What is Equissage Europe

Fulfilling the potential

Equissage is a recognized Certification training programme in Equine Sports Massage Therapy. The founder of Equissage, Mary Schrieber has trained more Massage Therapists than any other person in the world. Her students have gone on to work in all areas of the equine world, including therapists for several countries Olympic Teams.

Equissage Europe is the same high quality training programme with the convenience of  UK locations. Students follow the same intensive 5 day course following a period of pre course directed study of approximately 50 hours duration, leading to the long awaited final day examinations.

Successful students qualify as Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapists and have the ability to become members of the International Association of Equine Sports Massage Therapists.

UK Legislation

All Graduates of Equissage Europe must abide by the 1966 Veterinary Health Care Act and the 2015 Exemption Order.

The Veterinary Act

As a result of the Veterinary Act (1966) and the subsequent exemptions; it is ILLEGAL for any person, other than the owner of the animal, to treat an animal unless the permission of the animals Veterinary Surgeon is SOUGHT and OBTAINED.

The implications of the Veterinary Act (1966) are to safeguard the WELFARE of HORSES.

As a direct result the Equine Masseur must contact the Veterinary Surgeon used by the client and gain permission to treat the animal.


There are many therapists of varying specialism working outside the parameters of the Veterinary Act (1966).

These individuals are BREAKING THE LAW. They are often not INSURED, or members of a professional body.

The Veterinary Surgeons Act, passed in parliament in 1948 to protect the welfare of sick and injured animals from treatment by unqualified persons.

The practice of veterinary surgeons in the UK is governed by the Veterinary Act (1966). Under that act (with certain exemptions noted below) no one may practice veterinary surgery unless they are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

The exemptions to the general rules of The Veterinary Act (1966) are as follows:

  1. A doctor or dentist may carry out any treatment, test or operation on an animal, provided he does so at the request of a registered Veterinary surgeon.
  2. A doctor may also perform an operation on an animal for the purposes of removing an organ or tissue for use in treatment of a human being.
  3. The treatment of an animal by Physiotherapy; if carried out under the direction of a registered Veterinary Surgeon who has examined the animal and prescribed such a treatment.
  4. An owner of an animal (or his employees, or other members of the owner’s household) may administer minor medical treatment to his own animal.
  5. An owner of an agricultural animal (or anyone engaged or employed in caring for agricultural animals) may carry out medical treatment or minor surgery (not involving entry into a body cavity) on such an animal provided that it is not done for reward.
  6. A Veterinary Nurse whose name is entered on the list of Veterinary Nurses maintained by the college may carry out any medical treatment or minor surgery to a companion animal; provided that the companion animal is for the time being, under the care of a registered Veterinary Surgeon.
  7. Lay persons may administer first aid in an emergency, for the purposes of saving a life or relieving pain and suffering.

The Veterinary Surgeons (Exemptions) Order 2015 (which revokes the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 1962) allows the treatment of an animal by physiotherapy if the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. —The first condition is that the person providing the treatment is aged 18 or over
  2. —The second condition is that the person is acting under the direction of a qualified person who—
    1. has examined the animal, and
    2. has prescribed the treatment of the animal by physiotherapy.
    3. 19.20  The Order specifies that a qualified person “means a person who is registered in the Register of Veterinary Surgeons or the Supplementary Veterinary Register”.
    4. 19.21  'Physiotherapy' is interpreted as including all kinds of manipulative therapy. It therefore includes osteopathy and chiropractic but would not, for example, include acupuncture or aromatherapy.