Equine Natural Movement School
Help horses live up to their full potential.
Become the heart-centered equine bodywork expert and knowledgeable equine massage practitioner who trainers and owners rely on — and who horses love working with.
Joseph Freeman, Founder of the Equine Natural Movement School, with Jay-jay.
Dear Horse Enthusiast,
Would you like to combine your love of horses with work that fulfills your heart? Is it important for you to have kindness and compassion be every bit as important as technical knowledge?
Would you thrive in a small scale learning situation where teachers have time to spend individually helping you develop your equine skills and talents?
Would you enjoy the professionalism of being a certified equine practitioner?
Our Equine Structural Integration program teaches students how to work in the most caring, heart-centered way possible. Horses appreciate being treated with kindness and respect and this is a hallmark of our method. We enter into our sessions with a profound sense of partnership with each individual horse. Using highly proficient technical skills with tremendous love and respect often brings about significant positive changes in horses.
Our students come with all kinds of backgrounds and our equine training supports many different kinds of knowledge. We’ve trained equine bodyworkers, human Structural Integration practitioners, physical therapists and massage practitioners; natural horsemanship folks; chiropractors and acupuncturists; horse trainers and farriers; dressage, hunter-jumpers and eventers; western enthusiasts; university professors; people from 19 to 65 and plenty of horse owners and riders.
Although their backgrounds may differ, all our students share a deep love for horses. Some students are quite knowledgeable in their fields. In our training we cover our material in a way that helps beginners learn well while expanding the knowledge base of people with more experience.
Here’s something we’ve heard from our graduates. They tell us that in times of economic uncertainty, they feel a lot better knowing they are able to earn a part or full time income on their own without relying on a job. Above all, our school trains you for a joyful equine career working closely with horses and with owners who understand, appreciate and want your skills.
What does our work do for a horse? Here’s what one of our clients says…
Nick when he was partway through the series
”I got my thoroughbred off the track. He went with his head high and hollowed his back. His right side was very underdeveloped. He was a long term project. My equine chiropractor recommended this work. I was skeptical but after the second and third sessions, Nick started rounding his back up, accepting the bit, and moving his shoulder much more. I’m so glad Nick had the series. He changed dramatically. After the last session, I had a whole new horse. My dressage scores have come way up and his jumping improved. He now lifts his entire shoulder area over the jump, not just his knees. Months after his last session he continues to get stronger.”
–Linda Stuckenschneider, Eventer
Here’s what one of our students (now a certified practitioner) had to say after taking the Level One class…
“As a trainer and farrier, I am constantly looking for new ways to improve both the physical and mental health of the horses I work with. After going through the first module and watching Joseph work, I am convinced that this is a perfect match for the work I strive to do – helping the horses achieve fluidity and freedom in movement while gaining their trust. It can’t get much better than that. I can’t wait to return for the second module!” — Jim Culver, Wyoming
Our work helps horses
- Develop exquisitely graceful equine movement
- Deliver their absolute best at horse shows
- Perform at their peak
- Be more comfortable in their bodies
- Bring joy to their owners
New! — Online Classes
We are taking some of our classes ONLINE so our students can do more study from home. These classes begin in 2014.
Upcoming Level One courses
* Choose the week that works best for you
Winter — January 17-19 & 24-26, 2014
Spring — March 9 – 15, 2014
Summer — June 15 – 21, 2014
Fall — September 7 – 13, 2014
Winter — December 7 – 13, 2014
How Do I Apply?
To apply to be one of our students, print out this application and mail it to us.
Click this link for our online application
Each season we begin another Level One, Two and Three class.
We offer one course in each level four times a year. During the year, as we get requests, we add classes held over two 3-day periods for local people who can commute and don’t need to fly in for classes. If that is what you’re looking for, please be in touch.
New Class! HORSES 101
Some inquiries come from people who don’t have a solid horse background so we added a new class, HORSES 101, to get your horse skills up to speed. This is the background stuff about horses that all equine practitioners should know but if you haven’t owned or been around them for years, you may not be privy to. Things like how to get a horse out of a field, halter him and put him in cross ties; simple care like hoof cleaning and how to move around them so safety is always at the top of your list. Also an excellent class for a supportive spouse who’d like to know more about how to help with the horses you own. If you want to know more, call or email and we’ll put you in touch with April Johnson, the teacher. April’s got a thriving practice in Montana and Florida. We book dates as people inquire so do ask.
* TEACHER TRAINING – Exceptional qualified graduates with a few years of practice under their belts may be asked to help us train our students. If you think you’d enjoy this, be sure to let us know.
To apply to be one of our students, print out the application at this link, call us and then mail it in.
Our faculty is a remarkable group of equine bodywork pioneers. Our teachers understand most people in equine fields look for what’s wrong with horses and from that perspective, try to fix them.
