EquiCanis Africa is privileged to be working with some of the best Canine and Equine Wellness and Healthcare experts, not just from South Africa, but from around the World. Our Instructors are at the top of their professions and are widely respected and published. They also pride themselves on being eternal students, broadening and adapting their knowledge and courses to ensure that both their own students and the animals they subsequently work with get the best science and evidence based research currently has to offer. It helps that they’re a pretty entertaining bunch too, our courses are never dull!
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.
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. In addition, she uses 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.
Nicole attained the ITEC human massage qualification in 1997, the Equinology Equine Body Worker ® certification in 1998 and the Equinology Master Equine Body Worker ® certification in 1999 and has since taken most of the courses in the Equinology Extension certification series. She also completed the post-graduate and Master of Science degree programmes in Animal Manipulation from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic and University of Wales in the United Kingdom. She earned her PhD in 2013 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. Her main interest lies in the effect of complementary therapies on equine performance, and the subject for her doctoral research was investigation into equine neck pain from the perspectives of pathology, neuromotor control and equine behaviour associated with spinal dysfunction. Nicole is the president of Equinenergy Ltd. (www.equinenergy.com) and Caninenergy Ltd. (www.caninenergy.com) in the United Kingdom. From 2003 to 2009 she was based in São Paulo, Brazil where she worked in direct liaison with various veterinary clinics, focusing on sports therapy for performance horses from novice to Olympic level. She travelled to national competition centres and private clients throughout Brazil and in other South American countries. In addition, she carried out infrared thermographic imaging (thermography) in conjunction with equine veterinarians to aid their diagnostic procedures. She also uses thermography to assess hoof balance, saddle fit and changes in thermal patterns following sports therapy sessions. Nicole regularly lectures at various universities and for professional associations. She travels within the USA and to Europe and Brazil on a regular basis, to teach some of the modules of the Equinology course curriculum and to work on her established clientele of horses and dogs. She is currently based in Petaluma, California. In addition to clinical consultations, she is the Course Development Liaison Manager for Equinology, Inc., in charge of national and international expansion of the Equinology course curriculum. In her spare time she produces her own horses for dressage and showjumping competitions, and she holds Brazilian state and national amateur championship titles.
Dr. Mila Speciani, DVM, CCBW, EEBW, GPcert WVA&CPM, lives and works across Northern Italy running a freelance practice for both small and large animals, as well as consulting as a senior specialist for the Clinica Veterinaria San Marco – Small Animal Hospital in Veggiano, Padova. The majority of her daily practice includes dogs, cats and horses. She integrates natural medicine, sports medicine, natural management and gentle horsemanship, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, pain management and acupuncture in order to provide health and wellness to animal athletes and pets. She graduated with full marks in 2006 at “University of Parma – Veterinary Medicine Department” (Final thesis “Ultrasonographic evaluation of the thoracolumbar spine of the horse”) Dr. Mila Speciani speaks 4 languages (Italian, English, German and Spanish) and has built her experience internationally – including: Externships at Santa Lucia Farm, Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center, San Marcos Equine Practice (California, USA); EEBW® certified; Certified by Holistic School on Natural Horse Management and Natural Barefoot Trimming (with Dr.Sabioni, Imola, Italy); Equine Physiotherapy, Preventive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Ultrasound and PMF-Magnetic Field Therapy (with Dr.Amon, San Rossore Racetrack, Pisa, Italy); Equine Sport Medicine and TECAR® Therapy (with Dr.Lattanzio, Milan, Italy). Following three years of postgraduate school, she graduated CUM LAUDE on June 11th 2011 as Doctor Expert in Homeopathy, Homotoxicology and Integrated Therapies. (Final thesis: “Integration among homotoxicology, homeomesotherapy, homeosiniatry and physical therapy in Veterinary Medicine”). Her dissertation earned her the recognition of the Internationale Gesellschaft für Homotoxikologie (Baden Baden, Germany). In 2013 she completed an Equine Kinesio Taping course of studies (Fundamentals & Advanced – KT1 & KT2) certified by Kinesio Taping Association International (Instructor Dr. Sybille Molle). In 2014 Mila enriched her knowledge on Myofascial Release by attending seminars and being further mentored by Ruth Mitchell-Golladay (PT, CMT, NCTMB, EEBW®). She then further specialized in Western Veterinary Acupuncture and Chronic Pain Management (GP Cert WVA&CPM – course of study 2017-2019). Dr. Speciani is an instructor and lecturer for many world-renowned institutions and regularly teaches courses and seminars all over the world. She has published peer reviewed articles concerning her scientific areas of expertise, and developed the Caninology Canine Body Worker course portfolio for the international school Equinology Inc. An interest in the interactions between animal and human athletes, has led her to undertake training as a Human Shiatsu Therapist, whilst also studying for a BSc in Human Kinesiology & Sports Science at the University of Padua.
Dr Karen Isted (MChiro BSc(Hons) UK Equine NDip) is a registered chiropractor who graduated with distinction from the world renowned AECC at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. Since completing her Masters she has done several Sacro-Occipital postgraduate courses and specializes in the treatment of children, cranial work and low-impact adjusting.

On the equine side of the clinic her work builds on an Equine Science and SANEF foundation and she has a passion for bringing a true understanding of Wellness into the world of equine management. Apart from the human practice in town, she is currently involved on a weekly basis with the Hemel & Aarde Farm rehabilitation & training programs for all the resident and visiting horses as well as occasional guest tutoring for Equicanis Africa.

Karen also has 2 young twin girls, Olivia and Rachel, who are fast following in their Mother’s footsteps when it comes to a passion for horses!

A successful professional rider and trainer who has competed at advanced level both in eventing and dressage, Dr. 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. Specialising both in the production of young competition horses and in the education of problem horses, she has also produced a dynasty of homebred horses. Anne currently rides a very nice young event horse that is competing consistently well at amateur level and also owns an advanced horse that competes at 3* level with a young professional rider.

In 2009, Anne founded the Saddle Research Trust to promote the welfare of the ridden horse, to educate and raise awareness of the widely underestimated issues surrounding saddles, welfare and performance and to support research into this important field. The SRT is now internationally recognised for its ground-breaking work.

In 2017, Anne was awarded a doctorate for her novel research of horse, saddle and rider interaction. She teaches world-wide, giving lectures and presentations to a wide range of groups including equine healthcare practitioners, saddle fitters, coaches and equine science students, sharing her passion for this complex but fascinating subject.