Hello All,

A Happy, Healthy, and Successful New Year! 
At Home

I’ve been home since early December and so don’t have a lot of travel talk. Have been spending time catching up on things here in the office with our fun and efficient office gang, and getting ahead on projects which I hope to share with you in the near future. (Speaking of our office gang, you can get the inside story on them by scrolling down on our Contacts page here. )

I've been able to have coffee in the mornings with Annabelle and Jeremiah while they eat their breakfast, and maybe not throw on a saddle (it’s warmer that way) in the evening for an occasional ride down by the creek, with one or the other ponying along.
We started building a tractor shed until the snow and ice hit this weekend and shut things down. Nothing more exciting than that, and I’m NOT COMPLAINING!
We’ve had what the locals call a “mild winter” this year. Mild means anywhere between 15 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 C and 13 C).
Mild Winter
Normal Winter
We have had some cool out-of-town going's on over the winter, I just wasn’t out of town for them. MM Certified Practitioner and Field Work Administrator Megan Dushin's been buzzing around the country and reports on an impromptu Midwest Meeting that she put together in November (before the winter got “mild.”) See below:
Midwest Meetup a Success!

“Hi Jim,

The Midwest Masterson Method Certified Practitioner (MMCP) meet-up (gathering 7 MMCPs in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota) far exceeded my expectations. 

We all agreed that we should do it again next year! In fact, we are interested in making this a more formalized yet grassroots regional conference and we’re committed to forming a planning committee to help make that happen. Lots of ideas came up in our morning circle so I wanted to give you a heads up and see if you would like to chat about this more as it evolves. 

Megan takes the initiative! 

Megan was also in Wellington, FL last week where she presented a Masterson Method demonstration for Dresssage4kids .

“Attached are some photos of the demo at Lendon Gray’s place. The students were amazingly mature and engaged and had wonderful questions! It really reminded me of being in Pony Club camp many years ago!!”
Dresssage4kid's mission is “to encourage riders under 21 to become true horsemen; to offer scholarships; to develop good sportsmanship; to support programs for adults who in turn educate youth; to have fun."
Another MMMRT (Masterson Method Mobile Response Team) siting!   

The Bladder Meridian Technique is such a powerful, simple and effortless thing to do with a horse. I’m continually amazed at the results people get and share with us with this technique. It keeps popping up. 

Below is a story recently emailed to us by Lynn Griffin and Judy Askins, founders of The Masterson Method Mobile Response Team, who also keep popping up.
Lynn Griffin and Judy Askins, founders of the Masterson Method Mobile Response Team, with some old guy
“Hey Jo,

The MMMRT has been a little under the radar lately, but that all changed Xmas night when my cell phone went off alerting me of a loose horse running down the main road through our dark little country town. An army of local strangers and friends sprang into action, as sightings were made near the fire department, where the horse was almost hit by a car, then behind the motel and the last alert was a spotting at the private airport, a darkened stretch of asphalt across from the motel. Reminder: our little town doesn’t even have a stop light, so headlights are about all that illuminates Brownsville, CA.

Crossing paths with other searchers combing the roads, I decided to take a chance by entering the far end of the airport. As I turned into the access road, flashers blazing, I saw other cars, headlights and silhouettes of people and then, a four-legged animal who was leading a young man toward the main road. He was hanging onto her with a dog leash and had no control, only determination not to lose her.

In a split second, I opened my door, pounced out to the ground with a bucket of grain and a halter and lead rope. Her nose dropped into the bucket, and to the delight of the exhausted young man, I was able to halter her. Now, everyone breathe!

This band of locals, flashlights in hand lead the way out of there to another stranger’s fenced back yard. Someone recognized the horse. We messaged the attached dark of night photo and the owners were on their way. Arrow had been frightened by a neighbor’s gunfire from a Xmas gift gun, broken through her fence and had made her way about 3 miles from home.

I called the owner the next day and offered a Masterson Method session and explained what it was and encouraged him to check out Jim’s method on YouTube. He was receptive to my offer and a time was set.

