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Program Overview

A good veterinarian is able to diagnose the source of the lameness and get the horse back to competition quickly; a great veterinarian is able to see variations in gait and performance before they lead to lameness and correct them as well as rehabilitate the horse after injury. 

In this 110 CE hour program (Approved by RACE), we will explore how the equine athlete functions. Beginning with the powerful way the muscles, bones and tendons work together for high level performance we will go on to develop skills to spot small performance deficits and learn ways to correct them and then we will investigate the etiology of injury, the process of healing, the use of rehabilitation tools and case management. 

The knowledge and skill gained in this program can be used in general equine practice, high level sports medicine practice and at rehabilitation facilities. Our goal is to give you the tools to get your patients to their best possible performance.

Major Topics

Some of the main topics each session will cover  include:

Session 1

An in-depth look at muscle, tendon and joint physiology and function. Ways to develop strong tissue to avoid injury and rehabilitation tools to assist healing after injury. The use of and mechanism of action of laser, therapeutic ultrasound, vibration plate, TENS, PEMF, hyperbaric therapy and stem cells are presented. 

Cardiac and muscle issues for the performance horse. Conditioning and monitoring progress. The role of physical therapists in equine rehabilitation. Thermal therapy, resistance bands and kinesiotape. Adaptations of the athlete to training and extreme conditions.

Labs with demonstration and hands-on use of rehabilitation tools, monitoring equipment and developing new exam skills.

Session 2

Using information from sessions 1 & 2 we will look at how the parts work together to create high level performance. Understand normal function and signs of dysfunction that may be a precursor to injury. Mechanisms of pain, sequelae of chronic pain and tissue changes in response to pain. The role of fascia in the body and fascial therapies. The effect of the foal’s environment on future athletic performance, and issues of conditioning young horses that are still growing. Nutrition at different levels of training.  Underwater treadmill, swimming and using these tool in both rehabilitation and conditioning. 

No foot; no horse. In-depth look at hoof structures and balance. Shoeing methods and corrections as well as veterinarian-farrier relationships. Performance profiling and saddle fit. Planning and case management both before and after injury. Integrating rehabilitation into practice and running an equine rehabilitation facility.

Labs hands-on practice with tools and therapies, hoof balance and corrections, saddle fit, and movement assessment exam


Performance Horse Medicine

This course provides an in-depth study of anatomy, biomechanics, and neuromuscular control in performance horses. The information in this course adds to the veterinarian’s knowledge base to enhance lameness and performance evaluation and treatment of equine patients.

Upon completion of the class, students will be able to:

·Evaluate biomechanics of performance horses

·Localize the root cause of performance deficits based on an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, neurology, and function

·Select appropriate rehabilitation tools for each case


Students of the Certified Veterinary Rehabilitation and Performance Medicine program are eligible for the Certified Equine Rehabilitation and Performance Veterinarian (CERPV) certification, endorsed by the Integrative Veterinary Medical Institute.

The certification requirements are:

  • Complete all sessions of the program.
  • Pass Final Written Exam with a score above 75%.