Equine Voices Podcast

Interview with Jim Masterson - The Masterson Method Equine Bodywork

December 18, 2021 Ronnie King Episode 27
Equine Voices Podcast
Interview with Jim Masterson - The Masterson Method Equine Bodywork
Show Notes Transcript

Interview with Jim Masterson.
I am always very grateful, when someone agrees to take time out of their busy schedule and agrees to do an interview with me and especially with someone they have never met or even know.

I'm particularly pleased to have the chance to chat with Jim because a dear close friend of mine is a Masterson Method Coach and I've had the honour of watching her work and see the difference she makes to the horses she visits.

I'm very grateful that Jim agreed to do an interview with me.
Not only is he a very knowledgeable person, he happens to be very funny too!
I loved spending a few hours chatting with him about his passion, his work.

So sit back, relax and I hope you enjoy this episode, just as much as I did making it and hear a little from the man behind the method.   

Jim's Story:
In 1998, while Jim was grooming horses on the U.S. hunter-jumper show circuit, he noticed while watching physical therapists work on horses that the horse exhibited certain subtle changes in behavior that correlated to what the therapists were doing. He learned that if you trust and follow what the horse is telling you as you work on it, the horse’s body will participate in the process of releasing tension. The result is not only an improvement in performance, but also in the trust that develops between the horse and human.

Jim and his team of instructors continue to travel the world teaching horse owners, trainers and therapists The Masterson Method. His goal is to have every horse on the planet have experienced the Bladder Meridian Technique at least once.

https://www.facebook.com/MastersonMethod
https://mastersonmethod.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/mastersonmethod

Live Video Version
https://youtu.be/e3rM-yb26lc

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Ronnie:

Hi my name is Ronnie from equine voices and I'm really excited and pleased to announce an interview with Jim Masterson. So I'm going to introduce Jim and he can explain what it is he does and how we started working with horses and a little bit about his life okay.

Jim:

Hello.

Ronnie:

Hi Jim and welcome to equine voices, would you like to tell everybody firstly, who you are, what it is you do, and then we'll go from there.

Jim:

Okay. I'm Jim and what I do is well, right now I teach, we share and teach this method of body work all over the world, but where it came from was from The hunter jumper when I was grooming hunter jumper show jumpers about 20 years ago or 22 years ago, I noticed when therapists were working on horses, massage therapists or physios, that there were certain little changes in behavior in the horse. What I call responses now, response as to what they were doing with their hands and some of them were very subtle responses and some of them were more obvious responses, but I was intrigued by those little changes in behavior, in the horse because the horse was obviously feeling something from what the therapists were doing but those little changes behavior weren't necessarily noticed by the therapist because the therapist was doing what the therapist was trained to do, you know, whether it was massage, sports, massage, or acupressure acupuncture or whatever. And so I wasn't trained in anything and I was just watching the horse and I noticed that even the slightest little response, like the eye blinking or eyelid moving, or an ear twitching or the head dropping slightly, there was a correlation between what they were doing and sometimes, and what the horse was doing. And so that got me interested in doing this. So I started experimenting with it and with certain techniques that I saw some therapists doing, and I realized that if you came to realize that if you. If you can stay underneath the horses, natural bracing response, they have a natural guarding response. That's how they survive in the wild, they just block out pain and discomfort. They don't show it because if they do, then they go higher up on the menu. And so, but if you can stay underneath that bracing response then you can access a part of the horse's nervous system that will start to release tension rather than block against it. And if you play, pay close attention to what the horse is telling you, what its responses or behavioral changes that. That the horse will tell you where it's holding pension and when it's releasing the tension. And those are just the first signs, you know, then afterwards, as you get into more movement techniques that also involve staying under the horses bracing response, they have to be relaxed movement that you'll feel when the horse is releasing tension, because you'll feel the restriction let go for example, when you're moving something. And then the third level is feedback from the rider so they'll feel a difference in the horse and I started doing this in a pretty high competitive environment, you know, show jumping. So that feedback was helpful because one I learned what areas of the horse would accumulate tension, that if you release it would improve performance, but also that it worked, they won't spend money on something that doesn't work, they won't hire you back, so that feedback was helpful, to know that it works. And so I worked on show jumpers for about nine years. And then I worked with got involved in other sports like endurance. And you end up working on all kinds of horses, but when I started working on horses like owners, horses, like the show jumper horses were all in a training barn and the trainer made all the decisions. Did you want that long answer? This is the long answer. The trainer pretty much controls everything and so it was about performance. But when I started working on owners, horses like dressage horses or other, or endurances, you know, endurance decisions are made by the horse owner and people that just didn't compete on high levels. I realized there was a part of this that affected your relationship with your horse. So people wanted to start learning it when they saw these responses from the horse and they saw the horse giving these huge yawns when they're releasing tension, for example, in their nose dropping down in the dirt. They wanted to start to learn it because they wanted to help their horse feel better, but they also want to do it and, you know enhance their relationship with their horse. So I started teaching it and doing weekend clinics. More people wanted to learn. So I started doing advanced courses and then equine massage therapist wanted to learn and they were asking about certification. So I put together a certification program as the years went on. So now we're in the teaching business of teaching people how to do this horse owners and therapists and whoever, wants to learn and wants to have a connection with their horse or improve performance than their horse. So that's the longer version. There's probably an even longer version. You didn't even take a breath there Jim it was like wow, he's going for this, he's go for this. I'm used to talking and working at the same time. I don't know. Maybe I'm breathing through my years. I don't know if that

Ronnie:

That was absolutely fine. I'm lucky because my friend, my dear friend Yeah so I was introduced to the Masterson method. Before Sam did a weekend workshop, I was looking for something to do to go alongside with what I do, because my work. I have regular clients and they have new clients, but they wouldn't be somebody that I would see every month. They would be maybe twice a year or a yearly or if something happened there wouldn't be on a monthly basis. So I was looking for something to do and I was on the internet one day and I think I was looking at essential oils, to maybe do massage And something about Masterson popped up and it was at Shillington, which is 15 minutes away from here. So I had read through and it was a literary, I think, the next weekend, so I was on a weekend looking and it was the following weekend and I wasn't able join me cause it was too soon to get their finances together and everything sort things out. So I messaged Sam to say, oh, I've just seen this, you should take a look and anyway, she said, oh I'll have a look later and She looked and she joined and the rest is history. So that was a really good synchronistic because obviously that wasn't for me, it was for Sam but it was initial seeing it and then passing it on. That was the first introduction to the Masterson method. And then I was lucky enough to go on a weekend with Sam. She was working and there was this spare place. So I went along and it was lovely, it was really nice. It was nice to see Sam working because she's my dear friend, my close friend, and I see it every day. But this was different, this was her working with horses and she's like another person, she just glows so it was nice to spend the weekend with her but also to see what they masterson method for horse owners was about. And for me, it was really interesting because intuitively when I'm working with the horse, my hand will usually go to certain places and I'm aware of it as I'm chatting to my clients. So when I was doing masterson method, there were similar basic moves, which were similar to where I was going. So for me, that gave me confidence and also clarity that where I was going was for reason because I didn't really know a lot about the anatomy, unless it was what the horses were relaying. So that was really good and I used to get really excited and it was quite funny actually, cause I was doing a practice on the weekend and I could feel Sam looking at me. She said Ronnie, that's not a masterson method move. I'm sorry, I'm going into intuitive now because I was used to doing that, so that was quite funny.

