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.
Name: Geraldine Paradis
Location: Les Arcs, France
Certifications through Angel's Animals LLC: Equine Myo-Manipulative Functional Therapy, Equine Kinesiology Taping, Equine Craniosacral Therapy
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I have always wanted to work with a animals since I was a child. At eighteen, I worked as a vet nurse, but I realized I couldn't cope emotionally with the sadness of the pet owners loosing their pet. So, I enrolled in a school to become a horse riding instructor. Horses and horse riding is my passion since I was 7!! I passed my exam (1999) and worked a few years in France until I moved to be close to my dad in England. At this time I started my own livery yard and riding center. There I discovered the massage therapy and other alternative therapy and become passionate about it straight away. I trained and passed my exams and began practicing, combining the riding/teaching and the massage therapy. I also worked in different therapy centers for humans horses.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Horses definitely. They were in my mind all the time. I think they helped me grow up and made me who I am today!!
What animals do you currently own? At the moment, I live in France with my family and we have 1 horse, 1 pony, 2 goats, 2 dogs, 8 hens and 5 rabbits.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? This is a really difficult question as I find it very hard to talk about myself.....but I would say that I have 20 years experience with horses as a rider and instructor which helps me a lot everyday in handling horses and understanding the way horses work (or should work). It is amazing to see how myofascial tensions can affect the horse and his behavior and performance; and obviously in the contrary it is great to see how the release of these tensions affect positively the horse physically and mentally. I practiced massage therapy for 15 years and now I feel I have learned a wide range of techniques (Swedish, Lomi lomi, Deep Tissue, Gua Sha, Reiki, Trigger Points, Myofascial, Craniosacral, and other bodywork methods, which allow me to adapt to what the horses like and need the most.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? I would say that I would be delighted to be participating in their horse's wellness team. I really believe that together with the vet, the chiropractor or osteopath, the farrier, the saddle and bit fitter, massage therapy makes the team even stronger. Massage therapy brings something really interesting in the physical and emotional balance of the horses, wether they are leisure or competitive horses. It really helps the horses stay flexible, have freedom of movements and the results show happy horses that are more willing to give their full potential. For me it is such a joy to see performances improving and to see them happy and comfortable within their body! Every horse is special to me and I try my best to find the best techniques suitable for them, and my goal is to find where the hidden tensions are in order to help them feel even better.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? I would just say, "GO FOR IT"!!! It took me 15 years to jump and try to see if it possible to make it a full time job....and yes, it is possible!!! This is really the best job I can think of! For me it has been like a dream come true. Wellness is really developing and quite fast in the equine world and more and more people recognize the benefits of massage therapy for horses. You can see it as most high level rider use massage therapy for their horses to keep them at an optimal level and it is spreading to lower levels and even leisure horses! It is so nice to see that so many people care that much for their horses. I believe that all horses are athletes, whatever discipline they do and whatever the level, and they all benefit from bodywork; youngsters, older horses, sport horses, school horses, stressed horses, etc. Massage therapy is a really great way to improve movement, relationships and the good spirit of the horse! This is for me the most rewarding and pleasant job in the world! Spending quality time with horses, watching them relaxing and enjoying their time with you. Also they are just so wonderful when they express the releases by licking and chewing, yanking and totally chilling out. Everyday they make my day really special!!!
Name: Michele Whitmore
Location: Brunswick, Maine, USA
Certifications Through Angel's Animals: Equine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapy
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I’ve always known I wanted to work with animals since I was a young kid. I started riding when I was 7 and never stopped. My guidance counselors use to get so annoyed with me that I wouldn’t explore other career options. haha!
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Weirdly enough the wolf actually did because of how strong they are. But horses kept my sanity as I grew up, not to mention kept me out of trouble. They Taught me patience, communication, and to keep a sense of humor.
What animals do you currently own? Well I own 4 horses, 8 chickens and a cat. I have 11 horses on my property though. Leased lesson horses and boarders.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? I like to look at the whole animal when I take on a new client. I look at the feet, saddle, the way they hold themselves, also emotional state. They can tell you a lot if you take a moment to look at more then what they are doing wrong. I try to help the whole horse not just the muscle soreness. The muscle soreness is a result of something else in the bigger picture.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? A message I’d like to send out to people is bodywork is so unbelievablely important and so greatly overlooked! It may not be a physical product your receiving and it’s hard to see what your paid for, especially if the animal needs a few sessions. But it work, not to mention they love it! Their bodies are made up of 60% muscle give or take. How can you expect them to preform at their best if they are sore/tight or if they are locked in an incorrect position. Chiropractor and massage go hand in hand! You actually get a better/easier chiropractor adjustment if they get a full body massage! Keep it in mind the next time your horse misses or refuses a canter lead. Ask what’s going on in the back and hips.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursing a career in animal bodywork? For those thinking about getting into it! Go for it! It’s super rewarding to be able to help the horses on a different level.
Name: Margot Anderson
Location: Okotoks, Alberta Canada
Certifications Through Angel's Animals: Equine Kinesiology Taping
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I was born on an Alberta farm, and even though I grew up and went to school in 7 different countries, my parents always made sure I had dog and a horse or a horse was available to me. Horses and dogs have always been a big part of my life and influenced who I am today. Horses and dogs taught me that they are cross-culturally aware, so no matter what country I was in, it didn’t matter to them where I came from, it just mattered that I was kind.
