Horse lovers gathered at Throwaway Ponies horse shelter on June 2 to participate in the Beyond Horse Massage Therapy Workshop, which taught people to respond to their needs.
Instructor Lorre Mueller specializes in The Masterson Method, the program used to massage horses.
Mueller said the point of the Masterson Method is to work with the horse.
“You don’t need to know the anatomy of a horse to understand what they like and don’t like,” Mueller said.
The weekend-long workshop had a group of 10 female participants all of which had different reasons for being there. Some do volunteer work with horses while some owned horses, but all the participants had the same need, to further understand a horse.
The massages are meant to comfort the horse by relieving tension from everyday activities or by relieving pain from an injury or illness.
Mueller said it should take a while if done correctly.
“It’s not necessarily a deep tissue massage like humans get,” Mueller said.” It can be a light touch, but it’s all about whether or not they like it.”
Mueller advised everyone to tune in to the horse’s needs and see what makes they comfortable or uneasy. If a horse likes something they may begin to fidget, lick and chew, or yawn.
“They can’t hold it in forever,” Mueller said. “They start to let go and relax.”
One thing to remember when using the Masterson Method is to not overdo it on a horse. Mueller said to wait two days between massage sessions.
“It is possible to massage the horse too much,” Mueller said. “Too much overloads the central nervous system.”
After the lesson participants were able to get hands-on experience working on a horse.
Mueller said the point of the workshop is to help the horse.
“If the horse can’t do something, don’t ask him to do it,” Mueller said.
For more information about the Masterson Method visit www.mastersonmethod.com.