Name: Jeremy Gilliam, Quarter Circle TD Equine Massage & Therapy
Practice Location: throughout the state of Montana
What certification did you earn through Angel's Animals? I earned 2 certificates for Equine Myo-Manipulative Functional Therapist and Equine Kinesiology Tape Practitioner.
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? About 2 years ago I was watching a Equine Massage Therapist work on my wife's horse and I thought I could do this and why do I need to pay someone to do it for my wife. So I started to look into this and found out that I could learn Equine Massage and help others too. I have enjoyed the trip in Equine Massage education.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Growing up I had a black Lab and he was my best friend when I was a toddler. Ever since I have enjoyed all animals and know horses help me a lot with PTSD.
What animals do you currently own? We currently own 7 gaming horse, 2 dogs and 2 cats.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? What makes my bodywork practice stand out is that I am very patient with the animals and treat them like one of my own animals. I also listen to the owners and never tell them they were wrong. I also have taken additional course in Laser Light Therapy and purchased a class 3 laser. In addition, I have also purchased a traveling EquiVibe Plate for therapy on horses. I have also been working with a Equine Vet clinic and also am one of the only few in Montana with Equine Massage Therapy Insurance.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? I will listen to every client and treat each horse with respect as if it was my own. I have over 10 years of experiences competing on horses and understand what it takes for them to compete healthy. Every horse should have time to relax and be pampered.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? I say if you are thinking of pursing a career in animal bodywork do it. It is the most satisfying reward to complete the certifications and to see the results you provide to the animals. I waited 6 months and I should not have. Holistic Animal Studies by Angel's Animal LLC. had lots of great information and was very educational. I would recommend this courses to anyone that was interested in animal bodyworks.
Name: Megan Wos
Practice Location: My Client base is primarily in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but I also travel to lower Michigan and Wisconsin.
What certification did you earn through Angel's Animals? Equine Kinesology Taping, Equine Craniosacral, Animal Reiki, and Animal Neuro - Myofascial Release. My plan is to add small animal body work next! :)
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I have always worked with animals and began training and worked alongside my trainer to start horses when I was 12. I have always worked towards continuing my education, to learn new or better ways of working and communicating with horses. I have always aspired to become a better horsewomen and rider. I had a good background in horse management through my time as a Pony Club member, during this time I first learned of equine chiropractic from our Veterinarian. I went on to a Chiropractic clinic where I first learned of Equine Massage through trigger points. I skimmed through the book unsure of it all and I ran across one trigger point I couldn’t pass on. It was a point just behind the horses front legs, and it stated horses would have a hard time with flying lead changes. This hit home as I was working on my horse’s flying changes at the time, and one lead was always easier than the other. So I went home and looked at my mare and sure enough she had a small knot in that exact spot! I worked it out as the book said, and the knot diminished. The next ride I worked like normal and as I asked for the flying change it was an effortless transition for my mare! Since then I have been hooked! I went on to become a CESMT and continued my education from there, always adding new ways to help my clients horses and my horses become happier and better athletes!
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Every horse I have had the pleasure of working with or on has influenced me and my knowledge in one way or another. However the one who gave me the hardest time, who would keep me awake at night, is also the one who taught me the most, Howie! He was an egyptian bred black Arabian! He was originally started as a 3 year old stallion, he sat and was gelded at the age of 9. I then helped restart him at age 11. This horse had given me so much! He would give me his all and he made me realize that horses will do anything that is asked of them if only they trust you. We also dabbled in many different disciplines, from endurance rides, eventing, dressage, speed, pleasure shows this boy did it all for me! It was because of him I now let the horses tell me what they like and want to do. For every horse I have owned or had in training I will gear their training in a direction the horse will enjoy! As their happiness means more to me than the ribbon or title that comes from performing the disciplines or achieving levels I want to accomplish! I also have to add Cherokee and Ike. Cherokee the mare that gave me everything she had!! The War mare who would be stubborn and mare-ish but had the biggest heart and would always give it her all! Ike is a beautiful Arabian gelding with a troubled past. He was once sold with a “if he kills anyone we are not liable” clause. This gelding took lots of time to gain his trust and to let him realize he didn't need to be guarded or scared. Now this beautiful boy is my lesson horse, and gives lessons to children who have never been on a horse before! So each horse teaches me something new, but one thing is certain! I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for these amazing creatures that have allowed me to be in their lives!
What animals do you currently own?
