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Too Good to be True?

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  • Too Good to be True?

    Piddling around on craigslist (yeah, yeah I know) and came across this gem:


    Now enrolling; HOrse lovers! (Indiana)
    Date: 2012-06-08, 12:24PM EDT
    Reply to: hp4c7-3065202966@sale.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
    Want to learn more about horses? Do you really understand what your horse is trying to tell you? Do you want to increase your horse's stride and be more competative? Then this class is for you! We are now enrolling our 4 day hands on horses DOUBLE certification class. This class will teach and certify you in Equine Sports Massage Therapy & Rehabilation Therapy. Upon completion of this 4 day class, and passing required testing; you will be certified and better understand what causes bad behavior in horses. You will learn:
    *Understanding equine behavior
    *EQuine muscles & functions
    *Locating equine muscle & skeletal issues
    *Proper equine massage strokes & sequence
    *Proper equine client charting
    *Basics of saddle fitting
    *Equine Therapies
    *And much more!

    All this at an affordable price of only $900! That is 1/3 less than our competitors! YOur class fees cover: certification, books, DVD, and lunch daily!

    We have affordable monthly payment plans available! Several dates and locations available. We offer ONe on ONe classes that fit your schedule, at no extra charge!

    For more information, to enroll, or website information, please email or contact us via telephone;

    2 six 0 - seven 0 one - 5 six 8 three.

    Is ANYONE daft enough to think that four days and $900 is all it takes to learn Equine Massage Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation?!?!

    Or am I the daft one for thinking it's a little more complicated than that?!?!

    Call me crazy but I'll be damned of I'd let anyone work on my horse that got their "double certification" from a four day course they found on craigslist!

  • #2
    Oy. I hope this isn't who I think it is. But it probably is. And I'm sure the class will be full. Blargh.
    To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.


    • Original Poster

      Who is it? I'm curious! Sounds like drama could be involved with your cryptic tone...I luvs me some good drama.


      • #4
        OP, there are a number of short massage courses out there. Some even shorter than that. One of the biggest (in terms of number of students through) is only 5 days. They are legitimate in that the students will learn something about massage.

        But your concerns are right on. These courses are good introductions; I went through a 5-day course myself and it was enough to make me certain this was something I was interested in pursuing. Unfortunately, the teachers of these shorter courses issue "certifications" and some graduates genuinely believe this qualifies them to competently massage horses as professionals.

        What I've learned from the longer course I eventually took, not to mention CE over the years, makes that more and more apparent! There are schools based on human massage training out there, and you want to look for a therapist who has graduated from one of these.

        If you are interested in learning some techniques to safely and effectively apply to your own horses, and/or to see if massage is something you'd like to pursue, these short courses can fill the bill. However, there are other owner-focused courses by the better schools that will do the same and cost a third or less of the price tag on the ad you posted.
        Equinox Equine Massage

        In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
        -Albert Camus


        • Original Poster

          I think what really set off the red flags for me was the "double certification" and the fact participants will learn "marketing". Sounds an awful lot like they are saying once you complete this 4 day wonder course you'll be ready to hang a shingle and "market" yourself to clients. Also toss in the "Rehabilitation Therapy"? Wonder what that involves.

          I too took an equine massage course (weekend-long). It was a good time, I really enjoyed it. The person who came out and taught it came with that barn's vet's blessing, all us participants were told upfront this was an educational opportunity, we weren't going to learn how to be "fixing" horses and it wouldn't be arming us with the knowledge to go out and participate in a professional capacity. It focused on light massage for our horses after workouts and how to identify potential problem areas that might need the attention of more skilled hands.

          This just sounds shady to me. I'm morbidly curious as to what is being taught but I sure as heck aren't $900-curious!


          • #6
            GG, sounds like you got to participate in a good owner's course!

            Unfortunately, yes, even though these short courses are not adequate to train a professional, they tell their students they will be ready to open shop upon graduation. Maybe they really believe that; the instructors will certainly swear five ways to Sunday that their courses are as good as any other.

            Several have "certifications" to "associations" that comprise graduates of that particular school. It's sketchy, to be sure! But I honestly don't know if the operators of these short courses really even realize how out in left field they are as far as training standards. Some genuinely seem to believe that teaching a massage routine over a few days is the equivalent of spending 6 months to a year in a formal school that includes anatomy and physiology theory, externships, work with vets, chiros and farriers, and hours upon hours of supervised practice.

