A session is also welcome after a hard physical work out. Have you ever thought your animals would benefit from bodywork applications? Horses are athletes just like humans. Even with the best approaches, techniques, and equipment used in our own training, conditioning, and exercise, we still need to look after our bodies, and a horse is no different in this regard.
The "art of massage" is not new to the horse world, which holds true for various bodywork techniques. Like many of the latest approaches to a wellness program, it has been rediscovered and expanded upon, bringing this awareness to the Equine Health Care Industry. The benefits of massage and bodywork allow caregivers to establish what is normal for a particular animal, or when the animal may need additional veterinary care and, more importantly, to catch or head off small problems before they get out of hand. There are so many variables that cause our animals discomfort, even with the best training, conditioning, and care. On top of this, in ridden disciplines, we place our weight on the horse's spine, which did not originally evolve to carry a rider. Some horses do not have the best conformation (the way they are structurally put together), others have tack that does not quite fit, some housing limits regular activity, in addition to problems associated with feed imbalances, shoeing or trimming, worming, vaccination, medications, as well as vices, emotion, hormones, disease, injury, poor use of training devices, footing and spinal issues. There is a long list of variables that can contribute to body sensitivity and dysfunction.
Veterinarians and the founder of Equinology teach our foundation qualification (EEBW and CCBW) courses. The student has changed considerably over the years, and veterinarians using EBWs in their practice want the ones trained by Equinology by veterinarians. For students to acquire the knowledge and skills of equine massage and bodywork, the Equinology Institute instructors use various techniques presented in a variety of mediums. Independent home study is required by completing the provided EQ50 Equine Anatomy Distance Study Course before the course. Students are given one year to complete this distance study portion, but it can be done in 2 months. After the EQ50, the students choose one of the international onsite nine-day courses for a classroom and barn setting. The classroom lecture portions are followed by barn practicals, supporting the topics. Instructors use visual aids (slides, PowerPoint, model, specimen, or overheads) and encourage discussion. The lab practicals include labeling sessions, gait analysis sessions, muscle and surface anatomy identification, and bodywork techniques.
The student progress is evaluated through self-assessments and quizzes throughout the onsite version and observation of the techniques employed while working with the animals. Upon competition of the onsite course, the student returns home to work on case studies, documentation, and extra learning activities. This work is turned in via video and written reports to the instructor within six months for evaluation. Support groups for discussion and clarification are available to the student throughout this process.