I currently own 9 horses! Three are semi-retired, one is a rehab project that I received last fall, and so far he has made great progress! My stallion was a homebred and I also own his sire who is now gelded. I have three main riding horses based on discipline and I also have a small breeding operation. I am known as someone in our horse community who is good with horses and takes good care of them, as last year I was given three horses. Although you may find 9 horses to be a big number I find it hard to turn down a great horse just because their past or current situation may not be perfect. My job is to do the best job I can, to work with them and one day find them a perfect home, or like so many others, retire them out and give back to them a small part of what they have given to us!
We also currently own 3 dogs and 2 cats.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? I have a vast variety of knowledge, having ridden many different disciplines, from starting and retraining horses, to working with abused or misunderstood horses. I take pride in bringing an understanding as to why the horse is acting the way they are. Besides having knowledge of why or how to fix something I am always learning! I do all my own farrier work, training, bodywork and I have fed and cared for as many as 40+ horses in one day. But what makes me stand out is the fact that the horse always, ALWAYS, comes first! This is why I travel to help clients even if it is a few hours drive to help one horse. I love the reward of seeing a change, to hear from the owner a positive outcome. I have had so many clients frustrated and lost, many have been told by vets that nothing is wrong with their horse, or they have no idea what's wrong, and after a few body work sessions their horse is sound and moving so much better! This is why I love this job, and if I can give back just a little to these amazing animals after they have given so much to me then it is worth it!
What message would you like to share with potential clients? If you ever have a question please ask!
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? If you truly love animals and want to help them become happy and healthy then don’t hesitate for one second! If not, simply add more knowledge to help your own horses, the more you learn the closer the partnership you will build with them!
Name: Alison Anderson
Practice Location: I practice all over the State of Montana and travel with the cutting horse circuit across the Pacific North West and in the winter Arizona.
What certification did you earn through Angel's Animals? Completed the Equine Massage Certification Course, currently working on the Cranial Sacral Course
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I have an extensive Animal Science background. God has continuously provided me opportunities to learn from wonderful mentors throughout my career. I have ridden my whole life and grew up on a hobby farm with a variety of farm animals. I showed horses and rodeoed growing up. In college I got my BS in Animal Science and Masters in Agribusiness Management. I worked 10 years as a Vet tech, worked weekends for cutting horse trainers Bill Peirce, Allen Crouch, TC Scheer, and Will Nuttall. I have also had my veterinary illustrations published in a Theriogenology Textbook and JAVMA. Currently I still compete in NCHA cuttings and try to continue to learn as much as I can.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Horses, I am the only horse lover in my family and I am so thankful my parents encouraged and supported that passion. After horses I have extensive cattle experience and am a big dog lover also. I love all other critters as well but those three are my main passion.
What animals do you currently own? I own an 9 yr old Quarter horse gelding, Reyv, that I cut on, a 25 yr old TN Walker gelding, Curly, and a 7 year old female Catahoula named Nola, who is deaf. Reyv, Nola, and I haul all over the country together while Curly enjoys semi retirement.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? Having a lot of experience in the veterinary world and the performance horse world really allows me to understand what these horses are being asked to do daily and what injuries they are prone to. I also have developed a offering of products that I have tested and love and offer them for retail sale. ex. Back on Track products, Equiflex sleeves, etc.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? Bodywork is about so much more then just doing something relaxing for your horse, it can help prevent injuries, supplement traditional medicine, strengthen weaknesses in the athlete, and increase the longevity of your horses career. Be open minded but do your research and ensure you are getting quality bodywork.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? You have to earn your knowledge and be willing to work hard to get the experience you need to be able to contribute to the industry. Find great mentors and soak up all the knowledge that you can. Don't be scared to make mistakes and realize that failures are just part of life and don't determine your success in the future.
Name: Cal O'Neill
Practice Location: South Florida, USA
What certification did you earn through Angel's Animals? Canine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapist
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? As a child, I remember my miniature Doberman Pincher getting hit by a car. Although she survived the accident, seeing the hurt in her eyes broke my heart. I would sit with her for hours and massage her joints and muscles to make her feel as comfortable as possible. I knew at that moment that I would someday work with animals.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? I've had all kinds of pets growing up. Rabbits, ferrets, mice, turtles, fish, birds, cats and dogs. All have influenced me in one way or another. But I have always had a connection with canines.
