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Equine Massage Therapy Courses: Which do you recommend?

26 Feb
equine massage school

What equine massage school would you go to?

I guess everybody is unique. I love, and benefit from, chiropractic and massage work done on my own body. My husband thinks both are just O.K.

I have seen horses that have had both of these responses; some seeming indifferent and others who had dramatic improvement in performance.

So here are my questions: Have you ever taken a massage therapy course for horses? If you use an equine massage therapist: do you know where they were certified?

I realize that a two day weekend course won’t be as intensive as a two year course but I am thinking of looking for a short course to take. Newt and I had a talk the other day (actually I was doing some YouTube massage techniques on him) and he agreed I should take a course. He liked what I did but wanted more.

A quick google search came up with Equissage, The Masterson Method, as well as several schools that vary in length from a few weeks to a few years. Does anyone know about these programs?

 
47 Comments

Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Life

 

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47 responses to “Equine Massage Therapy Courses: Which do you recommend?

  1. brennacahill

    February 26, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I was certified through Equissage Texas with Sara Berry. Her course was an intense one week course where you learn through class work and hands on with the horses she provides for class. She is a very informative instructor and it was an awesome experience.

     
  2. Cynthia Snyder

    February 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Interesting post. I just scheduled my horse for “treatment.” This person, Tom Mayes was recommended to me. I know in addition to working on/with horses he does training in Equine Therapy and I think he might even have a DVD. He is out of Northern California: http://www.integratedequinetherapies.com/ I will have to let you know how it goes!

     
  3. brennacahill

    February 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I was certified through Equissage Texas with Sara Berry. Her course is an intense one week course with class room work and hands on with the horses she provides. She is a very informative instructor and it was an awesome experience.

     
  4. eklundpiddlers

    February 26, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    I bought the Masterson Method book and dvd’s. Really good stuff and I know my horses enjoy it.

     
  5. Darla

    February 26, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Took the massage course through Prairie Winds Equine Massage College in Fort Collins Colorado and would highly recommend it. Amazing people and a huge amount of hands on work with willing instructors and knowledgable saddle fitters, makers, farriers, riders, and massage therapists.

     
  6. darlaflack1

    February 26, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I have the Masterson book and find it easy to follow. Well worth the money!

     
  7. karen

    February 26, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I have taken the Masterson Method clinic/workshop and I practice it on therapy horses where I volunteer… there have been only positive responses 😉 and it does make [scientific] sense.

     
  8. Terri Anderson

    February 26, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I was going to ask you the same question! I have been contemplating taking an quine massage course myself! My reining horse seems to benefit greatly from the chiropractic treatments that my veterinarian does. He visibly relaxes the minute he starts working on him:) And his performance improves as well:) Will be following the comments on this!

     
  9. heidibillmayer

    February 26, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I love that you are looking at doing this! I had always wanted to be an equine massage therapist and never pursued it until just over a year ago. My beloved mare was struggling holding her chiropractic adjustments which was causing way more than necessary (monthly) visits to the chiropractor. I live in rural Montana and going to see the chiro was a pretty far trip for us. So I finally decided to take equine class. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. It helped Paris so much, she started holding her adjustments longer, her ROM (range of motion) improved and she became less arthritic. I am very much an advocate of equine massage in conjunction with chiropractic work. There are not any other equine massage therapists where I live, so I have been really lucky to get the opportunity to work on a few different performance horses. (Most all rodeo horses) so far I haven’t gotten a bad review on my massage, I’ve been able to help a navicular horse manage his shoulder soreness, a barrel horse take a second off his best time, and recently I’ve been working on rope horses that tend to be having trouble because of hind end soreness. I took my classes through Midwest natural healing for animals. Was very happy for the most part. And I’ve seen good results with this method. I am so excited about your post! Whatever you choose I’m sure it will be great! Yay! Hope you don’t mind I’m going to share my blog post about pursuing equine massage therapy in this comment! Best of luck to you and I’m very excited to see what you decide and hear about your journey! http://equineenthusiasm.com/equine-massage-therapy-pursuing-passion/

     
  10. coopercreekcollection

    February 26, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    There is also a very special myofascial release course, likely out of Colorado, designed by the son of the top human myofascial release instructor in the country (john barnes–arizona). You can get the contact info through Soma Physical Therapy [contact@somapt.com]. There is none better in MFT. MFT breaks up the scar tissue the locks tissue up, freeing it to move again.
    julie w

     
    • heidibillmayer

      February 26, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      ! I am very interested in that as well. I’m very excited about all this information. I’ll be checking it out. Thank you.