Our teachers chose another path.
Allan Mutschler, faculty
They work to find what’s right, what’s good and correct about the horse’s body and heart. Then they work with great compassion, kindness and skill to strengthen the horse’s structural integrity and develop the horse’s promise.
We’ve created a way of working with these magnificent animals that truly changes how they feel and move. We’ve continually tested our methods since 1995 and keep seeing positive — often permanent — changes that owners and trainers notice.
Our students tell us our professional equine training delivers the expertise they need to be knowledgeable, competent and reliable experts in the horse community.
Our equine bodywork training is different from every other school. Not only do our students learn how to improve a horse’s structure and movement, we also do it in a heart-centered and caring way. We teach an innovative method of equine bodywork that differs from equine massage, equine chiropractic, physical therapy and other equine bodywork methods.
Rather than trying to fix problems as most modalities do, we bring out the inherent natural balance and adaptability of a truly vital, life-filled horse. We do this by addressing the underlying structural system of the horse’s body, making changes that develop smoother strides, better balance, increased flexibility and evenness. This helps horses feel more calm, collected and be more pleasant to ride.
Melina Knoop, Advanced Equine practitioner and Equine Cranio-Sacral work (WA)
”The learning atmosphere and teamwork is extraordinary. The teachers open their hearts to the students. I loved working with them at the barns. Every time I worked on a horse, I understood more the power of the sessions. I am constantly surprised how much more there is to this work.”
— Melina Knoop
Faith Bushby, Human Massage Teacher and Animal Massage practitioner (WA)
“The Equine Natural Movement Series training was exceptional. The explanations, descriptions and demonstrations of classroom and hands-on work are geared toward each student’s learning style. That allowed me to experience the work on many levels and made integrating it much easier. The teachers are patient and focused and the work is so wonderful and fun.” — Faith Bushby
“I am so grateful to have learned from you and to have my world opened up more. I have enjoyed so much spending time with each of you and the horses. Joseph, you are a very kind, generous and genuine man. My goal is to give and receive with honor, never to take or intrude. You are a fine example of that.
— Monica McKenzie, graduate (KY)
We have been training students since 1999 and thoroughly enjoy helping our students learn valuable work that really makes a difference to the horse community. We have a different approach and it’s one that works. We get results with horses and that’s really what matters, isn’t it?
- Basic Certification at 300 hours
- Business course to help you start your career
- Advanced Certification (additional 100 hours)
- Includes at-home business training & homework
- Onsite classes and home study
- Can lead to equine massage licensure in Washington state (may be transferable to other states)
- Lots of hands-on time with horses
- Most students complete program within a year
- Small class size (6 students) allows plenty of individual attention
- Highly qualified, expert faculty. Each teacher is an accomplished innovator in their field.
- Teacher Training to skilled graduates who become adjunct faculty and mentor students for our training
- Opportunity to obtain further professional training and certification in Human Structural Integration
Many students have reimbursed the entire cost of their tuition by working with 15-20 horses after their course work. We’re not saying this work is simple and anyone can do it and we don’t pretend to be “Horse Careers for Dummies.” Instead we work patiently and professionally. We challenge each student to expand their ability to understand how horses move, think, feel, and work with their riders. We help students make the best of their knowledge and skill.
Advanced Class on last day
SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AND GRADUATES
We teach from scratch and don’t assume any thing is known by all. That way, despite all the different backgrounds people come in with, everyone moves forward together, course by course, all the way from the basic classes on through the advanced work.
Nobody gets left out in the cold. Everything we do in our training — with horses AND people — is done inclusively. This makes everyone much happier.
Many students wonder how they’ll fare once they graduate and you’ve probably got that question in your head, too. Don’t worry. We don’t send you out with a certificate, a wing and a prayer.
Instead, to ensure your success, our graduates get a FULL YEAR of online and phone support for no additional cost. If you have a question or need advice about a horse you’re working with, we’re happy to help.
We know of no other school that has such personal involvement in their students’ success. We’re committed to making sure you are extraordinarily good at this work and stand behind you to make sure you are.
ENSURING YOUR SUCCESS
Would you like to be seen as a skilled horse professional, someone who really can deliver the goods? Would you find working with appreciative horses (and owners) rewarding? Would you like to have a business where people brag about what’s happened with their horses since you worked with them? Would it make you happy to know horses are better off because of your work?
Amanda Martin, Advanced Equine practitioner and Human Massage Therapist (NY & WA)
That’s what we do. We offer four levels of equine classes that cover horse safety, equine touch skills, structural analysis, movement assessment, structural integration bodywork, horse psychology and communication, functional anatomy, energetics, performance enhancement and even how to conduct clinics for the public. Each course includes homework done in your home area between classes and includes enthusiastic phone and online supervision and support. Each class is held three (sometimes four) times a year.