What animals do you currently own? Our rescued Black Lab "Missy". She's starting to show signs of age. But physically we can't keep up with her. Even at the age of 13 she is just as physically active as a 2-year-old puppy. I realized the daily therapy sessions she has been receiving through the years, have positively contributed to her physically active well-being. She is a perfect example of the many benefits of myo-massage therapy.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? While working on my case studies I've learned to video some of my session and record gaits. I play back and study the footage in slow motion which helps me tailer my bodywork techniques on my next visit.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? The biggest misconception about canine massage therapy is that most think it's a luxury. But in fact, some of my patients have been through some sort of trauma and are physically challenged. I will often work with your veterinarian requesting medical history that will help me in coming up with a long or short-term treatment plan for your pet. Remember that dogs suffer in silence. During palpation, I will also look for areas of concern and report them back to you and your veterinarian. At the very least, your pet will have an amazing experience!
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? Angel' s Animals studies provides you with all the necessary tools you will need to start a successful career. After you receive your certification, don't expect your phone to ring right away. Market yourself, volunteer your time, attend humane society fund raisers, prove your knowledge, and continue to educate yourself with additional studies. It took 5 months before I got my first client. But I'm now working with local veterinarians who are referring some of their patients over to me. I can guarantee you that there is nothing more satisfying than working on a dog who's been suffering from lameness and after a few sessions, they're up and running. That to me is priceless!
Name: Christine Rodko
Practice Location: Golden Valley/Kingman, Arizona
Certifications through Angel's Animals: Certified Equine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapist, Certified Equine Kinesiology Tape PractitionerEquine Kinesiology Taping, Certified Equine Craniosacral Practitioner, Animal Reiki Master
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I have always loved animals since I could remember. My blue roan, Mr. Blue Winner aka Blue, was the catalyst for my interest regarding equine massage. Because of Blue’s conformation, it has always been a delicate balance in keeping him sound and without pain. I find that in elevating Blue’s or any horses discomfort/pain, that I heal myself. Having suffered from fibromyalgia, horses have always been my therapy. I wanted to be able to give back to God’s heaven sent angels (horses) who do so much for us. Blue is my equine soul mate and I want to do whatever I can to add to his life as he has added to mine. He’s always taken care of me and massage is a way that I can show him the same care back.
What animals do you currently own? I currently own 4 horses: Blue (Quarter horse), Yeti (Clydesdale quarter horse), Layla (grade horse), Gracie (foundation quarter horse). 26 chickens, 4 dogs: Little pooh (teacup Chihuahua), Bailey (English pointer mix), Lexie (mini aussie), Two bits (Pomeranian)
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? My goal is to help owners with their babies by educating them on how their horses bodies work and what to look for to keep their babies healthy and moving well.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? MY MISSION STATEMENT:
a) RELIEVE tension and soreness by loosening tight muscles.
b) RESTORE an injured muscle or muscles to a healthy state.
c) REBALANCE the entire muscular system of the body, adjusting to balance extensor and flexor
(1) First the massage will make the horse more aware of its body and its responses to
(2) Second, I use remedial and rehabilitative exercises to re-program the body for more
ii) DOES MY HORSE NEED MASSAGE?
(1) All horses who are asked to do a job (breeding, riding, competing, driving, etc.) should
have bodywork at least once every 3 months.
(2) Competitive horses can benefit from sessions 1-4 times per month depending on the
amount of stress put on them.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? I find this profession is very rewarding knowing that you can actually help animals w ho are in discomfort. I encourage anyone with an interest in animal massage to GO FOR IT!!!
Name: Brian Devine
Practice Location: Texas !! Joshua, TX, to be precise, located in Johnson County outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area...my practice is Mobile so I do onsite sessions in about a 60 mile radius.
Certifications through Angel's Animals: Certified Equine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapist
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I have loved horses, dogs, and animals my whole life. After earning my BS- in Agriculture Business, I spent 40 years in corporate America, in non-agriculture related jobs. All the while, owning, riding, roping, and living the Cowboy Dream outside of work. I enrolled in Angel's Holistic Studies, January 3rd of this year and my Certificate reads May 28th, 2019. "I have waited for this time in my life, my whole life, to answer the question directly".
What animal influenced you the most growing up? My first horse Joker, a quarter horse from 45 years ago had a huge impact on my life.
What animals do you currently own? Two super nice AQHA horses, I use for competitive roping events and rodeos. Reba is my big paint mare, she is almost 20 years old, and a handful.
Then my sweet buckskin gelding Reno, is 18, both look and act much younger, especially after being practice patients for 6 months while I was taking the class.
