Become an ESMA Therapist

Certificate of Training in Equine Sports Massage (Lantra Accredited)

Comprehensive accredited equine sports massage training from experienced practioners leading to membership of the longest established UK professional Equine Sports Massage Association (ESMA)

More than 20 years ago Mary Bromiley set up the ITEC Diploma in Equine Sports Massage, and graduates from that course created the Equine Sports Massage Association. ESMA therapists can work on both horse and rider and are renowned for their rigorous and wide-ranging training, enabling them to work knowledgeably within the equine competition/ healthcare team, demonstrating a high level of competence and skill.

The Certificate of Training in Equine Sports Massage, taught by an experienced Veterinary Physiotherapist with contributions from industry experts in specialist fields, is now the route to qualification for membership of ESMA. Now in its third year the Cert T ESM is accepting applications for the next cohort beginning in September 2017 having previously welcomed students from France, Italy, Isle of Man and Ireland. Recognising current changes within the industry, the course is presently also undergoing further development towards achieving Diploma status. Our extensive syllabus and our demanding well-known, externally assessed, multifaceted examination structure remains, ensuring the quality of successful graduates.

Prerequisites for inclusion on the course are:

  • 5 passes at GCSE Grade C or above (including English Language) or proof of equivalent educational standard
  • Minimum age of 21 years at commencement of the course
  • A minimum of 3 years experience of working with horses in a professional yard, preferably in a variety of disciplines. (Recognised Prior Learning/experiential policy applies)
  • A suitable and recognised qualification in Human Massage

The course has a strong emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal structure/ function, and existing massage skills will be applied to student’s taught functional equine anatomy knowledge to enable students to offer a thorough, considered and clinically relevant treatment. On successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate a high level of post-qualification “day one” competency and confidence in practice.

The syllabus covers four modules, each broken down in to detailed elements:

A: Handling and Professional Conduct

B: Massage Techniques

C: Functional Anatomy

D: Management



Helen Jones undertook the first year of the CertT. ESM in 2015. A polo yard manager, she wanted to be able to use her skills on the polo ponies she works with and in doing so expand her knowledge to aid them in training, performance and well being. A year on from successful completion of the course, she works with and supports the work of the yard’s regular physio who includes Helen’s work in her treatment plans , and also receiving referrals from veterinary surgeons for her developing freelance practice.

Helen says:

It has been wonderful working with the horses I know and helping them whenever a problem arises, mostly seeing fabulous results. Our regular ACPAT physiotherapist who treats our polo ponies has been very helpful and I think she would be happy to say we have worked very well in conjunction with each other.

Of the Cert. T ESM Helen Jones says:

I found the course invaluable in helping the horses I work with day to day, whether it be for pre and post match treatment, to relieving aches and pains at the fittening stage which can develop into serious problems at a later date. The course was informative and so interesting. I still have a huge amount to learn but I gain a little knowledge every time I treat a new horse. I now wish I had done it years ago as it has been a huge help to me not only in my job at the moment but hopefully as a business I can build on into the future.

Contact: Helen Tompkins

MSc (Vet Phys) MSc (An Manip) Dip ITEC (Equine) on 07970 619906 or via for an informal chat or to request an Information Pack for 2017 entry.


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