Posts Tagged ‘equine bodywork’

With the Masterson Method of bodywork that relaxes the horse and relieves his body—including muscles and connective tissue—of deep stress and pain, you listen to what the horse’s body has to say and adjust your pressure (your level of touch on targeted Release Points) to get the result you want, which is the release from the horse. In this method of bodywork, as in many other instances when working with and training horses, when there is any question about whether you are using the correct amount of pressure, the answer almost always is less is more. Again, as when training a horse, this does not mean that you will not use any pressure or strength at all, but only that you need to keep in mind that, contrary to our human way of doing things, when you run into resistance to whatever level of pressure or touch you are using, it is when you soften or yield to that resistance that you will allow the horse to release the tension in his body.


Try this at home:

1  Stand facing a friend.

2  With one hand, hold on to her wrist. Pull gently on her arm and ask her to pull back.

3  The second you feel her pull, push toward her, and you will see that she will stop pulling.


This is what happens with the horse if you yield quickly enough to resistance.


The 13 Masterson Method Techniques are now available as a handy, easy-to-view, hanging wall chart format. Spiral-bound and grommeted, the wall charts feature larger print and maximized photos so they are easy to see and reference when hanging in the stall or near the cross-ties. The wall charts are a great companion to the bestselling book and DVD BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE by Jim Masterson.

For more information on the Masterson Method Wall Charts, CLICK HERE.

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Check out the July 2013 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine featuring an article on unlocking your horse's dressage potential by Linda Tellington-Jones.

Check out the July 2013 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine featuring an article on unlocking your horse’s dressage potential by Linda Tellington-Jones.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the July 2013 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine! It features “Lateral Thinking,” an article by world-renowned horse trainer and behaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones about how to combine logic with creativity to solve problem behavior in the dressage arena—and beyond!

Adapted in part from Linda’s new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, this article provides tips for using creative problem solving and strategies that challenge the status quo in your daily work with your horse. The July issue of Horse Illustrated goes on sale June 11–look for it wherever quality equestrian magazines are sold.

Pick up a copy of Horse Illustrated's July issue to read this article by Linda Tellingon-Jones!

Pick up a copy of Horse Illustrated’s July 2013 issue (on sale June 11) to read this fantastic new article by Linda Tellingon-Jones!

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL has reeled in some great reviews already! Here’s what they’re saying:

“I knew it was going to be good as soon as I saw an endorsement on the back cover from Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado—the founding stars of Cavalia—and a foreword from Ingrid Klimke, the daughter of Olympian Dr. Reiner Klimke. The praise from these big names in the equine world proved to be prophetic: the book was wonderful.” —HORSE NATION

“Extraordinarily well written…a very, very good read. A MUST read for any serious horseman and a high quality production.” —THEHORSESTUDIO.COM, The International Equestrian Shop

“We were intrigued by the concept of doing bodywork on the horse while in the saddle and impressed with the result when we tried it…The photographs illustrate the concepts well…This book is a keeper. It blends the author’s philosophy with practical techniques.”  —HORSE JOURNAL

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL is available now from the TSB online bookstore.


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Magali Delgado and Linda Tellington-Jones perform Raccon TTouches on one of Magali's horses.

French dressage rider and former star of Cavalia Magali Delgado and Linda Tellington-Jones perform Raccon TTouches on one of Magali’s horses.

In TSB author Linda Tellington-Jones’ new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, she explains how we have scientific evidence that proves something most of us “knew” already: The heart does more than simply service the human circulatory system as a “blood pump.” In fact, it is in constant communication with the brain in order to direct various other bodily systems so they all work in harmony. As you perceive and react to the world, your brain sends messages to your heart. And, amazingly, the heart talks right back, with its rhythmic activity sending us emotional signals that, in effect, govern our life—and our riding.

In DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, Linda delves into the concept of heart rhythm coherence—understanding how the mental and emotional energy emanated and controlled by your heart can become coherent (logical, orderly, and aesthetically consistent) and can then be a powerful force in your work with horses.

A positive emotional state, both in you and your horse, contributes to this “coherence,” which has been proven to increase effectiveness when addressing tasks (in other words, it improves performance). The presence of love and caring in your life are important factors in the generation of a positive emotional state. Luckily, we as human beings are blessed with the ability to control (to a great degree) the amount of positivity or negativity in our thoughts and intentions.

Being thankful and showing thanks are basic steps in promoting a positive emotional state in you and your horse. According to Linda’s work with riders and horses around the world, light Raccoon TTouches—one of the many Tellington TTouches that, along with innovative Ground Exercises and Ridden Work, make up Linda’s Tellington Method—can soothe and relax your horse, and so are a great way to say, “Thank you,” after you ride.

