I truly believe that we are given experiences that can create a vision of profound meaning and when careful and loving attention is paid to these experiences it can open a path to one's true calling.
With over 15 + years as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, I never questioned my purpose in life. The joy that comes from making a difference in the lives of these beautiful children has always been fulfilling. Recently, however, it was a series of events that occurred in my own private life that has opened the door to also include a second passion of mine... Animals!
My own pets went through some traumatic and life changing ordeals. And, while caring for them I wondered how I could use my experience as a Pediatric Therapist to aid in their recovery and healing. (You can read their stories by clicking the link on this page) I just felt an overwhelming need to give serious consideration to this desire of how best to aid in their healing. So, I began to look into canine massage therapies.
After researching what program would be the most comprehensive, I found Equissage. This program would encompass Canine and Equestrian therapies. I became very impressed by what I learned about Equissage, their techniques and philosophy. I decided to embark on certification.
I was trained in Virginia at the home of Equissage and the program included a one week "hands on" intensive course coupled with audio teaching, lots of ongoing reading material, and culminated in a written as well as a hands on exam. In order to be an effective therapist, I feel that it is imperative to get trained through a hands on program with a skilled professional who offers extensive knowledge and experience. The founder of Equissage, Mary Schreiber, fills that bill! She has also become a dear friend and she is available to me and all her trainees for consultation
Time, energy, and commitment have been invested by me so that I may offer you and your animal the best quality of care possible. I am also grateful to have my background as a pediatric therapist as well so that I may reflect on many of those skills when providing therapy and treatments.
While massage therapy will benefit all dogs and horses, I find it expressly fulfilling to provide therapy to animals who are providing a service or have a profession that requires strain on their bodies. This would include service dogs, therapy dogs, breeds of animals that are prone to displacements of joints and vertebrae, post surgical animals, and race horses.
Why Equissage Certified?
Equissage was founded and incorporated in 1989 by certified (Human) Massage Therapist, Mary A. Schreiber. Mary became interested in using massage on animals, and specifically horses, as a result of the outstanding benefits she saw on human clients.
At the time that she started Equissage, Mary was operating a horse boarding stable in Bucks County, PA. and was actively competing in regional Western Pleasure Shows. As she began to witness first hand the effectiveness of the therapy on her own horses, she decided to market her equine massage service at local racetracks. The results were remarkable. Horses that hadn't finished in the money in over a year were starting to win, and horses who had been given up on were back working and racing competitively. At the same time, she also began working on show horses at many of the shows at which she was competing. The results were the same...horses were performing better than they had in years, and muscle injuries were healing faster than owners and trainers believed possible.
As a result, Mary was besieged with requests to start teaching the therapy to others. Trainers, owners and riders were all interested in learning this wonderful "new" therapy.
Thus was born the Equissage Certificate Program in Equine Sports Massage Therapy. It was to be the first such program in the world. And since 1992, Equissage has graduated more than 8,000 Equine Sports Massage Technicians, from every state and 19 different countries around the world. Many graduates work for the very top echelon of owners and trainers...both in the racing world, as well as on the show circuit. Some have been selected to work with the US Equestrian team at the Olympics, while others have worked on winners of Triple Crown Races.