Also have 5 dogs, all rescue, they just show up. They range in age from 1 to 20, and from 25lbs to 100lbs, all neutered, male and female.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? My practice is still in the infant stages, I am grateful to have decades of horsemanship and horse handling experience. Also horses love me, and I love horses. So typically early in the session my equine clients start trying to rub me back, and show many forms of appreciation.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? Equine massage is real, it can change your horses outlook on life, and thus make your ownership and riding experiences with your equine friend more enjoyable. You can set higher goals and achieve so much more with a willing equine partner.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? Go for it, time is a thief ! The longer you wait, the more time you lose. If I would have done this years ago and been building my practice this whole time, oh my gosh. However, still feel like I've come a "fair bit" since January. Peace.
Name: Raileen Murray
Practice Location: Texas USA (from Houston to Austin and up to College Station)
Certifications through Angel's Animals: Equine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapy, Equine Kinesiology Tape, Equine Craniosacral Therapy
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I grew up rehabilitating rescued auction horses that usually had backgrounds of trauma, to help them have a brighter future. It took a long time of very consistent training to earn their trust and really make headway. As a barn manager, I saw the impact massage therapy had on our performance horses both physically and mentally, and I knew it was a great fit for me and my mission. Once the horse realizes what is happening and starts to experience releases, it's like a window opens to their soul. For some animals, you can tell this is the first time they have ever felt a human doing something selfless just for them, and their mind is blown by it. It speeds their emotional healing exponentially and allows their training to progress on a foundation of mutual trust. In 2017 I started exploring how to get certified so that others would feel comfortable allowing me to help their animals, too, and I completed my certifications in the spring of 2019.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? As an infant I would go on trail rides in a backpack with my parents, but we moved overseas when I was four and had to sell our horses. I loved them as far back as I can remember. We have always had at least one cat and dog at any time, but I was so crazy about horses that I read every horse-related book in our high school, public, and college libraries. I worked and saved all my money as a kid and bought my own horse when I was 14. I was also fortunate to volunteer at a local private zoo for two years where I handled and cared for animals most people have never even seen live. Having financial responsibility for my horse, though, helped me stay on track as a teen when my homelife was flying off the rails. My horse was my best friend and my source of peace; we spent thousands of hours together. I feel especially tuned in and able to read equine body language as a result.
What animals do you currently own? My family has scaled down to a tiny house for now so we can travel as my son is homeschooled. We currently have a 1-year-old orange tabby named River and a 12-year-old blue heeler/aussie mix named Daisy. Massage allows us to keep horses in our lives on a regular basis (my son is also an avid horseman and loves to come along)! We plan to acquire land in the next couple of years and resume our love of rescuing and raising horses, chickens, rabbits, and bees.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? To be very transparent, I believe having Asperger's allows me to be super-attunded to animals' signals, physical energy, and emotions. At the same time, my practice reflects the down-to-earth, practical nature of a lifetime of working with horses across many roles and disciplines and the maturity earned by higher education and a long professional career. I approach every session with the goal of doing as much good as I can for that animal in that session.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? Whether your animal is healing from physical injury or emotional trauma, is aged, or is a performance animal, massage is not a luxury--it is a crucial part of maintaining or restoring optimal wellness.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? There are times when I walk in not quite 'feeling it' that day, but I have never once ended a session less than ecstatic about the relief that animal experienced. If you are blessed with that gift, it is centering and rewarding like nothing else!
Name: Emir Lervy, Doctor of Chiropractic
Location: Omagh, Northern Ireland
Certifications through Angel's Animals: Canine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapy, Animal Neuro-myofascial Release Technique
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? Growing up on a farm I knew I always wanted to work with animals in some way. My sister had a horse which as a Chiropractor I knew needed work done but couldn’t get an equine Chiropractor in the area to come see us. This spurred me on to pursue equine bodywork myself so I can help others in my area.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? On the farm we had cattle and sheep, however I had an interest in horses from a young age. We also had a lovely cocker spaniel and several cats over the years which kept us entertained.
What animals do you currently own? I have a very energetic springer spaniel called Molly.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? At the minute I’m one of the few practitioners in Northern Ireland who travels to individual yards allowing horses and dogs who cannot travel still avail of treatment. I always have my trusty bench in the car also allowing riders / owners to have an adjustment at the same visit as their animals - this is great for those on busy yards who may not have time to come to the clinic for treatment.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? That body work is an important part of owning an animal. A spine and nervous system working at its best makes a very happy animal which can perform at its best!
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? Just do it! It has been a valuable tool for even just looking after my own dog. Working with animals is so relaxing - it feels like you are getting a treatment also!
