Massage is recognized as an important element in keeping horses healthy and comfortable, as well as improving their movement. It is an important part of the health care today's horsemen demand, and you can provide such service.
This course teaches more than just the techniques for massaging the superficial muscles of the horse. It is designed to provide students with the knowledge to see the "whole horse" - movement and muscular development, injuries allied to the work performed, outside factors that affect comfort, as well as massage techniques and the actual massage.
A complete approach to equine massage, the course details the muscular/skeletal system, correct bio-mechanics, variations and abnormalities, muscle stresses and injuries. Students learn to evaluate the horse, locating problems and formulating a plan for successful massage. There is a lesson on simple exercises to re-program the horse's movement patterns to loosen muscular restrictions and alleviate soreness.
In addition to quizzes, students will have to write reports for lesson assignments and provide videos that show their proficiency in massage techniques and practice. Completion of this course is all that is required by most states to allow the practice of equine massage as a profession. However, laws are constantly under review and you should check with your state to determine requirements.
Lesson 1: Presents an introduction to equine massage, explaining various types of massage, benefits and contraindications.
Lesson 2: A presentation of equine anatomy and terminology; how the horse skeleton compares to the human skeleton and how the muscles move bones to create movement.
Lesson 3: Areas of stress associated with various riding disciplines and to how to recognize signs and signals of discomfort from external factors.
Lesson 4: Reading the body of the horse when standing still and when in movement; establishing a history and determining how and when massage will be beneficial.
Lesson 5: Focus is on saddle fit, feet, teeth and over training and the muscle injury progression associated with each.
Lesson 6: Presents the various "massage techniques" required to accommodate the various needs of the individual horse.
Lesson 7: Presents the requirements and techniques for the full body massage with full descriptions and graphic directions.
Lesson 8: Presents movement exercises from the ground and under saddle as an adjunct to the use of equine massage.
Required Reading: Horse Anatomy: A Coloring Atlas
Suggested Reading: Horse Anatomy - Peter C. Goody