Hello everyone and welcome to my site!  I would like to address a topic that some of my students have shared with me.  Misleading, bogus web sites.  These are sites that thieves have created to steal money from hard working people.  So how do you know that this is not one of those sites?

Here is the best way I can assure you that I am who I say I am:

My name is Sidonia McIntyre.  I am a Registered Massage Therapist from Ontario, Canada.  One can look me up on the CMTO web site (search for College of Massage Therapists of Ontario)  I am listed as “inactive” as I no longer work with people and have dedicated my time to working with horses.

I regularly advertise in:  Community Horse Journals, The Horse Annual, Little Bits, Western Horse Review, The Rider, and my courses are also posted on the HCBC, AEF, and NSEF, web sites, along with my business membership with OE (they don’t post courses on their site).

Every single course I offer is posted on the site.  One can get in touch with the facility – please do not bombard facilities – but check out their web sites and you should see my course posted, or you can e-mail to confirm that yes indeed there is a course being held at their facility.

You will also see below a listing of my graduates (yes, you can join the list once you have successfully completed the course!).   You can always e-mail anyone on the list and ask about me – people who have met me and can tell you about the program.

Finally, ask around about me.  I have been teaching courses nationally for over 20 years.  I have worked at maintaining an honest reputation with both the facilities where courses are offered and my students.  We treat the facilities and their horses with respect and kindness and I also treat my graduates with the same respect and kindness by offering them an amazing experience with the course of their choice, and also in offering post course help.  I make myself available to my grads when they have questions about a horse they are working with and need to ask me for my opinion about what I think may be the issue and the soft tissue/massage solution.

It saddens me that this is the direction of some people in our society.  I hope I have given you enough resources to explore and reassure you that the courses are indeed real.  You can always text me too and we can schedule time for a chat.  Please do not call me as I do not answer my phone while I am teaching.  You may text me at:  1-519-562-9992


No time to read this page, no problem!  Click the link below for a shortened version of the course information and my complete schedule.


If you have saved this page on your browser, please be sure to refresh your page as this page is edited regularly – thank you!

The entire course schedule along with all of the course locations are posted on this page – just scroll down or click on this link:


If you have any issues with any links or if the site is not functioning correctly, please text me:  1-519-562-9992

Registration for courses:

If you are registering for any course, please fill out the on -line application form.  You can access it by clicking on the “application form” tab, or follow this link:


Be sure to read the refund policy.  It can be accessed by clicking on the link below:


After receipt of your application form and payment, within 24 hours you will be e-mailed the password for the pre-course homework. 

Courses are confirmed 3 weeks prior to start dates.

You may register for any class at any time, even the day before – there are never any cut off dates for registration

No prerequisites are required to attend any classes.  The only prerequisite for classes is the on line pre-course homework.

Every single course location is posted on this site. All addresses are posted below, underneath each course date

What programs are taught?

Three programs are offered by the School of Equine Massage and Rehabilitation Therapies:

Equine Massage Course:   Graduates receive their certificate:  Certified Equine Massage Therapist

This is a very intense 6 day course.  The majority of this page has all the information for the Equine Massage Course.  Just scroll down please.

In British Columbia, the term “massage therapist” is a copyright protected term owned by the BC College of Massage Therapists  (Human RMT governing body).  As such, we use the accepted certification of:  Certified Equine Myo-Massage Therapist.


6 Week Professional Equine Massage Program:   This course is taught Monday-Friday with graduates receiving their certificate:

Certified Advanced Equine Sports Massage and Vertebral Realignment Therapist

In British Columbia, the term “massage therapist” is a copyright protected term owned by the BC College of Massage Therapists  (Human RMT governing body).  As such, we use the accepted certification of:  Certified Advanced Equine Sports Myo-Massage and Vertebral Realignment Therapist.

The Equine Massage Course is NOT a prerequisite. 

Information on the 6 Week Program can be accessed by clicking on this link:



Vertebral Realignment and Joint Play Course.  This course is included in the 6 Week Program.

The Equine Massage Course is the prerequisite for the VR Program – no exceptions.

information on the Vertebral Realignment Course can be accessed by clicking on this link:



“Open” means there is room in a class and you may submit your application

“Full” means a course is full.  People can request to be put on a cancellation list.

“Awaiting confirmation”  means a course has yet to be confirmed by the facility.  As soon as the class is confirmed, it will be posted as “Open” and applications will then be accepted.  Do not submit an application until the course is posted as “Open”.

“Closed Herd” means you may not bring your horse to the course.

No one ever needs to bring a horse to any courses as the facility provides the horses we work upon.

If a facility has accommodations available on site, the contact will be posted.  Accommodations are the responsibility of students.