Name: Maureen Bissonette
Location: Golden Valley, Arizona USA
Certifications Through Angel's Animals: Canine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapy, Canine Kinesiology Tape, Canine Craniosacral Therapy, Equine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapy, Equine Kinesiology Tape, Equine Craniosacral Therapy
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I have always had a passion for animals but it just never really happened till the last year. But years ago I was at these fairgrounds where I lived. They had a demonstration of a lady doing I’m not sure if it was chiropractic or bodywork on this horse, it was the coolest thing. When she was done the horse fell over in a pile of shavings and started snoring. It just blew my mind. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be doing this kind of thing. It just blows my mind.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Oh my Gosh, I have had so many animals growing up. It’s hard to say. Maybe my horse Shiloh. My Mom surprised me one year for Christmas with him. He had been abused by men and I wanted to fix him. He was an honory one, but we came to an understanding. He was such a character. I think he was the one doing the teaching.
What animals do you currently own? The animals that I currently own are MJ, short for Maryjane. She is a 10 year old chihuahua who has not had a good life. Her previous family was not very nice to her. They drug her into WAHS (Western Arizona Humane Society) with her feet bleeding, saying they no longer wanted her. She is quite the character. She likes to growl a lot showing everyone how ferocious she is.
Then I have Jasper. He is a 7 year old little chiweenie. He is the love of my life. I rescued him from WAHS after I had lost another dog to cancer. He lived with a homeless guy in a car with two other dogs. His owner went in the hospital and never came back.
And finally Roo, she is a two year old chihuahua that someone was giving away on facebook and I was afraid she would become a bait dog so I took her too. Roo is part kangaroo, she leaps over everything. She is in the process of obedience lessons and then she is gonna be a star in agility and maybe flyball, depending on what she likes best. She is a tiny thing so it will be fun seeing her compete with the big dogs, but she is just so dang fast.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? I think what makes my practice stand out is my love for the animals. In my heart I am supposed to be a healer and I want to heal them all. I don’t want to see any in pain. I have a cousin that lives in Arkansas and I’m in Arizona. She puts up a video of her pony limping and I’m sending her a video of how to tape him since I can’t get there to help him.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? That I am here to help them, I don’t want to see any animals in pain.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? Wow, the feeling of actually being able to help them is absolutely incredible. I worked on a dog at a dog show that was limping, the owners thought they were going to have to pull him. I massaged him and taped it up. We left it taped up over night and they showed him the next day and he took Best Opposite Sex. They were ecstatic and I’m like did I do that? Another thing is going into a shelter and working on a dog that is scared and stressed out, terrified and being able to calm it down.
Name: Alice Cuff
Location: Bristol, England
Certifications Through Angel's Animals: Equine Craniosacral Therapy, Equine Kinesiology Taping
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I've always had a love for horses, having started riding at the age of 3. Growing up I had thought about a career in horses, wanting to help them. I wasn't too sure so decided to go down the 'traditional' job route but quickly realised that office life wasn't for me!
What animal influenced you the most growing up? I was very lucky to have my own horse from the age of 9, I was definitely over horsed, Erik was a very chunky, slightly crazy 15.2hh cob x, but he was my best friend. He had a lot of quirks and when I lost him I was heartbroken. It was going through the grief and devastation of him no longer being in my life that made me realise I needed to do something that helped these incredible animals. I still believe Erik is with me and guides me.
What animals do you currently own? I currently have two horses, Captain and Duchess. Captain is a 16.2hh ISH who has quite a lot of anxiety and remains quite guarded. He loves having energy work done but it has to be on his terms, you certainly can't force him into having any form of treatment! We have spent a lot of time working on our partnership and building a strong bond.
Duchess was a rescue pony who I rehomed from Horseworld Trust (https://www.horseworld.org.uk), she was rescued at 3 yrs old, completely emaciated and with a foal at foot. She is now 7 and has come on leaps and bounds, Duchess has an incredible personality and it's an honour to be able to work with her.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? I pride myself on taking a true holistic approach, no treatment is the same. By incorporating the various techniques I am trained in I can give a rounded treatment that takes into consideration the physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing of the horse.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? I would encourage anyone looking to work with a therapist for their animal to do their research but most importantly find a therapist who suits your horse. Just because someone is highly qualified it doesn't mean that they will connect with your horse, having someone you and your horse are comfortable with is key in ensuring you all get the most from a treatment.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? For anyone considering a career I would tell them to go for it! There are many ways of training now, it's important to find a path that works for you and your learning style. Do ensure you find courses that have an in-depth and well rounded content, as well as ongoing support, even after you have qualified. It's important to have this to give you confidence to go out and work on your own.
Every month Dr. Barbara acknowledges and showcases one of her certified practitioners! You could be next!