Adv. Course Information

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To register for these classes, please click on the ‘application form’ tab located on the homepage

For course information, please read below for all course information regarding the advanced course

Course Requirements

One of the changes that has occurred due to COVID-19, is the viewing of videos.  All videos have now been downloaded onto USB sticks for home viewing rather than viewing in class.  This has modified the class times to be slightly shorter each day as class typically concludes around 4pm.  Students must have the use of a computer during the duration of the course so they can view the videoss.  If a student does not have a computer, please inform the instructor at the time of registration so alternate arrangements can be made.

Each student will research and make a presentation to the class of any natural equine health care modality.  Topics include but are not limited to:  equine taping, essential oils, herbs for horses, reiki, hoof care based on nutrition, magnesium for horses, vibrating plates, thermal imaging, PEMF, BEMER, thermal imaging.  Each student must make their selection prior to the course start date so they will have sufficient time to research their topic.  Presentations may be with hand outs, slide show, Bristol board etc.  Each presentation is approx. 30 minutes in length and will be done the last week of the course.  Each student will have their own topic to research – there will be no repeat or shared topics.


When can I sign up for a course?

You may register for a course once it appears on the application form – located under the ‘application form’ button on the top right side of the web site.

A person may sign up for a course even the day before – there is no cut off date.

Are there any prerequisites for this course?  Do I have to take the shorter massage course first?

No, you do not need to take the equine massage course first it is not a prerequisite.

The only prerequisite is the homework that is on line – located under the ‘homework’ button at the top of the web site page.  The homework pass code is given to all registrants so everyone can study the same material prior to the course start.

What are the hours?

The course is from 8am-4pm daily Monday -Thursday, Fridays, classes are concluded no later than noon.  On week 5, there is a long weekend with Friday and Monday off.  I have asked each class if this time off is necessary, and each year, each, class has indicated that yes, this time has been needed to take a breath, and get ready for their presentations.  This long weekend enables students to work on their presentations and get recharged for their final week .

The total number of hours this course is rated for is 306 – this includes both actual in class hours and homework allotment.

Is everything taught in the shorter course included in the advanced class?

Yes, all information is included in the advanced course that is taught in the advanced course – with much, much more – see next questions.

What is the difference between the shorter massage course and the advanced course?

The information provided in the shorter course is enough to start a career in the equine massage field, but the course allows for either only a small amount of working time to try the techniques that I teach, or for me to talk about the specific area of issue with no hands on work.

There is more time so that students can be given the opportunity to gain experience and confidence in what their hands – and most importantly – understanding what the horse is telling them! I know that this seems fairly obvious – more time – but it is an integral part of this course. The ratio of book work to hands on time in the 6 day course is 30:70. In the advanced course it is 20:80 – significantly more hands on work.

With regard to the massage therapy area of the equine massage course, we have 3 days to cover the information.  The next 2 days are based on treatments and assessment of various issues.  The last day is the final massage where students put this information together and assess and massage the horses based on their needs.  During the equine massage course, this is done once.

During the advanced course, beginning on the 5th day of the course, assessments and massages are done daily for up to 2 hours per day. That’s  days of assessing and working with the horses based on the horse’s needs. (yes my math is correct as the VR course takes up 4 days of the course). This works out to approx. 34 assessments and massages vs 1 assessment and massage.

In the advanced course, all treatments are thoroughly explored and there is sufficient time for students to work with the horses. In the massage course, I am able to explain the issue and show how to assess for the issue – no designated massage time. In the advanced course, the issue is explained, the horses are assessed, and they are worked on each day based on the information covered at that point and the horse’s needs.

There are more treatments in this course.

There are more massage techniques.

There are more assessment techniques.

There are 10 stretches taught in the 6 day class, there are over 50 taught in the Advanced course

Combining the palpation techniques with knowledge of both the skeletal and muscular systems, we paint the bones and the muscles onto the horses – a great teaching tool for any grads that wish to show movement assessment at events!

I have been working in the massage industry for over 30 years, and I still don’t know everything about soft tissue – no one can. All we can do is put in the time and effort so that we can learn.  This course allows for more time to not only learn more information, but to also allow the student to get comfortable, confident and to trust that what their hands, and the all important input from the horse, is telling them.

