About a month ago I posted about a video I’d seen called Equine Massage for Performance Horses. I was so impressed with it that I decided that I needed to learn more. So this past weekend (October 17-18, 2009) I attended a 2-day clinic with Jim Masterson himself teaching his approach which he calls Integrated Equine Body Work. It is ‘integrated’ because there are elements from a variety of modalities of body work incorporated into his method.
The clinic was great! Not only did I learn a lot, but Jim and his wife Conley are just wonderfully good humored and sincere folks who really care about horses. In fact, the same could be said about everyone who participated in the clinic. The other participants ranged from horse owners with a variety of backgrounds who wanted to learn a way to help a horse at home to human massage therapists looking to expand their practice to include horses. Jim was assisted by three of his certified (or soon to be certified) practitioners. All added to the fun, learning and camaraderie in a positive way. Ivey Sumrell was the clinic organizer who thought of everything, making sure all (including us vegetarians) were well fed and had a place to sleep.
What I love about the Masterson Method is the emphasis on listening to the horse, listening to yourself (intuition), and letting the horse guide you rather than just doing x,y,z by the book steps. Of course, this appeals to me because it is how I prefer to operate with horses all the time. I have been looking to get those deeper changes in a horse and now those changes could be said to go down to the cellular level. Pretty cool. I know that what I have learned from Jim will influence everything I do with horses going forward.
I encourage you to go to Jim’s website to learn more through the articles and video clips there. This is a way of working with horses that anyone can do.