Monthly eNewsletter - March 2020
Hello All,

Here’s what’s been happening since our last newsletter:

  • I attended the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver in February
  • We’ve organized a joint clinic (along the lines of what Mark and I do together) with trainer Dan Wain in the UK in May
  • I had my horses’ teeth balanced by Neuromuscular Horse Dentist and MMCP Gretchen Deane last week, and 
  • I’ll be doing a Facebook Live event that you’re welcome to tune into on Wednesday.

And, oh yeah… the Covid-19 virus is creating some concern around the world.
I’ll talk about that first in case any of you are wondering how it might impact plans you might have regarding our courses. There’s some uncertainty in peoples’ minds about which way things will go and new things pop up in the news every day, which adds to the uncertainty. 

Masterson Method courses and seminars will continue as planned, following CDC recommended health procedures to provide the safest environment possible for all participants. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops, let you know if there are any changes, and will be monitoring   all State, local and CDC recommendations. 

We do want to respect people’s personal choices and will work to accommodate anyone who chooses to change plans, but would encourage people in the meantime to keep calm and “follow the blink”. 

Take healthy precautions such as: wash hands frequently, don’t share sneezes, steer clear of large herds of humans, and if feeling flu-like, stay home, call the vet and get some stall rest. 
Now, on to more positive, uplifting and fun stuff:
I plan on being in the UK in May to teach our scheduled courses there, including a new collaborative clinic with horse trainer Dan Wain in Warwickshire. Dan’s a talented young trainer who’s spent time learning from Manolo Mendez in Australia, and looks at the horse from the same whole-body point of view as Manolo’s, and also Mark’s and mine. Dan’s Yorkshire accent is a bit easier to follow than Manolo’s, but we’re all speaking Horse.

Vicky Devlin just finished teaching a Weekend Seminar in Shillington in the UK and Instructor Becky Tenges taught one in Nebraska this weekend. Check out our Calendar below for a course near you! (sounding like a TV commercial... sorry!)
One focus of our Certification Program is primary issues. These are peripheral issues that contribute to creating tension in the body. Teeth, and more specifically balance in the TMJ is one of them. Neuromuscular horse dentistry , also known as Natural Balance Dentistry™, is an approach founded by Spencer LaFlure in 2002 “dedicated to realigning the jaw to achieve optimal neuromuscular, proprioceptive and physical function in a horse’s whole body.” The thing I like about Spencer’s approach is that he uses a whole horse approach to balancing the teeth and the TMJ. 
Last week MMCP and Neuromuscular Horse Dentist Gretchen Deane came to see Annabelle and Jeremiah and a few other horses in the neighborhood.

Gretchen looks at the teeth from the point of view of the body and the teeth, which is great because she’s trained to do both. I spent a few days with her watching and running my hands over a lot of teeth (horses’ teeth). I learned a lot and she left our horses happy and healthy, so it was a win-win all the way around.
Rocky Mountain Horse Expo
I attended the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo with some of our MMCPs in Denver last month.

Some of the highlights were meeting Brenda Thompson of the Hearts and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center . Hearts and Horses has sponsored our Masterson Method Equine Specialist Course there and is an impressive outfit. We spoke about the profound effect that the Bladder Meridian Technique has on horses and humans, and also about a weekly, monitored maintenance program for the horses she uses that is centered around the Bladder Meridian Technique.   This is an important part of EAT programs that is often overlooked, and Brenda offered to give me more specifics on this model that I can share with you all, and hopefully with other programs to help them keep these hard-working horses happy and healthy in their jobs.

The Bladder Meridian is such a simple and effective technique that anybody who is volunteering or involved with these programs can do on their therapy horses. As soon as I get more on how Hearts and Horses incorporate this, I’ll be sharing it with you.

Kimberly Kissman at Fairview Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation offered her horses for our demos at the Expo. Their stalls were right next to the demo arena so it worked out pretty well, for us and for them. She and MMCP Mary Kate Henry got together to make plans to teach some Techniques to the kids who ride and train these horses for re-homing. It’s a good program, and it’s good to expose kids this kind of help for horses early on. 
More Bladder Meridian Stories
From time to time we get a pretty profound horse (and life) changing story about the Bladder Meridian from people who have read or seen the Beyond Horse Massage book or DVD, or simply watched a youtube video, and tried it. These inspire us to work even harder at having every horse on the planet have experienced the Bladder Meridian at least once in its life. So, if you have experienced a profound change in a horse (or you) with this technique, or if you just want to see us work harder, please send it in to us.
An Interview
While at the  Considering the Horse – Mind and Body clinic (or Mark and Jim Show as we call it) in England last October, Mark and I were interviewed by Kate McLaughlin, Editor of  Horsemanship Journal & Western Horse UK . It was a fun clinic and an enjoyable interview, even more enjoyable as it was done inside warming up with a hot cup of coffee. You can read the interview farther down here
Facebook Live
I’ll be doing a Facebook Live thing on Wednesday at high noon (12 pm CDT). If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to discuss, submit them via Facebook messenger or  our website . It's the first time we’ve done this so should be fun… or interesting. See you there!
Englebert Humperdinck
If any of you still have memories of the seventies you might recall Englebert Humperdinck’s version of the country song, “Release Me”. If you’re memory’s blurry on that one, or if you’re a youngster and you’d like to see what your parents (grandparents?) used to listen to, click on this version which inspires a few equine releases.
Until next time, like me

Enjoy your horses.

