught in German with Walter Saxe
*Note this is a Friday to Tuesday course

Canada Advanced Courses

September 21-25 Cobourg, ON with Lori Hoppe

September 28 – October 2 Shaunavon, SK with Mark Fletcher

May 10-14, 2021 Cobourg, ON with Lori Hoppe

May 31 - June 4, 2021 Calgary, AB with Lori Hoppe
Certification Completion Course Schedule

USA Courses

January 21-22, 2021 Watsonville, CA

April 27-28, 2021 Tucson, AZ

July 11-12, 2021 Littleton, CO

Europe Courses

October 5-7 Oxfordshire, UK

October 25-27 Salisbury, UK
Masterson Method Equine Specialist Courses

USA Courses

October 9-11  Elbert, CO

October 16-18 Leesberg, VA
Masterson Method Collaborative Clinics

USA Clinics

Collaborative Clinic with Jim Masterson and Mark Rashid

January 15-17, 2021 Phoenix, Arizona
Collaborative Clinic with Jim Masterson and Mark Rashid

July 14-16, 2021 Littleton, Colorado
Collaborative Clinic with Jim Masterson and Mark Rashid

Expos and Demos
USA Expos & Demos

Masterson Method Demo October 25 with Lise Lunde

Equitana, KY has been cancelled for 2020 and rescheduled for: October 1-3, 2021
Lexington, KY
Absorbine Proud Partners
"Absorbine’s relationship with The Masterson Method® is a natural fit. Jim’s breakthrough but simple concepts are all focused on helping the horse to relieve tension, feel more comfortable and improve their relationships with owners and handlers.” 

~ Amy Cairy, Director of Marketing,
W. F. Young, manufacturers of Absorbine products

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