Jim:

Well, yeah, because you know, when you're teaching this to people and they have other skills and other modalities and often will have a little trouble with one of the techniques that they're practicing that we're teaching. And so they just unconsciously revert back to what they know and then we have to kind of steer them back again. Or, you know, you, you already know that, you know, you want to learn this now. So, yeah.

Ronnie:

But it was funny cause it was Sam telling me off but in a nice, in a nice way, it was funny. So that was my experience and I really enjoyed the weekend, because it was so nice, you could see the horse relaxing. I was aware of that from my own work anyway, but it gave me a bit more depth of why. I don't always have to ask why I just point things out and say to my clients, this is an area and then say, you can go see bodyworker or a vet or whatever. So I don't actually have to know about that side, but this was good because it gave me a bit more understanding, so if that happens, maybe that's what's going on, so I really enjoyed it.

Jim:

Yeah you know the weekend seminar structured out to work on the horse in sections, early on I focused on three key junctions of the horse that become what I call torque, unilateral tension, tension, doesn't develop evenly in the horse's body, they're like us and maybe even more so sometimes. So for example, tension will build in the pole and Atlas and in the neck shoulder Withers junction and in the sacroiliac sacra or lumbar junction and it'll develop unevenly. For example, on the sacroiliac, you note that the muscles of the hind end, the horse will exert more force with, on one hind leg than the other, especially if it's more comfortable on the left lead, it's going to be uneven tension and most horses are there more comfortable, one, so it'll torque those junctions and when you release tension and those three key junctions, that it'll release tension in the whole area around there. So that, you know, like in your case, there are lines to follow. You know, there was a little bit of structure to the course but it's not really a structured thing. Ultimately, you end up following what the horse is telling you, whether it's responses, where to go, how long to stay and when you release the tension. So as to provide some of that structure, which helps. Yeah.

Ronnie:

Which is brilliant. I did a few years ago I actually did an equine massage course, I was still looking for something, I thought I want to do something else that will help a little bit more if I can and that was really interesting because again, what I've learned intuitively, and also from the masterson, I was applying that, to the massage course. And when you're learning, you're going through the motions sometimes, and you're so busy on the techniques or understanding on what you're doing, that you sort of forget to stay and wait for the horse, but that was good cause that's what I was doing. My tutor, a lovely lady and she said, you know that's what you should be doing. Don't think you have to stay there for two minutes, you're learning the techniques and if you're not used to that, if you go in blind and you've never done anything like that before, you're just learning that way, so that helped me big time as well. Sams just popped onto the say hi Jim. Sams moved away now, so I don't get to see her every day I went to see last weekend, first time I've seen her since she's moved. Why don't you share Jim, a little bit of, of who you are, so we know what you do, you do the Masterson. If you go back a few years I know you said that you was watching people and that's how you saw the differences when they're working with the horses, you notice things. How difficult was it to start that yourself?

Jim:

Well, it wasn't difficult, it was really easy. I was around horses when I was a kid, we had our family horse and I had my pony and then later, I was away from horses for quite a while and maybe back in and out, but never competing with horses or on a, on a serious level. But until 1998, when I, I was between, between jobs and I've always moved around a lot and have lots of different jobs. But I went to work for the show barn here in Iowa, where I live and they traveled around the Midwest and the east coast to show these horses and the trainer needed a groom to go with her on the road and to haul the horses, to drive them because she had local groups, but they weren't able to haul the horses. So I went to work for her to do this. So that was after being away from horses for quite a bit. But I was, I was really comfortable with the horses. So that was the first thing that made it easy. I was just comfortable with them and of course she had to teach me how to. Work with horses on a professional level. Like she had to teach me how to groom the horse. So like I remember she's like got all these brushes and Combs and things lined up and she says, well, this is when you do first and you Curry them and they did this brush and then this brush gets the deeper dirt off the skin and I remember saying, well, that's a brush, a brush is a brush. Why don't we have these brushes? She says, no Jim you are going to have to be a little more careful, like, these horses have to look really, really nice. So I had to learn all that but as far as I was comfortable with the horses and so they would relax with me cause I was comfortable with them, so that made it easy. Another thing that made it easy, I wasn't trained to do anything. I wasn't trained already to do sports massage or follow any protocols. So I didn't have that in the way I was just observing the horse, so that was actually really helpful. I was inspired by a couple of people that would work on the horses that I would follow around And pick up some tips, you know there was a horse chiropractor, an old guy from New Zealand who, the vets on the east coast, a very big vet practice. They would fly him out from California to treat the horses and whenever he came out, I would offer to drive him around to the different barns and hold the lead rope and I would pick up things from him. Not that he was really teaching me anything because those old timers kind of keep their secrets to themselves but just by watching, he would let little things slip that that made really sense to me. And he would get like amazing results from the horse by doing long lever, very forceful adjustments, which I wanted to learn to do, but I realized that it wasn't practical but whenever he adjusted a horse, he would step back to see what the horse had to say, he called it. And he just stepped back and just wait and see what happens. And if you've got a good adjustment, the horse would drop its head. It might shake its head or its whole body, and then start to yawn repeatedly. So that really got me interested in this, you know, one, the results he was getting into reading the horse, following what the horse was telling you and so I would follow him and Just help him whenever I could. So I think just by being observant and not already having anything in my head about what you need to do to the horse and just being comfortable with horse and then being in that environment, where you're with that level of horse and you can see the results they all made it pretty easy for me to just start doing this, you know? And I was patient and enough to just observe the horse, I could step back and see what the horses have to say. And I could wait a long time without feeling like, oh, I better go do this now, so I kind of joked that huge advantage was being uneducated and lazy, you know? So I like to say there's hope for everybody.

Ronnie:

I wouldn't say you're lazy.

Jim:

Well, it turns out I can be now. So you know, I have to keep, keep going. Am I right in saying that you have horses and carriages, is that what you'd like to do in your free time. Yeah I just do it for pleasure. I have two Morgans a brother and sister that I've had for a long time and I drive them. So just for pleasure and I trail ride them, but I've never been competitive, I've never competed, haven't been interested in that, but I just ended up in that world because that's where I was when I was grooming. And that's where the work was and that's where the horses were and that's where the education was. When you work on that many horses you learn a lot.

Ronnie:

Do you feel that you still, I suppose that's a daft question really? That you're still learning.

Jim:

Every time you work on whores and everybody that that's learned, this will tell you that every time you work on a horse, you learn something new, you learn a different way of maybe tweaking what you're doing or something just clicks with you. That makes sense. Oh, that's maybe why this is going on here. And and also it's interesting cause you, you, you, you work you use intuition a lot, you know, in your work and I've never thought of myself as an intuitive person but your intuition starts to kick in when you're doing this type of work, because, and as far as I can tell when you slow down and just wait and see what the horse has to say, for example, the bladder Meridian technique is that one of the first techniques we use, it's very simple light technique where you follow. Just barely touching no pressure on the horse because the horse can brace against this much pressure, but they can't brace against this much pressure easily. If you go really lightly and follow down anywhere on the horse's body, but we follow the bladder Meridian to start and see and watch the horses eyes, as you go down the horse's body, if you go over a spot where the horse is feeling tension, it'll blink or, or its head will drop a tiny bit. I call it search for response and when you get that response, you stay there do nothing, just wait there, no pressure, no rubbing, no nothing, that's the lazy part, that's where that comes in and wait to see what's going to happen and then when their nervous system will start to relax and release the tension. They'll give you another larger response, like licking and chewing or yawning or snorting and sneezing, for example but in that process of waiting and watching pretty soon your brain stops working, you're just observing the horse. And after you practice and learn these techniques long enough, pretty soon your intuition starts to kick in and you'll end up doing kind of what you were describing. Your you're just hand will go to an area on the horse and I think it's because you're seeing something that you don't know, you're seeing, you're seeing some subtle change in the horse, subtle change in horses, it could be behavior, but so subtle, you don't notice it and you're not thinking about it and then you just go there. So by not being necessarily intuitive, but just being observant and patient and following what the horse is telling you, pretty soon, your intuition starts to kind of kick in a little bit. So I found that kind of fascinating because I've never been intuitive person but you're just quieting down and doing that bladder Meridian technique. Quiet your mind down enough that you start to get out of your head. We have this joke, you have to be out of your mind to do the Masterson method and it's true in a sense, but that's interesting, you know, what you were saying about intuition and just going somewhere.

