by Treva Buller, RMSAAM student (October, 2012)
The Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage provides a great opportunity to further education in holistic care for animals. They offer several classes containing different levels including: Equine Massage Therapy, Canine Massage Therapy, Large and Small Animal Acupressure, and different electives just to name a few.
I took the Equine Massage Level 1 and 2 courses, and was very impressed with the low-stress learning atmosphere provided by the staff, and the abundance of horses to practice on. Level 1 consisted of the basics, which are necessary for a foundation, but Level 2 was my favorite. It was a very small class, so we were able to touch base on all of the learning material, but there was plenty of time to practice on two horses a day, and also go on several trips.
We were able to spend an afternoon with Jenny Rukavina (Canine Massage Level 2, and Equine Massage Level 2 instructor) at her rehabilitation barn, which really lent a perspective on how each horse is different and how each one of them can benefit from massage. Jenny spent some time explaining how mismanaged dental work can have an impact on a horse. To help show what she was talking about, we spent a few hours watching Sydney Burt, an Equine dentist, work on the mouths of a few horses at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch. We also got to learn about Essential Oils with Frances Cleveland at FrogWorks. These trips, along with the class work, and all of the horses we got to practice on, provided for a well-rounded, class.
A big chunk of the class time included learning the major bones and muscles, and their insertions and functions in the horse’s body. We used several different learning techniques to cater to every student’s learning capabilities. We even wrote each bone and muscle, on a sticky label and every function on another sticky label, matched them up, and stuck them on a live horse where they needed to go. It was a lot harder to find the muscle on a live horse, versus a model or a piece of paper. This foundation and memorization, has made my case studies so much easier.
I was also given the opportunity to apply for a scholarship through RMSAAM, to help with the cost of the classes. In return I worked 50 hours to pay off my scholarship. I was able to do these work-study hours in Longmont, CO, with Beth Pelosa (Large and Small Animal Acupressure instructor), which is only a 45-minute drive from my house. I helped Beth with her chores around the barn, and got to see how she runs her business giving riding lessons, and training horses. The work was not always glamorous, but well worth it, because I got to be around horses ranging from a Suffolk Punch draft horse, clear down to miniature horses. Each horse had a unique personality and I really enjoyed being around all of them. Beth was also great to work for, and I want to thank her for allowing me to be a part of her team for awhile.
I am very excited to be finishing up my case studies in order to receive my certification, and start my Equine Therapeutic and Sports Massage Therapy business. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of the staff at RMSAAM. I am so grateful to be given this opportunity, and I can’t wait to start helping horses through this unique practice.
Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage provides funds for scholarships, for a few selected individuals per year, who cannot afford our programs.
RMSAAM would like to thank Treva, for sharing her experience with us! For more information on our Scholarship program, please visit: http://www.rmsaam.com/tuition-assistance.html. You may also contact us at: 303.660.9390 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org.