Learn from the Best
Our instructors are leaders in the field. They are veterinarians and specialists, and many have published research in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Dr. Hilary M. Clayton,
BVMS, PhD, Dipl. ACVSMR, MRCVS
Dr. Hilary Clayton —equestrian, veterinarian, author, researcher and clinician — is known internationally for her ongoing contribution to and innovative research in the understanding of equine biomechanics particularly relating to performance and conditioning. Dr. Clayton’s targeted studies in bitting, saddle fit biometrics, kinematics and kinetics, and locomotion have provided valuable insight into the mechanics of equine sports, the interaction between rider and horse, and the effects of various rehabilitation techniques.
She has written 7 books and more than 250 scientific articles on these topics. She is a charter diplomate and past president of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, an Honorary Fellow of the International Society for Equitation Science and has been inducted into the International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame, the Midwest Dressage Association Hall of Fame and the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame.
From 1997 until she retired in 2014, Dr. Clayton was the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University. She continues to perform research through collaborations with universities in many countries and is active in publishing and presenting the findings. In addition, she is president of Sport Horse Science through which she applies the results of scientific research in the development of practical tools and techniques to help riders, trainers and veterinarians.
Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW, (hon)MSc.
Debranne sees equine anatomy with the eyes of both a body worker and an artist. Her teaching is infused with her basic delight in both the anatomical precision that excellent bodywork requires and the dynamic variation that teaching anatomy on (mostly living, nibbling, opinionated) horses often presents. Her knack for seeing the bones and muscles with an artist’s eye and her unique way of taking the body apart – from the skin down to the bones, and putting it back together again – is a perspective that fuels her work as a bodywork practitioner and makes her a much sought-after teacher. Her “Painted Horse,” which has served as the backbone for presenting equine anatomy since Equinology started, was showcased in United Kingdom’s BBC television program “Country File” in 2001.
Since 1994, Debranne has been the lead instructor for more than 200 equine sports massage and anatomy courses to more than 2,000 course participants in the US, Canada, UK, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada. She holds the Equinology® Master Equine Body Worker Certification and is the author and facilitator of the unique Equinology® Equine Body Worker Certification Course, which is the signature course for Equinology. This course serves as the professional qualification in the BSc in Equine Sports Therapy presented by Writtle Agricultural College and University of Essex, United Kingdom.
Debranne is also the co-founder and past Chair of the United States division of the International Equine Body Worker Association (IEBWA); a leading international association that aims to support and foster equine body work practices and ethics. She is currently the Division Head of the IEBWA for USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR
Dr. Carrie Schlachter’s veterinary practice focuses on integrative sports medicine, rehabilitation and injury prevention. She founded and designed Circle Oak Equine Sports Medicine’s rehabilitation and fitness programs and Animals In Motion (AIM) is a continuation of that quest for knowledge. AIM is a practice focusing on wellness and developing monitoring protocols for injury prevention.
Dr. Schlachter grew up riding horses in the competitive ‘A’ circuit on the East coast and has almost 35 years of experience with horses as a rider, veterinarian and owner. Educated at the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School and New Bolton Center, she received the Charles F. Reid Clinical Excellence Award for Sports Medicine and Imaging as well as numerous scholarships. In 2016 she was awarded specialty board certification with the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and now serves on the ACVSMR’s examination committee as well as the American Association of Equine Practitioners Scientific Review & Editorial committee. Dr. Schlachter is also a Level 3 FEI Official delegate in jumpers. She has officiated at 2 World Cups, the Central American Games and multiple 3* and above competitions worldwide.
In addition to her thriving veterinary practice, Dr. Schlachter teaches courses for veterinarians and equine professionals on various sports medicine subjects such as lameness, rehabilitation and ultrasound techniques worldwide. She has, with her partners Dr. Nicole Rombach and Debranne Patillo, started the Academy of Animal Sport Science which offers an equine rehabilitation certificate program for licensed professionals and veterinarians.
Dr. Nicole Rombach, APM (ITEC),
PG AM, MEEBW, CCBW, MSc., PhD, FEI PET
Dr. Rombach attained the ITEC human massage qualification in 1997, the Equinology Equine Body Worker ® certification in 1998 and the Equinology Master Equine Body Worker ® certification in 1999. She also completed the post-graduate and Master of Science degree programs in Animal Manipulation from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic and University of Wales in the United Kingdom. She earned her PhD in 2013 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. Her main interest lies in the effect of complementary therapies on equine performance, and the subject for her doctoral research was investigation into equine neck pain from the perspectives of pathology, neuromotor control and equine behavior associated with spinal dysfunction.