Arrow proved to be quite a challenge, more than any horse I’ve worked on and as she continued to spin circles around me, wild eyed and high headed, I was afraid I might just have to suspend any attempt to help her. She wouldn’t even tolerate Bladder Meridian at air gap. Realizing I would not be able to go in the recommended order, I adopted a “drive by Masterson Method” approach and after about 20 minutes of frantic movement, the withers wiggle struck gold.

The owner was amazed at the transformation, so I showed him a few techniques and, voila ... rapid fire yawning, licking chewing, textbook releases. It was thrilling. We ended the session and turned her out. She calmly walked to the far end of her pasture and looked back at us. Remembering that I had skipped bladder meridian, I asked the owner to come with me to give it a try.
The photos tell the tale:”
All You Need is a Hand and a Heart

And from my friends Rhonda and Peter in Temecula, CA:

“I have been demonstrating your Bladder Meridian Technique on the horses at a farm animal sanctuary run by our friend/neighbor. I had suggested that I teach the technique to some of their horse work volunteers, and was showing the technique to my friend that runs the sanctuary, so that she would know what was involved. I was telling her that 'the Bladder Meridian Technique is amazingly powerful, for both the horse and the human, but you don’t need any special training or education to learn it - pretty much All you need is a Hand and a Heart .' I thought that might be a great tag line for your worldwide goal to have every horse be touched with that technique. Anyway, just thought I would share, in case it is helpful. Rhonda”

‘Nuff said… Now go out and add some more horses into your Bladder Meridian log book!
And one more thing!

In December the US Equestrian Federation banned the use of medroxo progesterone acetate - a calming drug also known as Depo-Provera - in USEF competitions. Our answer to that: The Bladder Meridian technique has fewer chemicals and it’s easier to spell. 
Another one of those Mark and Jim things

Heading to Tucson for another Mark and Jim Show, aka Considering the Horse: Mind and Body, with Mark Rashid on Feb 7, 8 and 9. We were down there together a few years ago for our MM Certified Practitioner Educational Conference, but this is the first time we’ll be doing a clinic together in Tucson for normal people. Putting us together in one place is something that we both always learn from, and we get to share it with you at these events. There is still room for auditors, so bring a chair and come watch.
A Collaborative Clinic in the works at Dan Wains in England

We have a couple of events going on in England in May. I’ll be doing an Advanced 5-Day Course or two in Salisbury, and a Weekend Seminar at trainer Dan Wain’s place in Warwickshire. Dan and I are also working on putting together a 3-day collaborative clinic along the lines of the ones I’ve done with Mark Rashid and Jec Ballou. It’s not on the calendar yet but we’re shooting for 6-7-8 of May, the week before the Weekend Seminar. Will have that up on our calendar soon I hope, so pencil it in!
And finally, to relax humans…

There’s a Sunday morning TV show here in the States that always ends with video of something in nature – often wildlife – that is very grounding and relaxing. If you’ve ever noticed, there aren’t a lot of things more relaxing than the sound of a horse munching on hay at meal-time, except maybe watching a horse munching. I’ve got two of them, and I thought I’d end with this. 
Until next time, like me,

Enjoy listening to your horses.

PS - Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I’ll be doing a live Facebook feed from Tucson Arizona on February 10th at 1pm Mountain Standard Time. Scroll down for more details!

News & Announcements
Many horse owners rely on the use of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), also known as Depo-Provera, to calm horses, especially mares. On Nov.13, US Equestrian (USEF) made a statement in response to a number of recently reported equine fatalities associated with the use of the injected drug. US Equestrian has banned the use of the drug for all horses competing at USEF-licensed competitions, effective Dec. 1, 2019.

We want to get the word out that The Masterson Method provides a safe alternative to the use of Depo for competitive horses (and all horses!). If you or anyone you know is struggling to find a solution to reduce stress and tension in their horse, we encourage you to find a certified practitioner or attend a weekend seminar in your area . We want to avoid these needless deaths and give people tools that will truly help their horse.
Facebook Live Event
Featuring Jim Masterson
Our very first Facebook Live event with our very own Jim Masterson is happening next month on Feb. 10th at 1pm MST! Want to get some of your burning questions answered directly by the man himself? Then send them in!
We're taking any and all questions you have about The Masterson Method and Jim will answer them personally for you. Don't miss out on this great opportunity! Send us questions through Facebook messenger or our website .

