Date: February 19-25, 2025

Cost: R33,950

Duration: 7 days

We have a blast at this course! It’s really close to an art class but artistic skills are not necessary! Using bones, models, visuals, books, hand-outs, reference material and live horses, Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW and president and founder of Equinology Inc®, leads students on an anatomical journey of the horse, from the inside out.

So much information is shared amongst the participants, loads of questions are explored, light bulbs are constantly going on and huge smiles of comprehension continue throughout the duration of the workshop.

All of the following topics are included in this class:

Vocabulary:​Anatomy vocabulary, directional terms, veterinary terms

Skeletal structure: ​Form and function, skeletal organisation, thoracic and pelvic appendicular system, axial skeletal system, bony landmark and surface anatomy identification

Muscle structure:

  • ​Function and form
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic muscles
  • Relationship to orientation
  • Deep, middle and superficial major muscles
  • Reciprocal apparatus
  • Passive stay apparatus of the hind & fore limb
  • Injuries and issues relating to muscles

Course Practicals:

  • Building individual clay muscles using the Equiken® model
  • Painting the middle layer muscles on the horse
  • Painting the bony landmarks on the horse
  • Muscle labeling session
  • Palpation sessions for bony landmarks & muscles
  • Locating and isolating muscles
  • Daily self assessments
  • Guided Externship after you leave class
  • This seven-day course is taught in increments in a study group format with a highly hands-on approach. This course is run in 3 days on, one day off for self-study and finishes with another 3 days on.

    Using bones, models, visuals, books, hand-outs, reference material and live horses, Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW, and president and founder of Equinology Inc®, will lead and direct the group. Students will work in teams of two, building the muscles on the Equiken® models at a comfortable pace, researching each muscle as the building progresses. Students become very familiar with various published books, publications and internet resources during the course, thus enabling them to research anatomy better. The student will have a chance to ensure he or she has understood the information by completing a self-assessment before the beginning of each class.

    This is not like those anatomy classes you’ve attended with a dry lecturer reciting from a book. Debranne’s wit and style make this a fun course. She uses various approaches that leave you with the increased knowledge to continue on in your own studies. Past students rave about this course and return year after year.


    • Equine body workers & massage therapists: the difference between an average equine bodyworker and a great one is accuracy. This course fills that gap & more
    • Anyone considering working professionally in the field of equine body work. Although the course is not required to participate in our Equinology Equine Body Worker Certification courses, it provides a beneficial head start to if you continue onto the certification course
    • Instructors & trainers analytical skills are honed after understanding the structure of the horse. This knowledge improves your riding and teaching skills
    • Saddle fitters, trimmers & farriers

    “You can look at pictures all day, you can look at photos, but nothing will cement your understanding of origin, insertion, and function like building the muscles on a 3D model. There is something about making them and attaching them to the skeleton that really deepens your grasp of anatomy. Working with the clay is so much fun! It’s like being a kid again, but you get to keep your adult brain and learn something really important. We laughed … a lot. You don’t need to be an artist, or have any sculpting skills. All you need is curiosity and a desire for a fuller understanding of the equine body.” — Tracy Kerby

    After completing the course students will be able to:
    • list and identify the four layers of muscle to be able to incorporate this knowledge into the student’s session and discuss these muscles accurately with their client’s and other team members
    • identify the surface anatomy and use this knowledge to assess symmetry of the muscles and the bones
    • understand the relationship between the structure and function of muscles thus expanding the participant’s knowledge for use in their work with horses
    • discuss the restriction of normal muscle function and how it relates to equine performance
    • utilize the referenced anatomy to enhance your current level of knowledge and/or incorporate this working knowledge into your current profession
    • distinguish the symmetry or lack of symmetry in muscles to determine is the issue needs addressing by the veterinarian or other health care professional
    • diagram the origin and insertion of the muscles discussed in the course which enables the participant an easier format to recall muscle function
    • integrate how a dysfunctional stay apparatus and/or reciprocal apparatus may affect a horse’s health or performance and
    • translate one and two dimensional references for muscles and bones into a three dimensional understanding

