Module 2: Evidence-Based Equine Rehabilitation (EBER)

Description: 37 RACE-approved online lectures with a final examination, presented by leading veterinarians and specialists, on every topic relevant to equine sports medicine and rehabilitation.

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Module 2: Evidence-Based Equine Rehabilitation Online Lessons & Examination


How and why does a horse get injured? What to do when this happens?

The unique online Evidence-Based Equine Rehabilitation course from the Academy of Animal Sport Science (AASS) answers all the questions! Accessible to everyone who wants to learn, this course is jam-packed with the latest information on all the key topics in equine sports therapy and rehabilitation! All 37 lectures in this RACE-approved course are presented by the world’s leading specialists, with professional audio narrations, video materials, interactive self-quizzes and group discussions for each topic. The ASTR program provides invaluable ‘find it nowhere else’ information for veterinarians, equine professionals, trainers and horse owners, who are interested in sport horse performance!

Eligible licensed equine professionals can continue with the residential practical course (the longest in the industry!) and pursue the full AASS Animal Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation certification.  Applications from prospective participants who hold other qualifying degrees will be reviewed on an individual basis – contact the AASS Course Office for further information (

Study in your own time, from anywhere in the world, and learn from the best professionals in the field!

Course Duration:  

This module takes 67 hours to complete all lectures in full, including the guided study and self-quizzes at the end of each lecture, as well as the final examination. Students have one year from the date of registration to complete all 37 lectures, guided study and accompanying self-quizzes. One month is allowed to complete the final exam, once this has been requested.

Educational Objectives: 


  • Comprehend the parameters of animal rehabilitation and the surrounding regulatory issues
  • Create a comprehensive rehabilitation program for various conditions in the horse, utilizing reasonable time frames for appropriate treatments
  • Understand comparative anatomy between the horse, dog, and human
  • Discuss the various causes of equine lameness
  • Recognize differences between clinical and therapeutic approaches to neurological cases as compared to lameness cases
  • Understand equine conformation, and how this can relate to acquired lameness or performance issues
  • Recognize the need of the team approach in the care, examination and rehabilitation approach of the horse
  • Determine which cases and conditions are suitable candidates for rehabilitation therapy
  • Understand different therapeutic modalities, and choose the appropriate modality for each particular case
  • Create appropriate case intake forms for documentation
  • Understand the varied possible outcomes with specific rehabilitation procedures
  • Be familiar with emerging modalities in equine rehabilitation, and be able to discuss these with fellow professionals
  • Learn how to critically evaluate scientific literature and research manuscripts
  • Understand the causes of injury to tendons and ligaments, and the musculoskeletal system, as well as the healing process of these structures, and how to measure their response to therapeutic intervention.

Legislation governing the application of complementary therapies in animal practice varies between different countries and states. Therapies may only be applied by qualified practitioners who are legally permitted to do so. The ASTR program and its lecture series is intended solely for qualified professionals, for application within their local regulations and within their own scope of practice.

Module 2: Lectures & Instructors

Acupuncture Dr. Dietrich Von Schweinitz, BSc, DVM, MRCVS (UK)
Business Ethics and Legal Protocol Dr. Grant Miller, DVM (USA)
Business Marketing Whitney Hischier, MBA (USA)
Case History and Business Management Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW  and Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR (USA)
Clinical Management of Equine Spinal Dysfunction Dr. Rachel Buchholz, DVM (USA)
Clinical Reasoning in Equine Rehabilitation Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR (USA)
Clinical Research Methods Dr. Nicole Rombach, MSc, PhD (USA)
Diagnostic Imaging (Bone) Dr. Dagmar Berner, DrMedVet, Dipl. ECVDI, MRCVS (UK)
Diagnostic Imaging (Soft Tissue) Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR (USA)
Effects of Saddle and Rider on Equine Performance Dr. Anne Bondi, Phd (UK) 
Electrotherapies  Dr. Nicole Rombach, MSc, PhD (USA)
Equine Anatomy – Full Dissection Team A A S S (USA)
Equine Clinical Pathophysiology Dr. Emanuelle van Erck, MV, PhD, ECEIM (Belgium)
Equine Conformation for Performance Dr. Barbara Crabbe, DVM (USA)
Equine Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR (USA)
Equine Lameness Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR (USA)
Equine Nutrition Dr. Clair Thunes, PhD (USA)
Equine Physiology for Performance Dr. Emanuelle van Erck, MV, PhD, ECEIM (Belgium)
Equine Spinal Assessment Dr. Nicole Rombach, MSc, PhD (USA)
Farrier Science in Equine Performance Dr. Mark Caldwell, PhD (UK)
General Equine Pathology Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR (USA)

Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR(USA)

Interaction Between Horse and Rider

Dr. Sue Dyson, VetMB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS (UK)