Arizona time can be tricky because they don't do daylight savings time like the rest of us. Check out this time zone converter to see what time the event will be happening for you.
Masterson Method Equine Specialist
(MMES) Program News
Presenting at PATH Region 6 in March 2020
It’s always wonderful presenting to the EAAT community about how The Masterson Method can support equine-assisted learning and therapy horses, while also providing a new experiential, enrichment activity for program participants to give back to the horse. We will be presenting a lecture/demo entitled “Ways to Incorporate Equine Bodywork into your Program” at the  PATH Region 6  conference in Madison, Wisconsin March 13-15, 2020. If you’re at this event, please come find us!
Loving My New Role as MMES

Here’s a sweet story from a recent MMES who’s also a MMCP,  Amelia Nalli .

I get to help the horses at Shoestring City Ranch in Los Angeles. Located at three different barns just east of LA, my job is to evaluate the bodywork needs of the 20+ horses that they have rescued. I also get to work with teenagers and some special needs kids to teach them about how to connect to the horse and help the horses develop into riding partners. They first learn about greeting horses and then the Bladder Meridian Technique. For some, I even share some release techniques to incorporate into their grooming routine. Some of the horses can’t carry a rider but we work to improve their comfort level and give them a lot of attention. Working with this group is so rewarding and it is amazing to watch horses blossom under proper care and so much love. Learn more about Shoe String City Ranch at  http://shoestringcityranch.org/.
Congratulations to Recent Certified Masterson Method Equine Specialist!
Katie Fallon
Leesburg, VA

Katie Fallon is a PATH Intl. Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor with PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instruction certification with over fifteen years of experience teaching children and adults with a wide range of physical, cognitive, behavioral, and other disabilities. She is also certified as an Equine Specialist through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and a PATH Intl. Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. As a lifelong horse aficionado, she has owned, ridden, and trained horses for many years. She is a past member and chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the Fairfax-Falls Church Interagency Coordinating Council (overseeing the provision of early intervention services in Fairfax County, Virginia), served on the board of directors of the Speech and Language Center of Northern Virginia, and is the past president of the Longfellow Middle School PTA. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Relations from Georgetown University and Columbia University, respectively, both conferred with highest honors.
 Katie is the founder and president of Bridle Paths, a nonprofit equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) program based in Leesburg, VA. Bridle Paths is an all-volunteer organization that offers meaningful paths to connection, in partnership with horses. Our mission is to offer strength, support, and healing to individuals and families through safe, effective, and high-quality EAAT. We provide therapeutic horseback riding instruction, equine-assisted learning, and equine-assisted psychotherapy services to individuals and families faced with physical, cognitive, psychological, and emotional needs. We serve those with a wide variety of needs and diagnoses, including brain injury, paralysis, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety and depression, and trauma. Bridle Paths’ services help clients to cultivate skills and talents that are applicable outside the barn environment, rather than identifying or limiting clients solely by diagnoses or labels. Our innovative, proprietary, and emotionally-attuned services include both unmounted and mounted components and emphasize relationship, communication, connection and trust, whether clients come on a weekly basis or for a single visit. We work with participants to help them identify and build upon their strengths, abilities, and possibilities, in partnership with horses.

The respectful and attuned techniques of The Masterson Method are a natural fit for the work we do at Bridle Paths. This form of light touch equine bodywork supports the well-being of our healing herd by promoting their relaxation, contentment, and comfort. With her certification as a Masterson Method Equine Specialist, Katie looks forward to facilitating sessions that enhance communication, connection, trust, and presence for both horses and humans.

