I would concentrate on the 3 Key junctions, as you release from the top, the lower legs will benefit and eventually he will feel comfortable to balance and pick up his feet. If it’s a new horse that you don’t know, especially someone else, it is better to do it a few days ahead of time the first time. How far off of her are you? Does the MM work alongside traditional massage or is it more a standalone therapy that can be used instead of, in most instances? The more you can relax the hind end you will be surprised how much this affects the front end. I just have to tell you that I went out and did some work on donkey after we wrote. Since you’ve eliminated medical issues with the Vet and had dental work done, there probably is a few things that can be done using Masterson Method. Do you think this seems like a reasonable routine. I found that if I lightened my touch and persist she would eventually release. She is for sale, lovely girl but obviously in pain. If the trainer were doing our bodywork instead, then the horse would be releasing physical stress. It’s good to work really, really light, but also read in the book about the second part of the equation which is more movement rather than light work. When he walks around you need to, “Stay, Stay, Stay, Stay” through that fidget – because that is a classic fidget response meaning something is stirring and he is fidgeting by walking around. The answer to your question depends, I believe, on what you think is really causing “stiffness in the joints”. (peronaly I don’t believe this) however it is very difficult to explain to people about this. May the Stewards actually run the race they wrote for your horse. If he doesn’t like it, then back off a little or go to another area, then try coming back to where he didn’t like it the second day. A month ago, she was kicked in the shoulder while out in the pasture. You’ve eliminated the possible saddle fit issue and “back” issue, however other indicators could be from soreness in other parts of the body, Pain due to issues in the feet or legs and Pain or anticipation of pain in general. to do her all over, I was doing her for some other people, my question is, by the time I had got to her mid back and hind quarters she was what seemed bored and unfocused- she had amazing releases in the front! Sometimes the horse will just tell you that he has had enough. Sorry to hear about your mare.  First, a couple of questions.  Did the Vet do any x-rays of the lower leg or foot?  Is there any heat or swelling in the areas you say you rubbed on?  No possibility of abscess in the foot,  no recent injuries that you are aware of, and a recent onset injury?  How old is your mare and what is her main job?  Sorry to ask all these, but need a clearer picture. If the cinching comes from a sore back (palpate down the back to find out), then the back may be sore from the present saddle fit, or accumulated pain from poorly fitting saddles in the past. Working with other parts may help heal this part. Keep up the good work. Just a slight tweak: We only ask for “improvement” not a big range of motion. She did improve while I worked with her, but I didn’t want to ask too much for the first time. You are on the right track. I wish you the best and from the bottom of my heart I believe that your horse will greatly appreciate this time that you will spend with him or her. The short answer to your question is; “Yes”, licking and chewing is a sign of stress release. Usually when this happens, the horse needs a couple days off. It’s not voodoo, you’re just bringing her attention to the area. It’s a European physical therapy device that causes muscle contractions in areas that are inflamed. I have seen a few posts on Facebook about licking and chewing and saying that it is a stress release from a stressful situation. And, when in doubt go lighter. Your horse will change fidget patterns, change release patterns, change what they like and don’t like…..it’s all a part of the process. In spite of all our situations, all of us at sometime will have problems. In my experience it does not have any negative effect on the horse, if the horse was fed right before the bodywork. You really need to be careful when they are that sore and defensive you don’t get hurt as they can react out of character if they are hurting. I have had several body workers come to her and they have experience similar responses, but stopped what they were doing and we backed her up and suggested to her that that was not appropriate behavior. Just remember that his whole system is interconnected, so what he We don’t have specific techniques for that particular problem….but we have had amazing success with one technique that works directly with the nervous system. Since taking your weekend course last October I’ve been working with my two mares. Good that you are lining up a dentist as this could be very well be a dental issue, if her teeth are uneven it could be causing stress in the jaw and TMJ as she chews, which could be creating the clicking sound you hear. After taking the University of Stanford weekend class, I have continued to learn and have fun with horse bodywork! I was working on a horse this winter that refused to yawn. She is now 5 years old and ridden but suspects she is using other muscles to compensate for damage. Long enough that the owner had come over to see what I was watching and was able to see the hidden responses for her. Fortunately with our way of working with the horse we don’t use force or pressure, so there’s very little chance of hurting the horse. No kissing spine. Is he aggravated or frustrated or is this part of releasing? In terms of the Bladder Meridian….we have had tons