Congratulations to the following individuals (in alphabetical order) who are now certified as Masterson Method Equine Specialists!

Photo of Mary Kay BurkartMary Kay Burkhart

Masterson Method Certified Practitioner
Masterson Method Equine Specialist
Rebound Equine Bodywork, LLC
(Berryville, VA)

When Mary Kay discovered the Masterson Method and observed the remarkable changes and improvements in her horses’ movement, range of motion, performance, recovery and well-being, she immediately undertook the Masterson Method Certification as a professional equine bodyworker. Completing the Masterson Case Studies opened a door into the diverse, thriving world of horses in Therapeutic settings. Volunteer work on, with, and for the horses in numerous community programs offered at Loudoun Therapeutic Riding in Leesburg, Virginia was enriching and inspiring. As one of the oldest and largest facilities in Virginia, Mary Kay describes LTR as “a prime example of another dedicated group of talented professionals fully committed to meeting the needs of their community, and serving the greater good.” To that end, she participated in the first Masterson Method Pilot Course developed and given by senior Masterson Method Instructors in 2015 who explored and refined a future, additional Certification of Masterson Method Equine Specialist (MMES), specifically designed for use in Therapeutic settings, and emphasizing the importance and significance of ‘giving back’ to the horse. In addition, Mary Kay attended a Workshop developed by Natural Horsemen (and MMCPs!) Mark and Chrissy Rashid, designed especially for MMCPs and Students interested in bringing the many benefits of Aikido Martial Arts to the practice of Equine Bodywork and Horsemanship as well. Mary Kay wishes to express her appreciation and admiration to each and everyone in the Masterson Method organization for their outstanding professional Programs, Seminars, and Mentorships, and the dedication, inspiration, generosity and integrity they instill in service to horses and the people who care for them.

Naomi HarpestadNaomi Harpestad

Masterson Method Equine Specialist
(Mayville, ND)

I was very fortunate to have been raised on a farm in rural North Dakota.  I was the youngest of 6 and was riding on a pony with my sisters before I could walk.  My memories growing up are of spending days in our pastures with our horses.  We had a herd of over 40 at times.  We raised Arabians and had 4-5 foals each Spring.  Along with my sisters, I would work with the young foals.  We would do our best to teach them the basics of being handled, leading and being tied.  Looking back, I realize they really taught us the basics.  We also had many riding horses.  We rode for pleasure, around our small town and rural roads.  It was a very good way to grow up.

I am also lucky to be married to my high school sweetheart for 31 years.  We have raised three boys and have kept horses in our lives.  Our middle son was born with special needs.  It was during his younger years, when he wanted to ride, that I began to see horses in a new way.  The Arabian gelding that would prance and dance when I rode him, was quiet and soft when our son was near.  That same gelding became his riding horse.  This opened my eyes to a new level of connection that horses offer.

When I talk to friends or people I meet about my love of horses, they either tell me they love horses too – or they tell a story of a horrible horse experience.  It has become my goal, with my son and our herd of seven horses & one pony, to bring a positive horse experience to others.  There is a group of students from the area alternative school (children with special needs) that come out weekly to be with our horses as well as other friends and family that come often to get some horse time.

I discovered The Masterson Method when one of our geldings started having back issues.  I found videos of Jim doing The Masterson Method online and knew I needed to go to the clinic!   My son and I went to that first Masterson clinic together.  He has gained so much confidence when his horse responds to his touch it is truly priceless. The MMES training for me fits right into what we are doing and what we can offer other equine therapy programs!  What a great way to teach others, all ages and abilities, how they can so softly connect with a horse and help them release tension.  On a side note, in my life as a fitness instructor, I use the MM concept when I am teaching classes!  Now more than ever I cue to “pause & breathe” and “less can be more”!  It is good for humans to “stay and wait for the release” too! As for my horse life, my goals have grown.  Along with providing a place for humans to have a positive horse experience, I want every horse to have a positive human experience!  Masterson Method teaches us just that.  Thank you to MMES program (especially to Lise Lunde) for the training that allows us to spread this gift to the horses who give so much to all of us.

Cortney Honey

Masterson Method Equine Specialist
(Ottawa, ONT, Canada)

Cortney was born and raised on a dairy farm. Her family has always had horses so she was able to experience them, as well and many other animals, from a very young age. After her family sold the dairy cattle she became more involved with horses. She sees and feels so many benefits these wonderful creatures can bring into our lives and strives to share this with others. Cortney enjoys training and giving presentations. Throughout her career at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, she has worked with many unique individuals on some very interesting files. She feels fortunate for this experience as well as having had the chance to develop herself as a trainer specializing in Tactical Communications. In her private life, she enjoys teaching horsemanship and equine-assisted learning activities while taking every opportunity she can to continue to grow and learn. From the day she was introduced to The Masterson Method she knew it was something very special for horse people and non-horse people alike to enjoy. She feels it ties many things together from her past and draws bits and pieces of things well worth sharing that she has observed and experienced. She feels a strong link to horsemanship, overall wellbeing, and equine-assisted learning. Cortney is looking forward to sharing some of her knowledge and experience in The Masterson Method with others in the equine-assisted learning setting so they can go on to experience and share this wonderful gift themselves.