Facebook Live Event
Wednesday, March 18th!
Our Facebook Live event with Jim Masterson is coming up Wednesday, March 18th at 1pm Eastern Daylight Time .

If you have any last minute, burning questions we are still taking them through Facebook messenger  and  our website . Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

Don't forget to check out this   time zone converter   to see what time the event will be happening for you!
Stuck at Home? Maybe it is time to...
Spend time with your horse!

As Winston Churchill said: "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."

Learn how to connect on a deeper level with your horse in the Light to the Core and Beyond Horse Massage online streaming videos.
They are 30% off now through April 30th!

Normally: $34.95 each
Now thru April 30th: $24.47
Masterson Method Equine Specialist (MMES) Program News
The Biggest Beaming Smile
Kelly Jefferson , MMCP and MMES, shared this wonderful story:

A local PATH therapy barn contacted me asking if I would come and teach a group of Veterans how to do the Bladder Meridian Technique. They wanted to integrate the technique into their program for the horses and the humans. In preparation for that event we did a “rehearsal” with the staff one evening to make sure the messaging and format was on point.

During the rehearsal with staff and volunteers, there was also a lady sitting nearby that happened to be the mother of a child who was a client of the barn. We invited her to listen in, which she did. Eventually, we all moved out to the arena and I did a demonstration on a horse. Then I asked for a volunteer to come and do the Bladder Meridian themselves. It was quiet at first, so I looked at the mother and invited her to be our volunteer. She said she would but that she knew absolutely nothing about horses (which is of course perfect).

As her hand moved down the horse’s neck it was not very long before she recognized a response in the horse that correlated to her touch (without knowing anything about horses). I asked her to stay on that spot until the horse released. She did so happily, and never questioned how long. She just stayed with him quietly. Soon the horse blew air out his nose quite vigorously and followed it up with a yawn. 

I will never forget the joy on her face. She looked up with the biggest beaming smile. One of the staff asked her how she felt. Her response was, “I feel so open!”. That shine stayed on her face the rest of the evening. She immediately became a part of our group — “with us” versus watching and being "on the outside of it”, as she had been previously.
And that is the magic of horses.
Hearts & Horses Bring The Masterson Method to Kids 
Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center  in Loveland, Colorado incorporate this amazing bodywork into their programs, including those serving students in their local school district, in full-day retreats (Hospice, 3Hopeful Hearts), and in their horse training program. With 4 certified Masterson Method Equine Specialists dually certified in PATH International programs— Alexandra Whittey Carol McKennan Amy Coen   and   Brenda Thompson —Hearts & Horses can access trained professionals to bring The Masterson Method to a variety of situations. Brenda Thompson shared this about one of their students:

“One student initiated the Bladder Meridian Technique and the next week when he noticed his horse was having a hard time and not enjoying being in the cross-ties, the boy started doing the Bladder Meridian on his own to help the horse settle. Not only did he remember what to do but he also thought of this and went on to help the horse out.”
Demo & Presentation At PATH Int’l Region 6 Conference June 5, 2020
Attending the  PATH Intl Region 6  Conference or know someone who is? Be sure to catch  Lise Lunde 's demo on June 5, 2020 (rescheduled from March 13 due to UW-Madison closing). Lise is the Masterson Method Equine Specialist Program Director as well as an MMCP, MMES, Coach, Mentor, and Instructor. She will share MM principles and techniques to use in equine-assisted learning and therapy programs to help horses be more comfortable in their work while improving the connection between horses and program volunteers, staff and program participants.
Congratulations Recent Equine Specialists!
Brandon Squires
Grand Rapids, MI
I started working with horses while volunteering at a local therapeutic riding center in 2013. I found myself working with the horses there that no one else wanted to work with. The horses labeled either high strung or skittish by the others at the center. They were good horses, they just needed someone who would be calm and consistent when handling them.

My mother also volunteered at the same riding center and introduced me to the Masterson Method® through a Christmas present. After using some of the techniques on some of the horses at the therapeutic riding center and getting results, I decided to go for additional training and for Masterson Method® certification.

Phone:   616-340-8622
Email:   [email protected]
Nancy Squires
Grand Rapids, MI

...I found the Masterson Method videos while searching the internet and wanted to use the techniques on the therapy horses. After attending the weekend workshop in North Jackson, Ohio, I started to practice on Bear who had been one of the first horses I led during classes. He responded so well and yet there were many more horses who needed this gift of bodywork. With so many horses who would benefit from the Masterson Method sessions, I hope to partner with the therapeutic riding instructors to recruit volunteers, veterans, and first responders to do the Bladder Meridian on as many horses involved in therapeutic riding programs as possible.  Read more

Phone:   616-453-3385
Email:   [email protected]
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 Page   or contact the Program Coordinator at  [email protected] .
The Masterson Method: Hind End Release
Ask Jim


I have seen a few posts on Facebook about licking and chewing and saying that it is a stress release from a stressful situation. Personally, I don't believe this, however, it is very difficult to explain to people. Please could you give me advice on this matter? Thanks. 

Short answer:

The short answer to your question is: “Yes”, licking and chewing is a sign of stress release. But the misunderstanding is that stress isn’t the bodywork, as anyone who is watching our type of bodywork can tell from the horse. The stress release is the physical tension that the horse’s body is releasing as a result of the bodywork. We can tell that it’s physical tension that has been released because the muscle becomes more relaxed, range of motion is improved, and the horse is in a more relaxed physical state (drugged look) after the bodywork.

Some of the misunderstanding may come from reading licking and chewing in the context of training. When mental pressure is put on the horse (activating a sympathetic state) and is then taken off when the horse does what’s wanted, then the horse goes from a sympathetic state back to a parasympathetic state and licks and chews. The same thing is happening but the stress is the mental pressure put on by the training. If the trainer was doing our bodywork instead, then the horse would be releasing physical stress 😊.

Longer answer:

Pretty much everyone is in agreement (even the people posting on Facebook) that licking and chewing is a parasympathetic response, which means it is an indication that the nervous system has just gone from a sympathetic state (flight/fight/freeze) which is holding stress, to a parasympathetic state (rest/recovery/healing), which is releasing stress.

Horses survive by blocking out pain and discomfort in the body. They have no other choice. If the horse starts to limp at the first sign of discomfort then it becomes a target for the predator. The horse is programmed (sympathetic nervous system) to block it out and get on with it. Masterson Method bodywork techniques bring the horse’s awareness to areas where it is holding (blocking out) accumulated physical stress or tension in the body, in a way that it can’t block or brace against it (no pressure to block against). 

The Bladder Meridian Technique is an example of this. We search for an area of tension by using no pressure and looking for a subtle response (a blink for example) from the horse. When we find it, we keep the horse’s attention on it in a way that they can’t brace against (if you use no pressure, the horse has nothing to brace against). If we do this long enough, then the horse’s parasympathetic nervous system starts to take over (rest/recovery/healing) and the horse let’s go of the tension and licks and chews. Stress release. If it is deeper tension then we get larger parasympathetic responses such as multiple yawns.

The movement techniques use the same principle. We ask for movement in a relaxed state. When we find tension in the movement (resistance), we soften, and the horse releases the tension. He licks/chews/yawns/falls over (sleeps : ), and when we ask for movement again there is less or no resistance (tension).

What a concept! Why didn’t the horse tell us this in the first place? Well, he did but we weren’t listening. And we weren’t asking quietly enough. We were yelling.

I hope this helps.

New Certified Practitioners
Ceiridwin Terrill
Portland, OR

Ceiridwen is the author of two books,  Part Wild, Caught Between the Wolves and Dogs (Scribner) and   Unnatural Landscapes   (University of Arizona Press). Her third book, Atomic Okies, is forthcoming. But animals—particularly horses and dogs— have been a constant in Ceiridwen’s life.

As a young child, Ceiridwen first experienced riding on an unbacked grade pony who promptly threw her off and stepped on her. Later an Arabian mare and a racing-type Quarter Horse, both with histories of mistreatment and poor training, became her early schoolmasters in listening to and communicating with troubled horses. At seventeen, Ceiridwen published her first article on the subject in Horse Illustrated. Read More

Phone : (503) 593-8746
Gina Kuttrus
Elizabeth, CO

Gina grew up in southern Ohio with lots of family in Louisville, KY. As a child and into college, the racing world was nothing but good, as that was her only exposure. She has been in Colorado for 28 years but never imagined she would get back into horses, let alone start an equine business.

In 2006, Gina's daughter Abby was born and it was quickly realized that Abby had significant special needs. As parents, they were told she would not walk or talk and would need a feeding tube. Multiple specialists told them not to even bother trying, as it was hopeless. Abby did none of those things, she never cooed, she never babbled, she never even picked up a toy, let alone try to roll over or crawl, but she did cry 22 hours a day for 2 years. "Hippo-therapy" was recommended by a neurologist very early on, but for safety reasons, they had to wait until she was two years old. Just days after turning two, they put Abby on a horse with the help of volunteers and a physical therapist. Within three sessions, the crying stopped (later determined to be seizures), she started babbling, then three months later she crawled, and a year later she walked. At age 5, Abby could say words on a horse but not while on the ground. A true miracle! Read more

Phone:   303-517-3428
Email:   [email protected]
Facebook: Alley Cat Equine
Instagram:  @alleycatequine
Weekend Seminar-Workshop Schedule
* If the course you had your heart set on is sold out, please email [email protected] to be added to the waiting list, or   if you'd like to host your own weekend (and earn a free spot) please email [email protected].
USA Seminars

March 28-29  Boyds, MD

April 18-19  Ada, MI

April 18-19  Sherwood, OR

April 25-26  Elizabeth, CO  

May 2-3 Cedarburg, WI

May 2-3  Durham, CA

May 16-17  Bedford, VA

May 16-17  Kalispell, MT

May 23-24  Perryville, AR  

May 23-24   La Porte, IN

May 30-31  Boscawen, NH

June 6-7  Indianola, IA

June 13-14  Bandera, TX

June 20-21  Coatesville, IN

July 25-26   Ringoes, NJ 

June 27-28  Sharon, VT

July 18-19  Woodacre, CA

July 25-26  Newberg, OR  

August 1-2  Georgetown, TX

August 8-9  Ocean Shores, WA

August 8-9 Richfield, WI  

August 22-23  Coatesville, IN

August 29-30  Augusta, ME

August 29-30   Portola Valley, CA

September 19-20  Sebeka, MN

October 10-11  Ada, MI  

October 31- November 1   Bristol, TN

November 7-8  Briones, CA

November 7-8  Sherwood, OR

Canada Seminars

April 25-26 Rosedale, BC

May 30-31 (taught in French) Granby, QC

June 27-28 Alder Flats, AB

August 29-30  Bragg Creek, AB 
Europe Seminars

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

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

May 16-17  Hergatz, Germany
(taught in German)

June 6-7  Künzell, Germany
(taught in German)

June 6-7th Rzeszyce, Poland
(taught in Polish)

June 6-7  Uddel, NL  
(taught in Dutch)

(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  

Australia & New Zealand Seminars

March 28-29  Meeanee,

April 18-29  Te Awamutu,

April 18-19  Boho, Australia

May 16-17   Coroglen, NZ  
Advanced 5-Day Course Schedule
USA Advanced Courses

April 6-10  Wickenburg, AZ   with  Coralie Hughes

April 20-24  Ocala, FL   with Mary Last

May 18-22  Bel Air, MD   with  Samantha Walker

June 1-5  Mequon, WI   with  Becky Tenges

June 22-26  Watsonville, CA   with  Sandy Vreeburg

July 20-24  Coatesville, IN   with  Coralie Hughes

September 21-25  Cedarburg, WI   with Becky Tenges

September 21-25  Manchester, NH with Samantha Walker

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

Europe Advanced Courses

April 1-5  Egestorf, DE   with Walter Saxe (taught in German)
*Note this is a Wednesday to Sunday course.

May 11-15  Salisbury, UK   with  Jim Masterson

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

September 2-6  Mühleim an der Ruhr, DE   with  Walter Saxe (taught in German)
*Note this is a Wednesday to Sunday course.

October 5-9   Oxfordshire, UK   with Jim Masterson

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
USA Courses

June 25-26 Iowa

June 27-28 Iowa

September 14-15 Iowa
Europe & UK Courses

May 18-19   Salisbury, UK

October 10-11  Oxfordshire, UK
Masterson Method Equine Specialist Course
USA Courses

May 29-31 Fort Ripley, MN

June 26-28 Roca, NE

July 13-15 Littleton, CO
*Note this is a Monday to Wednesday course.

August 21-23 Petaluma, CA  

October 9-11   Elbert, CO

October 16-18 Leesberg, VA
Masterson Method Collaborative Clinics
USA Clinics

Considering the Horse - Mind and Body

April 6-8 Nicasio, CA with Jim Masterson and Mark Rashid

April 24-26 Omro, WI with Jim Masterson and Mark Rashid

July 8-10 Littleton, CO with Jim Masterson and Mark Rashid

Your Horse's Brain: A User's Manual

July 11-12 Littleton, CO with Jim Masterson, Mark Rashid and Dr. Steve Peters
*Auditing is available for Collaborative Clinics, see link for more information.
Expos and Demos
USA Expos and Demos

Masterson Method Demo March 28 with Valissa Willwerth

Iowa Horse Fair April 3-5 with Theresa Burns and Jim Masterson

Masterson Method Demo May 15 with Jim Masterson

Equitana Kentucky September 25-27 with Jim Masterson
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