2024 Equine Massage Course Schedule

(The 6 Week Professional Advanced Program is listed below)


April 22-27, 2024 – Edmonton, AB – Applications are accepted

Class is 8am-5pm daily, the final day of class is concluded no later than noon

Whitemud Equine Learning Centre (WELCA)

12510 Fox Drive, Edmonton, AB

Closed herd

Self-contained RV spaces are available.  Please contact Christy at:  info@welca.ca


April 29-May 04, 2024 – Langley, BC – Open- Applications are accepted

Class is 8am-5pm daily, the final day of class is concluded no later than noon

Glen Valley Stables

3080 240 St., Langley, BC

Closed herd

No RV sites available


May 05-10, 2024 – Ladysmith, V. Island – Open  – Applications are accepted

Class is 8am-5pm daily, the final day of class is concluded no later than noon

Takala Trails Ranch

5735 Takala Rd, Ladysmith, BC, V9G 1M2

On site RV space may be available.  Please contact:

Mary at:  mcmarycarr@gmail.com


May 13-18, 2024 – Dunrea, MB – last day is in Branden, MB – Open – Applications are accepted

Class is 8am-5pm daily, the final day of class is concluded no later than noon

Triple T and M Equine Centre

121 Church Street, Dunrea, Manitoba R0K 0S0

Boarding is available for $20/night with no turn out

RV space is available

Please contact Rachel for boarding and RV space at:

204-573-4640  or  e-mail:  rachelrenaud.2@gmail.com

The final day of the course will be in Brandon, MB at Prairie Breeze Stables


June 16-21, 2024 – Guelph – Open – Applications are accepted

Class is 8am-5pm daily, the final day of class is concluded no later than noon

Old Orchard Farm 12386 1st Line Nassagaweya, Milton, ON


RV sites available Contact Linda at:  linda@oldorchardfarm.ca

There may be rooms available at the main house.  Please contact Linda at:  linda@oldorchardfarm.ca


June 23-28, 2024 – Ottawa, ON – Open – Applications are accepted

Class is 8am-5pm daily, the final day of class is concluded no later than noon

Roseridge Stables 1242 9th Line, Beckwith, ON  K7C 3P2

RV sites may be available  Contact Sidonia:  info@equinerehab.ca


July 29-Sept 06, 2024 – 6 Week Equine Massage Professional Program in Edmonton

See information below the Equine Massage Schedule – just scroll down!

For course information click on the link:  https://equinerehab.ca/extended-massage-course-information/


September 07-12, 2024 – Calgary/Priddis – Open – Applications are accepted

Class is 8am-5pm daily, the final day of class is concluded no later than noon

Westridge Farms 146139 192 St W, Priddis

Closed herd – no outside horses

RV space may be available.  Please contact:

Carol at:  carolhall@shaw.ca


September 24-29, 2024 – Guelph, ON – Open – accepting applications

Class is 8am-5pm daily, the final day of class is concluded no later than noon

Old Orchard Farm 12386 1st Line Nassagaweya, Milton, ON


RV sites available Contact Linda at:  linda@oldorchardfarm.ca

Rooms may be available at the house.  Please contact Linda at:  linda@oldorchardfarm.ca


September 30-November 08, 2024 Guelph, ON – 6 Week Professional Advanced Program – Open – accepting applications

For course information click on this link:  https://equinerehab.ca/extended-massage-course-information/


6 Week Professional Advanced Equine Massage Program Schedule

(The Vertebral Realignment Course is included in the 6 week course)

These are the only two locations this course will be offered in Canada for 2024


Edmonton, AB:  July 29 – September 06, 2024 – open – applications are accepted

Classes are Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday 8am-12pm

Whitemud Equine Learning Centre (WELCA)

12504 Fox Drive, Edmonton, AB

Closed herd

Self-contained RV spaces are available.  Please contact Christy at:  info@welca.ca


Guelph, ON:  September 30-November 08, 2024 – open – applications are accepted

Classes are Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday 8am-12pm

Old Orchard Farm

12386 1st Line Nassagaweya, Milton, ON

You may be able to bring your horse; however, there are over 100 horses on site  – no need for anyone to bring a horse

RV space may be available, accommodations on site (room for rent) may be available

Contact Linda at:  linda@oldorchardfarm.ca


Vertebral Realignment Schedule:

These classes are only for graduates from the Equine Massage Course taught by Sidonia – no exceptions

Edmonton, AB:  August 12-16, 2024 – open – applications are accepted

Classes are Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday 8am-12pm

Whitemud Equine Learning Centre (WELCA)

12504 Fox Drive, Edmonton, AB

Closed herd

Self-contained RV spaces are available.  Please contact Christy at:  info@welca.ca


Guelph, ON:  October 14-18, 2024 – open – applications are accepted

Classes are Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday 8am-12pm

Old Orchard Farm

12386 1st Line Nassagaweya, Milton, ON

You may be able to bring your horse; however, there are over 100 horses on site  – no need for anyone to bring a horse

RV space may be available, accommodations on site (room for rent) may be available

Contact Linda at:  linda@oldorchardfarm.ca


Course fees:

Equine Massage Course:

BC, AB, SK, MB:   $995 + 5% GST ($49.95) = $1044.75

Ontario:  $995 + 13% HST ($129.35) = $1124.35

Payment in full is required upon registration. 

Should a student need to cancel, $100 of the course fee is non refundable.  Be sure to read the cancellation policy.


For any graduate of a previous Equine Massage Course taught by Sidonia McIntyre who has graduated with the last 3 years and would like to retake the Equine Massage Course, they qualify for a $300 discount.

For those people wanting to start a business, on average, CEMT’s graduates from this course charge between $60-$80 per session .

At the completion of this course, graduates may charge for their services, and will receive a certificate:

Certified Equine Massage Therapist (BC Myo-Massage)

On average, graduates from the 6 Week Professional Equine Massage Program charge between $125-$175 per session.