Dr. Rombach is the founder and President of Equinenergy® Ltd. and Caninenergy Ltd, United Kingdom-based educational institutions that offer a variety of recognized certification courses in equine and canine complementary healthcare science. From 2003 to 2009 she was based in São Paulo, Brazil where she worked in direct liaison with various veterinary clinics, focusing on sports therapy for performance horses from novice to Olympic level. She traveled to national competition centers and private clients throughout Brazil and in other South American countries. In addition, she carried out infrared thermographic imaging (thermography) in conjunction with equine veterinarians to aid their diagnostic procedures. She also uses thermography to assess hoof balance, saddle fit and changes in thermal patterns following sports therapy sessions.
Dr. Rombach regularly lectures at various universities and for professional associations. She travels within the USA and to Europe and Brazil on a regular basis to teach several of the Equinology courses and to work on her established clientele of horses and dogs. She is the chief instructor and examiner for Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT) Equine and Canine worldwide. In addition to clinical consultations, Dr. Rombach is the Course Development Liaison Manager for Equinology, Inc., in charge of national and international expansion of the Equinology course curriculum.
Ruth Mitchell-Golladay, PT, EEBW, CMT
Ruth, a Texan, received her graduate degree in physical therapy from The University of Iowa in 1972 and opened a private practice in Dallas in 1978. She then attended The Institute of Natural Healing Sciences in Colleyville, Texas, in 1991 for her massage therapy training.
She is Nationally Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Body Work and state licensed. Additionally, she obtained her Equinology Equine Body Worker certification in 2004. In 2022, Ruth became a Certified Animal Aromatherapy Specialist.
Ruth began her Myofascial Release education in 1987, has taken all John Barnes MFR courses (including equine), and was a Senior Instructor/Coordinator, Co-lecturer and Primary Lecturer for John Barnes, teaching over 130 courses for him from 1988-2002. From 1999 until her resignation in June 2001, she was the Primary Lecturer for the Barnes Equine MFR courses.
In 1990 Ruth opened the Equine Therapeutic Center which was based at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia from 1998-2018. It is now based in the Dallas, Texas area from April through October and in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas from November through March. In both locations Ruth provides therapy for horse and rider. She uses her biomechanical knowledge to assist in determining a problem with the horse (or human) and then primarily utilizes Myofascial Release to decrease the symptoms and/or dysfunction. In addition, she uses certified pure tested grade essential oils, laser, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, Red Light Acupoint Therapy, and specialized taping techniques. To assist owner, trainer and/or rider in a home program of care she also includes exercises, including stabilization and core exercises for the horse and rider.
Ruth started teaching for Equinology, Inc. in 1999. She has taught Myofascial Release for horses at facilities in California, Virginia, Texas, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Additionally she has taught the Equinology, Inc. Equine Body Worker Certification Courses in the United States, England, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, Canine MFR in Canada and England, and human MFR in England.
Ruth’s book, Facilitated Healing through Myofascial Release – Putting the Pieces Together for Horse and Rider was first released in 2001. The revised second edition is now available through email@example.com. She has also released a second book, Canine Myofascial Release which is available at the same email.
Dr. Mila Speciani,
Veterinarian, EEBW, CCBW, GPCert WVA & CPM
Dr. Speciani, a veterinarian and Equinology® Equine Body Worker, lives and works across Northern Italy running her freelance practice. The majority of her daily practice includes dogs and horses, and she integrates natural medicine, sports medicine, natural management and gentle horsemanship, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation in order to provide health and wellness to animal athletes and companions.
Dr. Speciani graduated with full marks in 2006 from the University of Parma – Veterinary Medicine Department thanks to a dissertation on “Ultrasonographic evaluation of the thoracolumbar spine of the horse.”
Dr. Speciani speaks four languages (Italian, English, German and Spanish) and built up her background through international experiences, including:
– Externships at Santa Lucia Farm, Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center and San Marcos Equine Practice
– Equinology Equine Bodyworker Certification in 2007
– Certified by the Holistic School on Natural Horse Management and Natural Barefoot Trimming (with Dr. Sabioni, Imola, Italy)
– Equine Physiotherapy, Preventive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Ultrasound and PMF-Magnetic Field Therapy (with Dr. Amon, San Rossore Racetrack, Pisa, Italy)
– Equine Sport Medicine and TECAR® Therapy (with Dr. Lattanzio, Milan, Italy)
After three years of postgraduate school, Dr. Speciani graduated CUM LAUDE as Doctor Expert in Homeopathy, Homotoxicology, and Integrated Therapies. Her final graduate work – “Integration among homotoxicology, homeomesotherapy, homeosiniatry and physical therapy in Veterinary Medicine”- earned the recognition of the Internationale Gesellschaft für Homotoxikologie (Baden Baden, Germany).