    This subject matter for this course is presented in a variety of mediums. For those who are just beginning any type of anatomy education, independent home study is suggested by reviewing a glossary which is provided with course registration. Classroom lectures may be supported by visual aids (slides, PowerPoint, model, specimen or overheads) and discussion. For the classroom lab portions the students will pair up and build on the Equiken® model with clay in addition to researching the reference books to share the information with the rest of the class, in addition to drawing and diagramming. The lab practicals vary depending on the topic and can be supported by templates, labeling sessions, gait analysis sessions, muscle and surface anatomy identification and practical hands-on. Independent additional study activities are required in the evenings. This study will be evaluated through self-assessments and quizzes.

    An anatomy course is required for the Equinology ® Equine Body Worker Level II Certification. A second anatomy course is required for the Equinology ® Master Equine Body Worker Certification. You may take EQ200, EQ900 or EQ910 to fulfill the requirements. For details of Certification requirements please go to: Equinology Qualifications Should you have any specific requirements or needs please inform us (, so we can address your needs and prepare your Instructor prior to the course.

    Students are required to attend all six days of class in the classroom and are expected to spend the off day reviewing material for at least 8 hours. Class starts promptly at 8:00 am each day & concludes at around 5:30pm (arrive at 7:45 am on Day 1 for registration) with 30 minutes for lunch plus a morning and afternoon break.

    For this course there are 50 hours of guided study (case studies and extra learning activities) once the student leaves the class.

    Includes Rental of Equiken® Model and Clay, course workbook and hand-outs, supplies and your guided externship. It does not include accommodation or lunch. Snacks and hot & cool drinks are provided during breaks. A fridge and microwave are available.

    The Equiken® models used for the course were created by Jon Zahourek of Anatomy in Clay® Learning Systems. Anatomy in Clay offers several courses at their Colorado, USA base. Have a look at for courses on equine, canine and human anatomy. Please register directly with them for those courses or write to for dates and costs. The 6-day courses that are taught there are suitable for the require anatomy modules for the EEBW Level III and the MEEBW Certificates of Achievement.
    ANATOMY IN CLAY® and EQUIKEN® are registered trademarks of Zahourek Systems, Inc. or affiliates in the US or other countries. Authorization for limited trademark use licensed by Zahourek Systems, Inc., a sole provider of Anatomy in Clay® Learning System.” or as otherwise requested by Zahourek.
    © Zahourek Systems, Inc. and affiliates. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied, rewritten, broadcasted, or redistributed. Authorization for limited copyright use licensed by Zahourek Systems, Inc., a sole provider of Anatomy in Clay® Learning System.” or as otherwise requested by Zahourek.

    This course is open to everyone who has a good knowledge of veterinary vocabulary and anatomy. (Good equine bodywork courses which focus on anatomy or an anatomy course no less than 200 hours will usually cover enough to prepare participants).

    If you feel you are already well versed in vocabulary and the musculoskeletal system please contact the office to waive this prerequisite. Otherwise students must review the veterinary vocabulary and terms, skeletal anatomy, and bony landmarks in the Equine Anatomy EQ50

    This is the precourse used for the Equinology ® Equine Body Worker Certification Courses so it is not necessary to redo for those having participated in the EEBW course. Please register for the pre-course study with plenty of time to go through the material, the more familiar you are, the more you will get out of the course!

    If students are not extremely familiar with equine anatomy they should register for the EQ50: Pre-course Distance Equine Anatomy Course well in advance of this course (See Prerequisite requirements).

    Text and Materials Required:

    • Rental of Equiken® Model and Clay Supplies: Included
    • Course Workbook: Included
    • Course Handouts: Included
    • Externship Grading (Case Studies and Visual Presentation) and Certificate: Included
    • Debranne Pattillo’s Anatomy of Equine Bodywork; the Equinology® Approach – available at a reduced price. Previous EEBW Certification Students should bring their EQ100 Manual for review and reference.

