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  • Writer's pictureklfinsand


I was sitting at the Phoenix airport last night, homeward bound following an amazing weekend at Carefree Farms in Cave Creek Arizona, already nostalgic on all that I had experienced. This was a Gathering of Masterson Method® Certified Practitioners from across the globe that included my mentors, coaches, instructors, inspiring clinicians, and now many really good friends.

The 2023 Masterson Method® Gathering 'Family'

Back at home now, I have more knowledge of the importance of correct dental care on the horse’s overall wellbeing. We all got to look in the horses’ mouths and listen for the molar grind while watching for TMJ release. Gretchen Dean’s talk on equine dental alignment and whole body balance was so informative that I cannot wait to delve more into this subject.

Jillian Kreinbring talked of functional anatomy and the importance a dynamic posture has on the horse’s ability to move with oscillating rhythm. Then she demonstrated some of her in hand work and the under-appreciated value of the walk.

We learned from Vanessa Helvey of the multitude of issues that may arise from effects of the gelding process and scaring. She outlined many common restrictions that may be tied up in all that is connected to the geld scar that bodywork can benefit.

In the arena we practiced techniques on horses while learning from our advanced Masterson instructors. A hands on demonstration of techniques by Vicky Devlin from the UK while Coralie Hughes made observations was was incredibly informative. When that horse was done I moved on to listen to Walter Saxe from Germany where I gained new concepts to techniques already in my Masterson Method® tool box.

Jim Masterson with MMCPs & Michael Jordan the horse

The weekend was framed by the collaboration of Jim Masterson & Mark Rashid as they evaluated horse & rider pairs before and after bodywork with Jim and sessions with Mark. On this final day of the Gathering we saw how subtle changes from equine bodywork and rider posture alignment have profound effects on freedom of movement in rider & horse.

The idea that the learning begins once we are certified practitioners is true. I have learned so much this weekend! I’m anxious to begin practicing what I’ve learned, yet sad to leave this Gathering of my Masterson Family. Now we will all take this knowledge out to the world and apply these skills to benefit the horses.

Elvis the camel

Many thanks to my wonderful hostess, MJ (& now very good MMCP friend), the incredible saguaros, javelinas, Elvis the camel and of course Jim Masterson & his marvelous wife, Conley, for making this all real.

I am very much looking forward to Gathering next year!

Saguaro ~ sentinels of the Sonoran Desert
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