Certificate:  “Certified Advanced Equine Sports Massage and Vertebral Realignment Therapist”

6 Week Professional Equine Massage Program Fee:

$3999.00 + applicable taxes:


$3999 + 5% GST ($199.95) = $4198.95

$500 non-refundable deposit upon registration

Remaining balance is due 2 weeks prior to the course start


$3999 + 13% HST ($519.87) = $4518.87

$500 non-refundable deposit upon registration

Remaining balance is due 2 weeks prior to the course start date


Vertebral Realignment Course: (only for graduates from the Equine Massage Course)

The VR course is included in the 6 Week Professional Equine Massage Program

$900 + Provincial taxes

AB:  $900 + 5% GST ($45) = $945

ON:  $900 + 13% HST ($117) = $1017.00

Payment in full is due upon registration.


What are the payment options?

1)  e-transfers to:  info@equinerehab.ca

2) PayPal for your Visa / MasterCard
Visa Credit Card Payments MasterCard Credit Card Payments

3)  Cheque or money order made payable to:  Sidonia McIntyre mailed to:

2776 South Talbot Rd, Cottam, ON  N0R1B0


Do you offer any payment plans?

No, The School of Equine Massage and Rehabilitation Therapies does not offer any payment plans or scholarships. If a student needs to have any paperwork filled out for any special funding programs, just send the paperwork and it will filled out free of charge.

The 6 Week Advanced Professionals program requires only the $500 deposit for registration.  The remaining balance is not due until 2 weeks prior to the course start date, so lots of time to save up for the program.

How do I register for a course?

You can click on the link below which will take you to the on line application form:


Getting started on this site:

This entire page is the course information for the Equine Massage Course.

The course information page for the 6 Week Professional Equine Massage Program can be accessed by clicking:


For information regarding the Vertebral Realignment Program, this information can be access by clicking the link below:


If you have any issues with accessing the information, please do e-mail me via the ‘contact’ section.  I strive to keep the site as up to date as possible and as user friendly as possible with all of the devices that are used to access information.  If you are unable to access the information, please do let me know so that the issue can be resolved – many thanks!


This is a rather large site with lots of information in various areas. If you are new to the site, I would recommend that you read this page first – it is the course information page for the Equine Massage Course, then move onto the FAQ’s section of the site (the link is located at the top left side of the page). There you will find many answers to questions others have asked about the course.

Explore and enjoy the site! If you have any questions that are not covered here or on the FAQ page, please feel free to e-mail through the “contact” section.

Thank you!



Looking for a therapist in your area? Click the link below for our national registry.

Click here to visit our listing of Certified Equine Massage Therapists
Click here to visit our list of Vertebral Realignment Graduates

Why Massage?

Approximately 60% of a horse’s total body weight is comprised of muscle and tendons. This musculature system is directly involved in locomotion and movement. Tension and spasms obstruct or prevent optimal movement and will cause problems in the horse’s performance. Healthy, spasm free, fully extensible muscle tissue is less prone to injury. As homeopathic and natural remedies are quickly becoming the choice for injuries, massage has emerged in the forefront of modalities used, as its benefits are profound, and almost instantly a difference can be observed as the horse will begin to move more easily.

charlie horseHow Are Muscles Injured?

A blow to the muscle

  • Ill fitting tack
  • Overuse
  • Over stretching
  • Lack of stretching prior to an event
  • over training
  • Cooling down or warming up too quickly
  • Result of poor or stressful conformation
  • Forging, while trying to save itself from a fall
  • Collisions with other horses
  • Imbalanced rider
  • Playing in the paddock

What Does Massage Do?

  • Relaxation and relief of spasm
  • Increases drainage of lymph – most effective work in lower limb swelling reduction
  • Increases drainage of lactic acid, the prominent cause of fatigue
  • Improve joint mobility
  • Increases circulation in all systems – profound aspect of massage – can also be used to increase circulation to the hoof for horses that have: laminitis (48 hours after onset), navicular, abscess, general heat in hoof
  • Improves flexibility and suppleness
  • Decreases recovery time in injuries
  • Reduction of toxic build up
  • Increased tissue elasticity which allows for greater extension
  • Increases or relaxes muscle tone
  • Increases range of motion
  • promotes peristalsis – movement of the gut – profound results have been reached in the relief of colic
  • Reduces adhesions/scar tissue and restores extensibility of muscle fibers
  • Assists in respiration, digestion and elimination
  • Can improve mental attitude, as pain is dramatically reduced

charlie horseGoals of Massage Therapy:

  • To increase blood and lymphatic circulation
  • To allow for full painless contraction of muscles
  • To allow for full muscular and joint extensibility
  • To improve the quality of life by decreasing pain and inflammation caused by injury and arthritis
  • To enhance athletic performance
  • To build stronger, suppler muscles that will be less prone to injury from strain
  • To decrease recovery time between events
  • To allow the horse to develop a smooth gait
  • To deepen the bond between horse and rider

What is Taught:

The full and complete massage of the entire horse.