This course also spends significantly more time in business acumen – approx. 25+ hours

The Vertebral Realignment and Joint Play course is included in this course.

I have also included the Vertebral Realignment and Joint Play course. Palpation techniques of bones, assessment of joints, proper hand placement, proper thrusting technique – and most importantly – absolutely no mallets.

This course allows for much more hands on time with the horses. As there is significantly more time, more information is also included in this course:

More anatomy, groundwork and handling techniques – how to get the horses to move and how to get them to stay and accept the work we offer, more treatments, business acumen, communication skills (with owners), along with general equine care.

Our treatments include, but are not limited to:


Scar tissue.

Cervical, thoracic, lumbar and scapular injuries, including the mobilization of these joints

Limb injuries including lower limb swelling reduction and hydrotherapy techniques

Mobilization techniques of limbs, scapula and joints

Thigh and stifle work

Head and face work

Movement of Cerebral Spinal Fluid and Deep Fascia Release technique

Lower limb swelling reduction technique (lymphatic drainage)

More assessment techniques

Magnetic Massage

Colic relief technique – in 2011, I had the privilege to work on 3 horses during the course that had developed colic. The treatments took an average of 30 minutes! Beats walking the horse for hours on end!

This is the ‘short list’ – there are 11 different treatments taught for the head and neck alone based on specific issues.

More aspects of the course that are not covered in the shorter equine massage course:

Painting/coloring of the bones and major muscle groups – yes, we will be actually painting/coloring the horses with non toxic pastels

Behavioral issues with physical origins (is covered in the 6 day course, but more in depth in this course)

Assessment of the horse in motion

Assessment of conformation – functionality over form

Various massage techniques that are taught exclusively by me as this work is a compilation of my work as a human registered massage therapist which I have taken and transposed into working with the horses.

No one else in the country can teach this information as it is based on my experiences, courses that I have taken (in human massage techniques) and transposed to work with the horses in a safe and effective way, and work that I have done with the horses to make the techniques I teach safe for both therapist and horses.

You will not learn information from me that can be read in any book!

Will I be taught what to look for when the horse is in motion?

Absolutely yes!  In this course we will watch the horses as they move and learn how to see where they have a deficiency of motion.

Will I be taught how to paint/color muscles and bones on the horse?

Yes, palpation of bones is part of this course, along with learning how to paint/color the muscles and bones on the horse. This is a great tool for business and can be done for demonstration purposes to show how the muscles interact with each other during movement.  We use non toxic pastels in this segment.

I’m not so good at ‘book work’. How heavily is book work weighed in this course?

There are many people in this position. Ultimately, it is of vital importance that my grads know how to work with the horses. The horses do not care if you can pronounce brachiocephalicus. The horses want you to be able to assess and work on the areas appropriately.

The hands on aspect of the testing is weighed at 80% and the written testing is 20%. A person can get perfect on every test, and struggle with the hands on work, or vice versa. My job is to pay attention to both aspects and help students with their weak areas and praise the strong areas.

Nobody in any of my courses is expected to massage like I massage. Frankly, nobody can massage the way I massage because it is personal and an expression of my abilities for that particular session. By the same token, I cannot massage the way any other person massages as it becomes an expression of their abilities.

When people begin to make the connection – that the massage is not meant to be a ‘mechanical’ thing where every manipulation is ‘text book perfect’, but instead flows freely as the muscles and the horse responds to the work, then the massage becomes their personal expression.

Imagine you are given a paint set – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. You have only painted with these colors. Then, one day a bit of the paint blends together creating a different color – shazam! The eyes have been opened to new possibilities of more colors. Massage is no different in the creative process.

I cannot teach creativity, but what I can do is create a safe environment where people are encouraged to let loose and actually begin to create. When we finally connect with the horses, that’s when the miracle of touch can do its finest work!

The difference in the massage techniques used, flow of the massage and the confidence of the students in this course grows by leaps and bounds from the first week in comparison to the last week – all done under full supervision so students can ask questions, check their pressure and learn how to read the horse’s responses to the work.

Is the Vertebral Realignment course included in this course?

Yes, as stated above, the VR course is included in this course.

Are accommodations included in the course cost?