of testimonials from people that used only the Bladder Meridian to bring horses back from “Mystery Lameness”. I have hardly started drawing his neck round towards me and he just blinks, licks, chews. Just want to know if you have any experience with this (the vet did MRI and ultrasound and saw only some inflammation of the hock— very small/minor calcification) and what to watch out for/if it’s ok to work on a pregnant mare? Another comment from same Person: I have had similar situations where the horse will guard or only show minor responses while working on them. I don’t know who the guy was who was unfortunate enough to have his name attached to the condition, but that’s what it was called. The horse’s spine as such is rather inflexible; most flexibility comes from the lumbar area. Initially he was nipping at his own chest so I moved away to give him a break. Rather than using pressure we are using the horse’s nervous system to access tension that has accumulated due to compensation for a primary issue such as, in this case, arthritis. And then… I got to just below the hock and he had the same jolt that he gets at the neck. This may bother him at first, but it will release a lot of tension in the jaw and the poll. Netflix has an extensive library of feature films, documentaries, TV shows, anime, award-winning Netflix originals, and more. May your time spent healing horses be a blessing to you as well as the horse. The new owner put her on Cortaflex and has seen improvement in just a week and a half. About the time a TB is in good enough shape to run in a race they’re also ready to breakdown. Then you know that particular SB can recover from the bodywork in time to race well the next day. Needless to say he wasn’t too keen on going back in. He continues to flip his head up. That all said, you have to take the whole picture into account before getting too worried about a foot problem. I don’t want to overload him and am wondering if there is a recommended treatment is) once a week, every other week. When I touch these areas she is super reactive. The mystery part comes in as nothing shows up on examination of the joints, tendons or ligaments in the feet and legs or back, yet there is pain or restriction behind. How often should you do treatments for a horse in training and a horse with an injury? If it’s a foot problem you have to find a solution to the foot problem. But the misunderstanding is that stress isn’t the bodywork, as anyone who is watching our type of bodywork can tell from the horse. Or, because it is hoof pain, is it something that can’t be addressed through MM? Go back and forth, break it up a little. What you are seeing is that particular horse’s release pattern. Stay just for say 10 – 20 seconds and if you don’t get anything, just move on. The next day, the horse looked slightly unsound at the right hind, at the trot. An improvement is usually very incremental…not a big change. horse, between his legs across his midsection and attaches Get one month free - Up to 10 images. Maybe you can find a practitioner on our Find a Certified Practitioner page to help you with the withers, or they can do an evaluation of what else might be going on. Meanwhile the TB times haven’t changed at all. He recently had something scare him in his stall at night and he went crazy trashing everything. With SBs you can get away with a lot more. Is there anything I can do to help him overcome this dangerous behavior as he goes through treatment? If you are doing a lot, then you should make the session a little shorter. It’s a great technique for helping horses recover from injury, etc. I've watched equine massage before so I think I know what to do... Race horses: When is the best time to massage? When we find tension in the movement (resistance), we soften, and the horse releases the tension. The question is, How uncomfortable is it for your horse? If you have any comments I would be very grateful, thank you. Try all of the Hind End Points in the Beyond Horse Massage book or dvd. Sometimes it happens all at once and sometimes it shows up gradually. How about when you tack him up, does he appear “cinchy” on his left side as you tighten the girth? His other idea is that it could be a habit…some horses just have a habit of flipping their head, which he said would send you back to the Bladder Meridian. Unfortunately that is not an option as she needs it. When the horse stops giving you responses, then his nervous system needs a break or there is nothing more there to release. The big thing with the MM is that you want to take things slow and you not have an agenda. If the horse tries to nibble, don’t let him reach you. I am mostly a pleasure rider focusing on dressage, a little jumping and trails in warmer weather. SCENARIO for a horse that has always been sound, supple, energetic and athletic, and is still visibly sound in his movement, but with known physical issues: Has club foot on RF (right front). If relieving tension alleviates the head-shaking, then physical tension was probably causing it. Looking primarily around the neck shoulders for a blink and the hind end for blinks too. I saw Jim’s YouTube videos about TMJ and am willing and hoping she will allow me to do this. This may help keep the foreleg loose. Knowing horses well….. observing them in their natural state in the pastures, watching how they interact with other horses, understanding how they move and use their bodies, being able to read their subtle and not so subtle emotions…. What is the best thing to do after an equine bodywork session? We also have techniques that restore range of motion of the most important junctions of the body: the poll, the neck, the shoulders, the hind legs. When Jim works on a client’s horse he does a check list of sorts (similar to what I have seen an acupuncturist do). As I am doing the Bladder Meridian, typically, I use air gap or egg yolk pressure with my fingers. He did calm down during the session and responded nicely to soft work. This will help relax the soft tissue right above the foot but it will also help begin to relax the muscles up the cervicals, over the withers as well as the pectorals which are all directly connected and affected by front foot soreness. No. If he doesn’t feel right, give him another day off. Your pony will tell you when it becomes too much by not giving you any more responses, or if it becomes too much he’ll tell you by pinning his ears. It seems I just can’t master this technique. About ten years ago our thoroughbred, Keep started to tie up one day after Conley tacked him up and headed for the arena. I did drag myself to see my horses yesterday. I was doing a 20 yr. old kids show mare, she had A LOT of tension in the neck withers and shoulders. I am going to your 2 day clinic in Yarck in November. But she is also barefoot, walks with heel first landings and (apparently?) This is going to be one big onion for peeling off layers. It’s great that you are trying to help this horse and wish you good success. You may be thinking that we are asking for large changes and stretching the front leg. Keep up the good work! It could take up to three days. I am sure he is well braced to have anyone touch him, so you are going to not touch him and get under that bracing and yet work directly with his nervous system. These joints crack quite often a little as she moves). Any ideas what to do? Work both sides and also under the scapula (C7 release). He is boarded, it was two days before I saw him again (today, Tuesday). The other interesting thing is that the TB breeding is starting to dominate in the SB. This may have been more info than you hoped for, but the fact is that there is never just one area that becomes restricted when a horse adjusting to any type of shoeing change, workload or rider change etc. So, short answer, a painful reaction to that point, especially if it shows up on one side more than the other, may point to foot soreness on that side, especially if the horse is sore in the poll area. Time will help with the swelling in her mouth and eventually you should be able to gain with working the head area when it’s gone. The owner said he always turns his butt to her “to be scratched”. SO, I looped the lead rope around the stall bar and held it so if she tried to come at me, I could pull the lead rope and it would keep her head away. He is five and very much in training and so a couple of times a week after a ridden training session I perform The Bladder Meridian Technique on him and as he appears usually the most uncomfortable in his neck I usually follow up with some Lateral Cervical Flexion. I think you will change your relationship with him, especially as the ulcers are taken care of. If you get into too much of a struggle on one spot, it will turn into a…well, struggle. Even, if you do not think so. The pressure I use is egg yolk or just a bit deeper, but not much. Any thoughts on why he does this? Anybody have any thoughts? This is a great question that can be answered in one sentence or two hours of conversation. If there are no other causes that come to mind (rubbing/chafing girth, cinched too tight, girth in the wrong spot), then it’s very likely that the sensitivity may have its root cause in the front limbs. Move around and break it up and eventually the other techniques will start to have an effect on the area where he is the most sore or restricted. It sounds like she could use it. The more experience with horses we have, the more effort we have put into understanding them and their way rather than thinking about how they fit into our plan, the faster we will learn to accurately read the language of the horses responses to our touch. She was off while it was healing and it left her a little short stride. He seems to like me doing this though. Next day rider took horse for outride and following day had a days rest. When I got her 8 years ago she didn’t do this. You can do the Bladder Meridian technique on dogs. Please keep in mind that since you will be the one working with him be sure to watch his eye and his lips for subtle signs of release, comfort and/or tension so that you will adjust your level of touch and the placement of your hand according to what he is “saying” or “showing” you. If the horse starts to limp at the first sign of discomfort then it becomes a target for the predator. But its like they accept it on the outside. Can Bodywork influence things such as food aggression and general anxiety/nervousness? Have you had this or heard of this happening or was it me? So I have two questions. Remember, the whole horse is connected, so what you release on the front end will affect the rear and visa versa. Stress release. He told me to give her robaxin for two weeks, keep trying to stretch back legs, keep her in a 30 x 30 area, rub Surpass on the SI area, have a bodyworker come and work on her. Number two I’m curious if you’ve seen this bite-threat/release phenomenon before. Lucky you! However, the Masterson Method is mainly designed to improve performance in the healthy horse. The idea is to let the horse’s body move and feel what’s been released. If you are in a stall tie him to a piece of baling twine or something that will break if he pulls back hard. One would ask why he is head shy. During the first session I do the front end and during the second session of the week I do the hind end. You will now be taking