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The First Independent Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage has been Launched by Animal Therapy Solutions with accreditation from the Animal Health Professions Register

The Animal Health Professions Register (AHPR) have accredited a new Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage, the first independently moderated course of this level to be made available in the UK. The course is being offered by Animal Therapy Solutions (ATS) and will be delivered for the new intake of students this September.

Animal Therapy Solutions (ATS), based in Devon, provides animal therapy, veterinary physiotherapy, and equine massage training. Helen Tomkins (who runs ATS said “I am thrilled to be able to say that we have been successful in developing a Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage through Open Awards. This regulated qualification course is unique to Animal Therapy Solutions in the UK and is also accredited by the Animal Health Professions Register.”

“This is a first for the industry as it is the only independent Level 4 stand-alone (not part of a degree) Equine Sports Massage Diploma in the country listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework”.

“We will begin delivering this course for our new intake in September and are really proud of this recognition of the quality of our training; our students work really hard and deserve this level of qualification at the end of their course.”

Helen said “As the veterinary industry moves towards redrafting the Veterinary Act and discusses the regulation of paraprofessionals in the veterinary sphere, it is essential that quality training courses produce graduates whose standard of training meets the very specific criteria for regulation”.

“There are many training courses which do not reach this standard. Acceptance on to the Animal Health Professions Register (AHPR) provides confidence to industry professionals and to animal owners that our students have undergone extremely rigorous training and been externally examined to a high standard, will act professionally within the animal care team and are responsible, knowledgeable therapists”.

“We are very proud of our longstanding involvement with many courses and of having been able to help many students on their way to a successful career in the veterinary or equine therapy sphere.”

One such student is Daisy Shreck who completed her Level 3 ESM at ATS and has gone on to start up her own business – Shrecky Sports Massage. Daisy says “Whether you’re a student or horse owner, I cannot recommend this course highly enough. The depth and range of areas covered on the course were fascinating and so instrumental in developing a thorough and solid foundation from which to hone our skills of equine sports massage”.

“Helen and her team of instructors and visiting professionals were all unbelievably knowledgeable, professional, and so interesting. Helen is the most incredibly supportive course leader, on and off duty and is, very helpfully, entirely unflappable!”

“The bonus of qualifying through ATS, is the accreditation on to the Animal Health Practitioners Register (AHPR) and membership into Equine Sports Massage Association (ESMA). With so many equine sports massage courses on offer, of varying qualities, it was further reassurance to know the course had achieved an industry recognised standard of training.”

“No shortcuts, just 100% thorough and hard work, that you can take forward with confidence knowing you have had the best start into the Equine Sports Massage Industry possible”.

The Level 4 Diploma Equine Sports massage course an extremely comprehensive, wide-ranging syllabus designed to provide all graduates with an understanding of the management of the professional horse in an athletic sphere. Competition horses require a structured regime to ensure that they are fully prepared for their competitive schedule to produce optimum performance. The Diploma course considers the management of these horses covering farriery, foot balance, saddlery, and tack, understanding and managing injury, disease and health, conditioning and training requirements, and many other relevant aspects of equine management and is intended for career therapists.

Liz Troman MSc RVN, Chair of the AHPR said “We are delighted that (the) Animal Therapy Solutions students are now able to train in this unique Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage accredited by the AHPR. This course has undergone rigorous scrutiny to ensure that students will qualify with an award from the Animal Therapy Solutions that fully equips them to provide animal health services whilst protecting animal welfare and the interests of animal owners and veterinary surgeons.”

“In all professions there are increased demand for animal owners looking for supportive treatments to maintain the wellbeing and health issues of their animals. It is important that standards are upheld, and people use recognized professionals to deliver their needs.”

The aim of the Animal Health Professions Register is to raise standards in the industry and assist animal owners and veterinary surgeons in ensuring that the professionals they use to assist in the treatment and health maintenance of their or their client’s animals are suitably trained and accountable. All registrants have achieved an industry recognised appropriate standard of training through externally accredited courses, comply with Continuing Professional Development and hold full, valid professional indemnity insurance as required by the wider industry


For further information about Animal Therapy Solutions and how the Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage visit:


For more information about the Animal Health Professions’ Register, accredited courses or to find

an AHPR professional visit:

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