       
  11. Gilliyan

    February 26, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I’m a fully certified equine sports massage therapist & trained with Equi-Therapy UK. They do take international students so might be worth a look.

     
  12. Kathleen Curran

    February 26, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Hi Stacy – I follow you every day on FB and wherever else I see something written by you. I took Equissage in Sterling CT, but it is also offered in VA. Its a week long course, a tough week but very good. I love being around horses, and I always say if I can bring them some comfort though massage, then its win win; horse feels good and I feel glad to help them. Equissage is quite different from T-Touch, and I think the Masterson Method is different as well … all depends on what you are looking for. I know you would thoroughly enjoy it as well as your buddy Newt.

     
  13. Brenda

    February 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I am VERY interested in equine massage therapy! I am currently in MT school. I’ll be finished in April and plan to take a EMT course soon after I graduate. Would love to hear suggestions!

     
  14. Lady Constance

    February 26, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I know nothing of it Stacey, however I’ve been on disability and looking for something to do that would make a difference. I live north of Pittsburgh. If anyone could assist me as well it would be highly appreciated. ❤❤❤❤❤ Thank you❤❤❤❤❤

     
  15. Ayley "L"

    February 26, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Look into TTouch.
    Linda Tellington-Jones, the founder is in her youthful 80s and is teaching 3 Equine courses soon here in the states. Your site won’t let me post the link but its Ttouch dot com slash horseAnnouncements.shtml
    Lots of info on her site. she has great results through both hands on TTouch and her “Playground of Higher Learning ” groundwork exercises.

     
  16. Lori Gunter-Haug

    February 26, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I have massage therapy on them and the Masterson is the best Jim Masterson is the founder. He also has books and DVDs showing you how to help your horses

     
  17. Beth

    February 26, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I am certified with Equissage, have taken levels 1 & 2 myofascial release with Ruth Mitchell Golloday (the top equine MFR instructor in the U.S. trained by John Barnes), have taken the weekend Masterson Method course and one of the advanced Masterson Method courses, have taken the introductory Equine Tallgrass course, among numerous other equine massage courses. I really think taking one of the Masterson Method courses gives you the most bang for your buck for the time spent. I am glad I have taken all the different courses because they all teach you something, but the Masterson Method produces immediate results without a lot of practice. Have fun whichever way you go! 🙂

     
    • Lady Constance

      February 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Wow, thank you! Looks like I need to do a lot of research and to find classes relatively near Pittsburgh.
      Your info is much appreciated💜

       
  18. Erica Wallace

    February 26, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I took a 5 day course, from NE Indiana Equine Massage and Rehab. Then found the Masterson Method. As I can afford too will go to some of his clinics. Even short course, would be worth it just to use on your own horses. I find if you are in tune to “listening” to your horse they will tell you TONS. YouTube Bladder Meridian Jim Masterson. I use this on every horse before I massage.

     
    • Lady Constance

      February 26, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you. I appreciate the information. Its a great gift that all of you are sharing your knowledge. Many blessings my friends

       
  19. Erica Wallace

    February 26, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I also incorporate the use of Young Living Essential Oils into the massage and it greatly increased the benefits.

     
  20. Sharon Buxton-Bregola

    February 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I have the Masterson book and DVD as well as attended a couple of his clinics and was very impressed with the results. At some point in time, I would love to go further in studies with the technique.