As a human registered massage therapist, I was taught Swedish massage technique, which is the bulk of the massage technique used with the horses; however, as I have taken numerous courses as an RMT for my continuing education credits, I have created a blend of various massage techniques that I have transposed to work with the horses.  As these techniques were modified by me to work specifically with the horses, I have taken safety into consideration, along with the equine anatomy to make the most of each form of massage.  We do not use any mechanical devices as I prefer hands on work over the entirety of the horse’s body based on their needs and getting feedback from them through my hands.

Safety protocol. How do we approach a horse, and how do we stay safe while working with the horses.

We all get far too comfortable working around our own horses (me too!), but when working with a new client, we need to exercise more caution, and adhere to safety principles in order to avoid injury to ourselves, or our horses. Certainly, the safety protocol should be used at all times – whether working with a horse that we know well, or one that we have just met!

Massage theory, principles of massage, massage manipulations, and their applications and effects on various systems.

The manipulations of massage, their proper names, and how each movement is unique.

I teach over 20 various movements – the more movements we have, the more versatility we have in our approach to soft tissue manipulation.

I teach 4 different massage techniques – not just Swedish massage. As an RMT, I have taken multiple courses in soft tissue release techniques, and have also learned through over 30 years of experience and work with soft tissue. I have transposed these techniques to work with the horses effectively and most of all – safely!

The phases of injury, how to spot them and how massage is administered based on the phase of injury.

Hydrotherapy uses and applications. When to use heat or cold, and various ways that we can administer heat or cold.

Equine anatomy: skeletal system and 30 major muscles, common landmarks

Contraindications: or when we should exercise caution during a massage. This is a very important segment of this course as we need to learn when it may not be safe to work with a horse-either their safety or ours!

Palpation procedures: how to correctly approach a horse, and how to gain greater muscle relaxation during a treatment, various common injuries and how to spot them quickly. How to assess muscle tissue and determine if it is the causation of the issue at hand.

Lower limb swelling/lymphatic drainage and increasing limb circulation techniques: a huge asset to learn to help your horse whether they have sustained an injury to the lower limb.  Lymphatic drainage is the specific technique used for any swelling reduction and is covered in this course.

Colic relief:. I developed this technique in 2007 after one of my horses cribbed herself into a colic. We did/do have banamine on site at all times, but I wanted to try to help my horse without drugs. Within 20 minutes of work, the bout of colic was over – sure beats walking the horse for hours! I have shared this technique with my students, and have received much positive feedback on the swiftness of relief (if caught early). A special mention has to go out my mom ‘Mamma Body” as she taught me how to deal with a bad tummy when I was a little girl. This was the basis for the development of my technique!

Assessment: or how we find out where we need to focus our attention to have the horse gain the most benefit from the massage. This is an integral part of this course as it is important to learn and understand which areas to focus our massage time!

Stretches, stretches and more stretches. This is the cornerstone of muscle extensibility, without which the horse cannot reach its full potential. Some stretches have been developed by me and are unique to this course. Stretches should allow for: the safety of the therapist, safety of the animal, allow for as complete a stretch as possible for the animal – in that particular order. Our safety and the safety of the animal come first!

An exclusive aspect of equine massage is included in this course!!

This area of the course addresses behaviour issues as a direct correlation to physical distress. This area is a compilation of different human massage courses that I have taken, along with my many years of experience as a human RMT. I experimented with various techniques, and found a safe way to carry out the work. The horse’s responses were amazing! As this aspect of the course is designed by me, specifically tailored to work with horses, it gives this area of the course an exclusive area of information that is not taught in any other course.

In this area of study we will be looking at specific reasons horses respond through specific behaviour along with looking at resistance issues, refusals both under saddle and ground work we can formulate a plan, allow the horse’s input and give them relief through massage.

This area of study has yielded the highest pain relief results that I have ever used, and I am so very pleased to bring this aspect of care to this course.

Do I receive a Certificate?

At the conclusion of the course graduates receive their certificate, receipt, and take home their copy of the equine massage manual for future reference.

At the conclusion of the course, the graduates may then call themselves a

“Certified Equine Massage Therapist”

In the province of BC, the certificate is:

“”Certified Equine Myo-Massage Therapist”  (this is a legal technicality as the BC College of Massage Therapists – human -legally owns the term “massage therapy” and any derivatives therein)

Graduates may open a practice and charge for their services in any province in Canada.

Do I have to bring my own horse? or May I bring my own horse?

No, the facilities I book already have the required number of horses, so you do not need to bring your horse.

If you choose to bring your horse, you must contact the facility owner directly and make arrangements. Some facilities do not allow other horses onto the property as they have a closed herd, while others may require vaccination paperwork and a Coggin’s Test. This is between you and the facility. Each course location page will indicate if people may or may not bring horses onto the property. A ‘closed herd’ indicates that no other horses may come onto the property.

If you do bring your horse, you must bring sufficient hay either for the entire course (7 days), or enough to mix with the facility’s supply as we do not wish for any horses to develop colic from a change in feed.

Is there homework prior to the start of the course?

Yes, there is homework!

Once a person has registered by completing the application form and submitting the payment for a course, an e-mail is sent within 24 hours with the pass code for the ‘homework log in’. This is an opportunity to prepare for the course, so the sooner a person registers for a course, the more time to study!!

The course homework takes approx. 20 hours to complete.

Should I buy an equine massage book?

No, please do not purchase an equine massage book for this class. I equate learning how to massage from a book to learning the Irish Jig from reading a dance manual. It may be done, but it won’t be done correctly, and the result won’t be pretty!

