Horse and dog massage classes - online from Devon

PUBLISHED: 13:01 08 August 2014

Equine massage helps relieve muscle tension and promote bonding.

Equine massage helps relieve muscle tension and promote bonding.

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Devon horsewoman Nikki Routledge has developed a new way to learn massage for horses and dogs online

Equine massage helps relieve muscle tension and promote bonding. Yawning is an indication that this horse is relaxed and enjoying his massage.Equine massage helps relieve muscle tension and promote bonding. Yawning is an indication that this horse is relaxed and enjoying his massage.

Horsewoman Nikki Routledge, from South Molton, has developed a new and practical way to learn how to massage your horse or dog via a series of online courses.

The courses give valuable instruction to owners who want to help their animals. Massage is an established and well recognised therapy for muscular discomfort and strain, but the application of massage has so many other benefits too, and animals can benefit as much as humans. The psychological effect of a massage can help reduce stress and tension and promote bonding between the animal and owner.

Nikki, a qualified McTimoney Animal Practitioner who has developed the new courses, has worked for 12 years as an animal therapist teaching her clients how to massage their horses and dogs for maximum benefit.

Drawing on her wealth of experience in animal therapy consultations and instruction in animal massage skills, Nikki has produced the online courses to enable all horse and dog owners to learn more about assessing their own animals and to apply basic effective massage.

“There are times when an animal needs a professional to assess their condition and apply the necessary therapeutic treatment, but there is a huge amount an owner can do as well. I have had cases where I am sure the benefits of a daily gentle massage by the owner of an animal have improved the animal’s health and well-being beyond that expected.” says Nikki.

Applicants start with a basic six week online massage course which teaches the essentials. This course is suitable for all horse and dog owners. Then for those who wish to learn more, there are further courses to develop your massage skills and knowledge particularly for competition animals, and those who do have long term injuries or conditions which cause them to compensate.

Nikki has also introduced a module focussing on developing the bond between animal and owner, using her BSc (Hons) in Psychology.

The online courses are delivered through access to online classrooms where videos and tutorials are available to students. There is the opportunity for students to ask questions and post videos in order to help perfect the techniques.

Courses are each six weeks long and students have eight weeks total to complete, guided by tasks and notes given at the start of each week with a two week period of consolidation at the end.

Students enter an online classroom enabling you to ask questions and post back videos for assessment and feedback if you wish, as if you were in an actual classroom.

The online classrooms are private and only available to those students studying the course at that time, so remain confidential too. Comments, questions and videos are not made public.

An introductory price of £40 is offered for the level 1 course, and Equine and Canine level 1 courses will commence in August. Students can enrol at any time. Visit horsesanddogs.co.uk for further information and to complete a course application form to enrol.

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