About MMES

The Masterson Method Equine Specialist specializes in sharing specific light touch Masterson Method techniques with persons served in equine-assisted learning and therapy programs. By doing this bodywork on horses, participants deepen their connection with horses while also gaining self-awareness and self-regulation skills; meanwhile, therapy horses are tended to through simple bodywork and learn a new way of relating to people. It's a win/win!
Questions?  Visit the  Masterson Method Equine Specialist Website   or contact the Program Coordinator at  mmes@mastersonmethod.com .
Ask Jim

I am short and my horse is tall. How do I perform the techniques effectively?


The only techniques that you may have difficulty with are the ones that involve the head. The key here is to get the horse to lower his head to you. If he tries to keep out of reach, it's probably because he is trying to guard against you going there, which means he is uncomfortable there. So when this happens, move somewhere else.

With the head, you would start either with Leg Releases, or with gentle Lateral Cervical Flexion at the lower neck, and very softly work your way up. If he starts to tense up, yield and soften to make sure he is comfortable with it, but try not to take your hand off his nose. If you can't get anywhere near his head, move on to the other techniques and at some point he will relax into it.

It's important not to get in a hurry to accomplish any one thing or the horse will sense it and become worried.

It's not the best idea to stand on something unless your horse is comfortable enough with it to stand completely still. If he's that comfortable, you're better off asking him to bring his head down to you.

~Excerpt from Beyond Horse Massage
Masterson Minute: Sneak Peek Into Dressage Movements Revealed
New Certified Practitioner
Iris Chasteen
Charlotte, NC

Iris was born with the horse gene and has always been drawn to horses. At 12 years old her parents finally signed her up for riding lessons at the local riding school in their hometown in Germany. The barn quickly became Iris’s second home and she was lucky to be taken under the wing by several exceptional horsemen and women.

Throughout the years she held several different positions as a young rider representative, assistant instructor, assistant to the therapeutic riding program and, as the patron of the school horses. She learned very quickly that the saying “healthy as a horse” was a big myth.

With the veterinarian and farrier on speed dial, she realized the need and effectiveness of other modalities such as massage, nutrition and acupuncture, etc. to improve comfort and general health in our horses.

Iris met her “Mr. Perfect” and future husband during an exchange program between American and German universities. After traveling back and forth between countries for a while, they decided to get married and settled in Charlotte, NC. Of course, she could not be without horses for long and started learning her way around the local equestrian community.

Iris discovered The Masterson Method when she was invited by a friend to watch a demo for horse massage. This massage technique was very different from what she had seen before and she immediately started learning more about it, enrolled in The Masterson Method training program, and achieved her certification in 2019. She has worked with a variety of different horses from ages 3 – 25 of all kinds of breeds, sizes and disciplines including hunter jumpers, dressage horses, trail horses, eventers and driving horses. 

Recognizing early stages of compromised performance will improve our equine athletes' chance to stay physically and mentally comfortable and sound to perform their jobs successfully. Iris strongly believes that The Masterson Method is a proactive way to promote long term soundness in our horses.
Iris is based in Charlotte, NC and would be honored to work with you and your horse.

Phone: 704-264-5379
Hans-Michael Schoebinger
Oberhausen, Austria 

Hans-Michael came in contact with The Masterson Method a few years back while spending time with lovely horses and people in Colorado. He took his time in thoroughly studying the method and slowly but surely introducing many techniques as useful tools into his horsemanship. 
He is conveniently located a few miles outside the city limits of Vienna, Austria. He is happy to treat your horse and train you in techniques that you can easily, safely and successfully apply yourself.

Phone: (43) 650 365 2266
Weekend Seminar-Workshop Schedule

* if the course you had your heart set on is sold out, please email jo@mastersonmethod.com to be added to the waiting list, or   if you'd like to host your own weekend (and earn a free spot) please email tamara@mastersonmethod.com .
USA Seminars