In 2013, Dr. Speciani completed an Equine Kinesio Taping course of studies and is certified by the Kinesio Taping Association International (Dr. Sybille Molle). In 2014, she enriched her knowledge of Myofascial Release by attending seminars and being further mentored by Ruth Mitchell-Golladay, a leader in animal MFR. She’s now further specializing in Western Veterinary Acupuncture and Chronic Pain Management (GPcert WVA&CPM) and is now in charge of physical therapy, rehabilitation, acupuncture at pain management at the prestigious small animal vet hospital Clinica Veterinaria San Marco in Padova, Italy.
Dr. Speciani is an instructor and lecturer for world-renowned institutions, regularly teaches courses and seminars, and recently published peer-reviewed articles concerning her scientific areas of expertise.
In 2017, she co-founded VETEACHING, the teaching institution that now is the Italian Independent Licensed Company for Equinology and Caninology courses; she recently redeveloped part of the Caninology course of study by authoring and exclusively teaching the new formats of CN75, CN3010 and the certification course CN3000.
Dr. Eleanor Kellon, VMD
Dr. Kellon is one of a handful of experts in the field of applications of nutraceuticals for horses. She is an authority in the field of equine nutrition as well as conditions affecting performance horses. An Honors Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School, Dr. Kellon completed her internship and residency in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at the renowned University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center. She is currently a Staff Veterinarian for Uckele Health and Nutrition, Inc.
Dr. Kellon is the co-owner of the almost 10,000 members Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance yahoo group. She is the owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a nutritional consulting firm which also hosts 16 online courses on nutrition and horse care. Her work has led to unique nutraceutical approaches for horses with skin and respiratory allergies, degenerative as well as injury-related tendon and ligament problems, chronic laminitis and performance issues.
A prolific writer, Dr. Kellon has written 8 books and her articles have appeared in magazines such as The Chronicle of The Horse, Hoofbeats, Practical Horseman, Equus, Horse Journal, and John Lyons Perfect Horse. She has written over 1500 articles on animal nutrition, care and health issues. Dr. Kellon has also contributed to professional publications and professional meetings on topics including muscle disorders, thyroid disorders, and nutrition.
Dr. Barb Crabbe, DVM
Dr. Crabbe is a graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and completed an internship in large animal medicine and surgery at Washington State University. While at UC Davis she did graduate work in biomechanics studying patterns of locomotion in exercising horses.
Dr. Crabbe spent 30 years as a private practitioner and the owner of Pacific Crest Sporthorse, a 3-doctor general equine practice in Oregon, where she had a special interest in performance horse medicine. She is an FEI official veterinarian in Dressage and Jumping, and served on the treatment team for the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
In early 2023, Dr. Crabbe transitioned her practice to her two long-term associates in order to pursue her passion for ethics in veterinary medicine as she prepares to complete a graduate degree from the Neiswanger Institute of Bioethics at the Stritch School of Medicine of Loyola University, Chicago. She currently serves on the AVMA’s Counsel on Veterinary Services and the AAEP’s Ethics and Professional Conduct committee.
Dr. Crabbe is a frequent contributor to a wide variety of publications including Horse and Rider and Dressage Today magazines. Her articles have won numerous American Horse Publications awards. Her book Comprehensive Guide to Equine Veterinary Medicine was published in 2007 by Sterling Publishing in New York. She is an avid dressage rider and USDF silver medalist and has won multiple USDF regional championships as well as Horse of the Year titles. In addition, she is a graduate with distinction from the USDF-L judges program.
She lives on a farm outside of Portland, Oregon with her husband Bob, a veterinary internal medicine specialist. They have two girls who are almost fully launched, and currently focus their attention on 3 dogs, a cat, a rescued mouse and 7 horses.
RVT, EEBW, CERP, CCRA, FEI Permitted Equine Therapist
Courtney founded Hands on Horses in 2004 to promote the overall wellness of companion and competitive animals. A registered veterinary nurse, Courtney completed the equine rehabilitation program through the University of Tennessee and is trained in the skills necessary to design and implement a comprehensive rehabilitation program for a variety of musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions. She received her certification in equine bodywork from Equinology® and offers both sports massage and myofascial release services to help keep the equine body in peak physical condition. Prior to Equinology, Courtney studied equine science and anatomy at Virginia Tech. In 2018, Courtney was approved to become an FEI Permitted Equine Therapist.