     
  21. Becky Brandenburg

    February 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    http://www.horseanddogtherapy.com

    All equine classes are semi-private

     
  22. Christina

    February 26, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I am certified in both Equissage and the Masterson Method. I primarily use the Masterson techniques but incorporate some of the massage that I learned through Equissage when I feel it is needed. I find the difference between the two is that when doing the Masterson Method you are working “with” the horse, he/she is an active participant. The Equissage techniques are more something that you do “to” the horse. Masterson offers a variety of courses from 2 day weekend courses as an introduction(which allow you to go home and work on your horses quite effectively) to 5 day advanced courses (in which you learn a few more techniques and can go on to do case studies and further training to get certified). They also have a 3 day “Dressage movements revealed” course geared to the needs of the dressage horse and biomechanics. The Masterson Method book and DVD’s are very well done and offer step by step instruction in an easy to follow format.

     
  23. Gwen Quon

    February 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    I too love the Masterson method. I have the DVD and had the opportunity to see Jim work on a horse at a horse expo. It is amazing how quickly my horses responded to his exercises and I have gotten better over time. It teaches you to read your horse and his reactions to your touch. My horses love this time with me and it has helped them greatly.

     
  24. Judy coldren

    February 26, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Although Equissage is just a one week course, you get 60 hours, and that is like a semester in college. It is really studying and learning in a 12 hour day. Of course it is just the beginning but I think a great basis for anything else you may incorporate. I took the course from Mary in Round Hill, VA
    I’ve also studied with Linda Tellington Jones, and use a little of both on my horses.

     
  25. Marva Hamlin

    February 26, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Masterson Method – my interest started when one of my quarter horses was injured, I ordered the book and DVD. When I saw the positive results, I took it to the next step of a weekend seminar to enhance my skills.
    The benefit to my horse was multifold – it helped interrupt the pain cycle to help her healing processes, it helped stimulate the muscles and minimize atrophy, it helped both our emotional well being (she knew I wasn’t giving up on her, and it kept me from succumbing to the horrible helpless feeling when you can’t take the pain away.)
    I began using it on other (non injured) horses and have found it to be an excellent tool for improving demeanor and trust as well as enhancing physical abilities.

     
  26. Sierra R

    February 27, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I’m actually about to start taking Equine Massage Therapy along with farrier and trainer at Meredith Manor in WV. Their massage therapy course is 12 weeks.

     
  27. Lori

    February 27, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Lots of great info in the Masterson book – easy to apply techniques that are very effective – if you aren’t planning to offer massage as a service for pay – then this book is a great – if you just want to provide relief for your own horses.

     
  28. equinein

    February 27, 2015 at 2:30 am

    I have looked up both equissage and the matterson method, but my equine massage therapist friend in arkansas recommended http://www.ne.indianaequinemassage.com/#2918 ….I am wanting to and my goal is to be certified I just can’t afford it right now! If anyone knows of any funding i would love to know about it!!! I volunteer and so does my husband when he can at a therapeutic riding center that also has ot and speech therapists come out and use hippotherapy, they also have a veterans program… I am at a level 1 hippotherapy training course this weekend as a horse handler in alberquerque new mexico with skyline therapy, and Compadres therapy from el Paso tx really helped me get here… Any advice on funding? I just graduated with my bachelors degree and might look into going to physical therapy school later, but with our recent military move i have put that on hold for now, but I would love to really stick with areas of horses since i am so passionate about them and have grown up with them

     
    • thebunch1

      March 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Contact me for more info on classes-I do take payments and have classes in TN as well. I have 15yrs experience, and my TN instructor is a licensed massage therapist! I teach more than just massage. I also have a great Correspondence Course that is just $750-you can pay $250 per month! As you go 🙂 http://www.midwestnha.wordpress.com

       
  29. equinein

    February 27, 2015 at 2:33 am

    I would love to get certified and work on Compadres therapy horses I also use young living essential oils on my own horse just doing some massage tips i have been shown 🙂 I would get certified in a heartbeat, but funding is hard right now.

     
  30. Connie Bultemeier

    February 27, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Hi Stacy!

    Would love for you to come to Decatur, Indiana and check out NE Indiana Equine Sports Massage & Rehab Therapy LLC.