Kelly Jefferson PhotoKelly Jefferson

Masterson Method Equine Specialist
Masterson Method Certified Practitioner
(Austin, TX)  

Following a 20 year detour, I am so grateful that I found a path back in to the horse world.  I now spend my time volunteering at therapy barns, doing Masterson Method equine bodywork for clients, and riding my heart-horse Strider.  From the day I discovered Masterson Method, the trajectory of my life changed in a whole new direction. I’m certain my clients’ horses are happy as well.  I am honored and amazed by the spirit and kindness of horses — their ability to connect and heal is endless.  During my Masterson Method certification fieldwork, I knew there was something going on with Masterson Method that transcended “bodywork”.  If you’ve done the Bladder Meridian, then you know what I’m talking about. I always wanted to somehow combine Masterson Method bodywork and equine therapy, but I didn’t know how.  Naturally, when I heard about the new Masterson Method Equine Specialist certification, I jumped on it. I honestly did not sleep the first night, my mind spinning with excitement. I recently completed The Masterson Method Equine Specialist certification and I am so excited to spread the word. I am fortunate to make the barn my office, and horses my clients.  I could not be happier.

Photo of Teresa Pool, Masterson Method Certified Equine Specialist

Teresa Pool

Masterson Method Equine Specialist
Transitions for Business Equine-Facilitated Coaching
(Dallas, TX)  

I came to horses late in life after hitting a personal and professional plateau in my long career as a transition and leadership coach.  I felt challenged to offer more meaningful and profound growth experiences to my clients.  Coaching with horses was gaining momentum so I jumped on board and left my plateau behind. Through equine-facilitated learning sessions, the horse became the coach and magical things happened.  In 2014 I found my tribe at Solace Equine Center where we partner with addiction centers to work with adults in rehab and share that magic with them during their healing process.  No two sessions are the same and the horses somehow know to bring the perfect lesson to each person.  I have always been drawn to giving back the gift of healing to our horses and found The Masterson Method to be the perfect tool.  There is always a queue waiting for me at the barn!  We have also incorporated the MMES approach into our work with clients so they can be part of the powerful giving/receiving cycle.  It has become one of the favorite programs for both humans and horses.

Photo of Dawn RickDawn Rick

Masterson Method Equine Specialist
(Sherrill, IA)  

My horse story starts when I was eight years old, with my calf Pokey and I jumping hay bales together, followed by my first horse purchase, Buck, when I was in fifth grade – using the money I saved working on our family farm.  In 2001 the direction of my life changed drastically when I had a conversion experience with Jesus Christ.  Soon after, I heard the story of Kim Meeder, who started Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch for at-risk kids. I was hooked on the idea of therapeutic riding. With it, I found a way to share my love of horses with other people.  In 2012 I received PATH’s Registered Riding Instructor certification. Shortly thereafter, we started a ministry working with a small group of volunteers and participants at our property near Sherrill, Iowa. This past summer, my veterinarian recommended that I check into The Masterson Method to see if it could help my horse with an unexplained soundness issue. After treatments, my husband and I were amazed at the responses, improved movement and attitude of my horse, Job. So the story continues with another piece of the puzzle put into place with The Masterson Method Equine Specialist certification. Our horses work hard for us, both physically and mentally, and they deserve the best that we can do for them. So it is really exciting to get started, helping therapy center horses and their participants.


Jennifer Sweere

Masterson Method Equine Specialist
PATH Int’l Equine Specialist for Mental Health
(Palmer Lake, CO)

Jennifer has always loved horses, but it took awhile to take the step to have them be a part of her life. She decided, during a crucial growing time, to say, “Yes” to many things in life and horses were one of the most influential of those choices. She began volunteering at Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center in Elbert, CO in August of 2014. She loves everything about the time she spends there. She learned her horse know-how from so many of the people (and horses!) there. There have been many life opportunities that have grown out of that initial decision to live life to the fullest. She loves all the ways a horse can help a human, but most especially, in the area of psychotherapy and learning. For her, a turning point, an arrow of direction, happened when she was taking the PATH International Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning workshop. The instructor posed the question of, when the horses have done their jobs for us, “How can we restore them?” That resonated with what Jennifer wishes to accomplish with her life… to heal, to restore. The Masterson Method helps us help the horse. When the Equine Specialist part of The Masterson Method was proposed, Jennifer was on board right away. It is a wonderful way to teach people to give back to the animals that give so very much of themselves to us. A side note (that is anything but a side note!) is that Jennifer adopted a retired therapy horse, a 24-year-old Paint named Lito, from the riding center she volunteers at and now also works at as an ESMHL instructor.