Ronnie:

I think you are intuitive, we're all intuitive. Even if you don't think you are, you have got feelings, you have you have that second sense. You know if you walk in a room and you can feel the energy, you can walk up to a horse and you don't always have to see the horse all over to know that well, that horse is not happy or there's something not right. So I think you are intuitive.

Jim:

I think you're right, that we all are but we have to quiet our mind down and stop analyzing and another thing is trusting what you're feeling, like I call it doubt the doubt. So when you're going along like a more basic level, you're doing the bladder Meridian. Your going down the horse's top, top line and you see a blink or some subtle change in the horse of behavior. Usually it's a blink. Then you stay in that, wait and do nothing. You have to trust that it's working and if you don't trust it, then you're going to start thinking, oh am I doing the wrong thing, is he really feeling something, oh he was just blinking at a fly. If you let go of all of that and just doubt the doubt and stay there and see what happens, then you get a result, you get the horse to release tension and you get a larger response. So part of that is just trusting that it's working and not trying to figure it out too much or wonder if you're doing the right thing or whether you're right, you have to let go of the need to be right. Just trust that what you're seeing and feeling is what you're seeing feeling it's not right or wrong. Just wait and see if you get a result, you know, if there's something changes.

Ronnie:

Also you want them to help your horse. You want him to fix your horse, that's human nature. You want to see an improvement yeah you want to see an improvement in some form or another, so letting go of that side sometimes. Of course you want that but sometimes the pressure of that is let the horse just be and see what happens. It's interesting when you say about the bladder maridien again, so I've shown clients. Sometimes when I go out and see because I don't know what I'm going to do until I get there. I'm stroking the horses and I'm talking to the client and then it's almost the horse is saying, be quiet now and my attention goes to my hand and I'll say I'm just going to have to be quite the second because the horse wants me to pay attention. I'm seeing, sorry, sometimes this is a boring bet and they go, no, no, it's fine cause we can see what's happening and they can see the horse relaxing and depending on what goes on they can see some changes. Sometimes I've shown them look you don't have to be touching the horse, you can do this from here and I've done a hands-off, similar to the bladder Meridian, and I've shown them. And I say watch the horse and their ears are twitching and then they're looking around and you can see there's a similar reaction but that's quite tiring to have your hands out here for ages, I'll get army if I do that for too long. So I just explained to them that you don't actually have to put that much pressure on a horse and they can feel it from out here. So the lightest touch is the bits that tells you more because horses are rough and tumble with each other and they can barge into each other, they can have what seems fights but they're playing but I always touch softly with each other, they do but that's not the sort of a day-to-day normal behavior and that shows you more things that shows you the subtle things that are going on. So there is a crossover yeah.

Jim:

Yeah so if you have something to show your client, like you were saying some change, like it turns, it looks at you or it's ear moves or something. So we have sublte responses listed the most common things. So that makes it easier for somebody that really doesn't know what to look for or what to feel. A lot of people can feel things in their hands when they're working, I don't necessarily I'm going more about what I'm seeing but then all of a sudden, my hand goes somewhere and I didn't see anything in the horse responds, so it's just starts to happen. But when they have like steps to follow, then they can look for the blink for the nose, the lips to Twitch, then just stay there, you know go at a certain speed and at what I call air gap pressure and explain what our gap is, that's what it is and watch for a subtle response. When you get a response, you stay there and you stay and you wait, you wait and that's the hard part until you get a release, which is a larger response. So that lays out some steps for people to follow, so they can start to know what to look for. And then pretty soon they just start to know what to do, without thinking about

Ronnie:

I think it's brilliant because it helps people to see the horses, to feel them but also to trust themselves. That's a big thing about trusting, that quietness, that stillness and that interaction that they have with their animals.

Jim:

When the horse gives you this huge response, like this huge release, like starts yawning repeatedly from doing nothing, then the person really gets it. Oh I am doing it right, it does work, I'm not just, you know, being crazy. So they get this relief, they get a result that a huge yawn from the horse and all of a sudden the horse drops his head and all of a sudden the horses kind of let it guard down. So, and they did that just by following a few simple steps.

Ronnie:

And sometimes they can do something that they do every day, so I point out that if they've got a fly on the side and they'll go to have a itch and they want to stretch or something like that, but they know when you're in communication or work mode, they know that they're aware of that. So even if you're actually stroking your horse and you're talking to a friend and you're not doing anything in particular, they may all of a sudden turn and look at you and I'll say, that's them saying, pay attention, you don't have to know what it is, but pay attention, there's a spot there. Even if it's area they go to every day, it's different, when you're in communication, when you're embodied work mode, they're pointing something out to you that just asking you to be aware. And that's quite nice to let people understand that. Sometimes we'll say, well always rubbing his butt on me, yeah but they're rubbing the boat because actually there's some thing there, pay attention because they know the difference between day-to-day brushing, grooming and feeding, and you're in their space to just observe, they do know the difference, totally. So we've just got a few, you might know these people.

Jim:

I might, You know as you get older, you don't, you remember everything, everybody. So somebody was describing this and this is how I think my brain is, it's like an iceberg down in Antarctica and this floating around the penguins they'll, they'll all jump up on the iceberg to get out of the water. Pretty soon the iceberg gets full and every time one jumps up on this end, one falls off on this end, so that's my brain, so if I don't remember somebody it's because there's a lot of penguins on the ice, berge and every time a new one jumps up one falls off, so I apologize if I don't remember your name cause I may, well, I met you on a course or now that I don't teach, I have a lot of instructors, I don't teach as many courses. We have lots of instructors, so I may have come across your name. Don't hold me to it.

Ronnie:

I'm sure they'll forgive you, Jim. I'm sure they will. So this is a friend of mine Jane, she works with people, horses and animals, and she does energy work lovely lady. I don't know who this is because it doesn't actually say, let's say that you seen, I think a lot of intuition is hindered by the way in which we tend to filter our lives to cope. Yeah I can understand that.

Jim:

Well yeah so that's the part that's hard to let go of sometimes, just to switch gears, right? It's hard to switch gears from normal life, to being maybe a little more aware energetically of what's going on but again to me that's another value of the bladder Meridian is it makes you do that. You know, pretty soon, like I said, you're going to doing a certain thing and paying really close attention to a real subtle change in the horse's behavior, like the eye blink and then pretty soon your brain starts to stop working because you're waiting and observing. So it's almost like a tool to quiet you down to do that. And a lot of equine assisted therapies and mental health therapies are using the bladder Meridian now with their clients, they were doing initially to relax their horses and now they're using the bladder Meridian just to get people to quiet down and connect and I think that comment there about, in our daily coping the filters, we have to cope with life. If you have a tool that'll help you let go of that was, it makes it so much and it's a free tool, you can go on our website and learn how to do the bladder Meridian for free. Like, why not? You know?

Ronnie:

I'll have to try that on a person.

