The Masterson Method ®
Monthly eNewsletter - January 2018
Hello All, and Happy 2018!

Well, we’ve done it again. We’ve wasted another perfectly good year messing with horses. Let’s do another one!

An Inspiring Story

I wouldn’t say wasted as much as inspired. Every once in a while we get an email from someone who has watched a YouTube video or bought the, Beyond Horse Massage DVD and gone out and done the Bladder Meridian Technique on a horse that has been in pain or discomfort - sometimes for years - and has made an amazing change in the horse.

Often this leaves the owners scratching their heads, so they email me. I have to be honest, it leaves me scratching my head too. The horse has a huge capacity for blocking out pain and discomfort in order to survive, and an equally amazing ability to let it go once you make the horse aware of it in a way that it can’t block it out. This is what the Bladder Meridian Technique does. I don’t know how it works, but it does. We hear these stories often and are uplifted by them. I was re-inspired by the story of a Tennessee Walker named JJ - and his owners - see below a testimonial by Lynn Griffin of California.

The Weather

We had a warm Fall here in Fairfield, Iowa (so I was told) but a cold December (so I am experiencing). It’s been a couple of weeks of positive single digits during the day and negative digits at night. It’s been pretty outside though, and I like the snow. Normally I would have the sleigh out except for the single digit temps. It appears that much of the country is experiencing similar conditions, so I won’t spend too much time complaining about the temperatures. Let’s look at some photos instead:
Town Square during the negative digits.
Town Square during the positive digits.
Farm during the negative digits.
Farm during the positive digits.
The Office

December’s traditionally an easy month in the office, as you can see here. The supervisors seem to be the hardest to keep moving. Hoping they will wake up before Spring.

I’m on my way to South Africa. I’ll be the guest of our Masterson Method Instructors Rob and Chantal Holder in Johannesburg. They’re both very good Instructors and a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to teaching two Advanced 5-Day Courses and a Weekend Seminar Workshop with them this month. We’ll also be certifying three new Masterson Method Practitioners while I’m there. Very exciting!

We’ll have photos and give you a report in next month’s newsletter.

A Tip on Doing the Work

One challenge for humans in doing a type of bodywork in which the horse participates in such a large way is trusting that the horse will do its part and that it will work. Our need to make sense of things, and to make things happen can get in the way of allowing the horse to release, especially in the “waiting” part. If somewhere in the back of your mind you doubt that it’ll work, then you’re apt to try a little harder, and the horse will sense this, and internally or externally brace, and you’ll be less effective.

One thing that helps when you start to doubt whether it’s working or not, is just to “doubt the doubt.” Doubt the doubt. Simple as that. Doesn’t take any thinking or analyzing at all.

If you think about it… More on that later.

A Take on a Cribbing Question

I received a question about cribbing recently. I’ve been told that habits such as cribbing, wind-sucking and weaving release endorphins that make the horse feel good. It can become an addiction for some horses. Horses do everything for a reason. They may have started cribbing because they’re in physical discomfort, because of boredom, or because their endorphin-user neighbors turned them on to it.

Take a look at a study (link below) that was done by a Western Kentucky University (and a Masterson Method) student on the effects of Masterson Method work on behavioral issues such as weaving and cribbing. We don't like to make claims that MM will "cure" things such as cribbing.

Sometimes cribbing itself becomes a habit, but often cribbing is a symptom of something else that is bothering the horse. If you can relieve the horse of the underlying discomfort often the cribbing will abate. The best thing to do is just to try it. Hope this helps. Horses' Responses to Receiving Masterson Method™ Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork™ Treatments.

In my experience some horses are more addictive than others just as some people are more prone to addiction than others. With some horses once you take away the source of the cribbing or weaving the behavior will change. With others, not. If you have a cribber or a weaver, do the Bladder Meridian on him/her and see what shows up. The horse may tell you there’s more going on than appears on the outside. If the horse releases a ton, or lets you know there’s a lot of discomfort in the body, then that may have something to do with the cribbing. Or it may release enough tension or discomfort that you see a change in the habit. Or it may tell you nothing and there is no change. You don’t know until you try. There’s no risk of doing it wrong, and it doesn’t cost anything to go to the You Tube Channel (and on our website) and learn to do the Bladder Meridian. My personal goal is that every horse on the planet has the Bladder Meridian done on it at least once (I know that’s a big order). If it takes cribbing or weaving or other issues to make that happen, then that’s what it takes. Git out there!

