There are two reasons horse owners want to get certified in equine massage therapy.
To work on their own horses
To work on other people's horses (ie. have their own business)
Once you identify the category that most resonates with you, then we look for what kind of modality, or what we want to specialize in. This can come from wanting to help a current concern, the latest trend, what resonates with you, where you feel drawn, what you have seen or experienced yourself.
Maybe you have gotten a massage session before. Have you tried different kinds? Deep tissue, shiatsu, sports massage, etc. Have you had physical therapy before? If so, what did they focus on? What did they use? Manual techniques, exercises to strengthen, dry needling... Have you tried the chiropractor?
These are all factors that will begin to shape where you want to help horses heal.
Then we start to narrow down on the area:
Deep tissue massage
Structural Integration Therapy
Equine flexion therapy
there are so many and some start to overlap a little...
Long term you will end up taking parts of many and adding them into your base therapy. Continuing education can be so much fun!
So now you're probably debating what kind of course?
I will say for that very first certification, I highly recommend hands on, you just can't beat the experience IF YOU ARE ESPECIALLY wanting to start a business later or go in all the way now! However, you find what works for you, this is just my business experience talking here :-)
So, as we continue on, we may start to research governing bodies. For the animal therapy world, you will find it's not like the human world. It's basically a free for all and your business legitimacy is going to come from some key components to get it to stand out and be happy with the IRS, avoid lawsuits from animal owners, and have sustainability with state laws.
Good news is that you will find a list of associations who continue to build up this community to try to provide a higher standard in a non-standardized world.
You will find CEU providers, preferred schools, and CEU courses listed at these sites. It means the school or education provider has taken the extra steps to pay the fees, provide a curriculum syllabus, add a testing component (in some cases), to have someone else essentially find legitimacy to what they teach. So it is a great starting point for finding a therapy certification.
this isn't an exhaustive list by no means, but some of the popular ones.
Now two last things I want to point out.
When you inquire about these different schools to get certified with, you want to think like a business person for a second. Put that CEO hat on and ask questions from that perspective as well. One of the things you will find is that most are geared towards teaching you the service you will provide, a very important part, getting your hands, eyes, and mind trained up to help horses.
You will find most will leave you feeling a little lost on the business back end, and THAT'S OKAY! Just be aware of it, and learn what you need too.
This is why I invite you on your search (or maybe you are certified already looking to expand-whatever that may be for you) to learn more at this free class I am hosting.
How to create and grow a profitable equine therapy business.
I'll be covering a little more in depth on some of the questions that are probably still floating in your head at this moment, and it gives you an opportunity to ask me directly during this class some specific questions you may have.
Learn more: FREE EQUINE BUSINESS CLASS | Equi-IX