In 2017 after 30 years in the Queens Service, I retired, rescued a Thoroughbred named Ebony and knew that healing her issues caused by prior abuse were beyond my kin. So I registered with Guelph University Equine Sciences online studies so I would better know farm management and equine health in order to be able to give her and my other equines the best possible care. It was in one of these classes that I learned about Holistic Animal Studies from another student. My first course was the Equine Kinesiology Taping Practitioner’s course, and I was hooked on this new learning! I was and am impressed with the results that kinesiology taping can do for animals and humans. I will always be on a mission to ensure the best health options for my herd. This is not something I just do sometimes. I live it. Everyday.
What animal influenced you the most growing up?
It really has to be two, because I have never been without a dog, and my dad gave me my first horse, Clea, when I was 4. I had her until I was 10. Instilled in my daily memory is the hours and hours I spent riding through the Crowsnest mountains, just me, my dog and my horse, eating balony sandwiches by the river. They taught me to be still, to listen, to be brave and to always trust with caution, because even your best friends can get spooked, run away and leave you on a mountain to walk down yourself.
What animals do you currently own?
I own a Thoroughbred, 2 Clydesdales and a 4 year old Palomino, which I have given to a 15 year old girl next door to use as a project horse. A Warmblood and Quarter horse also live with us. I am also the very proud owner of a gorgeous and loving purebred Siberian husky and 9 barn cats (we just had kittens!)
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out?
First of all, I am Certified by Holistic Animal Studies, so my working knowledge and learning is internationally recognized as high calibre. Because of Holistic Animal Studies, I am recognized by the NBCAAM and IFREMT. I also don’t have regular ‘hours’, I take calls in the summer whenever I am needed. Some equestrians are competing all day, so I’ll be there at 9:00pm if that’s when they need me. The most important thing is that I do more than just equine massage therapy. I also do kinesiology taping, craniosacral therapy and CMS. Soon, I will be able to add Reiki to my services. I am a continuing equine education learner, and I will always be on top of what therapy will best benefit the health of the horse!
What message would you like to share with potential clients?
Healing takes time. Healing takes patience. Healing takes attention. Time, patience and attention is what you need to commit to invest in your horse.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursing a career in animal bodywork?
There is no reason to wait. Try one of the free previews! Holistic Animal studies wants every student with an interest in animal body work to succeed. Dr. Barbara is always available to answer your questions. Best of all…once you have the course, you have access to it forever. Or you can go back to the Facebook page and ask questions, all your fellow students are eager to assist you! So if you need to go back and refresh information, it’s right there for you. They offer affordable payment plans and awesome discounts. In my mind, Holistic Animal Studies takes away the excuses not to pursue your dream and replaces it with achieving the reality of your dream. Dr. Barbara explains through her videos and text downloads in a way that someone with no real prior equine medical experience can learn, understand and apply. Side Affects: taking these courses lead to learning addictions, improved self confidence, can lead to a financially successful career, cause permanent happiness and will result in animal hair to constantly be on your jacket.
Name: Adelle Stewart
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
Certifications Through Angel's Animals: Equine Kinesiology Taping, Equine Craniosacral Therapy
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? I feel like I always knew I wanted to work with animals and specifically horses, since I was a little girl. What took me the longest was figuring out how I was going to make actual income doing so! I am a very technical person and love anatomy and alternative/complimentary therapy so instead of riding clinics I started taking clinics for things like equine osteopathy. I've always been a big animal advocate so working with the health of animals was an absolute natural fit for me.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Definitely the horse. Although I didn't have my own horse until I was 20, I have always had an unexplained natural attachment to them since I was a toddler. I would read any book I could about horses, ride whenever the opportunity presented itself, and always knew my life would revolve around them somehow, and now it absolutely does!
What animals do you currently own? I have two cats (Batman and Sniper), three dogs (Boo, Paisley and Grizzly), four horses (Tuesday, Shotgun, littlebit and Ticket), two miniature donkeys (Patron and Paloma), and also seven step-horses (I run a small boarding facility as well!).
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? I personally feel it is my minute attention to detail. I tend to have an eye for tiny signs the horses give us, whether it is a facial expression, a small twitch or tremor, knowing what is normal for each horse, as well as really understanding each individual horse's personality. This attention allows me to quickly observe from a distance when a horse or donkey starts presenting as abnormal. I also feel that my background as an equine first aid instructor really adds value to the prevention and recovery of a horse's ailments.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? The most important wish I have for any horse owner would be that they have a deep and detailed understanding of their individual horse's "normal." Whether that is their vitals, eating habits, travelling patterns, sleeping routines, to their warm up habits, how they take a bit, react to being unsaddled, etc - really observing and knowing how each horse ticks can provide an extremely preventative picture of illness or injury that may just be beginning to present as a symptom. When owners know these key things about their horses, and call us bodyworkers, kinesiology taping practitioners, craniosacral therapists, etc in as soon as they notice a change, we can act as more of a "prehab" instead of rehab. The earlier we can see their horses, the more helpful and preventative our therapies can be.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursing a career in animal bodywork? Take the plunge! For any animal lover, whether you make a career out of it or not, if you have pets- this knowledge will pay for itself with the care you can provide to your animals yourself. If you do want a career in animal bodywork, I highly recommend Angel's Animals courses to get you there! As a side hustle or a full time gig, the courses and specialties in Angel's Animals classes are an incredible addition to any bodyworker's resume.
Every month Dr. Barbara acknowledges and showcases one of her certified practitioners! You could be next!