Other Stuff

We’re working on a new Advanced 5-Day Course manual and an Advanced 5-Day Home Study Course. This course will be available to anyone who has attended the Advanced 5-Day Course who would like to to continue guided study and practice of the Techniques taught on that course. Many people do the Advanced 5 Day Course to learn Evaluation and Advanced Bodywork Techniques without the goal of going on for Certification. This Course will be for them as well as for Certification students.

We’re also getting ready for our upcoming Masterson Method Educational Conference in Tucson in February. The purpose of this Conference is uh, well... Education, but also to provide a structured forum for our Certified Practitioners and those in the Fieldwork Phase towards Certification, to network, compare notes, and share ideas.

On the education side we’ll have Mark Rashid on movement and gait, Jochen Schleese on saddle fitting, and Jerry Schmidt on dental issues and how they effect the feet and the body. And that other guy that makes horses yawn and tells bad jokes. Which may be why the horses are yawning.

For Now

For now I wanted to share a small album of photos from the recent trip to Australia. I hope to fill this spot with photos from South Africa next month.

In the meantime, like me,

Enjoy your horses!

It’s not easy for a police horse doing PR duty in Sydney at Christmas.
Line-up of suspicious looking horse lovers at NSW Mounted Police.
Line-up of suspicious looking horses at NSW Mounted Police.
During class at NSWMP.
Outside of Sydney.
During class.
After class.
Testimonial from Lynn Griffin in California
"We were blown away by our New Years’ Day session with my Sister’s Tennessee Walker, JJ. This poor guy was a victim of the brutal “soring” practices of the Big Lick competitions and he was a champion in his day. His X-rays show major changes in his coffin bone configuration and porous bone quality. He developed a terrible stone bruise 5 weeks ago, compounded by an abscess. He couldn’t move. The combination of our work and the genius of my Sister’s veterinarian has finally found him moving freely again. It was touch and go, and uncertain that there would be a happy ending for him. We were all a wreck during this period. These pictures show JJ’s response after only the left side Bladder Meridian by Judy Askins, and 3/4 of the Bladder Meridian on the right by Jen Reiff (taking Sandy’s weekend in March). Jen didn’t even get to his right hock before he moved to the center and dropped to the ground. He stayed down for 50 minutes and only got up due to a startle. Interesting aside is that there were 3 people in his stall with him during the entire event. We were all just a puddle that he felt comfortable enough to show us his most vulnerable self.

We’re practicing on any horse that we can find within an hour of my ranch, and have reserved every Wednesday as “Masterson Method Wednesday.” We either work on our four horses here, or hit the road to work on others. (We’ve done 12 horses, many of them multiple times). We have taken to calling ourselves the MMMRT (Masterson Method Mobile Response Team)

So amazing that he released this way for us. My Sister has never even seen him lying down."
Hosting a Weekend Seminar
The East Coast - Hosts With the Most!

At the beginning of this year, we sat down and took a long look at our weekend course calendar, only to notice something very important was missing…
Beyond Horse Massage Weekend Workshops on the East Coast!
Some of our most favorite horses live on the East Coast, so in light of that we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you, your friends, your boarding stable, to host a Beyond Horse Massage Weekend, and help get the juices flowing for our upcoming East Coast Advanced 5-Day courses!
For the benefit of first-time hosts, we are even offering an Earlybird coupon code which you can distribute amongst your family/friends for an additional $50 off your Beyond Horse Massage course’s tuition. 

What horse would sneeze at that?

Want to hear what Jim says about the Beyond Horse Massage Weekend Workshop? Click here =>
If you’re interested in hosting, or you know someone who would make a great East Coast host with the most, send them our way!
More details at this excellent link to our website.
Or contact us directly at:  OR Tamara 641-209-6468
We love our hosts!
Article in Intelligent Horsemanship
Check out "The Big Interview with Jim Masterson," by Zoe Smith, in
Intelligent Horsemanship’s winter edition! 

Read the full article on our website.
Masterson Method Equine Specialist Program News
We have two exciting events this Spring!

  1. We've been invited by the program director of Main Stay Therapeutic Farm to demonstrate both The Masterson Method and our application in equine-assisted learning and therapy settings at their 30th anniversary and 1st Annual Horse Expo hosted by Main Stay Therapeutic Farm in Richmond, Illinois! We've accepted the invitation and are looking forward to seeing some familiar faces there! Learn more on their Facebook Page and come down if you're in the area.
  2. We're excited to put up our next MMES training April 7-8 in Tucson, Arizona on the website. Thank you Cathy Schreiber at Steady Strides Riding Center for hosting! Learn more and register now on the MMES website.
Another New Certified Equine Specialist!