            And equally unfortunately, yes, there are plenty of people out there daft enough to believe that a few days of instruction qualifies them as a professional.

            Several states are starting to adopt an exam by one of the national voluntary oversight organizations and require that animal massage therapists "sit boards" for certification to work in those states. I hope that all states go to this system (again, just like human therapists)! It would eliminate less-qualified "professionals" and strengthen animal massage therapy overall.
            Equinox Equine Massage

            In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
            -Albert Camus


            • Original Poster

              Yeah, the one I did was billed as an owner's course I believe. It's been about 8 years since I went to it so I'm fuzzy on the exact details but I still have the little soft rubber massage-thingy I bought that the instructor was peddling and my horse has NEVER gotten tired of me using it. It was a pretty fun experience and I actually learned took a lot away from it considering it was just a little two-day thing. I remember the woman giving her background as far as training/schooling and it was a pretty impressive list. She also took the time to lecture us on the perils of trying to do deep tissue massage without the proper know-how, DIY chiro work (there was some guy making the rounds in our area at that time doing one day courses to teach people how to adjust their horses by themselves, I think that's what prompted the lecture) and such.

              I'll have to keep an eye out on my local CL for an influx of "sports massage/rehabilitation therapists" in the near future.


              • #8
                DH did a martial arts related human massage course back in the '80's and it took MONTHS. This seems short and rather expensive for the time.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible


                • #9
                  I took a 5-day trimming course from Patti Stiller last year. I remember her telling us all, Don't dare hang out a shingle and claim I certified you as fit to start charging for trims, I might just come hunt you down.' The only paper she gave us stated that we had completed the 5 day course, and served mostly for those of us who needed to prove to our bosses/maybe the IRS that we hadn't skipped out on work related training .
                  HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                  www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


                  • #10
                    Ok. So you do a four day course but you are mad she did your course now is doing here own four day course? What schooling did you have? I see you worked along side a vet. I don't see why you are so mad that she is using "your techniques". Isn't massage therapy just that, just like in humans its all the same and you learn the same and graduate and go massage? Experience will get you farther usually but you have to start somewhere. I'm not saying it's right that someone with 4 days of class should start a business, but I'm a little confused if you offer the class what are you offering for? Does it say you'll get certificates? Does it say your certified? Or does your course say this is furthering horse owners education for their own uses and not to be interchanges with formal schooling for massage therapy?
                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                    • #11
                      **Please check the laws in your state for Equine Massage, if you’re not allowed to work on other peoples horses-this is still a great modality to learn for your own horses**

                      This is in your blog so I don't understand why you are mad. She must have checked her state laws and can give a class and work on clients.

                      I do see your copyright page
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                      • #12
                        Does it say you'll get certificates? Does it say your certified? Or does your course say this is furthering horse owners education for their own uses and not to be interchanges with formal schooling for massage therapy?
                        From her blog:
                        I encourage my students to do this on their clients horses, but not to teach it.
                        You jump in the saddle,
                        Hold onto the bridle!
                        Jump in the line!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MassageLady
                          Because it's my copyright information-the therapies I worked on for years, developing them, proving that they WORK on many ailments, spending my nights off with Dr. Haverkos and with Dr.Nicholson learning from them, so I could put together a great class. I spent 7yrs in the field, learning a better way to massage-working with Dr. Haverkos and having my own massages done, helped me to create something different than what I was taught-which worked better and faster-so yea, a little upset that she's calling MY THERAPIES HER OWN and saying she's CERTIFIED to teach them when she's not. No other school teaches this-and now she thinks she can after doing just ONE rehab? People need to find out the background of people before they go to classes.
                          We had a long discussion about this when I found out she basically copied my book and was starting her school.
                          While I don't know how you'd "prove" that yours work, especially better/faster than anything else, without doing (and publishing) studies...look, if you're going to teach something like that, some of the people you teach will take those techniques and teach others. You can't avoid that. If you copyright the techniques (or your specific style of massage) with a name/brand they won't legally be able to use that name/brand, but they will still be able to use the technique.

                          For example, I can open my own studio and teach Crossfit, as long as I don't call it "Crossfit".

