Why integrated bodywork?

Our equine athletes work hard for us. And just like human athletes, the harder they work, the greater the need for bodywork.
But even the best ridden horse is going to develop negative tension in his body as a result of his efforts to please his rider and just simply as a result of repetitive motion. Over time, the muscles lose the ability to fully contract and fully relax and the muscle chains of the body become unbalanced. During the course of the session we will look to uncover any discomfort or restriction, as the tension is released you will see an improvement in mobility, comfort, attitude and performance.

Muscle imbalance occur when one muscle is stronger than it's opposing muscle, unless you identify and fix whatever imbalances exist, you could be headed straight for injury.

What is the difference from the Masterson Method   & a sports massage?

The Masterson Method reaches restrictions that are located in deeper areas of the horse's body where massaging hands cannot.. uses a combination of techniques including, myofascial, craniosacral & acupressure. As prey animals, the horse need to appear healthy & not lame, he will be the first noticed by the predator or left behind by the herd. This can explain a lot when your seemingly sound horse that all of a sudden is super lame, He has just reached his threshold & no longer able to appear stoic. The Masterson Method is effective as it works under their natural response to brace or flee.  We focus on the key junctions to help the horse hold & move his body correctly which will increase, focus, movement, balance & performance.

How to tell if my horse is in discomfort or restricted ?

Horses are incredible athletes and uses just about every muscle in their body with each step. Muscle imbalance can affect both attitude & performance. Some things you may notice are limited range of motion, trouble bending, lead resistance, girthiness, head tossing, bucking, change in demeanor or difficulty with the farrier..these can come from any number of areas including, feet, saddle, teeth, conformation, age or just work.

 When is the best time for my horse's session,  how long does it take?

The best is for the horse to be able to focus on the bodywork and the practioner's attention to be fully on the horse. If possible, anytime there is a little peace and quiet around the barn, when your horse will not be easily distracted at feeding time, turn out etc. The first session is the longest about 1 1/2 to 2 hours subsequent sessions 1-1 1/2 depending on your horse's needs. The session most of the time takes place in the horses stall. You do not need to be there but recommend at the beginning of the initial session. 

How long until I ride after a bodywork session?

...It is best not to ride before the session, it is easier for the horse to release tension when the muscles are not in an active state. After a session,  the horse should be allowed to move around comfortably.  Hand-walking or turnout are good choices. Turnout is ideal to let the horse's body move and feel what has been released. But if your horse is on an exercise or training schedule and must be ridden right after, it would be good to give him as easy a ride as possible. If he starts to soon the tension can return before the horse's body has a chance to process the release. 

How frequent should my horse have a massage?

This depends on many factors including the reason for the imbalance, type and amount of riding, training, showing , age and/or the horse's confirmation. After our initial session, we can evaluate how he responds and how much tension he releases. As the horse resumes his regular schedule we can determine the frequency.

 Please feel free to contact Leslie Brooks CESMT, MMCP, ETCP  with any questions




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frequently asked questions