I want to learn equine massage and possibly canine massage later on. I have looked at every school imaginable. But there is a twist to my situation and I'm hoping some of you may be able to help me. I have 4 kids, 10, 7, 2, and 10 months, and cannot leave my fulltime job to attend the schools. I have found a few home study courses where I still have to test and even video myself doing massages. I have plenty of horses to work on of my own and friends and family. I have a background as a vet assistant. I keep going back to the Equissage program homestudy courses. Has anyone had any experience with this one or any others? I know it would be best to go to a classroom but it just isn't possible for me right now, and waiting is killing me. I have been waiting for two years already. I have the background to do it and the will is definitely there. Any help would be great!
I am not supportive of a hands-on skill being learned via home-study. If you were already a human massage therapist, I'd say maybe. You have a lot to bring to the table with your Vet Tech background (knowledge of animal behavior, anatomy & physiology, and health conditions), but that has nothing to do with the application of skilled massage.
If it were me, I'd skip the $895 expense of home-study (so you can put that toward an on-site program later). I'd suggest learning as much as possible via visual learning aids, like videos, and practice on every animal you can could get your hands on (including shelter or rescue animals, as well as humans for necessary feedback). Then when the timing is better for you to attend a program in person, go for it.
A couple of DVDs I recommend:
Equine Massage: A Course in Equine Sports Massage by Jo-Ann Wilson (which massage therapists can receive CE credit for with the NCBTMB)
Canine Massage: Massage Guide for Dogs and Cats from Bancroft School of Massage
Both of those links are to reputable programs that you can be looking at in the future, as well.
I wish you luck with whatever you decide!
Most of us have made sacrifices to get where we are in bodywork. Even with continuing ed requirements...sometimes great financial expense and travel out of state is a must for a really good program.
I am certain you can learn a lot from the DVDs I posted and the financial investment is small in comparison to the home-study with Equissage. You can learn as much on your own as you can from a home-study program, and then some. The certificate means nothing if you don't have the skills to back it up. I took Jo-Ann's apprenticeship program for professional massage therapists in person. She has put a ton of her (and Jack Meagher's) knowledge on that DVD.
Do you know any massage therapists in your area?
You already have the business contacts in place. What are they expecting from you for training?
Equinology is on the west coast. They used to hold training classes throughout the country.
I have to tell you, I completely relate to your story.
Long story short, several years ago I had a great interest in equine massage. With 15+ years experience with horses and having worked at a show barn/taught lessons/trained, I knew that's what I wanted to get into, but was frustrated with some potential legal issues that were being ironed out regarding practicing equine massage in my state at the time. I was an at home mom with 5, 3, and 2yo sons at the time. I ended up deciding to try human massage, figuring that eventually I'd get around to taking the equine courses, then focus my practice on the horses AND riders.
In the end, I worked part time (weekends) and went to school 2 full days per week (my home schooled niece watched my kids) and even though I was just coming out of a bankruptcy, had diddly-squat for income, and my marriage was failing (had been for a while, yet another reason I needed a skill) I made it through massage school and got my license!
If it weren't for my interest in horses, I wouldn't have become interested in people massage LOL. I still haven't taken anything further towards equine massage yet, but honestly, I'm enjoying the people stuff WAY more than I thought I would.
Sometimes we have to wait a bit to get the chance to do what we really want, but if you want it bad enough and work hard for it, while timing may not be exactly what YOU planned, you can still make it happen.
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