    We offer an affordable 4 day; hands on horses massage class. I am an approved provider for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, and I myself continue my education so i can become a great instructor!

    If you would like more information, questions, or would like to enroll, please contact me at the office : 260-547-0041
    or check out our website :
    http://Www.ne.indianaequinemassage.com

    Good luck with your journey!

     
  31. Susan Roberts

    February 27, 2015 at 7:28 am

    I have taken 3 levels of Equine massage therapy and got my certifications. I am now going for my master’s. I attend Rocky Mountain School Animal Massage and Acupressure. It is located in Elizabeth,CO. I highly recommend this school. They are very thorough and have excellent teachers.

     
  32. Dan Chambers

    February 27, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I think the Masterson method is very good. Easy to learn, horses love it, and Jim has a very good training program and clinic schedule. My horses have really seemed to respond, and I use it now when starting young horses to build the relationship. Seem to respond to me much faster after a session, and builds the trust that you’re not going to hurt them.

     
  33. Kelly Boisvert

    February 27, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I completed the Equissage course through Hocking College. I really enjoyed it! For practice on labeling muscles we would write all the muscle names on blank address labels and then the second half of our test, we had to stick them in the correct locations on a horse. Fun way to practice:)

     
  34. LadybugFarm

    February 27, 2015 at 11:29 am

    i took a very intensive course from the Western Montana School of Equine Massage.(http://www.equinetouchmontana.com/) it was absolutely one of the BEST things i have ever done! i was also trained under Linda Tellington-Jones to do the TTouch program. i was blessed to be able to work directly with Linda and her sister Robin. since then i have purchased the Masterson Method book and am interested in taking a course with him as well.

    most of the horses i have owned have really benefited from massage over the years. none more than my horse now, Billy Blaze 🙂 he absolutely LOVES to be massaged. i also am quite knowledgeable in the use of Young Living essential oils (i even wrote a book with my aunt about using the oils on animals! http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Four-Legged-Friends-Essential-Supplements/dp/1499353723/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8) so he benefits from quite a few different techniques.

    i highly recommend the school here in western montana and the Masterson Method clinics as well.

    something that i really love about the Masterson Method is that it doesn’t take a lot of muscles from the human to effect great change in the horse. he works on the meridians and uses such a light touch. i have been simply amazed at the changes in my horse when it “feels” like i’m doing very little. as usual my horse proves that less is more where horses are concerned 😉

     
  35. Annette

    February 27, 2015 at 11:43 am

    My first horse is a rescue that sustained a serious neck injury as a yearling, 2 rotated vertebrea, that caused him to be unable to flex and reduced feeling in his back end. I have worked with a chiropractor to correct the neck which often release the nerves in his back end but since he was growing so fast I needed to stretch him daily and provide massage. I am an athletic coach so I have a strong background in using methods on people. Transferring that to a horse was natural. Never realized it was still so controversial. I have used Mastersons techniques with huge results. My guy often lets me know when he wants me to massage him or stretch him. The best part is when he uses the same stretches on his own as needed. I also use a acupressure ball after workouts and light therapy for other trauma areas and to help with circulation. His improvement is amazing and I highly recommend learning what you can to improve your relationship if nothing else. When you watch him with pasture buddies, he gives me signs of other horses that need assistance so he must be happy with his results!
    Would love to hear what you choose and why ~ in case I decide to follow through on getting certified.

     
    • thebunch1

      March 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      Stacey, so glad you are considering Equine Massage and checking out all the Schools. We all teach something different, and have different levels of experience in the field. Which is so very important! I have been working on horses since 1999-and have developed my own Rehab Strategies™ for Sway back, arthritis, EPM, and now offering Cribbing Release (with the help of a students discovery). These are only available at my School, and for my students-since I developed them 🙂 And proud to be able to do that. My students are doing great work-one has a job at Kansas State Univ Vet Hosp, and we are the Equine School for the Utah College of Massage Therapy as well! I offer a 2 month pre class for Eyeballing, Biomechanics, Saddle fit, Dental info, Under Saddle Balancing™, and more! I also mentor my students after the class, I have a private group on facebook for all of them to go to and ask questions, post pics of cases, and help each other too!
      I also have a great 3 month Correspondence course ($750)-that can be paid monthly if you need a payment plan!
      contact me thru my website or email at equinemassageandrehab@gmail.com
      http://www.midwestnha.wordpress.com

