Helping Your Animals - Naturally!

how to train in……Equine Massage



Tara resting in stableyard

We are frequently asked for advice on what training and qualifications are required to become an Equine Massage Therapist (in the UK). This page has been compiled to answer some of the most common questions. If you have any further queries please email info@taranet.co.uk and we will try to help, or please contact the organisations mentioned.

Are qualifications needed?



Strictly speaking no. However, there are professional training courses in Equine Massage that can be taken which lead to recognised qualifications.

Remember - It is an offence for any person, other than the owner of the animal, to treat an animal unless the permission of the vet in charge of the case or to whom the animal would be referred is sought and obtained. A Veterinary Surgeon is extremely unlikely to refer any customers to you unless you are fully qualified and insured.

What qualifications can I get & how do I get them?



There are several equine massage courses that you can complete. Here's a selection of a some popular courses.

1. Animal Therapy Solutions

This training centre owned by experienced veterinary physiotherapist Helen Tompkins offers both certificate and foundation courses in Equine Sports Massage.

Entry Requirements:

  • Age 21 at commencement of course
  • 5 passes (A-C) at GCSE including English
  • 3 years experience of working in professional equine yards, supported by references
  • A human massage qualification meeting ESMA's standards.

Why choose these courses?

Those who've completed the Animal Therapy Solutions Certificate in Equine Sports Massage are eligible to join the Equine Sports Massage Association (ESMA). The ESMA was established to help ensure that customers receive services from a fully trained and qualified equine masseur. So completing these courses and becoming a member of the ESMA will help provide reassurance to your customers of your expertise and experience. Find out more at the ESMA website.

2. Equine Sports Massage Diploma

The Institute of Complementary Animal Therapies (ICAT) offer a range of courses, including for those who want to work with animals on a professional basis. The Equine Sports Massage Diploma course is accredited with the Association of Complementary Animal Therapies.

Entry Requirements:

  • Students must be over 18 years of age
  • Equine students hold the BHS Stage 2 Certificate, Horse Owners Certificate, Pony Club B or have at least three years experience in the horse industry - preferably at a professional yard or at competition level.
  • Students under 21 years should hold 4 GCSE passes (one in English) or provide proof of an equivalent educational standard.

Find more information by visiting the ICAT's website at: http://www.theicat.co.uk/

3.Other training courses

There are also other professional courses available in Equine Sports Massage. In selecting your course, it's important to check if it's accredited (and by whom), with there being many professionals working within the equine industry, completing a thorough course, and being able to be a member of a professional association is important to help to give your service the best chance of success!

What difference do qualifications make to a customer?

Successful completion of a recognised Equine Massage course, means that you are suitably qualified to practise. In addition you are only likely to obtain insurance cover if you are a qualified therapist - which your potential customers are likely to find a very important issue when choosing between therapists.

Furthermore, Veterinary Surgeons will only refer customers to you if you are fully qualified. Remember - It is an offence for any person, other than the owner of the animal, to treat an animal unless the permission of the vet in charge of the case or to whom the animal would be referred is sought and obtained.
A fully qualified Equine Massage Therapist will always work within the permission of and liaise with the Veterinary Surgeon of the animal.



Contact Links:

Animal Therapy Solutions

Downs House Equine or Write to: Downs House Equine, Combeleigh Farm, Wheddon Cross, Exmoor, Somerset. TA24 7AT with a s.a.e.

Equine Sports Massage Association

Equi-therapy

ICAT - email info@theicat.co.uk

Association of Complementary Animal Therapies - email info@theacat.co.uk

International Association of Animal Massage Therapists - email info@iaamt.com