Help us congratulate Jennifer Sweere for completing her Masterson Method Equine Specialist certification! See her bio on the Certified Specialists page

Seeking Hosts with EAAT and Non-EAAT Horses

Do you have a facility with 8-10 horses that are used in EAAT programming and/or 10-12 boarding or lesson horses? Do you have an interest in becoming a Masterson Method Equine Specialist or helping others serve in this capacity? Fill out our online application to host a Beyond Massage Weekend Seminar and a Masterson Method Equine Specialist Training. If your facility is accepted, you could earn a free spot to both trainings! Learn more about the requirements to   Host A Training  and apply directly online.

Learn more about becoming a  Certified Masterson Method Equine Specialist   on our website, and stay tuned for our 2018 calendar of trainings.
New Certified Practitioners
Sylvie Vallières
Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

Sylvie grew up in a little village located in the north of Québec, Canada. She spent most of her youth watching wild animals, sometimes rescuing them, and taking care of cats and dogs at home.

At some point in her life she wanted to be around horses. She started dressage riding lessons and got her first horse, Dream. “I was not aware Dream already had many issues when I got him," she said. "He was not using his body properly but as many horses do, he was doing his very best with me”.

Sylvie discovered the Masterson Method because she wanted to help Dream. She started with the book and DVD and experienced some Masterson techniques on him. “From the beginning Dream loved everything about Masterson! He was my best teacher ever and the reason I became a Certified Practitioner. He taught me to slow down, to breathe, to listen and to be attentive to his smallest signs of release."

Sylvie has worked on dressage, trail, jumping, western pleasure and lesson horses. She loves to put her nose in every anatomy book to have a better understanding of what she is doing. She is currently volunteering in an equine therapy setting to help as many horses as she can. “I learn from every one of them!” Her goal is to help owners and horses through their own journey together and to make the Masterson Method known in Québec.
Phone: 819 791-4595
Nadine Vollmerg
Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

Born and raised in Germany, my love of horses was first sparked, when I spent one of my school holidays at a stable where I learned the basics around horse care and riding. Soon after I started training under Hubertus Schmidt, who went on to become an accomplished Olympian Dressage rider. When the opportunity arose for my father to rescue an abandoned Pony my sister and I had our dream come true to own our first Pony. 

Dressage and Showjumping were the main areas of focus during that time and the special connection with the horses of course. 

A few years after moving to New Zealand, my mother’s home country, I immersed myself in studying Animal Homeopathy for 4 years, then on to Equine Craniosacral and from there diverged slightly to qualify as a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist for Humans.

Fast forward a few years to the day when one of my human clients happened to be a riding instructor who asked me to work with one of the Grand Prix Showjumping Ponies she was supporting. Somehow this experience rekindled the desire and motivation to help horses in a more profound way, leading to further studies specifically in the Equine field (Neuro-Myofascial Release, Kinesio Taping). It was during this time that I stumbled across one of the Masterson Method® YouTube videos. Being absolutely fascinated by the whole concept and way of working with the horse, I tried it straight away and found it matched exactly what I had been looking for all these years. 

Becoming the first Certified MM Practitioner in New Zealand is certainly an accomplishment I am proud of. My aim now is to spread awareness about the Masterson Method® around New Zealand. I am available for Demos and Treatments by arrangement, to inspire others to use and study this amazing modality for the benefit of our horses.

Phone: +64 21 140 1331 Email: 
Masterson Method Video
The Bladder Meridian Technique
from Jim's first DVD: Equine Massage for Performance Horses
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 (earn your spot free!) please email .
USA Seminars

Saturday, Jan 27 - Sunday, Jan 28
Watsonville, CA

Saturday, Jan 27 - Sunday, Jan 28
Houston, TX (FULL)

Saturday, March 17 - Sunday, March 18
Corral de Tierra, CA

Saturday, March 24 - Sunday, March 25 (FULL)
Nicasio, CA  taught by Jim Masterson

Saturday, March 24 - Sunday, March 25
Tucson, AZ

Saturday, April 7 - Sunday, April 8
Lakeside, MT

Saturday, April 7 - Sunday, April 8
Theodore, AL

Saturday, April 7 - Sunday, April 8
Wellington, FL

Saturday, April 14 - Sunday, April 15
Nicholasville, KY
Saturday, April 21 - Sunday, April 22 
Wasilla, AK