Joint Management in Equine Rehabilitation Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR (USA)
Manual Therapies Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW (USA) and Dr. Nicole Rombach, MSc, PhD (USA)
Muscle Pathology Dr. Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, ACVSMR (USA)
Myofascial Release Ruth Mitchell, PT, CMT, NCTMB, EEBW (USA)
Neurological Disease Dr. Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (LAIM) (USA)
Osseous Pathology Dr. Henry O’Neill, MVB, DVM, MS, Dipl ACVS, MRCVS (UK)
Pain Pathways and Management Dr. Susan Holcombe, VMD, MS, PhD, DACVS, DACVECC (USA)
Pathologies of the Thoracic and Pelvic Limbs Dr. Melanie Perrier, DrMedVet, DACVS/DECVS, CERP (UK)
Prioprioceptive Facilitation in Rehabilitation Dr. Nicole Rombach, MSc, PhD (USA)
Regenerative Therapies Dr. Rachel Buchholz, DVM (USA)
Rehabilitation of Limb Pathology Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR (USA)
Rehabilitation of Spinal Dysfunction Dr. Nicole Rombach, MSc, PhD (USA)
Tendon and Ligament Pathology Dr. Henry O’Neill, MVB, DVM, MS, Dipl ACVS, MRCVS (UK)
Welfare and Behavior in Equine Performance Dr. Camie Heleski, MS, PhD (USA)


Academy of Animal Sport Science Instructors


Dr. Carrie Schlachter, VMD, DACVSMR

Dr Carrie Schlachter, VMD, IVC,  is recognized as one of the leading clinicians in the field of equine sports medicine and rehabilitation. In addition, her clinical knowledge and experience is vast, making her the ideal candidate to lecture and instruct on the subjects of equine anatomy, pathology, lameness, diagnostic imaging and clinical rehabilitation.

Dr. Schlachter’s practice in northern California, Animals In Motion (AIM), focuses on integrative sports medicine, rehabilitation and injury prevention. She founded and designed Circle Oak Equine’s rehabilitation and fitness programs and AIM is a continuation of that quest for knowledge. AIM is a practice focusing on wellness and developing monitoring protocols for injury prevention. She achieved her board certification in equine sports medicine and rehabilitation through the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and serves on their examination committee as well as the American Association of Equine Practitioners Education committee.

Dr. Schlachter also enjoys teaching for Equinology and it’s associates around the world as well as lecturing on sports medicine, rehabilitation and digital diagnostic imaging. She has, with her partners Nicole Rombach and Debranne Patillo, started the Academy of Animal Sport Science ( which offers an equine rehabilitation certificate program for licensed professionals and veterinarians.


Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW

Debranne Pattillo is the founder and President of Equinology® and Caninology, a parent company based in the USA. Her school has been in operation since 1994 and boasts an A list of lecturers and instructors. She has personally formatted much of the curricula of the equine and canine science and complementary courses by outlining courses and scouting top individuals to present the material.  In 2019, Debranne was awarded an honorary Master of Science degree by Writtle University College (UK).

She is the sole owner of Equi-Ink Publication, a new company launched in 2018 which produces elite educational material for the serious student. Her long-awaited book: Anatomy of Equine Bodywork: The Equinology Approach is in print now and due to be released in December 2018. The book spans many years of experiences and offers contributions from leading veterinarians and specialists.

In her spare time she has an equine clientele composed of mostly Dressage, Jumpers and Hunter competitors that she enjoys offering equine bodywork too. Debranne prefers to work as a team member in the role of Equine Body Worker.

Debranne is qualified as a Master Equine Body Worker and holds numerous certifications in various other modalities. She was previously state certified and authorized as an instructor in equine massage, therapeutic massage, equine science, equine management, and anatomy. Certificate number: NHAK-59WLYX2002.

Debranne Pattillo is globally recognized for her expertise in the field of equine anatomy and equine body work, and this makes her the ideal candidate to lecture on the subject of anatomy and manual therapies in the field of equine rehabilitation and sports medicine.

Organizer and coordinator of the ancillary courses offered by Equinology, INC and Caninology to provide continued education of graduate Equine and Canine Body Workers worldwide. Duties include approving programs for use in the company which involves formatting the courses for delivery to the participant, selection of instructors, compiling syllabi for course use, promoting the courses through various forms of media publication and collaborating with medical illustrators and specialists for course manual design.

Co-founder and past Chair of the United States division of the International Equine Body Worker Association (IEBWA); a leading international association that aims to support and foster equine body work practices and ethics.  Currently the Division Head of the IEBWA for USA, Australia and New Zealand. 


Dr. Nicole Rombach, APM, MEEBW, CCBW, PG AM, MSc., PhD

Nicole is the founder and President of Equinenergy Ltd. and Caninenergy Ltd, United Kingdom-based educational institutions that offer a variety of recognised certification courses in equine and canine complementary healthcare science.