In 2006, a division focusing on canine bodywork was added. Courtney is certified in canine rehabilitation by the Canine Rehabilitation Institute. For several years, she saw patients at the Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group, a practice specializing in canine orthopedic and neurologic surgery and rehabilitation. At VOSM, Courtney worked with a wide variety of patients, from those on a maintenance bodywork program to those needing post-operative rehabilitation care or suffering from sport-specific muscle injuries.
In 2019, Courtney founded the EquiLearn Institute, an Equinology® Independent Licensed Company (ILC) dedicated to delivering excellence in education from renowned instructors in equine and canine healthcare. Through the EquiLearn Institute, she is excited to bring the excellent Equinology curriculum to the eastern United States.
Courtney is a frequent presenter of bodywork clinics and has been featured in numerous publications and podcasts. In 2021, Courtney was elected as President of the International Equine Body Worker Association.
Susan Tenney, CMT, EEBW
Susan Tenney works internationally as a teacher, writer and practitioner of Shiatsu and Five Element Acupressure for animals. She received her human massage certification from the Shiatsu Institute of San Francisco in 1994. She followed up her human shiatsu training with the study of animal massage and acupressure, Classical Oriental medical theory and animal anatomy. In her work in the past three decades, Susan has blended massage, acupressure, stretching, movement exercises, and lifestyle modifications to improve health and performance for horses and small animals. She has also worked passionately in the realm of educating animal lovers how they can perform safe and simple bodywork on their own animals.
As a journalist, Susan wrote “Acupressure in Action,” a regular column for the award-winning “Whole Horse Journal” from 1996 to 1998. In North America her writing has been featured in numerous publications including Equine Wellness, Natural Horse, and Holistic Horse magazines. In Europe her work and her writing has also been featured widely including publication in the German language magazines Pegasus, Kavallo and the German edition of the Tteam magazine and several French publications. Her writing and teaching have grown to include an active social media presence where her popular Point Of the Week (P.O.W.!) posts on Facebook and Instagram are referred to and shared regularly by animal lovers and professionals alike.
In 2002 Susan completed her book Practical Acupressure, Basic Acupressure for Horses. The German edition of this book was published in hardcover by Rio Verlag in 2010.Through her website she also offers a growing line of laminated charts on acupressure and Shiatsu for dogs and horses.
An enthusiastic teacher and lecturer, Susan has offered lively clinics for animal owners and professionals in Europe, Canada, and the U.S since 1995. She expanded her offerings to include online learning in 2011. Her students now number in the thousands and students have come from over 25 countries. Her friendly, engaging, and encouraging teaching style has inspired many students to work successfully as professionals in the field of animal bodywork.
Dr. Anne Bondi, PhD
A successful rider and trainer who has competed at the advanced level both in eventing and dressage, Dr. Bondi has also been placed in international three-day events including Windsor, Blair, and Blenheim. As a trainer, she has prepared pupils for both competition careers and professional exams and was a Senior Examiner of the British Horse Society. Specializing both in the production of young competition horses and in the education of problem horses, she has also produced a dynasty of home bred horses.
Dr. Bondi completed her PhD studies specializing in the scientific investigation of the horse, saddle and rider interaction. In 2006, Anne founded Solution Saddles in order to research and develop a saddle design that would really make a difference to performance. In 2009, she founded The Saddle Research Trust to promote the welfare of the ridden horse and to raise awareness of the widely underestimated issues surrounding saddles, welfare, and performance. The SRT is now internationally recognized for its groundbreaking work.
Dr. Narelle Stubbs,
B.AppSc(PT), MAnSt, PhD
Dr. Stubbs is a Physiotherapist, University of Sydney Australia graduate (1993), gaining a Chartered Society of Animal Physiotherapy ACPAT title while practicing in the UK with a focus on small and large animal physiotherapy. She returned to Australia to teach and complete the Post Graduate Masters in Animal Physiotherapy program at the University of Queensland (UQ) and completed her PhD in equine back pain.
Since 1998, Dr. Stubbs has been the Official Australian Equestrian Team Physiotherapist, treating both horse and rider in many forms of equitation at the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics. She regularly lectures internationally at Veterinary and Physiotherapy conferences and special teaching engagements.
Dr. Stubbs has been a visiting research associate at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She was drawn to MSU due to internationally renowned expertise and facilities that enabled her research interests to be fulfilled: biomechanics of locomotion, back and neck dysfunction, rehabilitation techniques and the horse – rider unit and athletic performance.