Want to “thank” your horse this Valentine’s Day? Here’s how to do the Raccoon TTouch:

1  These small, very light TTouches are done with the fingertips, without contact with the fingernails. Curve your fingers so the distal phalange is vertical and your fingers are lightly apart. The heel of your hand and your wrist should be held well off the horse’s body, and the side of the thumb should not be in contact with the rest of the hand.

2  Move your fingertips and the horse’s skin in a circle-and-a-quarter in a very light 1 to 3 pressure.

At the end of the circle-and-a-quarter, release the pressure, slide your fingertips to another spot, and repeat. Be sure to move the skin rather than simply sliding across the horse’s hair.

Dressage w MBSRaccoon TTouches have been shown to increase circulation, relax tensed muscles, reduce heat and swelling, and stimulate healing. The perfect Valentine’s gift for your horse!

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL is available now from the TSB online bookstore.


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TSB Managing Director Martha Cook on her Morgan Buster (right) and Senior Editor Rebecca Didier on Robbie–before the onset of his “mystery lameness.”

When TSB Managing Director Martha Cook’s new-horse-prospect passed the pre-purchase, she was thrilled! “Robbie,” a big bay Quarter Horse with an amazing trot and to-die-for canter was that quiet trail horse with wonderful gaits she so wanted and that had proven difficult to find. She truly thought she’d struck equine gold when she found the mount with the looks, size, and temperament she’d always dreamed of.

In the first month Robbie’s report card turned up solid “As”—as his fitness level increased and he filled out, his mind stayed sound and his performance in the ring and on the trail indicated willingness and potential. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, things unwound, and Robbie transformed from good-natured-but-green to cranky and resistant with violent episodes of bucking under saddle and on the longe line. Martha asked all the usual questions: Had she done something wrong? Was it just the “real” Robbie coming out now that he’d put on a few pounds in grain, grass, and muscle? Was it the saddle? Was it his feet? Was her dream horse gone for good?

With all the possible causes running through her head, it occurred to Martha that Robbie had rolled close to the electric fence one day and his hind legs had become momentarily caught up in it. While he had emerged unscathed but for a scrape on one hind leg, perhaps the struggle to right himself had tweaked a nerve, strained a muscle, or otherwise compromised his body in a way that caused enough ensuing physical discomfort to result in his sudden bad—and frankly, scary—behavior.

“I pulled out WHERE DOES MY HORSE HURT? by Dr. Renee Tucker and went through Renee’s checkups,” says Martha. “The checkups clearly told me that Robbie definitely had problems in the sacrum and sacroiliac. So, I had my vet and chiropractor out and she found that both were indeed out of whack, along with four vertebrae in Robbie’s lumbar spine. When she tested his hind end before treatment, he went halfway to the floor in reaction. After adjustment, she retested and he didn’t flinch. I HOPE, with bold, underlined capital letters, that this was the cause of his bucking issue. I’m stretching him before riding and gradually increasing his workouts—and so far, so good. It seems we may be on track to becoming the ‘old’ Robbie.”

WHERE DOES MY HORSE HURT?, the book Martha referenced in her search for the cause of Robbie’s mysterious change of behavior, introduces 27 simple body checkups you can do on your horse. It’s a do-it-yourself method for determining when and where your horse hurts. With this easy-to-follow book you will:

•Become familiar with your horse’s normal range of movement so you can prevent minor issues from becoming major.

•Stay in tune with areas of temporary or chronic discomfort so you can offer relief as needed.

•Solve “mystery” or “phantom” lamenesses that come and go seemingly without reason (like Robbie’s!)

•Save thousands of dollars by avoiding expensive diagnostics that rarely get you answers.

•Learn how to discuss potential problem areas with farriers, veterinarians, and bodyworkers.

•Keep your horse actively and happily “in work” for more months of the year, and more years of his life.

You can learn more about Dr. Renee’s Tucker’s 27 body checkups and her book during the FREE, live “Ask the Author” webinar on Wednesday, August 15, at 9:00 pm EST hosted by MyHorse Books, the online, no-obligation book club of MyHorse Daily.

Register for this free webinar by visiting https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/877711982.

You can get your copy of WHERE DOES MY HORSE HURT? at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.