                          As for vets lending their name to something - how many vets "stand behind" cat and dog foods that are mainly made of corn? A vet's blessing is a good thing, but it ain't as fool-proof as you seem to think it is.
                          Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


                          • #14
                            To me it's like a student under Eric Lamaze or other bnr/bnt and after learning from them going and giving lessons the way they do. I see no difference in the situations.
                            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                            • #15
                              I think that if you put together a course and say in four days you can boil down seven years' of experience such that people will be competent to go out and rehab other horses, you should expect people to do what this student did and start teaching themselves, with little other experience behind them.

                              The course itself sets up the expectation that the timeframe to gain knowledge/experience can be unreasonably compressed without harm or gaps to students/horses.


                              • Original Poster

                                Well I'm the OP, and I still stand by my original statement that there is no way in hell I'd let someone with just a four day course under their belt work on my horse. I don't care what doctor stands behind the methods or what the fancy certificate says, a person just can't learn it all in four days.

                                MassageLady, is this you?


                                • Original Poster

                                  I'm not knocking your program, it may or may not work I do not know because I've not been exposed to it.

                                  However, just as I don't discount everything I hear/read simply because I do not have firsthand experience with it I also don't take everything I'm told/read as gospel simply because someone (especially someone I do not know) vouches for it.

                                  Maybe your program works, maybe it doesn't I don't know. I, personally, don't believe a person can learn something like this in four days and be effective at it, *and* be able to ascertain the proper way to approach treating the many various problems they may encounter or figure out what exactly is best for an individual horse. It just isn't that simple. I wouldn't let a dentist with a 4 day certificate work on my teeth, I wouldn't let a chiropractor with a 4 day certificate adjust my back, I wouldn't let a trainer who took 4 days of clinics break my horse and I wouldn't let someone who took a 4 day class do anything therapeutic on my horse.

                                  My issue isn't with your program per say, it's with your notion that after 4 days of learning anyone could apply it successfully. Although I am kind of scratching my head as to how a 30 day regime consisting of 6 massages, some ground work and a couple trademarked balancing sessions can rebuild a horse's topline. That bit does defy the logic I've been taught that it takes months of careful conditioning to properly build muscle.

                                  I'm leery of anyone that offers quick fixes. That's just me though.

                                  Out of curiosity are there any vets that recommend your program? LOCAL vets, in the Cincinnati/tri-state area that I could contact? Since you defend your program so vehemently and tout such wonderful, drastic results it seems as though there would be licensed veterinary professionals in our area that have seen your program work firsthand.


                                  • #18
                                    I think she Doesn't know what she is doing in 4 days of a course and I would question somebody else that has not had proper schooling no matter what they say their track record is. I have a equine massage therapist as my trainer and she has worked on my horses but she has had proper schooling and you can google and find that on her as well. IMO all the learn in 4 days in a crock. There is so much more to learn working with the horses structure and muscles than what you can learn in four days. So no I don't think she should be out teaching nor working on anyone's horses. All I'm saying is what are your crendiatials besides I've studied under someone for so many years and have been doing this awhile? That's like me being a vet tech but i study under a vet for 10 years I should be able to be a vet and work on others
                                    horses? No it doesn't work that way IMO no matter who you are or what you've said you've done. This is a horses health. Also I'm saying that I don't see why your so mad that she "stole" this method from you. What do you
                                    think is going to happen when you promise people you have the miracle and you can teach them it in 4 days. Of course some are going to see dollar signs and do it theirselves. Maybe you have find some ways that work and that's great but I still I'm not one to believe that this is possible in 4 days and if you are so strong that she shouldn't be teaching your methods because she only had 4 days of schooling why do you teach a program that certifies people so that they may think they are? I guess I just don't understand.
                                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                    • #19
                                      I feel ripped off, I paid just a hair more and it took TWO WEEKS!! for me to get my Equine Massage cert. And I took it with Don Doran.

                                      please note that, that was sarcasm in my tone in the first sentence.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by MassageLady
                                        Until you have had me work on your horse, or my students, you really shouldn't judge them, because we do great work.
                                        But then why shouldn't your students, who after 4 days are qualified to do this "great work", teach others? If it works so well, shouldn't the technique be spread as widely as possible?

                                        When I work with someone in my field and they teach me something new, or a way to do something better/faster, I teach it to others.

                                        Again, you can copyright a brand name for your technique, and your ex-students wouldn't be allowed to use that name. But your can't prevent them from teaching what they learn from you. Either keep it to yourself and just work on horses by yourself, or if you choose to make a buck by offering these 4-day "definitely you will be able to rehab horses after this" sessions, fully expect that some of your ex-students will start their own buck-making business.
                                        Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia