What To Expect 

During A Session


Horses are constantly corrected to human standards.  With The Masterson Method®, the horse’s contributions regarding its needs transform what could otherwise become ‘merely checking off a list of techniques’ into a non-threatening invitation to relief from stress, strain, and retained body restrictions.

Based on input from you and your horse, coupled with my assessment, I will move gently through a variety of Masterson Method® processes to reach both surface and deep tissue areas holding tension, restriction, or trauma-based muscle memory.  Each decision about my movements and level of touch respects the horse’s feedback signals – the horse tells me when ‘enough is enough’ in a particular area, or if I simply need to relocate attention for a few minutes and then return to a sensitive area after processing.  Permitting the horse time or space to process sensations includes the horse in the continuous dynamic feedback loop. This is one way that The Masterson Method® is an integrated and cooperative endeavor, distinguishing it from other equine bodywork modalities.


During the session, your horse may show releases from tension or restrictions by licking, chewing, yawning, drooling, shaking the head, neck or whole body, self-stretching, increased vasculature, changes in skin temperature, popping noises from synovial joint capsules, soft eyes, and perhaps discernable ‘fleshing out or filling’ of soft tissue.  Your horse may cough, blow snot, have runny eyes, noticeably change breathing patterns, or simply drop his or her head and hang out in ‘the zone.’  You will be delighted on those occasions when a spontaneous equine ‘down dog,’ rolling, or even a nap interrupts the session. Reactions range broadly and individually, including the occasional completely stoic horse who is initially unwilling to share releases and consequently nothing seems to be happening.  Actually, the horse is very quietly, processing countless sensations.  Reactions will emerge just as he or she is left alone!

The effects are cumulative.  Your feedback is essential.  After the session, how is the horse behaving or moving differently, and for how long? We will decide together the frequency for sessions as you set a realistic goal for our work together.  Typically, the time between sessions is 3-4 weeks.


Cloud Nine Equine sessions last 1.5 to 2 hours, during which time the entire horse (muzzle to tail) is affected (otherwise stated, topline through ventral line). Possible results can be stunning:


  • A horse struggling to hold collection due to hind end restrictions may be seen releasing the hind-end musculature deeply, dropping the hip and self-extending the entire limb.


  • A horse whose flexion is restricted in one direction may have massive cervical releases on the restricted side resulting in fluidity and increased range of motion, or head, neck and whole body shaking, or rolling mid-session.


  • A horse with poll sensitivity or bit issues may be observed yawning repeatedly, extending the tongue freely, or rubbing the poll area strongly as sensation begins to flow where it had been blocked. New looseness through the occiput-atlas junction may make you wonder if WD40 has been applied inside the structures.


It’s a process.  The three-way collaboration and mutual respect allow you and I to set achievable goals.