RQF Registered equine therapy courses in Devon

explaining the skeleton of a horse during the Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage training

The ATSL Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage is RQF and AHPR accredited (RQF 610/1414/X)

Animal Therapy Solutions are the leading training provider for equine sports massage are the only training company in the UK offering this unique opportunity to earn an accredited Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage as recognised by The Equine Sports Massage Association.

The comprehensive and wide ranging syllabus is designed to provide graduates with an understanding of the management of the professional horse in an athletic sphere.

Competition horses require a structured regime to ensure that they are fully prepared for their competitive schedule in order to produce optimum performance. The Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage course considers the management of these horses covering farriery, foot balance, saddlery and tack, understanding and managing injury, disease and health, conditioning and training requirements, and many other relevant aspects of equine management.

The course is designed and intended for career therapists and is regularly attended by students from all over the UK.


Course summary

Qualification : Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Therapy
Accreditation : RQF, AHPR, RAMP
Benefits : Entry level requirement for membership of the Equine Sports Massage Association
Training location : Tiverton Devon UK
Duration : 7 weekends (and a minimum of 460 TQT hours)
Start Date: September

Schedule for 2024/25 course

Course certification

Open AwardsDownload the Open Awards Qualification Guide for the Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage as listed on the Ofqual register of Regulated Qualifications (RQF)

Level 4 Diploma in Equine Sports Massage


Course Requirements & Prerequisites

  • 5 GSCE passes at A-C including English (or equivalent)
  • Applicants must be 21 years of age at commencement of the course
  • Learners should have a human massage qualification at Level 3 or above
    (The level of human experience may affect ESMA Membership – please discuss this with us on application)
  • Learners must have a minimum of 3 years’ experience working in an equine environment or evidence or extensive yard experience to indicate an understanding of the operation of a commercial competition yard and competition horse management
    (Must be supported by references)
  • Learners must be able to attend our training school in Devon

*Applicants who do not strictly meet this criteria should contact Helen Tompkins to discuss their experience levels.


How to apply

Applicants are applying for the next ATS Diploma course in September 2023 right now.

In the first instance, please use the form below to express your interest in the course. ATS will assess your suitability and then send you an information pack with the application form and further information.


Further information

The course is delivered under the accreditation of Open Awards (an OFQUAL authorised awarding body) and also accredited by the Animal Health Professions Register. AHPR accreditation entitles graduates to direct entry to the Register which is a increasingly important reference for vets and industry seeking a source of quality training courses and suitably qualified graduates to be involved in the vet care team.

This Level 4 Diploma course is the entry standard for the Equine Sports Massage Association (ESMA), the primary, long established and well respected membership body for career Equine Sports Massage Therapists.

The course is delivered from September each year at a Training and Event Centre near Tiverton, Devon by Animal Therapy Solutions Limited and runs for 7 contact weekends (and a minimum of 460 TQT hours).

Helen Tompkins and ATSL, developers of the L4 Dip ESM, are the only centre in the UK able to deliver this new, specialist qualification.

The content of the course has been subject to an external Technical Review receiving the following recommendation:

“Having thoroughly perused the modules, lecture content, learning outcomes with assessment criteria, assessment procedures, records and structures; I found the proposed training to be of a very high standard. It has a strong physiotherapy bias and contains the relevant anatomy & physiology elements required for such a training course to sit alongside the practical ‘hands on’ massage content. I have no hesitation in recommending the course.”

Group study sessionStudents working in indoor school

Practical demonstration of equine sports massage

Content: RQF: Qualification Accreditation No. 610/1414/X

  • Equine Sports Massage Association
  • Animal Health Professions Register
  • Open Awards
  • RAMP