Nicole qualified as an Equinology Master Equine Body Worker (MEEBW) in 1999, and gained the post-graduate Diploma (2003) and MSc. (2009) in Animal Manipulation from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic/University of Wales, United Kingdom. In 2013 she graduated with a PhD from the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University, Michigan, USA. The focus of her doctoral research was on the structural basis of equine neck pain, from the perspectives of neuromotor control, pathology and equine behaviour.

Nicole regularly lectures internationally for universities and professional institutions, where she is invited to teach courses on equine spinal dysfunction and movement retraining from a neuroscience perspective.  She also travels internationally to work in direct veterinary liaison with her regular clientele of horses, dogs and human patients. She is the chief instructor and examiner for  Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT) Equine and Canine worldwide.

Nicole is currently based in California, USA, where she collaborates in course development for Equinology, Inc., and in clinical case evaluations with Team Equinology Elite Sports Performance.  In her private sports therapy practice she works in direct veterinary liaison with equine and canine clients, as well as providing sports therapy for riders. In her spare time, Nicole competes with her own horse. She holds state and national amateur titles in dressage and showjumping in Brazil.

Nicole is an FEI Permitted Equine Therapist (PET)

Nicole’s subject of research was neuromotor control in equine spinal dysfunction, and this qualifies her ideally to teach the subjects of equine anatomy, spinal dysfunction and movement retraining from a neuroscience perspective.


Dr. Henry O’Neill  MVB, DVM, MS, Dipl ACVS, MRCVS

Graduated: Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, 2005

Further Qualifications: Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons; Masters of Science (Michigan 2012), Member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

After graduating, Henry went into mixed animal practice for some years in Northern Ireland. An opportunity then arose to travel to England and complete an 18-month equine internship at Donnington Grove during 2008-2009. Inspired by this experience, he then got placed in an equine surgical training program at Michigan State University, under the tutelage or Dr. John Stick. Upon successfully completing the surgery board exams, Henry returned to Donnington Grove as a fully boarded horse surgeon. Although conducting all forms of surgery and lameness within the hospital, Henry’s particular interests are in equine respiratory, orthopedic and colic surgery. Henry is delighted to be back in Berkshire and part of the surgical team here at Donnington Grove. 

As a surgeon, specializing in lameness and orthopaedic conditions, Dr O’Neill is ideally qualified to instruct on the subjects of osseous and soft-tissue pathology in the horse.


Dr. Dagmar Berner, DrMedVet, Dipl. ECVDI, MRCVS

After graduating from the University of Leipzig, Dr. Berner finished her residency in diagnostic imaging in 2015. She worked at the University in Vienna before joining the equine diagnostic imaging department of the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom in 2017, where she works as a lecturer in large animal diagnostic imaging. Dagmar holds the Diplomate of the ECVDI and a DrMedVet. Her research interests are diagnostic imaging of orthopaedic diseases in horses. After work she enjoys walking (and cuddling) her dog.


Dr. Anne Bondi PhD

A successful rider and trainer who has competed at the advanced level both in eventing and dressage, Anne Bondi has also been placed in international three-day events including Windsor, Blair, and Blenheim. As a trainer, she has prepared pupils for both competition careers and professional exams and was a Senior Examiner of the British Horse Society. Specializing both in the production of young competition horses and in the education of problem horses, she has also produced a dynasty of homebred horses. 

In 2006, Anne founded Solution Saddles to research and develop a saddle design that would make a difference to performance.

In 2009, she founded The Saddle Research Trust to promote the welfare of the ridden horse and to raise awareness of the widely underestimated issues surrounding saddles, welfare, and performance. The SRT is now internationally recognized for its groundbreaking work. 

Anne earned her PhD specializing in the scientific investigation of the horse, saddle and rider interaction.

As the leading expert in her field, Dr Bondi is ideally qualified to lecture on saddle fitting for equine performance.


Dr. Sue Dyson MA, VetMB, Ph.D., DEO, FRCVS

Sue is a world-renowned expert in equine orthopedics, with a particular interest in lameness and poor performance in sports horses. Having trained horses and competed at Advanced level eventing and Grade A show jumping, and a passionate interest in sports horses, Sue has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of performance problems in horses from all disciplines. She is highly skilled in the diagnosis of both subtle and complex lameness cases. She is also an expert in diagnostic imaging, including radiography, ultrasonography, scintigraphy and magnetic resonance imaging.

