I’ll be posting a lot about this, in pieces, over the next week or so. I’d recommend buying the book/dvd package as, for the price ($57.65), you are getting a LOT! For example, a horse riding lesson easily runs between $30-60 nowadays and most horse books are at least $30 alone. The book is extremely dense, packed with info, and the nicely filmed dvd gives step by step how to do it.
I’d like to commend whoever designed this book. Kudos to them! There are several design features that make it really useful as a field reference guide:
1.) The book is spiral bound so it can be laid flat and remain open. Since you may be using this at the stable, this is great.
2.) Each chapter shows a 2 page spread, step by step, of the technique in photos with brief text. Again, this is great as you can lay it open and see it all instead of having to turn pages or read through.
3.) After the 2 page photo explanation, you get in-depth analysis of the muscles and skeletal system of the horses’ region being discussed and another series of photos showing the technique, with deeper information. The end of the chapter wraps up with common questions and problems you may encounter and their solutions.
I REALLY wish that the Connected Groundwork book had been put together like this one. This makes so much more sense and is able to be used in the stable so much more easily!
I’d recommend watching the dvd about twice before approaching the book. The first night I tried the book first and there is so much info that it’s overwhelming. By having the book and the dvd, you can approach the learning in two different directions. Some people do best watching videos (me) and other people prefer text reading (husband).
Like Tellington-Jones TEAM method for horses, Masterson has developed a scale of pressure that is even easier to understand: Air Gap (almost no pressure), Egg Yolk (indenting an egg yolk without breaking it), Grape, Lemon and Lime. What I’d like to point out here is how little pressure he uses. Wow! I really, REALLY need to back off and use less pressure. This hit home in watching the dvd.
You may ask how can I get results without pressure? Early on in husband’s Reiki work (energy work), some horse friends asked him to work on a horse that had been severely damaged, both emotionally and physically. He ended up using what Masterson would describe as Air Gap, as lightly as touching the hairs on your arm, and the response from this horse was the most amazing I’ve seen in the work he has done then and since. The horse’s muscles literally started trembling and shaking without him touching and the horse gave huge releases and husband was NOT touching her!
The Masterson Method (MM) is an interactive method which means you watch for the horses’ responses and work in concert with what he has given…this has some correlation with Dorrances’ True Horsemanship Through Feel which encourages the horse person to follow the horses’ lead and learn how to give as well as guide without a lot of pressure.
This interaction that Masterson uses with his touchpoints of Search Response Stay Release also allows it to be what I call Horse-Led as the horse can determine the pace of interaction. This builds upon the relationship end as opposed to the master-servant interaction we often have with horses. It also makes this a very gentle method to use with your horse.
I also see that I need to do this work before doing Peggy Cummings Connected Groundwork (CG). Z was so sore that touching or working the right side of the neck put her into fits. The chin rest made her twist her head (Masterson calls this corkscrewing) which is indicative that she simply can’t move sideways in the vertrebrae in order to release.
I can see where the MM (Masterson Method) can help me get that released and working right, and the CG can help her relearn how to use her neck better. In physical therapy, sometimes the body has to relearn the proper muscle pattern and I can see how CG would do that.
This is what I meant when I wrote about puzzle pieces… these two groundwork systems dovetail beautifully into each other. I can see where some of my TTouch work (from Linda Tellington-Jones TTEAM system) could expand the rehabilitation such as doing hoof circles after the scapula releases (MM) or the bodywrap (TTEAM) help give a better sense of back to front connectedness after you did the total MM bodywork from front to back.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a weekend clinic of MM, bodywork the horses all week, and then have a weekend clinic of CG and do connected work the horses for a week? Then a 7 day clinic of TTEAM, including bodywork and riding and culminating in a clinic by Mark Russell about riding in lightness????
WOW!! I think my brain would explode!