Disclaimer: Equine massage is not intended to replace the care of your veterinarian. A Masseuse does not diagnose or treat illness or injury. A masseuse must never work on a horse that requires veterinary care without prior permission from a qualified veterinarian. Likewise, the owner of the horse should always consult with their vet before utilising the services. Good communication and the sharing of knowledge and findings is the key to the good health and condition of the horse.
The Veterinary Surgeons Act was set up, and has been subsequently amended, to protect the welfare of sick and injured animals, and to prevent them being unnecessarily and unlawfully put at risk through treatment via unqualified persons.
The RCVS states: 19.19 The Veterinary Surgeons (Exemptions) Order 2015 (which revokes the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 1962) allows the treatment of an animal by physiotherapy if the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) the first condition is that the person providing the treatment is aged 18 or over
(2) the second condition is that the person is acting under the direction of a qualified person who—
(a) has examined the animal, and
(b) has prescribed the treatment of the animal by physiotherapy.
19.21 ‘Physiotherapy’ is interpreted as including all kinds of manipulative therapy. It therefore includes osteopathy and chiropractic but would not, for example, include acupuncture or aromatherapy.