those wonderful TMJ releases that you are getting and helping your horse to release just that much more. When the feed is given to him, he dives right in, but if he’s distracted and picks his head up, he eats with the food falling out of his mouth – teeth are fine. The same thing….if he gives a lot of responses or appears uncomfortable when you put your hand up where the ligament damage showed up. Sometimes too, they will do this if they have reached saturation and are done with you. If you have a choice, turnout is best. I want to help them; I just have to learn how. Weeks ago he used to lick his lips, shake it out, etc, just like he had read your book. I am at my wits end. Also, is it OK to combine regular sports massage with the Masterson Method? Shall I just be patient and try to find less painful places to work on? A cut or scarred nerve is considered more severe. When they get off the track from their work and have been cooled down, showered, legs iced, legs poultice, groomed and fed, then you can work on them. Jim suggested that you definitely start with the less painful places – that’s always the smart move. It is very powerful. It is handy to have in your toolbox, however, more subtle techniques, and peripheral techniques that you could use that might help. Or fill the sink with hot water and put the bottle of soap in to get it warm. It is incredibly simple, but deeply powerful. So yes, if you have a hand just resting on the horse, it does distract the horse’s attention and interferes with processing and releasing (the same goes for petting). And, of course the horse is also changing. I was planning on continuing every day until the release eases up. In the “Dressage Movements Revealed” when Jim was working on the lumbar area and the horse was giving pain reactions, is where my question is directed. Remember that our goal is to stay inside the brace response as we work with the horse so we always “come in the back door” as we work toward the area with the most restriction. Easy movement after the massage is generally good. If so, let him stay there and watch to see if he has dropped his shoulder, you should be able to tell if he is holding his leg forward. However, I am wondering if you would recommend anything to support his recovery? (peronally I don’t believe this) however it is very difficult to explain to people about this. For general guidelines, if the horse is competing or training hard, then two times a week may not be too much. It is very enjoyable. The good news for us is that the horse can show us the way. I am not sure what happened, based on what it looks like and the scar from the stitches, it looks like something penetrated his shoulder (fence or pole maybe). Sometimes that will work. Just “follow the blink” on any part of the dog and then use SEARCH, RESPONSE, STAY (stay, stay, stay) and wait for a RELEASE. You would want to rule out any health issues as a cause first. Number one of course I wonder why she is still this reactive after all of this time. Another sign of Sweeney shoulder is the horse’s inability to extend the shoulder. Sometimes just the heat of my hand on their coat in the summer will cause sweating. Vet has assessed, after a physical exam only (no X-ray), that she has only suffered bruising and swelling. I would continue to work on him and see if you can get past his defensiveness by remaining very soft and slow to stay under the “radar” of his protectiveness. If the cause can be determined and removed, the prognosis is often good. Our “go to” technique is the Bladder Meridian. The flehmen response is normally the horses way of taking in a scent they are not used to, in this case you may pay more attention to the licking and chewing, shaking the head etc.  This sounds like you got a really good release, well done. If you are seeing results and benefits every day with your mare, then I would do what you’re doing. Or does he seem agitated? When I use lateral rocking, he shows a very strong response (hind end tensing, need to chew on something, etc.). Had an equine dentist out today and xrays show her left tmj joint appears to be fusing, very arthritic, worse she’s ever seen. Something like current saddle fit, or sore feet or joints might be the source of the pain. We put her out in her paddock and the owner brought her pasture mate in for bodywork. She calls for me when she sees me, still trots out of her stall and to the pasture, very eager to eat and drink. You might want to review the Bladder Meridian videos we have on our site under Training Videos, and purchase the Beyond Horse Massage DVD too! It is not a stretch. If it is too heavy, then don’t even try. They are still releasing the tension, but just haven’t processed it fully. (I have changed farriers and slowly he is getting better for her). For example, if the horse is in regular work, training, showing, everyday, and is standing in a stall the rest of the time, then he will probably have sore feet. Is there anything I can do for her to figure out why she’s limping & fix it. I thought it interesting charge a small fee for a horse this winter that refused to.... Tie him to feel the changes first hand days prior to a Veterinarian for a blink the. 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The important thing is that he needs a break he can’t get you to take your hand the! Feet to adjust to less support under training videos that you definitely start with dangerous, just give licks. Relax to that area and worked around it it less intense for her submission, as each horse is as. Is, how uncomfortable is it something that can’t be for sure right direction of DIY Method!
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