Saturday, April 21 - Sunday, April 22
Collinsville, TX

Saturday, May 5 - Sunday, May 6
Llaves, NM

Saturday, May 26 - Sunday, May 27
Mequon, WI

Saturday, June 2 - Sunday, June 3
Watsonville, CA

Saturday, June 9 - Sunday, June 10
Grants Pass, OR

Saturday, June 9 - Sunday, June 10
Prescott, AZ

Saturday, June 16 -Sunday, June 17
Georgetown, KY

Saturday, July 7 - Sunday, July 8
Littleton, CO Taught by Jim Masterson (FULL)
Saturday, Sept 22 - Sunday, Sept 23
Watsonville, CA
Europe Seminars

Saturday, March 17 - Sunday, March 18 (taught in German)
Oldershausen, Germany

Saturday, March 24 - Sunday, March 25
Wrexham, Wales

Saturday, March 24 - Sunday, March 25
Granada, Spain

Saturday, April 14 - Sunday, April 15
South Lanarkshire, Scotland

Saturday, April 21 - Sunday, April 22 (taught in German) (FULL)
Aßlar, Germany

Saturday, May 19 - Sunday, May 20
Ruinerwold, Netherlands Taught by Jim Masterson (FULL)

Saturday, May 26 - Sunday, May 27
Oxfordshire, U.K. Taught by Jim Masterson

Saturday, June 2 - Sunday, June 3
Salisbury, U.K. Taught by Jim Masterson

Canada Seminars

Saturday, March 3 - Sunday, March 4
Victoria, BC

Saturday, March 10 - Sunday, March 11
Rosedale, BC

Saturday, April 14 - Sunday, April 15
Metcalfe, Ontario

Saturday, April 28 - Sunday, April 29
Alder Flats, Alberta

Saturday, May 12 - Sunday, May 13
Campbellcroft, Ontario

Saturday, June 9 - Sunday, June 10
Duncan, BC

South Africa Seminars

Saturday, Jan 13 - Sunday, Jan 14
Midrand, South Africa Taught by Jim Masterson (FULL)
Masterson Method Collaborative Clinics
Considering the Horse - Mind and Body
Collaborative Clinic with Mark Rashid and Jim Masterson

March 26-30, 2018 Blue Dot Farm Nicasio, CA
To register contact: 415-847-6878

July 9-13, 2018 Happy Dog Ranch Littleton, CO
To register contact: 303-915-8531

Dressage, Biomechanics and Bodywork
Collaborative Clinic with Jec Ballou and Jim Masterson

April 30 - May 4, 2018 Watsonville, CA
Register on our website: collaborativeclinic-ballou/watsonville

*no prerequisites apply
Masterson Method Equine Specialist Program
MMES Training Seminar
Saturday, April 7 - Sunday, April 8, 2018
Tucson, AZ

*Prerequisite is to attend a Weekend Seminar. See above listing for Weekend Seminars in your area.
Advanced 5-Day Course Schedule
USA Advanced Courses

Tucson, Arizona with Advanced Instructor Vanessa Helvey
Monday, January 29 - Friday, February 2, 2018   (FULL)
Watsonville, CA with Advanced Instructor Sandy Vreeburg
Monday, March 5 - Friday, March 9, 2018

Coatesville, IN with Advanced Instructor Coralie Hughes 
Monday, April 23 - Friday, April 27, 2018

Mequon, WI with Advanced Instructor Becky Tenges
Monday, May 28 - Friday, June 1, 2018

Watsonville, CA with Advanced Instructor Sandy Vreeburg
Monday, July 23 - Friday, July 27, 2018

Watsonville, CA with Advanced Instructor Sandy Vreeburg
Monday, October 22 - Friday, October 26, 2018

Europe Advanced Courses

Salisbury, U.K. with Jim Masterson  
Monday, May 28 - Friday, June 1, 2018
Salisbury, U.K. #2 with Jim Masterson
Monday, June 4 - Friday, June 8, 2018 (FULL)

South Africa Advanced Courses

Kyalami, Johannesburg, South Africa with Jim Masterson
Monday, January 15 - Friday, January 19, 2018 (FULL)
Kyalami, Johannesburg, South Africa with Jim Masterson
Monday, January 22 - Friday, January 26, 2018 (FULL)
Certification Completion Course Schedule
Tuesday, February 6 - Thursday, February 8, 2018
Tucson, AZ

Friday, May 11 - Sunday, May 13
Fairfield, IA

Tuesday, May 22 - Thursday, May 24, 2018
Oxfordshire, UK

Friday, August 24 - Sunday, August 26, 2018
Watsonville, CA

For the US: one Certification Course is scheduled each quarter, TBA
Masterson Equine Services