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If you are in the Columbus, Ohio, area, or if you plan to be this coming weekend, swing by the Ohio Expo Center for a day or two of great equestrian educational opportunities. Equine Affaire Ohio offers a wide variety of experts and professionals, covering every area of horse care, training, and riding, plus super shopping and great deals on clothing and equipment. Whether you are finding horses for the very first time, or riding for the ten-thousandth time, EA is a great experience, for kids and adults alike.

Three Trafalgar Square Books authors will be at EA Ohio. Be sure to find their booth, say hello, and get them to sign a book or DVD…for you and all of your horse-loving friends!

Brenda Imus, author of the book THE GAITED HORSE BIBLE and the DVD set GAITS FROM GOD, will present on Saturday and Sunday (check the Equine Affaire website for times and locations), and you can meet her and view her gaited horse saddles and bridles in booth #201-202 in the Bricker Building.


Jim Masterson, author of the bestselling book and DVD BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE, will present on Saturday and Sunday (check the Equine Affaire website for times and locations), and you can meet him at his booth #H2 and H1 in the Voinovich Livestock and Trade Center.


Douglas Puterbaugh, author of THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE, will be signing books and answering questions in booth #427 in the Bricker Building.


Books and DVDs from all three authors are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

BLOG BONUS!!!!  Enter the coupon code TSBBLOG15 at checkout and get 15% off your entire order!





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Peggy Cummings' book and DVD are available from the Trafalgar Square Books online bookstore http://www.horseandriderbooks.com.

In her book CONNECT WITH YOUR HORSE FROM THE GROUND UP, Connected Riding Founder Peggy Cummings provides a thorough introduction to her Connected Groundwork techniques, easy ways to radically improve how your horse moves. Check out this sample exercise:


The Chin Rest relieves tension in the horse’s poll and upper regions of his neck. It also helps reeducate horses that tend to go behind the vertical by encouraging them to open their throatlatch and stretch into contact. Here’s how you do it:

1  Stand on the left side of your horse at his head, facing forward. Gently cup your right hand under the horse’s chin groove and “meet” the weight of his head in your hand. Support the weight of the head for 10 to 90 seconds—longer if the horse shows signs of relaxation by closing his eyes and “giving you” his head to hold. Make sure you support the head, but do not lift it, as that would hollow the horse’s neck.

2  Slowly release the weight of the head from your hand. Allow the horse time to process what just happened before repeating the exercise two to four times. Watch for signs of relaxation: closed eyes, “sleepiness,” a deep breath, flaring nostrils, a good snort, or shaking of the neck or entire body. When you slowly release the horse’s head, it often lowers farther than it was before, and frequently the horse stretches it all the way to the ground.

Here’s a short video demonstration of Peggy Cummings performing the Chin Rest:

You can find more of these terrific exercises in Peggy’s book CONNECT WITH YOUR HORSE FROM THE GROUND UP and her DVD CONNECTED RIDING & GROUNDWORK, available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

BLOG BONUS!!! Enter the coupon code TSBBLOG15 at checkout and receive 15% off your entire order!!

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BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE by TSB author Jim Masterson is featured in the March issue of Horse&Rider Magazine.

Jim Masterson’s bestselling book BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE is featured in the March issue of Horse&Rider Magazine! Pick up a copy wherever quality magazines are sold and check it out, or take our word for it and get yourself a copy of Jim’s book from the TSB online bookstore today (shipping in the US is always FREE!) Jim’s fabulous DVD by the same name is also available.

Here are some of the things readers are saying about BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE:

The book is written so it is very easy to follow and has some humor thrown in. There are detailed instructions and plenty of pictures. The book is spiral bound so it can be taken it to the barn to review while working on your horse. This book is certainly worth the small investment.”

“This is an excellently formatted textbook introducing the Masterson Method. It has clear descriptions and photos of techniques that will give almost immediate results. Anyone who works with horses and is interested in bodywork to release tension would find it helpful, and for a beginning practitioner it is a revelation.”

“Stefanie Reinhold and Jim Masterson have hit this one out of the ball park. For me, they have won the Grand Prix of bodywork for horses! This book will help you to keep your horse supple, relaxed and in good health. If you have an issue you are trying to solve with your horse, this should be your first go-to resource. Spiral bound and easy to take and use at the barn, the simple and easy to understand step by step instructions, as well as what you’re looking to see happen in your horse give the user exactly what they need to ensure that they are doing this right. This book puts the horse first in regards to health, and the user first in regards to simplicity, understanding and effective execution of the method. Hurray!”

This book is such a treasure. I love how it is structured with a quick overview on one page followed by more in depth descriptions on the following pages. The photos are a big help to explain in great detail the releases. The tips are also very helpful and at times very funny and always insightful.”


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