Sue has lectured internationally and published more than 230 refereed papers in scientific journals, relating to lameness and diagnostic imaging in the horse. Sue is co-Editor and major author of ‘Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse,’ ‘Equine Scintigraphy’ and ‘Clinical Radiology of the Horse.’ In 2000 Sue was awarded the British Equine Veterinary Association John Hickman Orthopaedic Award for outstanding contributions to equine orthopedics. In 2005 Sue was made an Honorary Member of the British Equine Veterinary Association. In 2007 Sue was awarded the Tierklinik Hochmoor award for outstanding, innovative and lasting contributions to equine veterinary medicine worldwide and in 2013 she received the American Association of Equine Practitioners Frank J. Milne Award. In 2014 Sue was made an Honorary Member of the Societa Italiana Veterinari Per Equine. 

As the world’s leading researcher into horse-rider interaction from a clinical perspective, Dr Dyson is ideally qualified to lecture on horse-rider interaction in equine performance.


Dr. Melanie Perrier, DrMedVet, DACVS/DECVS, CERP

After Graduating from the Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Lyon, Melanie went on to complete an Equine Surgical Internship in California, USA followed by a Large Animal Surgery Residency at The University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. Melanie was then a clinical assistant Professor of Large Animal Surgery and Critical Care at the University of Tennesse, Knoxville, USA before returning to practice in the Middle East and France. Melanie is currently a Lecturer in Equine Surgery at the Royal Veterinary College. Her main interests are soft tissue surgery, equine rehabilitation and management of the equine athlete.


Dr. Barbara Crabbe DVM

Dr. Crabbe is a graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and completed an internship in large animal medicine and surgery at Washington State University. She also did graduate work in Biomechanics at UC Davis, where she studied patterns of locomotion in exercising horses.

Dr. Crabbe is a contributing editor to Horse and Rider magazine and a frequent contributor and member of the advisory board for Dressage Today magazine. Her articles have won numerous American Horse Publications awards, and in 2007 she saw her book Comprehensive Guide to Equine Veterinary Medicine published by Sterling Publishing, a large New York publishing company.

She is an avid dressage rider and competitor with several ODS and USDF regional championships on her resume and is a graduate with distinction from the USDF-L judge’s program. Also, she is a former board member of the Northwest Equine Practitioners Association and the Oregon Dressage Society.

Her particular interests are the management of the performance horse in competition, and reproductive technologies including artificial insemination and embryo transfer.

She lives on the PCS farm property with her husband, Bob, a board certified veterinary internist, and two daughters Katie and Jamie. The family is completed by two rescued dogs and a large herd of horses and ponies.

Dr Crabbe’s specialization in equine biomechanics, combined with her extensive clinical experience, qualify her to lecture on equine conformation as related to performance and clinical health.


Dr. Emanuelle van Erck  MV, PhD, ECEIM

Dr. Emmanuelle van Erck graduated in 1996 from the French Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort. She obtained a Ph.D. on respiratory function testing in horses at the University of Liège (Belgium) and worked as a clinician in equine sports medicine. She worked two years at the equine clinic at the veterinary school of Lyon (France). In 2006, she contributed to developing the equine sports medicine unit in the CIRALE in Normandy (France) where she consulted as a senior clinician. In 2010, she set up the Equine Sports Medicine Practice (ESMP), a private ambulatory referral practice based in Belgium, specialized in equine internal and sports medicine. Emmanuelle specializes in the investigation of performance and poor performance in equine athletes of all disciplines, from racing Thoroughbreds to elite endurance horses. She has been appointed team veterinarian by the Royal Belgian Federation for Equestrian Sports and follows horses competing at international level in show jumping, eventing, and dressage. Emmanuelle is a diplomate of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM) and an expert with the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List Group. She is author or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and regularly lectures at international conferences. 

Dr van Erck is a renowned specialist in equine exercise physiology, which makes her the ideal lecturer on the topics of equine exercise physiology from both clinical and performance perspectives.


Dr. Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Dr. Clara Fenger graduated with her veterinary degree from the University of California at Davis in 1988, and after briefly practicing in California, she went on to an Internal Medicine residency and Master’s Degree program in Equine Exercise Physiology at the Ohio State University, where she worked with Ken McKeever and Ken Hinchcliff. She later received her PhD studying Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis at the University of Kentucky. During her graduate studies at UK, she moonlighted working for the Kentucky Racing Commission as a State Veterinarian and developed a passion for the sport of horse racing. She continued this association with the racing commission for 15 years. She is currently a practitioner in Central Kentucky specializing in both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds, and owns Thoroughbred racehorses.


