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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Forsell

Train and Restore Workshop -- Masterson Method and Equine Posture

Wow. What a weekend!

Kelly Jefferson and I teamed up again for another collaboration. Kelly brings Masterson Method to teach owners how they can do some bodywork with their own horse on their own. However, as our participants learned this weekend, it’s so much more.

For my portion of the workshop, we take a focus on equine posture.

Correct posture is the gateway to a sound horse, building strength in healthy movement and clearing roadblocks in training.

I love an opportunity to focus on only posture, from the ground with my riders and while it may be a bit like watching paint dry in the beginning, once you get going with it, it will blend into your training beautifully.

I absolutely love this collaboration because of how nicely all of the concepts dovetail together.

  • Bodywork is only a band aid if the horse goes right back into their compensation patterns

  • MM can be blended into your work when you are seeking correct posture to release tension points

  • MM will help ease tension points and restrictions so that new patterns of movement can be created.

Some of the takeaways from the weekend included:

  • Realizing how light you can be to make a difference and how light you actually have to be to not create a brace.

  • Giving the horse time. More time to back off and let the horse process.

  • There was a lot of listening to the horse, picking up on the horse’s subtle cues.

Kelly and I were blessed with such a wonderful group of horsewomen to work with this weekend. Everyone picked up on the material so well, but most of all read their horses beautifully. It was also a wonderful collaboration with the horse owners, with their understanding of their horse and our guidance to lead them through solutions, even when things got a little hairy…

Well, things did get a little hairy on Sunday! In the wee hours of Sunday morning, a very loud, very wet storm rolled through the property.

This flooded the low water crossing to get to the property, so not everyone could get in to get started on time. So at this point, we threw out the schedule and we just all rolled with it!

The water receded and everyone was able to get in, but the horses were all very edgy after dealing with that very loud storm.

We all got to prove our mettle as horsewomen and instructors and give the horses and owners the best experience we could.

We even threw away the clock for the day. I am so used to following the clock, it was actually a bit freeing to just let the horses guide us and they got as much time as they needed.

We made adjustments to the plan and ended up doing in hand work first with most horses so they got to move first, making it a bit easier to stand for the bodywork. Also, while many people had intended to ride the second day, the conditions made it unfavorable for most to ride.

What we do with our horses should always add value to the training and relationship and if it isn’t going to add value we should leave it alone. That means if riding isn’t going to make things better, we don’t have anything to prove by throwing a leg over. Are we going to work through it? Absolutely.

I enjoyed the challenges that came up on Sunday, they made me quickly go through my tool box and even think outside the box a bit.

The results were fantastic! The before and after photos on just one day were incredible. Everyone came home with a deeper relationship with their horse and whole set of new resources to make them the best animals they can be.

If you would like more information on hosting a transformational workshop like this at your barn, send me an email!

Equine posture with Arabian horse
Tammy and her Arabian gelding, before and after on Saturday. Notice how much more his back is lifted, neck relaxed.


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