Massage is more than just rubbing a muscle. It requires technique, regulated pressure, rate, learning cues from the horses as they respond to the work, and of course, our own posture! All of these nuances cannot be learned from a book.

If people wish to purchase massage books after this course, I do support it – the more knowledge the better!

Do you recommend any books on anatomy?

Yes, I highly recommend a couple of books:

Illustrated Atlas of Clinical Equine Anatomy and Common Disorders of Horse Volume One, Riegel, Hakola. This is an excellent book that has won awards for illustration, reference text and education.

Horse Anatomy A coloring Atlas, Kainer, McCracken A really nicely illustrated book with lots of facts.

Clinical Anatomy of the Horse, Clayton, Flood, Rosenstein. This book is a dissection of the horse and lists the anatomy of the horse. As this is a dissection volume, please be aware that it is graphic.

I am a big fan of Hilary M. Clayton. she has written many books and I have been impressed with her ability to convey an idea clearly, no matter the subject matter.

There is a web site  https://www.equinenetworkstore.com  that has a great selection at excellent prices.

Amazon.ca  also has these books


There are 3 written tests and one final hands on massage on the last day of the course.

Not to panic!! I am extremely fair when it comes to testing. Whether you are taking this course as a career, or if you want to learn how to help your own horses, testing in this course is all about what you have learned, what you may need to work on a bit, or have I done my job by explaining and demonstrating a particular part of the course in a way that every student is able to understand. I have a balance between the written tests and the hands on work. The balance is set at 80-20. 80% is based on hands on work and 20% for written tests. A person can get perfect on every test, but not do as well in the hands on portion and needs a bit more help or vice versa. Ultimately, it is about the work with the horses that counts! A horse does not care if you can say the word “brachiocephalicus”, but he does want you to be able to work on this muscle correctly!

Will we be diagnosing horses?

No, diagnostics are specifically for doctors:  MDs,(medical doctors)  DVMs  (doctors of veterinary medicine) and DCMs (doctors of chiropractic medicine)

As equine massage therapists, we can only assess. 

Who takes this course?

This course is not just for people wanting to start a new career!

Owners who wish to learn more about how they can help their horses be more comfortable, perform better, or help an older horse with their aches and creaks. All our working horses are athletes, whether they are in competition, trail riding, or just the occasional pleasure hack, and as such, they can sustain injuries.

We have seen some truly amazing results in the racing industry with horses that have regular massage based on a program which is taught in this class. The 2011 Queen’s Plate winner ‘Inglorious’ received 2 massages for the first time in her life (by one of my grads) one week prior to the race – again based on a program set out in this course.

This course can teach you how to work with your horse to increase performance, smooth out that bumpy gait (due to injury and/or muscle tension), deal with injuries by opening circulation and allowing swelling an exit route and also bringing nutrient rich blood to the area to promote healing, learn how ‘behavioral issues’ may indeed be a horse telling you clearly that they are in pain and the most beneficial result of all – a deeper bond with your horse!

Is there an age requirement?

Yes, the minimum age for this course is 16 or turning 16 in the calendar year. At times I have allowed 15 year old students to take the course, but they must at some point: have been involved in Pony Club, 4-H, home farm/ranch experience, Rodeo or Jumping Circuit etc., and must have a full recommendation from a parent/guardian. Good grades in school are also an asset, but the horse experience is what truly counts, along with the parent/guardian’s assent.

Are there any prerequisites?

No, there are no educational prerequisites for this course. As each person will have a different level of horse experience and education, there is no minimum for this course.

There is however, pre-course homework. The homework is the prerequisite for this course. Please do sign up early if you have decided to take this course so you can have lots of time to study!

On average, the homework takes approximately 20 hours for most people to get comfortable with muscle names, but each person is different in their personal study habits and ability to uptake information.

In 2008, I started the ‘homework log in’ section of the site. Prior to this date, there was no homework, so please do not let this deter you from joining a course if the one you would like to take is offered soon.

The safety protocol homework is common sense information. Whether people have horse experience or are new to horses, or returning to horses, it is a good way to prepare to be really safe in the barn.

The homework also includes muscles, bones and massage terminology.

Do I have to have horse experience?

No, you do not need to have horse experience to take any classes offered.  Each person has their own level of experience with horses – some have grown up with horses while others may have very little.  This course has an extensive safety protocol which includes handling of horses.

If a person has very little experience in working with horses, and would like to get some experience, check out https://www.cantra.ca/en/member-centres

for a complete listing of therapeutic riding associations across Canada.  They are always looking for volunteers!

How much hands-on time is there in this course?

We do hands-on work with the horses for approximately 70% of the of the course or about 24 hours.

Both the theory and the hands-on work are equally important, as we need to understand why we massage in a particular way, and how we would approach a horse with a plan based on the condition of the soft tissues. Students need to learn how to physically massage a horse, and this can only be accomplished in the barn! For this reason, we are massaging horses on the first day of class!

What are the class times?

Each class is from 8am-5pm each day.  The last day of class will be shorter and will be concluded no later than noon.

If there is a statutory holiday during the course, the course will continue and will be taught on the statutory holiday.

On our first day, please be at the facility no later than 7:45am.