Jim:

Yeah I don't work on people cause they kick and bite too much but I don't know like a person's brain is in the way. So I don't work on people, but if I were doing the bladder Meridian on a person like they have a record playing, we have a record playing all the time, you know, that we don't even know is playing and it's, okay this isn't doing any good. Or this is the silliest thing I've ever done. Let's see, how am I going to pay the rent this month, I need to go get the car washed, you know, that's all going in the back, but with the horse, there's none of that going on, it's a direct connection between what you're doing with your hand and what you're watching from the horse, so I don't know where I was going with that.

Ronnie:

No that is so funny. And I'll tell you why, so Sam was going to see a lady to help with a physical and I can't remember what technique it is but it's to do with energetic and it's very, very gentle. So I went along to see this lady too and it was really, really nice. Even though I do what I do when I'm doing something, my head is chat, chat, chat, and it's like, is there anything happening, what's going on here, cause I'm not really feeling a great deal and dah, dah, dah, dah and I'm going shut up. It's like, I'm having a conversation with myself, I'm trying to quiet my brain, the more I talk to it, the more it wants to talk to me.

Jim:

You're talking back to yourself enough that you're talking to yourself, but yourself keeps talking back.

Ronnie:

But when I'm doing the horses, when I'm connecting in that way, that's my Zen moments because I have to move out the way, so whatever comes through, come through and as soon as I get in my car, it's almost like they go, great she sort of concentrated on one thing we can get in now and so the information comes through and when I get there, whatever's meant to be, is meant to be. So for me, communication to start with was very much about what was being said but it's gone into its own direction now and it's just connecting. So I go there to help a client with a horse but actually it's to connect with a client too because that connection, as you talked about, when you're quiet and you're observing and something changes when I'm with a horse and a client, that's what happens to the client too. So there's almost like the horse and the client can just go and then whatever needs to happen happens to create a doorway or an opportunity or a bit more insight to their own their own partnership. So it's just like facilitating something and it can be small, it can be big, it's what every it is, I feel that's what I go along for. For you it's important that it's something between the horse and the client, it's not just about the horse. Yeah it's never just about the horse, in fact it's 80% the person I'm going to help and the rest is the horse because if I'm going to communicate it, then that's what I'm going for. But sometimes all the horse wants is just to zone in and just to switch off and to do what they need to do and sometimes it's just me being there and the quietness allows that process to happen. As you said you've got to be patient. If it's your horse and I'm talking from my own perspective as well, I'm better at it than I was, but sometimes you're quiet but you're watching still you're watching for something to happen. The best things happen when you're just daydreaming or you're looking at buttercup or a bee buzzes buy you're looking at its wings thinking, wow, how does that fly? And then that's when the magic happens, that's when that magic happens. Sometimes when I go see a client, the horses just want to, to just connect to themselves basically, and that can allow that to happen and then the clients will see that and then I give them some tips and just say, look, you can do this, you don't have to have anything apart from time. It's not, when you go down to feed, it's not, when you go to groom or when you go to ride, it's just being with them and if you just sit with them in the field, in the shelter, just take a book, don't think about, you know, being there, just, just be in their presence and that's when they know you're there for that reason and they start to communicate with you.

Jim:

Yeah you know when we're working on a horse or with a horse, you can't have an agenda. If you have an agenda, then the horse picks up on your agenda and then blocks that out, so if you have an agenda, okay, hang on to work on this and this, and I'm sure this is going on with him. It's usually not even that strong an agenda, you know like I have a hard time working on my own horses and I've gotten better at it because I have an agenda with my horses. I know them too well, they know me too well. So a lot of times over the years, I've just had students work on my horses because when I got to work on them, they just blocked me out. They said, no, feed me, ride me, do something, but you're not doing this and I realized I had to really back off. And I realized the first time I had a breakthrough, especially with my mare, she just blocks me out. I was harnessing them up to go driving one day and when I stopped for a second, just to do some techniques to release tension in her hind end, so it wasn't scheduled, you know I'm just going to do a little bit of this before I continue harnessing and all of a sudden she started showing me some releases because I didn't have an agenda and before, when I went to work on her, just for the sake of working on her, I had an agenda. It was enough of an agenda that she wouldn't go along with it and I don't mean she would be nasty or anything, she would just black you know.

Ronnie:

I totally get that, I get that, I think that's the same for everybody, it's the same for my own horse.

Jim:

When you said that you watch a butterfly go by or something that's creates the opening because you just completely let go of your agenda with the horse. Of course the butterfly might block you out now, you're not going to get any work done on it but the horse let's you.

Ronnie:

I have to tell you a bit of a funny story, I think it's funny anyway, one day I was sat in the field and it was really sunny day and it was really calm and quiet and I was feeling really euphoric and really like, oh, what a beautiful day and I was staring into the distance, what I thought was a bird on the fence in and I was thinking, look at that beautiful bird, such a beautiful bird. I was just daydreaming and as I got closer, I was thinking, oh my God, it's not a bird its a twigg so I'd been staring at this twigg for about 10 minutes but I felt on top of the world. Then I just couldn't stop laughing. I was thinking, oh God sake, you should have had your glasses on.

Jim:

What a beautiful twig.

Ronnie:

What a beautiful twig but it didn't matter because my mind thought this was great. We have another comment from emily.

Jim:

I have three horses at home with different breeds and backgrounds when they all respond so differently. Yeah, it make me appreciate how much they are teaching me every time I go out and practice. Yeah, they all respond so differently. Every horse is different, they're not the same. Some are very stoic, some are very trusting. Some are very sensitive and not trusting. Some are very sensitive and trusting, but after working with the horses, I hate to keep bringing up the bladder Meridian but that's the good starting point. I know within like three minutes, what kind of horse it is if it's trusting, if it's blocking it out, how sensitive it is and almost like the personality. So in her comment there that all three of her horses are so different when you slow way down and really start observing, you can really tell the difference. I mean, we all know horses are different and they have different personalities, but you just learn, you just learn from the horse every time.

Ronnie:

Yeah and when it's your horse, it's really hard to detach your own emotions, even if you try, you get emotions in the way. And even when you don't think they are because you could say no, I'm calm, I'm fine. But horses are so, so sensitive. I know from experience but also through the work I do and I explain to people. They'll say, well, I've got to my horse and I wasn't nervous and I did this and then the next things was happening and I'll say, but your horse knew you were nervous before you even got to your horse. They can sense the energy around you before you get there before you see them but if you change your mindset, it can change just as quickly. I gave somebody an example of this but I had to bring an example myself, with my own horses, this was a few years ago. I thought I'd gone calm, I was playing it with her, I was just playing around with her, I was doing something in the paddock and she was telling me, your energy is too high and I was thinking it's not, I thought it was calm. So I stood back and I thought, yeah actually it is because I'm not thinking about that, I'm thinking about something else. And I literally took a few breasts and just listen to my heart rate and let that calm down a little bit and then I went and asked her to do the thing that we was going to do and her whole demeanor changed. It was that quick but we forget sometimes that, it can change the other way just as it can change the way we don't want it to change sometimes.