Dr. Clair Thunes PhD

Born and raised in England Dr. Thunes started riding at the age of 8 and from day one was involved in all aspects of her horse’s daily care. She competed in all disciplines including eventing, show jumping, dressage, gymkhana, trail, foxhunting, hunters, side saddle and was an active member of the UK Pony Club attaining her B rating before graduating High School. Her fascination in equine nutrition led her in pursuit of a BSc from Edinburgh where she spent the 3rd year of her degree at the University of California Davis. During her undergraduate years, Dr. Thunes worked as a groom at a boarding stables outside of London looking after clients horses including a medium goal polo string. Dr. Thunes played polo for both the Edinburgh and Davis teams. Returning to Davis for her graduate studies Dr. Thunes remained involved in the horse community working with local youth as District Commissioner of Panache Pony Club in Davis and as a working student preparing FEI level dressage horses with a local trainer. She also owned and trained a young BLM mustang and competed him in dressage and eventing before selling him on to a youth competition home.

As an equine nutritionist, Dr. Thunes has worked with a wide range of horses from lactating mares to competitive driving horses, and with a variety of physiological problems including insulin resistance and muscle myopathies, and is happy to work in conjunction with your veterinarian. Dr. Thunes believes in finding the right balance not only in the horse’s diet but also between the horse’s needs and the client’s resources. Equally able to work with the individual horse or an entire barn Dr. Thunes enjoys the challenges of each unique situation and working with owners to find the optimal solution. Dr. Thunes believes her clients should understand why various recommendations are being made and works hard to clearly explain her suggestions. Additionally, Dr. Thunes shares her knowledge talking with local equestrian groups on a range of nutrition-related topics.

Although not currently riding on a regular basis due to recently starting a family, Dr. Thunes is still active within her horse community working with local pony clubs, and she hopes to get back in the saddle soon.

Dr Clair Thunes is a leading expert on the subject of equine nutrition, and this makes her an ideal candidate to lecture on equine nutrition for sports performance.


Ruth Mitchell-Golladay, PT, CMT, NCTMB, EEBW

As a physical therapist, massage therapist, Equinology Equine Body Worker, and lifetime animal lover, Ruth Mitchell-Golladay is able to combine knowledge and experience with love to care for animal populations.  

Ruth, a Texan, received her graduate degree in physical therapy from The University of Iowa in 1972 and opened a private practice in Dallas in 1978. She then attended The Institute of Natural Healing Sciences in Colleyville, Texas, in 1991, for her massage therapy training.  She is Nationally Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Body Work and state licensed. Additionally, she obtained her Equinology Equine Body Worker certification in 2004.  

Ruth began her Myofascial Release education in 1987, has taken all John Barnes MFR courses (including equine), and was a Senior Instructor/Coordinator, Co-lecturer, and Primary Lecturer for John Barnes, teaching over 130 courses for him from 1988-2002. From 1999 until her resignation in June 2001, she was the Primary Lecturer for the Barnes Equine MFR courses.

In 1990, Ruth opened Equine Therapeutic Center, Inc. which is now based at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia from May through October and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas from November through April. In both locations, Ruth provides therapy for horse and rider. She uses her biomechanical knowledge to assist in determining a problem with the horse (or human) and then primarily utilizes Myofascial Release to decrease the symptoms and/or dysfunction. Also, she uses a laser, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, Red Light Acupoint Therapy, essential oils and specialized taping techniques. To assist owner, trainer and/or rider in a home program of care she also includes exercises, including stabilization and core exercises for the horse and rider.

Ruth started teaching for Equinology, Inc. in 1999. She has taught Myofascial Release for horses at facilities in California, Virginia, Texas, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Additionally, she has taught the Equinology, Inc. Equine Body Worker Certification Courses in the United States, England, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, Canine MFR in Canada and England, and human MFR in England.  

Ruth’s book, Facilitated Healing through Myofascial Release – Putting the Pieces Together for Horse and Rider was first released in 2001. The revised second edition is now available at She has also released a second book, Canine Myofascial Release which is available on the same website.

Ruth Mitchell is renowned internationally as the leading authority on equine myofascial release. This qualifies her to be the most appropriate lecturer on the subject of myofascial release in equine rehabilitation and conditioning.


Dr. Grant Miller DVM

Dr. Grant Miller was born and raised in the Bay Area and has ridden dressage horses from a young age. By 13 years old, Grant knew that he wanted to devote his life to horses by becoming a large animal veterinarian. He attended the University of California at Davis and received his undergraduate degree in Animal Science in 1999 and immediately began veterinary school at the same institution. Grant graduated from UCD in 2004 and had worked as a large animal practitioner in California’s Sonoma and Marin counties ever since. He has obtained acupuncture, dentistry, and ultrasound certifications since graduating and is currently pursuing a certificate in forensic veterinary medicine. 