The total number of hours of instruction is 39 hours – lunches and breaks are deducted from the total class time.

What is the class size?

This is dependent on the number of horses a facility has to provide. Typical class sizes range from 10-16.

The minimum (not maximum) number of students is 6.

Are lunches provided?

Lunches are not provided.

A refrigerator will be made available for storage, so please do bring a lunch as some of the facilities are quite remote and there are no restaurants nearby.

When should I register for a course?

You may register for a course at any time either on line or via mail. The sooner you register for a class, the more time you will have to study the homework.

Although I would prefer to teach a small class to not at all, there must be a minimum number of 6 students registered for the course for it to move forward.

If you know that you want to take the course – don’t procrastinate!

Please click on the ‘application form’ button and follow the directions.

Is there a cut off time to register for a course?

No, you may register for a course at any time – even the day before a course is to begin. The advantage of registering early is the opportunity to study the homework.

I have e-mailed you and have not received a reply

If you have sent an e-mail and have not received a reply within 48 hours, please check your spam folder.  For all registrants, please go to your e-mail provider and add my e-mail to your contacts.  I typically use e-mail to communicate with people – I do not use Facebook or any other social media platform, so please add the e-mail below so all communications are received:


You may also text me at:  519-562-9992  Please do not call as I am teaching during the day.  If you need to speak with me, text me and we can arrange a time to chat!

How do I register for a course?

You will need to fill out the application form. Click on the link below:


There are 2 waivers that need to be filled out.  Both waivers are given to each student.  You may view the waivers on the “application form page”.

Registration is complete when payment has been received.  

Please do not fill out the application form if you are not prepared to make your payment.

After your registration is complete, you will receive an e-mail within 24 hours and you will be given the access code for the ‘homework log in’ on this web site.

If you have not received a confirmation e-mail (after 24 hours), please contact me – texting is the fastest way to reach me:  519-562-9992

You will receive a receipt on the last day of the course.

If you are joining the class at the last minute, you may either make an on line payment or bring cash or money order in the full amount on the first day of class (no cheques are accepted). Money orders are made payable to: Sidonia McIntyre

I have made a payment on line via e-transfer and have not received my homework/confirmation e-mail

Please check that the e-mail address if correct.  The only e-mail address to use is:


Check your spam folder.  To avoid having any correspondence end up in the spam folder, add the above e-mail address to your contacts.

Be sure to click the “confirm” or “payment” button on your on line banking.  A debit should appear instantly.  .

How do I know a class is confirmed?

It should be presumed that all classes are moving forward, so be prepared to come to class. You may certainly contact me to confirm if a course is moving forward within 3 weeks of the course start date.  A confirmation e-mail is sent to all registrants approx. 3 weeks prior to the course start date.  If you have not received your confirmation e-mail, please check your spam folder.

Add:  info@equinerehab.ca to your contacts in your e-mail provider’s list of contacts.

If the course is still posted on this site as “Open” then you can be assured the course is moving forward.

Please be sure to check your e-mails prior to the course! If I know of a problem (outbreak) on a facility, any construction issues or any new information becomes available I will e-mail everyone to inform them of any issue.

What do I need to bring with me to the course?

A lunch

A hat and sunscreen (for working outside – weather permitting)

Fly spray in the summer is a good idea for yourself

A cushion to sit on as I provide stools and they can get quite uncomfortable

A more comfortable chair – the collapsible chairs are quite popular

Steel toed footwear is not mandatory – but highly recommended

Weather smart clothing – shorts are not a good idea

Please be sure to be up to date with your tetanus shot. In barns there are plenty of rusty surfaces and nips can also occur.

You may bring a camera with you on the last day for group pictures, but no video taping or pictures of maneuvers during the course is permitted

Everything you need is provided: pens, pencils, highlighter, paper and the course manual.

The only thing that you need to bring with you is an open mind that is ready to learn!!

What clothing should I wear?

Wear weather appropriate clothing, bring a hat and sunscreen, and if you have them, steel toed shoes.

In the winter, dress in layers, bring hot pads for hands and feet – in short, be prepared to work in the barn.

We should never handle our own horses after the class prior to changing our clothing, disinfecting our boots and washing ourselves thoroughly as well.

2008 was a big year for strangles, influenza and rhinovirus. Extra precautions should be taken: wear coveralls if you have them, then remove them at the facility and place them in a large garbage bag along with footwear before entering your vehicle. Shower (including hair) prior to handling your own horses, or touching your dogs or cats either (as they can literally carry the virus into the barn). Irregardless of an outbreak in a barn, we should always use extra caution!

Barn Chores

The facilities where all courses are taught are real working farms who have opened up their barn doors and have graciously allowed us all to come to their properties and work with their horses.  This is a big plus as students get to work with horses in real-life environments and not attend a school where the horses are massaged constantly – students learn how to work with working horses!  These farms have altered their daily schedules to accommodate the course – which is a disruption to their day to day working schedules.  Having the luxury of working with these horses comes with responsibilities which include barn chores.  In order to have access to the horses, we take on many of the responsibilities to aid the owners/staff which include:  cleaning stalls, cleaning and filling buckets, tossing down hay, sweeping alleys, taking horses in and out and feeding.  It has not been unusual in my practice to have to go and fetch my horse from the field, muck out a stall that is not clean and to fill up a water bucket and feed the horse some hay.  In an ideal world, the horse is already in the barn, groomed and the stall is mucked, but in the real world, things sometimes do not go according to plan… If I have a bad attitude about having to get a horse from the field, groom them and muck a stall and it puts me into a bad state of mind, then the ‘energy’ of the massage will be changed (and not for the good!); however, if I accept that sometimes I will have to do these chores, and I keep a cheery spirit, then it will not change my attitude and the ‘energy’ of the massage can progress in a quiet and peaceful way.