Jim:

It's almost as if you have to trust what the horse is saying, like in your case, you have a little more you know, open communication with the horse but if I go out and the horses, just acting up and misbehaving. I have to trust that it might be coming from me, the horse is telling me something and so just the fact that the horse is responding differently might be a sign that you might need to change something rather than the other way around. But it's kinda tricky, there's a lady up in Minnesota and she does therapy with humans and horses, and she was explaining, she does this thing where she'll have a group of people just go into a paddock with a bunch of loose horses, say these are five people or so, and there may be 10 or so horses around there. And it's interesting she learned that you might be afraid going in that environment because you're not used to horses and they're big things and they have heavy, big feet that can step on your little feet for example and so if you go in and you're nervous, when a horse comes close and your authentic, and you say, you know, I'm a little scared. Those are the people, the horses will come up to they'll come up and put their nose right by them, it's the people that try to bluff their way through it, that the horses won't come anywhere near they'll just walk around. So she said it doesn't matter what you're feeling. If you're authentic about it, the horse picks up on that you're being authentic and real about it. They don't buy any kind of foanyness at all.. So that was kind of an eye-opener for me, because you can try to be, make yourself not be afraid but the horse will pick up on that. And you can just admit you know I'm a little worried here and that's all and the horse will pick up on that. And then another thing you said, they pick up on your energy long before you're even there. There's an old horse cowboy named Tom Dorrance, he's not alive anymore, but he wrote a few books and he was the guy like pat Perelli and John Lyons and all those guys picked up their stuff from because the Dorransce and his brothers were around a long time, a long time ago. But one of them, I think he said the ride begins when the horse sees you get out of the car. He used to say, pick up on that.

Ronnie:

Yeah, I think that's pretty true. Sometimes when I go see my clients, they don't know what to expect some times. And I put them at ease and I say look first of all, I'm not a mind reader, you know, I don't know your darkest secrets and if I did, I wouldn't say them anyway. But I don't know your life story and I don't need to know your life story and I don't need to know your horses life story. It's just whatever they need to share or what's relevant for them. So sometimes the information that they're hoping to start with is not what they get. But I explained this and tried to put them in ease and I also see, not just because I do this, it doesn't mean that what I will walk up to a stable, the horse goes, oh look it's Ronnie, that's great come on in. They don't have to do that and not that I've had to touch wood, I've been lucky when I've got in to see horses but they don't have to like me, if they have something that they're really not happy about. And if it's to do with how they've been treated by another human, they don't have to like me but they do know that I'm going to try and put their thoughts across the, their view across. As I'm saying that I'm getting goosebumps, I've got prickly feeling on my head. So when I get that, it is what that means when I go out. So they don't have to like me, so I just explain that because it's not the case. And sometimes you go into see a horse and I have a churning in my tummy and I don't get that so much now but if I get the, I pay attention to that and I will always ask the owners, is there anything I need to know, safety wise cause I will interact with the horse. If they want me to, that's what I'm going to do, do I need to know anything and most of them say, no, they're fine but one particular person I went to seen this and no, no, nothing to worry about. I said, okay. So is it okay if I go in the stable and they went, yeah, that's fine. Do you want me to come in, I said no, you can see there it's fine. So I walked into the stable and then as soon as the door closed behind me, I got this feeling and I was like okay and I have to pay attention but I can't allow my energy to rise. I have to be aware of it, almost sit with it and it was like a really feeling. As I'm saying that, now I can feel it in my legs, it's really weird I'm tuning into that time. I went to the back of the horse and the horse seemed fine,then all of a sudden this horse turned around and she says, oh he doesn't like people at the back of his stable. So I said right. I think what we'll do is get a head collar on and we'll do this outside. So you could ask, you know, I don't know what happened that day, but I did ask the question, but she maybe forgot, she just maybe forgot I don't know but that taught me a lesson.

Jim:

I wonder if sometimes people are waiting to see what will happen because they might be wondering, is it just me that the horses this way with, you know, and they're just trusting that the horse will let you know, but it won't cross the line but you have to let the horse, the horses can be authentic to, you know, like you said, they don't have to like you and they can be fearful. And like you've said that ok, you're not trying to make them like you or make them, you know you can't tell somebody don't be afraid, you know, it doesn't work.

Ronnie:

It has the opposite effect.

Jim:

So you just kind of like you said, have to be with it and yeah.

Ronnie:

I saw it was a younger client once and this was a camp I did because I do like tasters at camps and you know, that was a good learning ground for me cause I'd never done that before. I was invited along and they would do taster sessions and it's showing people I do, but also how they can connect with the horse and listen and just do observe them and it was at the end of the day and this young girl says, can you come and see my horse? I said, yeah. Okay. I was just about to go but I'll come and one of the instructors said yeah. I think it'd be good if you go and have a chat with them and this horse was a beautiful horse and he was in a big stable and he was at the back of the stable. So I did my introduction and then I went in and I could tell that this horse was just didn't want to be around anybody and as I'm staying at can feel it in my heart. So I said, well, tell me what it is that you wanting from this horse, so I can't really go into too much details cause it's, it's personal. But what I was trying to say is this horse, isn't the right horse for you and you know, that because of what's been happening and if you don't listen, what's been happening is going to get worse and somebody's going to get hurt. And I was really homing in on her and I spoke to her and I spent about 30 minutes talking to an explaining, you know why this horse was not the right horse for her and she says, yeah, but why doesn't he like me, and I was like, did you hear anything I just said. So she, yeah, I can't really tell a lot about this story actually but it was a really hard one because I thought. I really feel for this horse because you're not seeing what I'm trying to tell you but it was getting dangerous as well and that was my concern.

Jim:

It wasn't really about her, it was about the horse. She was taking it personally and why it isn't it like me, well, it wasn't about her, the horse just wasn't trustful, whatever I'm guessing. Yes.

Ronnie:

Yeah and the horse, the horse had tried to tell her that he wasn't right for her in the way that you don't want to be told. So I ended up saying that. I'm really sorry but I seriously think you should, for one, have your horse checked by a vet, just get all that out the way but really consider about where you're going and why you have this horse, what is it that you want to do? It was basic, like giving a teenager a farari with all that, that goes with it. Yes, they're hard ones, but I don't get many of those and you go home and you feel a bit drained because you can see what the is going to be. But I think it did change, I think what I was hoping for happened. But if the understanding isn't there, that person is going to get another horse, look for what they're wanting and have the same scenario becasue that's what happens. People get more horses and the same scenario happens because yeah, there can be physical things, and there's stuff going on, but actually they need to address what it is within them. That's the first part that they need to address and then when they've sorted that out, they can look at the horse but that's from my my way, yeah.

Jim:

We want control, we want to control things and make them happen a lot and sometimes you have to let go of that. In that case, no matter what she did it wasn't helping, it was getting worse and worse and like you said, she might go get another horse and have the exact same problems and feel like, well, I can make this work and I'm in control here, not in a bad way, but to be able to control our lives and sometimes you have to let go of that control. Definitely.

Ronnie:

So Jim what have you got planned, what's coming up for 2022.

Jim:

Let's see you know we just keep teaching courses and weekends all over and adding more courses and adding new things. We put a DVD at a couple of years ago called light to the core. A lot of our techniques on the weekend are, we have very light techniques and we have movement techniques, that's relaxed movement, for example, starting at the pole and Atlas and going down the vertebra of the neck and just to get them to release tension in the connective tissue and in the scapula and in the hind end, getting movement in the pelvis and the sacral lumbar and sacral area. But it's all by asking relaxed, gentle movement and sometimes handling legs is a little intimidating for people or that's not the way they want to go. They liked that really light work and so I did a DVD called light to the core. How to work on different areas of the horse without using a lot of pressure or movement but also it's learning how to read what's going on in the whole body. For example, when you work in the lower neck area of the horse and you're just searching very likely for responses often in some horses, if they have tension in the groin, they'll feel it. And they'll stomp their foot on the ground or kick at their belly while you're working in this area. So don't ask me why you can look at anatomy, all you want and there's facial connections and there's other things going on. But why that happens a lot, I don't know, but the horse is saying there's tension in the groin. And then when you get back there and you work on the hind end they release a lot of tension in the groin so we've just created a new weekend like to the core clinic that we are going to be starting this coming year. And it'll be for people that aren't necessarily comfortable handling horses, heads, and legs and things, and just want to focus on the more subtle aspects. So that's kind of exciting and we've been developing it this year with one of our instructors in Canada, and now we're going to start putting them out there for people to learn, so that's exciting, for 2020.