While in veterinary school, Grant saw a need to help horses by assisting law enforcement in horse abuse cases, and he pledged to do so by educating and assisting officers in practice. In 2007, Grant founded the Sonoma County CHANGE Program, a 501c(3) corporation that provides support services to the Sonoma County Animal Control department in cases of horse neglect, abandonment, and abuse. Since its inception just over two years ago, CHANGE has helped 33 horses through its unique network of community volunteer transporters and foster barns. CHANGE has successfully rehabilitated dozens of horses in critical condition and found loving adoptive families for them. Grant donates all of his veterinary services to the program, and his employer, Sonoma Marin Veterinary Service, donates all veterinary supplies at cost. 

In addition to rescuing horses, Grant works with the Sonoma County District Attorney to prosecute animal abusers. Since 2007, he has been involved as an expert witness in ten court cases, all of which have resulted in convictions of offenders. Grant donates all of his time as an expert witness to the DA. In addition to working full time as a large animal veterinarian and heading the CHANGE Program, he serves as chair of the California Veterinary Medical Association’s Legislative Committee, as a member of the CVMA Agriculture Committee, the Political Action Committee, and the Animal Welfare Committee. Grant has served as an Advisory Board member for the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital and has served on the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Admissions Committee. He lectures to Animal Control officers throughout California through his role as the large animal veterinarian for the Marin Humane Society. Recently, Grant was recognized by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors with the County Seal Award for his community service efforts and was awarded the 2009 Red Cross Hero Award for founding CHANGE. 

Grant attributes much of his motivation to his own horse “Red,” and believes that together, citizens of the horse community can raise the minimally acceptable standard of horse care at the local level by supporting their Animal Control Department and lobbying their district attorneys to prosecute animal abusers. According to Grant, “simply caring for horses who are victims of abuse and neglect without addressing the root of the issue enables the problem.” Thus, he has committed himself to the multi-pronged approach of both rescue and legal pursuit of abusers in his own community. “It all starts and ends, with the law. The law is the bottom line,” says Grant, “and if you enforce the law, you can pull the standard of horse care up by the boot strings.”

Dr Miller’s active involvement in setting standard of patient care in the equine clinical field, make him the ideal candidate to lecture on the topic of ethics and legal aspects of the incorporation of rehabilitation and sports medicine into mainstream veterinary practice.


Whitney Hischier BA, MBA

Whitney Hischier works with executives on managerial, consulting and entrepreneurship skills.  Previously, Hischier was a system implementation consultant for Deloitte, San Francisco, KPMG London and ABN Amro Bank in Amsterdam and focused on change management, communication, and training aspects of global system implementations.

In her role at Haas, she works with clients to diagnose business problems and design programs to address gaps in skill, behavioral and mindsets needed for improved organizational ROI. She holds a BA from Stanford and an MBA from the Haas School of Business.

Whitney Hischier serves as Faculty Director for the following Custom Programs:

• Chilean Executive Healthcare Program

• Denmark Technical University Healthcare Innovation Management Program

• Effat University

• Franklin Templeton Executive Program

• JTI Corporate Philanthropy Workshop

• LANL Director’s Leadership Development Program

• Panama Certificate Program in Advanced Management

• Shenzen PTY Medical Device Company Program

• The Art of the Pitch at Adobe

• The Innovative Organization for KFAS

• US-Poland Innovation Week

• Visionary and Strategic Leadership for Dubai Government

Whitney Hischier is a Faculty Director at the prestigious Haas School of Business at the University of Berkely, CA. Her experience makes her the ideal candidate to lecture on the subject of business management and marketing, specifically in the field of equine sports medicine.


Dr. Stephanie Valberg, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, ACVSMR

Education: DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, ACVSMR

The recipient of numerous honors, Valberg most recently was awarded the 2014 Richard Hartley Clinical Award from the British Equine Veterinary Association for her research linking seasonal pasture myopathy to box elder tree seeds. In 2013, she was selected to deliver the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners Milne Lecture, which recognizes a lifetime of service with the potential to change the paradigms by which veterinarians and researchers understand the recipient’s particular area of expertise. She was the first woman selected for the honor. In 2012, Valberg became the first woman to be inducted into the Equine Research Hall of Fame. She has twice received the Pfizer Research Excellence Award, and in 1998 received the EquiSci International Award, an honor presented every four years to the individual whose work most significantly impacts equine exercise physiology research.

Valberg, who holds four patents, has authored or coauthored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications and 28 book chapters, as well as almost 100 articles in publications for the general public. She is a frequent speaker at national and international veterinary, nutrition, and genetic conferences.

Valberg has mentored more than 60 graduate students, interns, residents, and post-doctoral students and is a recipient of numerous awards for teaching and mentorship.

Valberg received her DVM from the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College and her Ph.D. in equine exercise physiology from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. She completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of California, Davis. She is board certified in large animal internal medicine and veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Her mentorship and work have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Agriculture, and industry partners and foundations.

Valberg is also an active horsewoman and is currently training Cajun, a 7-year-old Warmblood for three-day eventing, a triathlon competition of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.