February 1-2 Wickenburg, AZ

February 22-23 Aiken, SC

February 29- March 1 Gilroy, CA

March 7-8 Middleburg, FL

March 14-15 Omaha, NE

March 14-15 Stockton, NJ

March 28-29 Boyds, MD

April 4-5 Nicasio, CA

April 18-19 Ada, MI

April 18-19 Sherwood, OR

May 2-3 Durham, CA

May 16-17 Bedford, VA

May 23-23 La Porte, IN

May 30-31 Boscawen, NH

June 6-7 Indianola, IA

June 13-14 Bandera, TX

June 20-21 Coatesville, IN

June 27-28 Sharon, VT

July 18-19 Woodacre, CA

August 8-9 Ocean Shores, WA

August 22-23 Coatesville, IN

August 29-30 Augusta, ME

August 29-30 Portola Valley, CA

November 7-8 Briones, CA

Nov 7-8 Sherwood, OR

October 31- November 1 Bristol, TN

Australia & New Zealand Seminars

March 28-29 Meeanee, NZ

April 18-29 Te Awamutu, NZ

Europe Seminars

March 7-8 Aßlar, Germany
(taught in German)

March 14-15 Shillington, UK

March 21-22 Kaarst, Germany
(taught in German)

April 4-5 Rzeszyce, PL
(taught in Polish)

April 18-19 Döhle, Germany
(taught in German)

April 25-26 Zandbergen, Belgium

May 9-10 Warwickshire, UK
taught by Jim Masterson

May 16-17 Brockenhurst, UK
taught by Jim Masterson

(taught in German)

August 15-16 Bad Sassendorf, Germany (taught in German)

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

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

October 24-25 Miesenbach, Austria

November 21-22  Zandbergen, Belgium 

Canada Seminars

April 25-26 Rosedale, BC

May 30-31 (taught in French) Granby QC

June 27-28 Alder Flats, AB

Masterson Method Equine Specialist Training
Friday, April 3 - Sunday, April 5

Friday, May 29 - Sunday, May 31

Friday, October 16 - Sunday, October 18

Monday, July 13 - Wednesday, July 15
Masterson Method Collaborative Clinics
Considering the Horse - Mind and Body
Collaborative Clinic with Mark Rashid and Jim Masterson

February 7-9 at Horse Sense Training
To register contact: az.horsesensetraining@gmail.com 520-403-8200

April 6-8 at Blue Dot Farm
To register contact: dianneadel@gmail.com 415-847-6878

April 24-26 at TLH Farms
To register contact: jackie@edgewaterfarms.com  920-428-9550.

July 8-10, 2020 at Happy Dog Ranch
To register contact: bernadettespillane@gmail.com 303-915-8531

Your Horse's Brain: A User's Manual with
Dr. Steve Peters, Mark Rashid and Jim Masterson

July 11-12, 2020 at Happy Dog Ranch
To register contact Bernadette Spillane:  bernadettespillane@gmail.com

*Auditing is available, see link above for more information.
Advanced 5-Day Course Schedule
USA Advanced Courses

January 27-31 Watsonville, CA with Sandy Vreeburg

April 6-10 Wickenburg, AZ with Coralie Hughes

May 18-22 Bel Air, MD with Samantha Walker

June 22-26 Watsonville, CA with Sandy Vreeburg

July 20-24 Coatesville, IN with Coralie Hughes

October 5-9 Watsonville, CA with Sandy Vreeburg

October 12-16 Coatesville, IN with Coralie Hughes

Europe Advanced Courses

*Note this is a Wednesday to Sunday course.

May 11-15 Salisbury, UK with Jim Masterson

May 18-22 Salisbury, UK with Jim Masterson

June 22-26 Brochów, PL with Beata Filonowicz (taught in Polish)

(taught in German) *Note this is a Wednesday to Sunday course.

Canada Advanced Courses

April 27-May 1 Fraser Valley, BC with Mark Fletcher

May 11-15 Cobourg, ON with Lori Hoppe

June 1-5 Cobourg, ON with Lori Hoppe

August 17-21 Calgary, AB with Lori Hoppe
Certification Completion Course Schedule
Monday, February 3 - Tuesday, February 4

Wednesday, February 5 - Thursday, February 6

June 25- June 26

June 27- June 28

September TBD
Expos and Demos
Iowa Horse Fair April 3-5 with Jim Masterson
Des Moines, IA

Masterson Method Demo May 15 with Jim Masterson
Brockenhurst, UK
Masterson Equine Services