Ronnie:

Is that similar to the horse owners weekend can will it sort of be.

Jim:

It's the same format yeah, we'll have horses there to work on and it'll be structured, there'll be a structure to it. Because that's the best way to learn of course, you know, I mean, if you have a short period of time, but the cool thing about the techniques, these techniques is like a lot of people say you can't teach softness in movement, when you're asking for movement in the horse but you can. With these techniques, if you practice the techniques, the movement techniques, as they're taught, you end up getting the feel and some people have naturally have a better feel. They learn how to soften, they're able to yield when the horse braces like automatically, but most people when horse braces, we tense, you know, if you're asking for them to bring their nose around and they brace, we tend to brace back and it's counterintuitive when the horse starts to break, you have to learn how to soften a little bit and then the horse softens and releases some of that tension, then you keep going. But the techniques themselves, teach you how to learn to soften with the movement techniques, but also the light techniques, you learn what level of pressure or non pressure to use. You learn what to look for, you'll learn where to do it and you'll learn what to look for in the horse. And it all starts to make sense, you know But that was again, the long answer, I'll take it in breadth and shorten it up, have to stop me because once I get going, I keep going. There's a structure to it. So that you really can take this simple tool that varying very light and paying attention to what the horse is telling you and you can learn a lot about your horse, another thing about that light techniques, the lighter you go, the deeper, they feel it. So a lot of muscles that you can access from the surface, like, so as muscles and the postural muscles in the spine, horses compensate for pain and discomfort with their postural muscles and then their posture changes and when you use these really light you're not separating muscle fibers, you know, with pressure or anything. You're just putting the horses awareness on where they're holding tension in a way they can't brace against it and if you stay there long enough, their nervous system will start to release the tension. So with the lighter techniques, they're releasing deeper postural and core muscle tension on their own and then you see a change in the horses body. You see their, their posture changes, you start with an angular horse. It's a little inverted and standing you know, with his feet under him or his feet out and after doing really these really light techniques, you step back and you realize a lot of my horses is lengthened out. His neck is longer, he's rounded now in his shoulders and his rump and his back has risen up. And sometimes that happens just by barely touching the horse.

Ronnie:

Just relax, just relax in there. I'm just going to ask you a question but my mind went blank, I was too busy listening to you. I wasn't being a very good interviewee. Obviously COVID has been a big thing for the last few years, has that impacted on I don't know about in the states, but traveling in the UK has made it difficult. Yeah but not for long, for the first, I think six or nine months where everybody was in the states anyways, shut down. Things slowed down because we couldn't assemble to do a seminar and we had a lot of seminars scheduled too, and people registered, but it was interesting that 75% of the people didn't cancel. They just postpone you. Okay. We'll wait until it comes up again. So that was good and then as soon as we could, we started doing more seminars. We did smaller ones and we stayed farther apart, more masks. So we kind of eased back into it but what happened during that first year is a lot of people spend a lot of time on the internet and they found out about us on the internet. So this last year, 2021, we've gotten really, really busy. I think it's cause people slowed down that on the internet and then they learned stuff. You know, they found stuff that, that they might not have connected with. I did something really well on the first lockdown, I say with Sam and Giles at the farm, cause that's where I keep my horse. And Giles said right, if you're going to move in your best move in now, cause we're going to get locked out. So I basically moved in there cause I would have still driven there every day to do my horse because I could have still isolated if I needed to but we see each other every day, so it was like a family anyway. So I stayed there and I camped out, I've always wanted to camp out with Toots but that didn't happen. So I said to Sam and Giles can I camp in the field, they went, yeah. So I camped out for about three nights and I loved it, I loved it cause I quite often sit with Toots. I'll stay there in summer til half eight, nine o'clock at night and I'll just sit in the field and watch the twigs, you know, thinking it's a bird or the bees flying past the, butterflies, so it was really nice to come out with Toots it's and, and you can hear them at night because you don't know what to do at night. They could be having a party for all you know and the foxes and things, but it was lovely, I made a little area that she could come up to the tent but not obviously too close and in the morning she would be dozzing there and open the tent door. And that was such a treat just to spend Outside and just be with the horse.

Jim:

I think a lot of people, you know, the changes brought about by COVID have made them slow down a little bit, maybe sometimes forcibly and then just discover new things and see things in a little bit different way. A lot of people I think have decided they don't really want to go back to their old job. They want to do something new. They want to do something they really enjoy doing. So there've been some good things to come out of it. But yeah. Yeah, you just have to get on and do what you can do it, you really and there's always ways to adapt and compromise. The horse is quite likely because they had more time. Well, some of them did because a lot of places had to close themselves off. So if you had a horse on a yard, sometimes you weren't allowed to go see your horses for the beginning. So a lot of horse owners found that difficult because they couldn't actually spend the time. It wasn't quite as strict in most of this country. It, depending on where you live in, what state with the rules were but it wasn't quite as strict I don't think, strict to the point where people could go to the, the yard and visit their horse without anybody saying anything. Maybe the rule was, no, you can't go out. But it was hard to track it and you know horse people, when they can go see their horse they are going to go do it. So I think it was a little less strict here cause I heard stories over there where people just weren't able to go see their horses for months. Yeah no that's true. The owners would do the horses or they could go and do them, but they'd have like set times and little groups yeah, so I felt really lucky and blessed that I was just doing exactly the same thing, I was seeing my horse every day and I was working. I have a part-time job as well as this, but I was still working apart from the first few months. So for me. I was still doing, you know what I know, and how strict Sam and Giles are, you know, with everything.

Ronnie:

We were having a party every week.

Jim:

A small party.

Ronnie:

A small party in the kitchen, yeah.

Jim:

Well I used to come over there twice a year to England and teach. Sam was always there to help at almost all the courses and now I think she's at almost all of them with Vicky, Vicky Devlin's teaching them now. Sam's part of Vicki's team with our fieldwork students, she coaches them, Sam does and helps Vicki with the courses. So I I have'nt been over there in two years. So now Vicky's teaching all of them but it's working really well, actually. Most of my instructors I think are better teachers than I am. So it doesn't worry me a bit.

Ronnie:

I know Vicky from Sam and Mary and Leigh in fact, Leigh one who is allowed to, she gave me the biggest hug the last time I saw her. Right. I'm a huggy person and I miss it and she gives the most biggest squeezable hug ever and it was so, so nice.

Jim:

She's a very enthusiastic hugger.

Ronnie:

One of those that you don't want to let go. She won't let you let go sometimes, but that's fine cause I missed hugs. So my horse had lots of hugs because you know, that's what I wanted, whether she liked him or not but she tell me she did'nt. I was smiling when you was talking about your mare cause she's similar. She'll either want you near her or she doesn't she'll just walk off. So if you think you're going to do something, especially if I'm saying can I do a little bit work with you, she'll walk off, but if she wants it, she'll come towards me and I know she wants me to just put my hand on her and she'll stay there and then she'll walk off when she's had enough. So I understand my own horse that way, to interact or not. And it was quite difficult when Sam moved away, obviously all the horses went and so she was on her own and she, she really miss the horses and for me, I was getting really worried and I could feel I was doing the owner thing and I almost had to take a step back and treat her as a friend's horse that I was going to do because my emotions were taken over and I was missing Sam too, so it was hard to keep that under wraps. So that had a big impact on Toots and then once I stepped out to myself and detach myself as much as I could. I just used to go to her and not take anything personally. It took a little while, but then it changed. But I had to do that cause she couldn't handle my emotional imbalance as well as her own. So she was like, no, I can't handle yours. I've got enough of my own to deal with. We've turned a bit of a corner, which is really, really nice. So that's good. Cause I missed that side of it, I miss that connection feeling it, it was literally like doing somebody else's horse, so it felt a bit empty.

