Itinerary of My Equine Massage Class


I’m sure many people wonder what goes on in an Equine Massage Class.   Well, all I can tell you is what goes on in mine. My classroom is in my barn, I have a 60×80 indoor arena, sectioned off with classroom, area to work on the horses for Equine Massages and the Groundwork Strategies™  that  I teach to my class.

DAY ONE – 10AM(times vary at different places)

Students start to arrive, everyone is very excited to get started learning!  With such enthusiasm, who wouldn’t love doing this?  Introductions, expectations, and many times;  pictures of their own horses, and needing help or answers on how they can be helped with Massage or Groundwork.


We go over ‘Causes of Pain’: We will be reviewing what the students have learned in the 3 month pre class study. Answering questions and going over hands on work.

Evaluating the Muscular, Skeletal system : Hands on learning on the horse to find skeletal prominences to know if the horse is out of alignment. To be able to refer to a chiro if necessary.

Learn Skeletal Prominences to help with Assessing the horse: This is something that is unique to my class.  I learned this skill from Dr. Mark Haverkos, it’s something I didn’t learn in Equine Massage Class when I went there, and wish I had.  It’s so important for the CESMT to know how to feel the skeleton of the horse, or to be able to look at it, to see if there is something out of alignment. Imagine being able to feel down the horses neck and know why the horse cannot bend his neck, or why the horse is short stepping with the front leg. Knowing when it’s important to involve a chiro (DVM/DC) or when it’s all muscular, and none is needed-saving your client a lot of money!

Muscle Mapping: We will be taping up the horses, to find the specific muscles we will be working on the next 3 days.

Basics in Saddle Fit and Placement (no certification). If a CESMT doesn’t know the basic correct placement for a saddle, and cannot explain to their client why it should be in a different spot, their clients horse will never get better.  With that, if they do not know how to check to see if the saddle fits-feeling for tight spots that can cause bruising and soreness, that horse, as soon as the owner starts riding it again-will become sore again and have the same problems.

saddle fit caricature funny


Rider Basics and Under Saddle Balancing™: Let’s face it, if your client is not a good rider, then the horse will be sore. Most horses if being ridden by someone who hangs on their mouth, will be bracing and causing problems not only in the neck, but also back and haunches.  This is something that is always overlooked in classes,  I felt it was necessary, to at least get everyone to be able to teach a good basic seat.  Having a Dressage background, I learned how to get a horse moving correctly, and to get the WHOLE HORSE MOVING.


horse caricature


The Groundwork Strategies™ are easy to do and to learn, but must be done correctly for them to be effective.  They have helped many horses to recuperate quickly from injury! If the horse isn’t moving correctly, and not using themselves correctly-they will not build correct muscle and will not get better. This is the Cornerstone to my Amassage Method™ and the reason why I found it is so necessary to learn all of the above when studying Equine Massage therapy.  If you do not learn this Groundwork , you cannot and will not get the horse better. Many horses I’ve worked on prior to realizing this, would get better with the Massage, but usually within a month would go back to how they were, and I needed to find out why, and how to change that for my clients.



Reading the Horses Behavior: Knowing what reactions mean, that it feels good, or you need to go with a lighter hand because you are hurting them. What does it mean when they push back, when they pull away, when they step away?

This is the first day of the Equine Massage Sequence that the students will learn-and I ask only TWO THINGS for them to do…Learn the Strokes correctly, and learn where to work and not to work! That’s all I want them to concentrate on, I’ll do the rest.  We go over the muscles they will be working on, then we get to work. I demonstrate each group of muscles that we will be working on, so they know exactly what they will be doing. Working in groups of 2-3, one reader and one/two workers-this leaves me free to watch and be sure they are all doing everything correctly and I can correct the Hands On portion of the class and be there to answer questions. Starting at the Bladder Meridian, Poll and working our way to the Neck, we usually take a break, and get some water to go over the next set of muscles:

Taking a break and taking notes!

Withers, Shoulders, Pecs, Elbow, behind the leg… and finally the Leg, we go step by step, with each student working on each side of the horse, and also reading to the others in their group. Doing this 2 times each (reading and working), the repetition helps it to be easily learned and for them to remember. Then we go thru the entire sequence before the end of the class.

april 2013 class 002 - Copy


Reviewing the front half sequence with the students before proceeding with the back half. Starting with the Back, and then to the Intercostals, Glutes, TFL, Stifle, Biceps Femoris, Semitendanosis, Semimembranosis, , and then finally the back leg. Taking breaks in between and searching today for spasms, not being afraid to ‘Search and Destroy’ the soreness and pain.  Usually by the end of this day, the students are feeling more confident, knowing what the strokes are and what spasms are, where and how to find them. And yes, that is tape on my horses! It’s to help them to see different muscles, and know where to work and not to work.



Last day of class! This day is for review, the students pair up to read the sequence to each other, to walk each other thru the entire Equine Massage, for a full body massage. They do the deep tissue work on the last pass so as not to sore the horses. They learn the Full Evaluation for assessing the horse, several important stretches and acupressure points for common ailments in horses.  If nobody has questions-they get their Certificate and Pictures.  Hugs are almost always a necessity, phone numbers passed out and friends made. Some, get more excited than others!


Once they go home, the class isn’t over. My mentoring program lasts forever-I have a group on facebook that I will add any student to, for more information from each other, from me, or to post questions of your latest case, and to brag about your accomplishments! I also have a Student Brag page on my Blog and my students page also, which is FREE for my students to be listed on! You can find me on facebook-

I hope you have enjoyed a walk thru My Class itinerary, this isn’t everybody’s equine massage class, but it is mine! I hope this helps you to decide this  class will be the best for you to come to.


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