       
  36. Amanda Shear

    March 1, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I recently became a certified equine massage therapist thru Beverly Brady’s school. Hands down it was one of the best experiences of my life. She is an amazing teacher, and has been right here with me if I have any questions, no matter how small. I am extremely confident in what I do, all thanks to Bev. I am very happy with my choice to take her class, and would very highly recommend her school to anyone.

     
  37. Christy Laporte (cj's equine sports massage therapy)

    March 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Hi, I would like you to know I went to another school and was not satisfied,it was in Decatur Indiana. I went to Midwest, Beverly Brady’s school, I learned things about horses like I was starting all over again. Since April of 2014, I have over 85 clients, and they are repeats, i have 4 regular barns i work out of and its because Bev helped me get going and was always there for me when I was stumped. Because of her my confidence is a 10 and I do clinics and speak to 4-h groups. I have almost all of Berrien County horses. I’m happy with that.
    Now I am on my own and doing well. She has wonderful resources and credentials, for example Dr Nancy Nicolson. I had the privilege of meeting her in person.
    I know you probably have lots of places throwing there selves at you but I can tell you alot of students who went to 2 yr schools, including equissage, and the school in Decatur Indiana have went to Beverly school afterwords and are doing better.
    Thanks
    Christy LaPorte
    269 262 2504

     
  38. Bonnie Schneider

    March 3, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I came across the Masterson Method on you tube. I bought the book and started touching a former race horse who had an old injury – broken jaw. The soft touch really relaxed him. The release responses are sooooo neat. Now I practice on several other horses because it is so great to form the bonds.

     
  39. Gerry Gonesilent

    March 7, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    So after reading these wonderful comments, I’ve decided to share my introduction to equine physical therapy. His name was Cody. 17.2 hands of him! Thoroughbred. Former track, former hunt circuit. I ran a barn of last homes from meat pens and you name its. I had to get them all safe enough to do trail rides for green public and occasional therapy sessions with groups. Cody. I had determined I would NOT have a Thoroughbred or Arab in my barn for public safety as most of the prospective trail riders thought they had expert experience even though they had only ridden once. At a zoo. On the pony circle. Then in a barn where I was evaluating a future tenant for our barn who had “gaping wounds”, here is this tall sorrel with giant brown eyes and the perfect blaze. Licking my hand saying PLEASE let me come with you! The barn owner said I could take him too and I said WHOA. She didn’t own him and he could only put 3 feet down. Long story short, I ended up with Cody and through chiropractic, Tellington touch, myofacial release, and light therapy rides coupled with stretches and massage each time, Cody now walks, rides, and looks like he never had any trouble with his torn tendon over the hip! It surprisingly only took one summer of this intense 3 day a week routine. I forgot to mention when he arrived at my barn he was 19 years old and we have no idea how long he jumped with that torn tendon! So I now have a thorough practice with many kinds of therapy and help others find the help they need with their loving equines whatever shape they come in.

     
  40. Ann

    May 7, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Wherever ;you go just make sure the instructor’s name is NOT Connie Bultimeier or ANYONE who has learned from or is associated with her. I took her JOKE of a course a couple of years ago and got robbed of $900. I would sue her butt off if I thought I wold get any money out of her. There are a growing number of us trying to shut her stupid ass down. She is a fake, a phony and a fraud. Her students have hurt animals and some of the horses even needed to be put down. For whatever reason she has people who stick up for her, but hey, it’s your money. I ended up going elsewhere to get schooled properly. When I showed my new instructor her DVDs he laughed and even stated this joker didn’t know what the *** she was doing. So, best to save your money and go elsewhere. She claims all this education, but what she does is take weekend classes then turns around, changes some wording, then begins teaching it and animals are getting hurt. BEWARE!

     

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