Therapy for Your Horse - the Masterson Method® and more!
A lot more than just a 'back check'!
Preparing for a Session
I bring a range of techniques into the bodywork I do on horses. I am a Certified Practitioner of the Masterson Method®, which is an integrated, multi-modality method of equine massage. It is a unique, interactive method in which the Practitioner uses the responses of the horse to touch, to find and release accumulated tension in key junctions of the body that most affect performance. (For more information on this amazing method, visit www.mastersonmethod.com.)
I am also a qualified Equine Massage Therapist and am trained in Myofascial Release Techniques, Laser Therapy and Acupressure, and the work I do includes checking and mobilisation of the joints as well as work on the soft tissue (well, really they are inseparable!) I am constantly seeking more knowledge and gathering more ‘tools’ to help horses and I have attended numerous Continuing Professional Development courses including practical courses in Anatomy and Biomechanics (including around 75 hours’ worth of horse dissections!), Subclinical Evaluation, Stretching and Mobilisation etc.
I belong to the International Association of Animal Therapists for continuing professional support and continue to take advantage of further training opportunities. I am of course fully insured to work on your horse, and like any therapist I can only do so with your vet’s permission. I am happy to take vet referrals and to report back to your vet as required.
I can bring some or all of the above techniques into the work depending on the horse and your requirements. Feel free to call for a chat!
A typical full session including Masterson Method® work on your horse will take around 1.5 to 2 hours the first time, and 1-1.5 hours thereafter, although there are no hard and fast rules as this method depends very much on following the horse's responses. (Some sessions will be shorter e.g. a pre-competition mobility session or follow-up work focussing on a particular problem.)
The horse should be clean and dry – but no shiny coat products or hoof oil please! He or she should be in a dry sheltered stable or barn with good footing and wearing a well-fitting (generous rather than tight) headcollar with a rope, and somewhere to tie up should it be necessary. No food should be available as eating interferes with reading the horse's responses – if the session is a long one I normally give the horse a short break during which s/he can nibble a haynet.
If you have straw bedding it’s better to sweep it back – although if the floor is stone or slippery do leave some for footing. If the ceiling is particularly low I may ask to work on the horse outside or somewhere with a higher ceiling.
Ideally the session should take place when the yard is quiet and the horse is unlikely to face too many distractions, such as other horses going past, or feed being prepared!
Your horse may be quite 'zonked' after a full session. I will advise you on aftercare, which will usually involve a couple of easy days, preferably just being turned out. For this reason also, horses are best treated in their home environment as travelling involves the horse bracing to balance, and could undo a lot of the benefit of the session.