Jim:

Well, hopefully I know the new variant thing is popping up and hopefully it all smooths out more, even more cause it has smoothed out this last year and I've made three trips to California this year from where I live in it's a long drive, it takes two days and two and a half days, but in California was pretty strict as far as locking down. But the first time when I went out in January you had to wear the mask when you went in the restaurant, but you could go out but in the hotels you had to wear a mask, he had to wear masks a lot and then the second trip in the summer time, like the mask were starting to hang off one ear and then this last trip in November they were just get so tired of it even in California, where there are works that worried about it now they're just not worried. They're not as worried even though these new variants are coming up, I don't know. I think the fear is almost as harmful as the situation, you know, the COVID situation. I don't know. People just latch on to the fear and they won't see anything else. So hopefully they're getting tired of being fearful and now starting to see that maybe life can go on.

Ronnie:

Well it has to do, doesn't it. You can't keep going backwards and forwards. You just can't do it financially and emotionally yeah. Is there anything else you'd like to chat about Jim.

Jim:

No, I think it's interesting, you know that you do intuitive work and so there's, there's a little overlap here because your intuition starts to kick in when you do this type of work, even if you're not aware of it when, when you start. And so that was one reason I wanted to join in on this talk with you, this conversation. Cause there is some, I dunno it's so subtle, like sometimes the body language in the horse is so subtle. We don't even see it and they see it, pick it up. It's almost on an energetic level but when you start to pay attention to subtle changes, the bodywork, you start to pick up on when it's happening. Well, there was one other thing I wanted to say something you said brought it up, but sometimes or maybe something I said brought it up when we're fearful about the horse. For example, we're a little worried about something. If we're authentic about it And acknowledge it, you're safer that way, you know like when you were in the stable, with the horse. You have to be authentic and acknowledge it and I find that talking to the horse, I found myself talking to the horse more and more as the years went on, partially because I would be in the stables nine hours a day working on nine or 10 horses and so I'd have a conversation with them because I wasn't around any people. But I realized that when you say something, you can say the horse, if the horse is afraid, you go in to do something with the horse and I'll go in and they're, they have pain or discomfort in their neck and their pole, for example. And I start to work on it to ask them to loosen it up and the horse is worried. And if I just say, I know you're uncomfortable, but you're going to feel better in a minute. I know you're afraid but just relax, we're going to do it anyways and if I say then I'm clear on my intention. Like everything's going to be okay but not because they speak English cause sometimes you're working on a Friesian and they speak dutch or something or German. So when you say something you're clear on, on your intention and they pick up on your intention. So I find that when I'm talking to the horse if I do it from that, from that angle, just to be honest with them, not trying to make them do something, if I'm honest with them, they pick up on it. Whereas if you just think you're being clear with them, you're not really clear with them. And the other example I use is picking up the feet, when you go to pick up a horse's foot, you think your intention is clear. I want to pick up your foot, but in the back of your mind, is am I going to have to squeeze the flexor tendon, is he going to just lean on it, do I have to pull it. So that's in the back of your mind, but when I go to pick up the foot and then it just 90% of the time it's just happened so easily. I reached down and I say, give me your foot, 90% of the times either unloads it or picks up their foot. And it's not because they understand what I'm saying, but when I say, give me your foot, I'm really clear on my intention because I just said it and they pick up on the intention and that's a simple thing to try, you know, just talk to the horse and just say something and be honest with it. You don't have to go into a big, long diatribe, just, I know you're scared, but you're going to feel better in a minute and then they relax.

Ronnie:

That's a brilliant piece of advice and when he was talking about lifting a foot up because I do that sometimes, if I've noticed my horse is more stiffer than she normally is, I'll go in a bit more attentively and then she doesn't want to lift a foot up. But if I go in, just matter of fact, and I do it, she she'll still have stiffness, but she listed for stop. I was showing a client. I think it was last year, some time and I was asking if your horse to be touched. She, oh, it doesn't like his back foot is not very good with your farrier. And I said, well show me what you do and she walked up to the horse and she was nervous of the horses back foot. So she was very unsure. So I said, well, why don't you go in again and be very matter of fact. So I showed her example myself, so I went in being very unsure and asking in a hesitant way and the horse wouldn't give me his foot. Then I said, now watch this. So I walked in, I said okay foot and it was the intention and then he lifted his foot tall. So I said no w you do it and she went up to the horse and I said don't forget just matter of fact, don't overthink it, just go in okay. So she went in, went to us for the foot and the horse lifted his foot up. I goes there you go, that's how quickly it changes just from how you're thinking, how your process is. So that was a really good example, what you've just shared.

Jim:

And the horses want somebody that's confident, they don't want somebody to show him, I don't like that, show him who's the boss, that's not being confident. That's just scaring the horse into doing what you want, but they want somebody who's confident. That's what they want in the leader. So you're confident and when you're a matter of fact, okay, give me your foot. Then they feel comfortable with that, but they don't feel comfortable with being too tentative around them. You're going to say it's okay, everything's okay and the horse starts to wonder why is there something I should be worrying about? It's just no everything's okay, let's get on with it. You know, that's what they want somebody whose confident.

Ronnie:

If somebody came up to you, I mean.

Jim:

Everything's gonna be okay don't worry how

Ronnie:

What don't I know.

Jim:

Yes, there's something I don't know here. Those were just some things that popped into my mind. When you said, is there anything else that are kind of along the lines of what we're talking about.

Ronnie:

No, thank you for sharing that. I know what I was going to ask you now, so I know that you've done a few clinics when you've worked with other people. You worked with mark Rashid. I do with mark Rashid. What does that bring to somebody that would attend a clinic like that?

Jim:

Well mark he's written a lot of books and he's a storyteller, he doesn't write instructional books. All of his books are stories of his life working with horses and you get the lessons from that. But most of his training is working in the horse from a level of softness in your own body, not just, you know, light hands, his softness in your own body. And another interesting thing about the way you train is that, that I learned after I started working with them is that, a lot of times when we worked on them with the horse to train it we'd put pressure on, and then we take pressure off and we put pressure on, we put pressure on until the horse shows some signs of yielding. And then we take the pressure off, like working in the round pen america, there's a lot of running the horse around in the round pen style, it starts to drop its head and look at you, then you take the pressure off, but he doesn't, his level of training is even at a softer level. So rather than working from the level of putting on pressure on the horse till they get it and then taking the pressure off, he works with the horses sense of curiosity. So he'll just put enough pressure on to make the horse curious that's the goal not to make the horse fearful. It's like, feel good, feel bad, feel good. He doesn't, you know, putting pressure on that horse feels bad and when they do what you want, you take the pressure off, they feel good. He works on that level of curiosity to keep the curiosity of the horse, going know where to start to want to figure the thing out. I found that to be pretty fascinating and the way he trains. He also has a really good eye for seeing stiffness or bracing in the horse or discomfort. So when I first met him, he said he was sending away sometimes 30 or 40% of the clients who came to him to work on a problem they're having with their horse. He'd watch them ride the horse or watch the horse move and he could tell there was a physiological problem, you know, physical component to it and so he would say, I can't give you a lesson until you have that taken care of. So he was sending away quite a few people and he used to work with a chiropractor, a really good, a horse chiropractor that could help with these horses before the lesson. But that fellow moved away, I think he moved to England as a matter of fact but anyway mark was looking for a way to help these horses physically before he would give them a lesson and that's when we crossed paths and his wife, Chrissy became certified and mark took the advanced course natural feel you know, pretty easy student in that department but then Chrissy came up with the idea why don't we do clinics together? Have the horse and the rider come in, we'll ask what they want to work on. We'll watch them ride the horse or watch the horse move and then mark will talk about what he's seeing in the horse's movement from his point of view and I'll add from my point of view, what I'm saying or what might be going on. So we're just thinking out loud so the auditors actually get the really good benefit because they're watching horse after horse and seeing different horses with different issues and different riders with different problems come in. So when you put what he has to offer and what my point of view together, it's actually bigger than the components. It really makes a lot of sense but what happens is we'll do that evaluation and then I'll work on the horse in the afternoon and then the next day the horse will come in and get the lesson. Usually the horse is moving better. Sometimes you find when you're doing the bodywork on the horse, you uncover something the horse has been covering up. It doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen, you'll have a lame horse after the bodywork because the horse has been doing such a good job of blocking it out and covering up the issue but that's good because you've, you're able to work on something, not to fix the horse. You're not working on a horse that's putting up with a lot of pain. You're able to identify. Maybe it's a coffin joint, maybe it's some other issue that you can now treat. But those clinics work really well because the horse gets bodywork. The horse gets the training, the rider gets the training but also when you watch horse after horse come in and they all have such different combinations of things going on. That it's a really good education just to watch, you know, we'll lose three horses a day, it's a three day clinic.

Ronnie:

Are you planning to do any of those in the UK.

Jim:

Well, yeah as soon as the travel restrictions have lightened up but right now, mark and I did one in the UK, I think four years ago and apart from the fact it was freezing cold and wet, it was pretty successful. But come back over as soon as I'm able to travel without a lot of restrictions and there's not a big question mark about, you know, it's changes in the day but in the meantime Vicky teaches the courses there. She does the weekends and she does the advanced course and she does the certification to. Sam's right there with there most of the time. So we want to keep it going in England, a lot of people are interested there. You have a long history with horses and it's growing in England. It's growing in Europe, in Germany and the Netherlands, especially. I'll be coming over at.

Ronnie:

I was at Sam's and when some had students there at the weekend and they used the horse it was nice to just to be there and being around and watch some times. And it's nice to meet new people and like you said, a lot of them are professionals in their own. Right and they want to learn about the masters and to incorporate it with their work. So it was really nice to from an outsider just to watch.

Jim:

Like-minded people that come to these seminars, there something that about what they want to learn, that, that crosses over, no matter what their goal is, whether they're competing or whether they're eventing or whatever ever they're doing, there's something about this that they want to learn, that they can apply to what they're doing and so you get very like-minded people. That's, what's nice about it. So they want the most for the horse and it's kind of cool cause Vicky's developed her own team there of assistance and coaches that she works with and it's just a very smooth running operation and she's almost as funny as I am and she's not quite as tall, she's like amazing with the bodywork and she's an amazing teacher. So she has really good help. I would encourage anybody that wants to learn this. Don't wait, you know, don't wait for me.

Ronnie:

And you don't have to be, so horses are big animals and you think you have to be big energy and the word control is not the right word but you don't, you don't, you can be tiny.

Jim:

Yeah the goal is to get the horse, to relax all of these techniques. If they're not relaxed, they don't work, it's not working. Their relaxation is a part of it. So you have a big tall horse and then you're going to do some work on the pole and neck. A lot of people that aren't as tall as I am and say, well I can't do that because I'm not tall but the goal isn't to do the work, the goal is to get the horse to relax and once the horse relaxes down, you can do the work. All it takes is some practice because Vicki is a little shorter than Sam, which isn't really tall and when we're on a course, teaching something and somebody would say, well I'm demonstrating while you're tall you can do that, I'll call Vicky over and Vicky will start doing her thing and pretty soon the horses head relaxes down and then she's doing the work. I have a photo, she's working on a Clydesdale and she's working on the pole and neck and the photo is you have the horse's head, when she's on the other side, the horse's head is down and she's on the other side with her hand on the nose and you can see her a cap and her knees from the knees down and the rest is the horse's head and she's working on the horse's head is almost as big as she is and she's got it relaxed down to, to her altitude.

Ronnie:

I think I'm the same size as Vicky yeah.

Jim:

So you don't have to have the size or the strength to do this work because the goal is the horse relaxes has to be relaxed through the manipulations that you're doing,

Ronnie:

The horse been relaxed, applies to everything doesn't it. If you want to achieve and to get the best with your horse, whether it's through body work and actually funny enough communication, you know, you don't concentrate cause it's not going to get through anything it's relaxed, but it's relaxing you first and then with the horse or the human or whoever you're working with and riding. So the relaxing is to me, That calm, that nice place to be, that stillness before the storm, that is the place that you're looking for, that is the sweetness and that's when you can start working because if you don't have that, what you do achieve it is not the same effect. So on that score is exactly, exactly the same. I'm very, very pleased that you agreed to chat with me today Jim. Especially with the hiccup earlier, I was panicking.

Jim:

I think we start we started almost right on time.

Ronnie:

We did yeah you should have see my face when I sat down and thinking, okay, where's my links gone. And then I looked and realized at 7:30 AM UK. So it went live about seven 30 this morning but there was nobody there. It's been a real pleasure. I'm just seeing if there's anybody else. Somebody is asking if you're going to go to Japan.

Jim:

Well yeah we have a practitioner in England she's English and Japanese and she's translating the beyond horse massage book in Japanese and the goal is next year or the year after to have seminars going over there. They have a big horse expo over there, so I'll probably go over and do some demonstrations and then we'll start the seminar program. If people are interested our website, masterson method.com has all the information on this and I have tons of free YouTube videos that you can like that are on the website that show you, you know, simple techniques you can do with your horse. There's a bladder marridian technique video about a 15 minute video on the website. I think it's under the educational videos you know, I share a lot of this cause I want people to go out and try it and if it works for them, then they can come and learn more. I hate it when I spend money on something I don't like or it's not for me, so I want people to go out and try it cause it's easy to learn and do so I want them to go out and try it. And if they get results and they like what they're doing, then they come back and they can learn more and they can get the book and DVD beyond horse massage and they can just go from there if they want and if they want to learn more, they can do a weekend clinic and if they want to learn more, they can go from there. My goal is every horse have had the bladder Meridian done on it at least once.

Ronnie:

Yeah I see that in your bio. What I'll do is I'll find that video and I'll attach the link, they can find that as well. Well thank you very much Jim so if you want to say goodbye to your friends and colleagues.

Jim:

Yeah Sam, and Vicky's and anybody else hi, we don't see each other much these days.

Ronnie:

Thank you so, so much. I'm going to pop you out, see you soon. That was so nice, it was so lovely to chat to Jim and what a lovely guy, what a funny guy yeah, that was brilliant. So thank you very much for everybody that commented and stopped by to watch this, you can watch it again afterwards and I'll put any links that Jim mentioned at the end, so if you want to find anything about the masters and you can go straight to his website. Have a lovely Christmas and I shall speak to you soon. Thank you very much for stopping bye. Bye for now.