Be prepared to get your hands dirty!

What is the best way to reach you if I have a question?

E-mail is the best way to reach me – the internet never sleeps!  If you are a registrant, please add my e-mail to your contacts: info@equinerehab.ca

You may e-mail me through the “Contact” section of this web site located at the top of the page.

Texting is also a great way to reach me:  519-562-9992

Do you offer on-line instruction?

Absolutely not is the short answer.  As I stated above, I do not believe that massage can be learned from a book, neither do I believe that massage can be learned on-line. We can learn facts, anatomical landmarks, muscles, anatomy and physiology, but we cannot learn the art of massage without an instructor’s help. Equine anatomy can be learned from books and does not require on line instruction.

I have been asked this question a lot in the last couple of years, and as I business person, I could have created a program for people to do this course on line. But, my primary goal is to teach people the art of massage so my graduates can offer their learned, caring touch to the horses. I do not feel that massage can be learned from a book – the nuances are easily missed. I made the decision to keep working with people face to face, to have the ability to let people test their pressure on me in order to get feedback, to watch them as they work so that I can help them with catching cues that the horse is clearly giving as they work and to help the students in maintaining correct posture so they do not sustain injuries. None of these things can be accomplished with an on line course, then getting together every now and again to monitor the student’s progress. Catching a problem at the onset of learning also aids people so that they do not learn bad habits. I have made this statement in most of my classes: “Massage is not rocket science, but, the art of massage is rocket science”. Because I respect the power of massage, I have made the decision to only teach this course as it stands- person to person and never on line.

Do you teach individual or private classes?

No, I do not teach private classes for individuals. The class minimum size is 6. If there is a group of people that would like to book a class (usually for the following year), then please feel free to contact me and we can discuss adding a class!

Do you offer group discounts?

No, I do not offer group discounts. This is a certification course, and every person pays the same fee.

If I take both the Equine Massage and Vertebral Realignment (VR) courses, do I receive a discount?

As stated above, everyone pays the same fee. The massage and VR courses are totally different courses and although the two techniques go hand in hand very well, they are still separate courses. The 6 week advanced massage course also includes the VR course.

Do you have a refund policy?

Yes.  You can view it by clicking on the link below or if the link is not working, then go to the bottom of the page and click on the “Cancellations and Refund Policy”


Do you teach classes in the winter?

Generally no, I do not teach in the winter months as I drive from one location to another. The weather in our beautiful country during these months can be quite volatile and dangerous for all. Besides, hubby and I do need to see each other for a few months!  Typically, classes are offered from March to November.

What is your philosophy regarding working with horses?

In my opinion, doing this type of work is much easier if the horse is working in partnership. Partnership requires give and take from both parties. Yes, the horse may pin his ears or lift his leg to show discomfort, or as a warning, or as a defense mechanism or simply in response to a next door stall mate. It is up to us to work through this with the horse. This is where my philosophy regarding working with the horses comes into play. The horses have the right to indicate pain, they have the right to move during the massage, and I encourage the horses to engage with me often – this means that their attention is continually drawn to me during the massage – this keeps me safe as the horse is interested in what I am doing, is a willing participant and shows true partnership when they will actually show me the problem areas. The best source to ask where the area of issue is located is not the owner or veterinarian or farrier or saddle fitter or nutritionist or whoever else has worked with the horse, but rather the horse.

I believe that one way horses communicate with us is through body language. As we cannot teach them how to actually talk using words, the task falls to us to learn their language. I practice natural horsemanship: request, respond, release. It is as simple and as complicated as those three words. I do believe in discipline, but the discipline comes in the form of pressure that requests the horse to respond; when they have responded appropriately, then they gain their release. Striking a horse is inappropriate and is not tolerated in this course – this also includes shanking (pulling aggressively on the shank with a sharp downward repetitive pressure). We cannot gain their trust in allowing us to work on areas of pain if the same hand that is working with the horse has just struck the horse. This leads to confusion, distrust and disengagement of the horse from the session which leads to us now having lost the primary source of information.

Physical signs of pain can be obvious or quite subtle, but they are there! Watching the horse for these signs helps guide us during the massage so we can better understand where the problem areas are located, and equally importantly, where they feel pleasure so we have areas to work that allow for a ‘cooling off’ from some work that can be uncomfortable. The horses are much easier to read when they are working with us rather than just standing there taking the massage whether they like it or not.

You do not have to know natural horsemanship to take this course, and you do not have to practice it either. If someone disregards all the information regarding natural horsemanship and can massage a horse without ever raising a hand, shanking, or any other means of inflicting pain/discomfort to the horse, then I have no quarrel with them.

