The Masterson Method
The Masterson Method®—Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork, is a unique, interactive method of equine massage and bodywork in which the responses of the horse to touch is used 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 is done with the horse, rather than to the horse.
Good results can only be achieved when practicing equine massage and bodywork on horses, if the horse remains cooperative and relaxed. In nature, the horse’s first survival response to intrusion is to flee. When the horse is being handled, it normally doesn’t have that option. It falls back to its second survival response; to guard, push against, or brace. This can happen either externally or internally. Staying under the radar of this “survival response” is done by applying pressure to the horse lightly enough and slowly enough that it bypasses the internal bracing or guarding response. The Masterson Method® accesses that part of the horse’s nervous system that will yield, or release tension.
Certain areas of the horse’s body accumulate stress and tension that affect mobility, comfort, attitude and performance. This can come from any number of areas including feet, saddle, teeth, conformation, lameness or just plain work. When the tension is released there will be an immediate improvement in mobility, comfort, attitude and performance.The Masterson Method® focuses on releasing tension in key junctions of the body that most affect performance such as the poll, neck/shoulder/withers junction, and sacro/lumbar junction.The purpose of the Masterson Method® is to improve performance, well-being, relationship and communication with the horse. Its purpose is not to replace veterinary care.
As a prey animal, the horse attempts to always appear strong. If the horse shows signs of pain or weakness it will be the one first noticed by the predator, or may be left behind by the herd. Every horse will guard against showing signs of pain, weakness, lameness in the body. That is why it can be so difficult to evaluate lameness in a horse.
The Masterson Method® accesses that part of the horse’s nervous system that will give certain signs that tell where tension is being held in the body, and when it is being released. With the correct level of touch or pressure, and following what the horse’s own body is indicating, it will release the tension it is holding onto.