No, accommodations are not included. It is up to the student to secure accommodations. is a very good site to search for accommodations or Kijiji is an excellent source for locating accommodations (“short term furnished accommodation” -and the search city name –  can be used in the search engine to pinpoint ads).  Please be safe, leave a paper trail, pay for deposits on line via bank transfers, get the address, phone number, full name of the owner and pictures (if possible) for the rental.  Be sure to stress that you are looking for a quiet situation and you will be working from 8am-5pm daily.

The Edmonton facility has RV space available with no electricity.  Please contact Christy at:

There may be rooms available at the Guelph facility, and also RV space.  Please contact Linda at:

Are lunches included?

No, lunches are the responsibility of the student. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and the junk food bin are provided. There are refrigerators and microwaves at both facilities.

Are there any prerequisites?

Everyone comes to the course with a different horse life-skill and of course their own experiences.

There are no, zero, none, nada educational prerequisites required for this course at all.

The preparation for this course is the pre-course homework which is located on the web site.

The log in information will be provided once the student has registered for the course.

Do I have to take the shorter equine massage course first to be able to take this class?

No.  The shorter equine massage course and the 6 Week Program are separate programs and each stand alone.  The shorter equine massage course is not a prerequisite.

Do I need a computer?

Yes, all movies for the course are downloaded onto a USB stick which are loaned to the students for the duration of the Program.  Students are given a time line for viewing the movies.  If a student does not have a computer, the instructor (Sidonia) will be informed at the time of registration, and alternate arrangements will be made by the instructor.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

Yes, just like the massage course, the age minimum requirement is 16 or turning 16 during the year.

Do we cover business?

Yes, the course covers business acumen.

I have been self employed since 1990 and I carry with me knowledge on how to work with people, run a profitable business and still have a life! – and I am willing to share this knowledge in this course.  This is a vital aspect of this course as people taking this program are committed to starting their own businesses.  We spend quite a bit of time in this area throughout the entire length of the Program.

If I have taken the shorter equine massage course, do I receive a discount for this course?

Yes, there is a discount of $300 if the graduate has taken the short massage course within 3 years of graduation.

If I have taken another massage course from another person, can I receive a discount?

No, there is no discount for graduates from another massage program.

Is there testing?

Yes, there are written tests during the course. There are also hands on tests with the horses during the course. This ensures that those individuals that do not test well with written tests have an opportunity to do well with the hands on work – this hands on work is more heavily valued as the horses are the clients and aiding them in their well being is ultimately the most important aspect of the course.

Do I need to bring anything with me?



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

Although not mandatory, steel toed boots are highly recommended

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

bring a chair – the collapsible chairs are quite popular

weather smart clothing – in the winter, layer and bring hand warmers, in the summer wear bug smart clothing as there are often stinging insects in the barn…

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

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

A computer is needed to view the DVDs for the course as they are downloaded onto a USB stick

Do I receive a certificate?

Yes, at the conclusion of the course, graduates will receive a certificate and may call themselves an “Certified Advanced Equine Sports Massage and Vertebral Realignment Therapist”.

What is the cost of the course?

$3999 + applicable taxes

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

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

$500 non-refundable deposit required with registration

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

If a grad from the shorter equine massage course wishes to enroll in the Advanced class within three years of graduation, there is

a discount of $300.


How much can I expect to charge after graduation?

My graduates command between $125-$175 per session.  Because graduates from this program can offer:  assessment, movement assessment, saddle fit, massage and chiropractic all in one session, owners do not need to 3 people come out to work with their horses – and of course incur the fees for 3 people.  Owners are learning the value of having one person who has the knowledge, skills and competency to offer all of these services.

Sheath and teat cleaning is also taught in this course, so if a graduate wishes to offer this service, they have the skills to do this job too!

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. When everyone helps a little, barn chores can be done fairly quickly – many hands make light work!

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!

How do I register for this course?

The application form is located under the “application form” tab

1) fill out the on line application form

2)  make your non-refundable deposit payment via:

a) interac e-transfer  (on line banking)  or;

b) PayPal for any Visa/MC payments

c) mail a cheque to the address listed on the application form (Sidonia McIntyre  2776 South Talbot Rd, Cottam, ON N0R 1B0 )


More questions?

Please visit the FAQ section of the site where I have answered many other questions people have asked me about the courses.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail (best) or call and leave a detailed message with your name and telephone number – including your area code – and your call will be returned.

The ‘contact’ section of the web site will take you to the e-mail page.