    Books for the Classroom:
    We recommend students bring at least one anatomy book to class, suggestions include:

    • The Horse anatomy workbook by Maggie Raynor
    • Color Atlas of Veterinary Anatomy: The Horse Volume 2 by Ashdown and Done
    • Atlas of Equine Anatomy by Chris Pasquini
    • Clinical Anatomy of the Horse by Clayton and Flood.


    Debranne sees equine anatomy with the eyes of both a body worker and an artist. Her teaching is infused with her basic delight in both the anatomical precision that excellent bodywork requires and the dynamic variation that teaching anatomy on (mostly living, nibbling, opinionated) horses often presents! Her knack for seeing the bones and muscles with an artist’s eye and her unique way of taking the body apart, from the skin down to the bones, and putting it back together again — as a colored drawing, as an “air massage,” or as a painting done in chalk on a live horse — is a perspective that fuels her work as a practitioner of equine body work and sports massage and makes her a much sought-after teacher. Her “Painted Horse,” which has served as the backbone for presenting equine anatomy since Equinology started, was showcased in United Kingdom’s BBC television program “Country File” in 2001. Debranne’s first exposure to hands-on work with horses came through her then Sonoma County-based trainer, Gail Hunt, who took her to one of Linda Tellington-Jones clinic. This led to one of those “light bulb” moments which Debranne has in turn provided for so many of her own students. Debranne is the first to say that all of the instructors who teach for Equinology have been extremely influential to her, but she is also quick to acknowledge Dr. Kerry Ridgway, DVM (instructor and practitioner extraordinaire in acupuncture, animal manipulation and saddle fit) and the late Australian, Dr. Des Greaves (licensed acupuncturist, homeopath, osteopath, and chiropractor) as two of her most significant mentors, along with a cranky 16-year old Thoroughbred mare named Ronamead. Before dedicating herself to developing Equinology’s curriculum and faculty and teaching, Debranne owned and operated a small sport horse lay-up and boarding facility for six years. It was during this time that she discovered the benefits of equine sports massage for the rehabilitation and preventative care of these equine athletes. In 1993, she sold the ranch to enable her to work on an established monthly clientele of various disciplines, which included: dressage, hunters, jumpers, endurance, cutting, pleasure, as well as the geriatric retiree. Since 1994, she has been the lead instructor for more than 90 equine sports massage and anatomy courses to more than 1,000 course participants in the US, Canada, UK, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada. She holds the Equinology® Master Equine Body Worker Certification, a certification which takes participants over 1600 hours of coursework to complete. She is the author and facilitator of the unique Equinology® Equine Body Worker Certification Course (equine sports massage, stretching and specialized techniques), which is the signature course for Equinology. This course serves as the professional qualification in the BSc in Equine Sports Therapy presented by Writtle Agricultural College and University of Essex, United Kingdom. Debranne is also the 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. She is currently the Division Head of the IEBWA for USA, Australia and New Zealand. Debranne is a regularly invited lecturer and guest speaker for demonstrations and lectures in anatomy, stretching and massage at colleges, universities, private educational institution and various equestrian facilities and venues. She has been working for several years on a comprehensive anatomy and sports massage textbook scheduled for publication in 2015 with Dr. Peter Flood and medical illustrator Sue Simon that includes major contributions from Dr. Kerry Ridgway, Dr. Barb Crabbe, Kalyani Premkumar and Dr. Joanna Robson. Celia Strain, art director of Equus Magazine, Laurie O\\'Keefe and Catherine Twomey all highly sought after medical illustrator support this book\\'s text with their fresh illustrations.
    A R4,000 deposit is required to hold your spot in a course – the remainder of the tuition is due at least six weeks prior to the course start date. The R4,000 deposit is nonrefundable and nontransferable, and is credited to the total tuition for the course. Confirmation letters, course outlines, required pre-study (if applicable), directions and lodging options will be sent when the R4,000 deposit has been received.