Dr Valberg is a globally-renowned expert on the subject of muscle disease in the horse, and this makes her the ideal candidate to lecture on the subject of muscle pathology as relevant to the clinical aspect of equine sports medicine and rehabilitation.


Dr. Susan J Holcombe, VMD, MS, PhD, DACVS, DACVECC

Dr Susan Holcombe gained her BS from Cornell University, VMD from the University of Pennsylvania, MS from Ohio State University and PhD from Michigan State University. She is double-board certified as Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Medicine, in both Surgery and Emergency Critical Care. She is currently a Professor in Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. She has authored numerous scientific publications, and her areas of research include sepsis, endotoxemia, inflammation, colic, upper respiratory dysfunction and dysphagia in horses. She specializes in clinical neurology. She is a much- awarded clinician, whose honors include:

  • Committee member, Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation , 2015
  • Secretary, 2013 – 2014, Michigan Animal Health Foundation Board of Trustees , 2010 – 2015
  • Chair, 2013 – 2014, Morris Animal Foundation Large Animal Scientific Advisory Board , 2010 – 2014
  • SCAVMA Excellence in Teaching Award from the Class of 2016, 2014
  • Excellence in Teaching Award from the Class of 2014, 2014
  • Commencement Address Speaker for the MSU CVM Class of 2012, 2012
  • Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award , 2012
  • Educator of the Year Award, American College of Veterinary Emergency Critical Care and Merck Animal Health, 2012
  • SCAVA Excellence in Teaching Award from the Class of 2012, 2010
  • Welfare and Safety Summit: Environment and Training Practices Committee appointment, The Jockey Club, Lexington, KY, 2010
  • British Equine Veterinary Association and the Equine Veterinary Journal manuscript award, 2007
  • Distinguished Honorary Alumnus, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, 2006

Dr Holcombe holds a double Board Certification from the American Veterinary College, including Internal Medicine and Critical Care, and this makes her the best candidate to lecture on the subject of pain management in the realm of equine rehabilitation and sports medicine.


Dr. Camie Heleski, MS, PhD

Dr Camie Heleski is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Kentucky. Her PhD research in Animal Behavior and Welfare focused on equitation science and welfare of the ridden horse. 

Previously, Dr Heleski was a lecturer at Michigan State University, where she was also a coordinator for the Horse Management program.
Dr Heleski’s main interest lies in the advancement of equitation science and welfare. She is the current President of the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES), and has been a member and co-Chair of ISES since 2007. In her spare time, Dr Heleski trains her own riding horses, who are Arabians from the Michigan State University Arabian breeding program.

Dr Heleski is a leading authority on the subject of welfare and behavior in horses, and this makes her the ideal candidate to lecture on the subject of welfare and behavior as pertaining to sport horse performance.


Dr. Dietrich von Schweinitz, BSc, DVM, MRCVS, certified veterinary acupuncturist

A University of Georgia DVM graduate in 1982, Dietrich first practiced in Maryland and moved to the UK founding an equine practice in 1989. His acupuncture interest began in the USA and he gained International Vet. Acupuncture Society certificate in 1998. He’s a Past President of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists and its Education Director and runs a referral acupuncture practice. He published pioneering research into the thermographic monitoring of acupuncture responses, and needle electromyographic recordings of myofascial trigger points in horses (Acupuncture in Medicine, & Vet Clinics of NA, Equine Practice) and authored “Electro-acupuncture for nerve injury in the horse” in EVE 2014, and “Acupuncture for pain control” in Robinson & Sprayberry’s Current Therapy in Equine Medicine, 7th ed.
His topics of interest as a speaker include acupuncture and pain recognition in horses.

In recent years Dietrich has been one of the members of a charity “Vets with Horsepower”, a group of UK equine veterinary academics and specialists who are also keen motorcyclists. Founded by Prof Derek Knottenbelt, each year they embark on a lecture tour with stops to give Continuing Education to equine vets and owners and the money raised is donated to worthy animal and children welfare organisations (including SPANA, Save the Survivors, Gambia Horse & Donkey Trust, Tiny Tickers, Smile Train, & The Dakar Vet School). Further information may be found on their website.

Dr. Dietrich von Schweinitz is globally recognised as a specialist in equine acupuncture. This makes him the ideal candidate to lecture on the application of acupuncture in equine rehabilitation and sports medicine.


Dr. Mark Caldwell, PhD

Recognized as one of the most accomplished and knowledgeable farriers in the world, Mark Caldwell of Alsager, England, has added yet another accomplishment to his lengthy résumé — a doctor of philosophy. Caldwell completed the PhD program at the University of Liverpool for studying the use of hoof balance metrics to test the reliability of a commonly used foot trimming protocol and their association with biomechanics and pathologies of the equine digit.“This is the culmination of a journey that started in 1987 when I passed my fellowship exam [with the Worshipful Company of Farriers] with a thesis on pre-navicular syndrome,” Caldwell wrote in a Facebook post. “That work convinced me that as an industry, we had to re-examine the historical theories that our understanding of the foot’s biomechanical behavior was based.”

