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About Susan
Susan on Horse

Susan's experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine began some 20 years ago, experiencing the benefits of acupuncture first hand. As a result, Susan became a believer in the benefits of acupuncture and acupressure, for not only herself, but for her horses and dogs as well.

After an injury to his neck a few years ago, Susan's horse Dancer underwent acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage therapies and a profound effect was achieved. Susan's vet suggested she try acupressure between treatments on some specific points to help Dancer in his healing and to support his overall health. It was the first time that Susan laid her hand on the point known as Bai Hui, or “Heaven's Gate” that she realized the power of acupressure. With her untrained hand, she was able to stimulate a dramatic response from Dancer. He dropped his head and fought to keep his eyes open, and fell into a deep state of relaxation. This experience encouraged Susan to begin the journey towards seeking an education in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupressure. She has completed the 330 hours of learning units required to become a Certified Equine Acupressure Practitioner through Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute in Larkspur, Colorado.

Susan passed the National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage (NBCAAM) exam, March 7, 2011. She is now a Nationally Certified Equine Acupressure Practitioner and is one of a few in the nation to achieve this distinction. NBCAAM was founded by a group of professional practitioners, instructors, and veterinarians in the fields of animal massage and acupressure. Collectively, they developed a set of Core Competencies for each discipline designed to reflect the knowledge required to perform animal acupressure or massage. The purpose of the exam is to establish and uphold professional standards for animal acupressure and massage practitioners. Taking the examination is entirely voluntary for certified animal practitioners who are serious about enhancing the professional standing of animal massage and acupressure in the United States.
Susan's love of horses has spanned her lifetime. She had horses growing up and spent every spare minute riding over the hillsides of the farming community she called home. When first married, having no horses of her own for a brief time, Susan worked as a groom at Los Alamitos Race Track, caring for and exercising trotting horses. She then became groom and assistant to the trainer at an American Saddlebred stable in Northern California. Susan has trained young horses and has developed many horses in their training. She loves the process of enhancing both trust and ability, with the focus always on the well-being of the horse. She currently rides her two horses 6 days a week, alternating between the discipline of dressage, galloping through the fields, and conditioning in the mountains. And now, she supports their health with acupressure.

National Board Certification of Animal Acupressure and Massage
Nationally Certified Equine Acupressure Practitioner, 2011

Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute
Larkspur, Colorado
Graduate, Certified Equine Acupressure Practitioner, 2009
330 hours of clinical and lecture studies

Graduate Courses:
Integrated Massage & Acupressure, June 2010
Instructors: Kim Bauer, CL/CSAMP, CAAP, Lead Instructor for Tallgrass Institute, Owner of Animal Ease Therapies
and Lola Michelin, LMP, LAMP, SAMP, Founder of Northwest School of Animal Massage

Tui Na, June 2011
Instructor: Shauna Cantwell, DVM
Tui Na is one of the five branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, which includes: acupuncture/acupressure, herbal therapy, nutrition therapy & exercise

Michigan State University, on-line classes 2009
   Equine Neurological & Muscular Disorders- A course detailing the physiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of
   common neuromuscular disorders in the horse.

   Equine Cushings & Insulin Resistance- An in-depth course on Cushing’s Disease and Insulin Resistance in the horse.
    Instructor: Eleanor Kellon, VMD

United States Dressage Federation, USDF University, 2009
Bronze Certificate- 45 credit hours of continuing education in the study of dressage.

Hands on Horse Care
Save Your Horses Life with Acupressure and Massage, clinic 2008
Instructor: Diana Thompson, author of Acupressure Point Charts for Horses, An Illustrated Guide to 128 Point Location and Uses; Acupressure for Horses, Traditional Theory and Practical Uses; 25 years experience with acupressure, massage, Bach Flower essences; professional horse trainer; college instructor

Maria Montessori School of the Golden Gate
Teaching Credential, 1991

San Francisco Montessori Teacher Training
120 hours, 1990

Sonoma State University
Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, Liberal Arts, 1991