Teaching Equine Massage Therapy
Thursday, November 12, 2009
“For years there’s been demand from around the country for me to teach, to let people shadow me, and to give workshops to horse owners and horse massage therapists,” Sal Salvetti says. “I’m at the point in my life where I’m willing to teach, so I’ve started doing it and am really enjoying it.”
A practical or written exam or ‘official certification’ for equine massage therapists does not exist, so Sal aims to improve the standard of the profession while also increasing people’s expectations of the therapy.
“People aren’t going to have greater expectations if the ability of the professional isn’t there, so both things have to happen,” he explains. “I’d like to have an impact on the industry and on the profession, and that’s the impact I’d like to have. The way I want to do that is through education. If I can accomplish that just a little bit, it will be huge. I figure I’ve got another 40 years in me to do that.”
Jane Hannigan has used Sal’s services for nearly nine years. She is knowledgeable about what riders can expect from massage therapy on many levels. “Sal has been a key part in my high performance career with Maksymilian and with training in general,” Jane says. “Sal also helps with my young horses learning things requiring a higher degree of equal balance. So many times young horses will be resistant because of sore muscles from simple training, from being one-sided like humans when we work out. Sal can get the horses to release these problem muscle areas before the young ones injure themselves or develop more one-sidedness from muscle fatigue. I ask Sal time and time again to massage the horses with an exploring sense of feel and let them tell him where the trouble is located. You can tell Sal a problem in a movement and he can help diagnose the difficulty through feeling the horse’s muscles and he can help with the flexibility required to do the movement. I feel very lucky and so do my horses that we have Sal as part of our training routine. I never want to show without his help again.”
Sal is planning to present Workshops for horse owners as well as Continuing Education Seminars for professionals. Currently he offers the opportunity for people to shadow him in his practice at a nominal fee.
Teaching will also factor into Sal’s plan to create a home and year-round presence in New England. “At this point I can capitalize on my success,” he says. “I have loved the nomad life. I used to drive 40,000 miles a year and now I’m down to 25,000 miles and I’m good with that. I don’t want to say it’s been a sacrifice, because it hasn’t been. It’s been everything that I wanted, but now I feel like it’s time to make this change. I’ve got this reputation, I’ve experienced the success, I’ve got this demand from people not just to work on their horses but to teach them, and so I’m going to capitalize on that and make my life even more of what I want it to be.”
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