Caldwell’s career accomplishments include being an approved judge of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (WCF) from 1990-2002, a member of the WCF Examination Board from 1997-2002, a three-time member of the English National Farriery Team and a 2-time coach of the national farriery team. He has amassed 22 silver medals, seven bronzes and placed third a number of times while taking part in the national championships and international farriery competitions from 1984 to 2000, as well as winning National Team Member twice and was runner-up once. Caldwell was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame in 2015.
Dr Caldwell is internationally recognized for his expertise in farrier science, and this makes him the ideal candidate to lecture on the subject of farrier science in sport horse performance.


Dr. Rachel Buchholz, DVM

Dr. Rachel Buchholz is an associate veterinarian at North West Equine Performance. She is originally from Howell, Michigan and has been around horses for as long as she can remember. She rode a variety of disciplines growing up and showed her horse Romeo all-around on the Pinto circuit to multiple regional and national titles.

She has aspired to become an equine veterinarian since childhood and attended Michigan State University receiving both her Bachelors in Animal Science and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. During her time at MSU she worked at the world renowned Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center with Dr. Hilary Clayton and Dr. Narelle Stubbs studying equine spinal anatomy, pathologies, and therapies. She also spent time at various equine clinics in Texas and Australia focusing on equine sports medicine. Following veterinary school she moved west, and has been with NWEP since.

Dr. Buchholz is in charge of the NWEP standing MRI. Each MRI study can be performed same day under sedation, eliminating the need for general anesthesia and its associated risks. NWEP currently offers the only standing MRI in the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Buchholz’s professional interests include equine physiotherapy, advanced diagnostic imaging, treatment of spinal dysfunction, use of regenerative therapies in clinical practice, and western performance horse issues.

Dr Buchholz is known as a specialist in the subjects of spinal dysfunction and innovate therapies in equine clinical care. This makes her the ideal candidate to lecture on the subjects of clinical treatment of equine neck and back pain, and the application of regenerative therapies in the treatment of musculoskeletal lesions in the performance horse.


ASTR Certification Module 2 includes 

Audio Tutorials

Each lesson is presented as a professionally-narrated lecture, followed by a final self-quiz. There is also an interactive discussion page for each individual lecture.

Video Demonstrations

Video demonstrations embedded within lectures, to create a comprehensive learning experience.

Learn with the best!

Lessons are presented by leading veterinarians and specialists from around the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This is a self-paced course; registration is open at any time.
How long do I have access to the course?
Course access remains open until the student is no longer in active registration on the student learning portal. The maximum time allowed for course completion is one calendar year from date of enrollment. For students who require the final examination for progression to Module 3 of the ASTR program, the maximum time for completion of the online examination is two calendar months from the date of examination request.
Can I have face-to-face interaction with the instructor(s)?
There is no live instruction on this course, but upon registration students are invited to the course Facebook group, which features active participation from all course members. Students are encouraged to exchange ideas, questions and suggestions on the Facebook group. In addition, this course has a Discussion page on the student portal of the Academy of Animal Sport Science website, for each of the course lessons.
Is this a certification course?
Students will receive a Certificate of Completion, after the examination of Module 2. The total course hours (67 hours) will be noted on the Certificate of Completion, so this can be used to prove hours of continued education.
I loved the Evidence-Based Equine Rehabilitation course! Can I proceed with the full Animal Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation certification program?
If you are a Licensed Professional*, you may register for Modules 3 and 4, to complete the full ASTR certification.

*Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Chiropractic, Doctor of Osteopathy, Licensed equine Physical Therapist, Licensed Veterinary Nurse/Veterinary Technician, registered student of Veterinary Medicine

Graduates** of eligible equine body worker/sports massage certification programs, or graduates of an eligible equine science degree will obtain a Certificate of Completion of the ASTR program, indicating completion of continuing education. It is understood by non-Licensed Professionals who partake in the ASTR program, that completion of the program does not indicate a qualification or use of a title, nor the ability to offer services in the field of animal rehabilitation. Prospective applicants must be legally permitted to carry out animal sports therapy and rehabilitation in their geographical area (as governed by the local veterinary board).

** Participants must be graduates from an equine body worker/sports massage program of at least 300 hours of education, including an in-person practicum of 50 + hours, case study submissions, and a full examination after completion of the practical component of the course OR be graduates from an academic equine science degree (minimum BSc.). In addition, practitioners must show proof of education and current professional indemnity insurance.

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