What I can convey to you is that once I learned how the horses communicate with each other and I tried to ‘talk’ with my own horses and they started to ‘talk’ to me, it opened a whole new world and allowed me to explore the possibilities of mutual trust. I think that this is a vital aspect of physical care as I am asking the horses to show me where their pain is located, and allow me to work in their tender areas. Any of you that have had that nasty knot in your shoulder and have had your massage therapist work it out know that massage is not all enjoyment and relaxation – it is sometimes very uncomfortable! This creation of trust with the horses allowed me to develop moves that I had previously done with my human clients only. Transposition of moves from human to horse was tricky and dangerous, but with trust and guidance from the horses, the moves became more fluid – and the best part – the horses got better and their movement and attitudes improved. What could be better than that?

There are lots of people that practice this type of work and have put together videos, newsletters, magazines, and offer courses etc: Jonathan Field, Pat and Linda Parelli, Dan James, Chris Lyons, Josh Lyons, Monty Roberts and Warwick Schiller just to name a few.  Google them and see for yourself which person’s ideas you resonate with the best!

My friends Janice, Dave and Lennox at the Jandanda Ranch in Pinantan Lake, BC regularly have clinics on natural horsemanship at their beautiful ranch.http://www.jandanaranch.com.

What makes your course different from other equine massage courses?

The simplest answer is experience.  I bring over 30 years of massage experience to the barn with me.  As a registered massage therapist, I learned proper massage terminology – which is used in the courses I teach.  Professionalism is an integral part of the courses I teach.  This includes showing up on time, being prepared for classes, using the proper use of terms, and most importantly – spending time in 100% supervision of all students.  Many courses do not do this and leave students to learn on their own with very little supervision.  The whole point of me teaching courses is to provide my students with the tools to successfully offer their newfound gifts to the most deserving ones of all – the horses!  We use our horses in work, competition and play.  Offering our touch to them in a way that they can choose to accept is one way of giving back, maintaining performance or simply connecting in a real, organic, loving way with our horses – which they can choose to accept.

Working with the horses in a safe way is my number one priority.  This cannot be accomplished if I am absent or only teach for a weekend then send my students off to work on their own (developing bad or unsafe habits), then meeting again and seeing what they have done in the past month, or worse yet, to offer on line instruction.  This is about getting one’s hands dirty and making sure that getting the hands-on component with the horses is met – with full supervision.

Courses are offered nationally for this very reason – to allow people the opportunity to learn this valuable skill no matter where they live in Canada!

I do not check out what other people are doing/offering  in their courses as I want to keep my course content authentic to what I know best – how to handle, read and work upon soft tissues of horses.  This keeps what I do personal as the course content comes from real hands-on experience and not from taking from someone else’s work and adding their content to my courses.  The true authors of my courses are the horses themselves as they have taught me just about everything I do with them – they are the authorities on the subject of what works for them!

If you are looking for a teacher with experience, original course content, who values your safety and is prepared to actually be present and supervise your work and progress then this is the course for you.

Equine Massage Associations

People have asked me about what the benefits of joining an association might be after they have graduated.  In all honesty, there are no benefits that I can perceive.  As a registered massage therapist in the province of Ontario, I was regulated by a Board (The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario) and provincially legislated (The Massage Therapy Act of Ontario).  As an RMT, I had to carry 2 millions dollars of liability insurance as mandated by our College.  To my current knowledge, in the province of Ontario, one person has successfully sued an RMT for soft tissue damage – one in the last 30 years.  As an RMT, our insurance premiums cost approx. $200 per year for $2 Million in liability.  In the equine world, this cost runs approx. $800 per year for liability insurance.  Some associations boast reduced premiums; however, once the cost of the annual associations fees have been factored in, the cost is about the same… for a vocation that is not regulated, not legislated and quite frankly, no one can actually prove that a horse has been injured by a therapist during the course of the session time as horses actually feel really good after massage and will show it by running, kicking, bucking, rearing, rolling – basically anything that they can do to really make use of their new range of motion and mobility.

Associations are fine and it can put you in touch with other people who are doing massage, but it cannot enhance your business, nor will their ‘discounted’ offers of equine massage insurance be of any true value.

If you are truly sold on the idea of joining an association and you need me to fill out a form or produce a letter indicating the course content, etc., I offer this free of charge; however all forms must be provided for me.

Grants and Funding

There are some grants that offer funding for students in various provinces.  There are some veterans grants and some social programs that offer funding.  It is the responsibility of students to track down funding and to provide any/all paperwork to me fill out.  The filling out of forms is provided free of charge.

CEU’s (continuing education units)

For those people that belong to associations that require continuing education, feel free to contact me and I can send in an application for CEUs to your association.

Below is a list of organizations that have accepted this program, along with the CEU rating.  Be sure to check with your association as CEU values can change.

If you belong to an association not listed, please feel free to contact me and I will contact the association and request a review.

Natural Health Practitioners of Canada ………………………………………. 5 CEUs

MTANS (MT Association of Nova Scotia) …………………………………….5 Secondary CEUs

MTWPAM (Massage Therapists and Wholistic Practitioners Association of the Maritimes) … 15 CEUs


Please be advised that the “Grad Log in” is for graduates of the program only. Once the equine massage program is completed by the student, then they will be given the log in information. Thank you!

The “Homework log in ” section also password protected; once a person has registered for a course with an application form and deposit, they will then be given the information to access this area.