Our other module is called ‘Creating a Profitable and Honest Equine Business’ where you learn how to market your skills and develop a thriving business. This is a five month at-home class that runs alongside your other modules, allowing you to build your business AS YOU ARE LEARNING. Our goal is that you have clients and a growing reputation for quality work by the time you graduate. This class runs from fall to spring each year.
Small classes allow us to address each student’s strengths and weaknesses so we can help everyone progress the best ways possible. We’ve found this kind of personal attention enriches our classes in ways we couldn’t imagine. Our learning environment is professional and fun, our staff is wise, compassionate and thorough and the horses are very demonstrative about how much they appreciate the work.
UNIQUE IN THE HORSE INDUSTRY
You probably can tell that our school is quite different than other equine career schools that teach equine science, horse massage, horse training, equine management, equine chiropractic, equine acupressure and other fields. We’re glad they do what they do because there’s need for that. It’s just not the same as what we do.
Jodie Sinclair, Advanced practitioner (MA)
Our approach to horses is different: We don’t fix problems. Instead we work to bring out the strength and promise in each horse. This style of working physically, energetically and psychologically helps bring horses into a more confident, comfortable, athletic willingness to learn and partner with their riders.
Most of our graduates charge $75-150 per session, depending on the area they live in, and a few charge more. Their clients are eager for sessions because they see solid results.
Here’s what two riders had to say after their horses went through the Equine Natural Movement Series …
Amy and Trini and dog at the beach
The Equine Natural Movement Series is incredibly powerful and remarkable. After two sessions my horse was able to canter without issue. Previously we had struggled for ten years with ear pinning, tail swishing, switching leads behind and general tension everywhere. Somehow this work unlocked and released her patterns of holding tension and diminished adhesions that had been in her back for as long. My horse got all five sessions and she continues to improve months after the series was completed. Her topline and overall physique have changed so much she doesn’t look like the same horse. Her muscles are soft, supple and relaxed. She is mentally content and way happier. — Amy Kendis, Saddle Fitter
My 18 year old Dutch/TB gelding had serious conformation issues. Despite equine chiropractic, equine massage and my farrier’s corrective shoeing, the deep holding was still there. After the sessions Randy became able to do things other horses take for granted. Muscles that were stiff and unyielding are now soft and pliable and he can move. This work seems to make other modalities more effective, too. Not only has Randy’s body changed considerably, but his mind has also improved. He is more open and curious, interested in what goes on around him and a better partner. He willingly tries new things and feels fabulous underneath me. This series released the real Randy who had been trying to come out for so long! — Nancy Kittleson, Dressage, Centered Riding and Natural Horsemanship
As you can see, these horses made significant improvements. Their owners became happy evangelists for the Equine Natural Movement Series. Clients like these help your practice grow because they’re so thrilled with the gains their horses have made that they can’t keep their mouths shut!
IS THIS WORK RIGHT FOR YOU?
We aren’t looking for students who take our classes on a lark. We will probably challenge some of your ideas and knowledge about horses. You may even look at some of your past horse experiences and come to different conclusions about what you thought was happening. We teach a new way of understanding and working with equine structure and horse wisdom.
Nellie’s daughter Lily meeting her mom’s model horse
We seek a certain kind of student, one who is friendly, honest, open-minded, and above all, who loves and respects animals and people. We expect our students to be reasonably intelligent and bring an inquiring nature to the work.
Does that fit you? If it does, please download our application. We’d really like to hear from you.
WE LOVE OUR STUDENTS!
Lea Moonsong, Advanced graduate and KMI Structural Integration practitioner (ME)
“From my training I got what I paid for and wanted and I received so much more!” — Lea Moonsong
Kenny Mateer, Structural Integration practitioner (IL)
“I am more in touch with and in partnership with horses. My heart keeps opening up.”
— Kenny Mateer. [Kenny passed away awhile back but we keep his photo on our site because he was so loved by our students, the faculty, and all the horses he touched.]
To apply to be one of our students, print out the application and mail it to us.
Click this link for our application
Before you mail it to us, give us a quick call at 360-687-8384 and ask what dates are open. We’d also like to send you the larger and more complete info packet by mail so please email us your postal address and phone number and we’ll stick it in the mail pronto.
Because our classes are small, they tend to fill pretty quickly. When you’re mailing it, let us know your application is on the way.
P.S. We notice that sometimes emails don’t arrive here, most likely because of overly enthusiastic spam filters. If you wouldn’t mind, please also call
and leave your mailing address and phone number. This way we’ll BE SURE you get the new student info packet.
Hours: 9am – 7pm PST (before and during classes we’re often in the office well into the evening so call and see if we answer)
If you want to know more about the philosophy that shaped our school, click here to read the letter from our founders.
Now head over here and have a look at what we teach in each course.
Click here to read what you’ll learn in class.