Meet Sarah, MMCP
I am a lifelong horse person, inheriting the obsession from my grandmother and father. In the saddle at 2 years old, over time I have been active in hunters, dressage, ranch riding, competitive trail, and currently, eventing. Prior to my journey into equine bodywork, I was fortunate to be involved in the horse community in many different areas, as a rider & competitor, a developing executive with Ariat® boots, a local and regional leader in the United States Pony Clubs, and (my most difficult role!) a mom cheering from the rail. I have a passion to help humans and horses connect and grow together, and especially enjoy exploring new approaches and innovative products.
It was through Pony Club that I saw my first demonstration of The Masterson Method® and was drawn in completely. This unique form of bodywork presented the perfect avenue to greatly improve the health, comfort & well-being of so many horses and their people. I combine my Masterson training with a wide range of continued professional education including anatomy, biomechanics, nutrition, farriery, saddle fit, and stable management. I believe strongly in taking a “whole horse” approach to help owners determine possible primary issues that may be behind their horse’s discomfort or diminished performance. I enjoy working with all horses, whether competitive athletes or pets, with a soft spot for the off-the-track Thoroughbred, and supporting their transition from racing life.
Integrated Equine Performance Bodywork
ALL horses can benefit from bodywork due to the tremendous effect it has on muscle health, blood flow, range of motion and enhanced well-being. Bodywork is also instrumental in:
- Relief of muscle tension and entrenched compensation patterns from past injuries, poorly fitted tack or rider imbalance
- Reduced risk of injury or the proper recovery from one
- Resolution of “training issues” that may well be pain-induced compensations
** Bodywork is not a substitute for veterinary care, which must always come first. Horses in the acute phase of an injury should not have bodywork unless specifically advised by their veterinarian, and any horse in the recovery phase of an injury must have a veterinary referral.
- We will need a few minutes together before the session to gather information about your horse and how you manage him/her.
- The location for work is dependent upon where the horse feels most comfortable – stall (hay/feed removed), paddock, cross-ties – and preferably somewhat removed from the busiest time/location at the barn.
- Appointments should be scheduled with feeding times in mind as this is a powerful distraction.
- A loosely fitted halter (flat webbing or leather preferable) with attached lead rope is needed for the techniques.
- Please do not worry about having your horse spotless, however, feet picked and excessive mud removed is important.
- I do ask that you meet me at the barn before the initial visit, however once we have discussed your horse you are welcome to stay or leave.
- Full sessions typically last close to 2 hours, so I completely understand you may not be able to stay the whole time.
- For repeat sessions, we can discuss any new information via phone or text, and I am happy to work with your horse on my own.
- I always give detailed feedback via text or email at the end of each session and love to answer any questions about the work that you may have.
- Unless we are doing a focused session at a show, the best day for bodywork is a day off.
- Cold muscles are more productive to finding areas of tension, and it is important for the nervous system to have time to process, and for the horse to acclimate to his/her improved range of motion and feel.
- The ideal post-session activity is free turnout, although an easy hand-walk or trail ride is a great option.
- I will advise you if your horse has had significant deep releases which would best be followed with additional time off
- I am happy to work with your schedule, as long as I do not feel it will have a significant effect on the bodywork.
- Just as with humans when we feel better, the range of responses to bodywork by horses is widely varied – improved movement, calmer nature, better appetite, change in posture, increased willingness to perform, etc.
- If we are working toward a particular issue you are having with your horse, feedback from you about any changes will be very helpful for follow-up sessions.
Yes! A short, focused session can be extremely helpful to reduce tension from an unusual level of work, and for those horses that have difficulty with the heightened atmosphere at a show.
- This is not the time to pursue a full session, though.
- With many disciplines, at a show we want the muscles tuned and ready for the explosive movements required. Rest and relaxation of muscles are vital to long-term health and performance, but not right before you go into the arena.
- Also, the interconnectedness of the horse’s muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments means a release in one area may reveal tension elsewhere for which the horse was compensating.
- Most active horses respond well to a 4-week cycle for maintenance of muscle health. This also lets us identify and stay on top of any changes that have come up.
- Horses in a demanding training program or those with complications from a long period of tension/compensation may need more frequent visits initially, typically every 2 weeks.
- For our senior citizens or those horses with a less demanding work schedule, once every few months can give them a welcome boost.
Absolutely! Several of the Masterson Method® techniques are very user-friendly and explained in detail in the Beyond Horse Massage book by Jim Masterson, or covered in YouTube videos. I am always happy to give you input on techniques that you could add to your interaction with your horse.
Sarah is amazing with horses...even opinionated mares. She is so passionate about what she does and really takes the time to figure out how she can help. I highly recommend you give your horse the opportunity to experience her work.
I've noticed such a difference in my horses since Sarah began working with them. She has a remarkable way of reading the individual horse and modulating her interaction with them to meet each specific need at the moment. I'm grateful to have happier, healthier, more well-balanced horses as a result.
My mare feels so much more even in the contact and in lateral work after working with Sarah. It is like her body has been unlocked and she is able to more comfortably reach into areas she was reluctant to before. She is a high energy mare, but she literally just melts into her bodywork sessions.
Sarah's dedication to her craft is matched by her natural feel and ability to understand what the horses are telling her. She is incredibly patient and the horses love her. The improvements are obvious, and the information I can gain from Sarah's work is invaluable. Highly recommend!