Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW

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, Gayle 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 200 equine sports massage and anatomy courses to more than 2,000 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.

In addition to authoring Equinology’s Equine Body Work Certification courses and developing the EEBW, EEBW Level II, EEBW Level III and MEEBW certifications which are conferred on Equinology’s successful graduates, she has been featured in multiple international media publications including:

  • United Kingdom: Horse and Hound, Practical Horseman and Horse and Rider
  • Australia: Endurance Magazine and Hoofbeats
  • United States: Horse and Rider, Ride!, Riding Magazine and Holistic Horse
  • New Zealand: Horse and Pony

Debranne has been additionally featured in various regional newspapers as well as on web sites.

Listed below is a partial list of courses attended to complement and enhance Debranne’s current occupation. In addition to classroom theory hours, hundreds of additional hours have been spent assisting and learning under various instructors and doctors in health care and riding instruction. Hours listed are instructor contact hours only: most courses required case studies and externships following course completion.

Acupressure Convention – w/ Dr. Caine, DVM & Dr. D. Giniaux, MV, Biology
CESMAS (Conference on Equine Sports Medicine and Science)- Saumur (2002) and Oslo (2004),
Conformation clinics including Sporthorse Judging -Glen Ellen, CA
Diagnosing Back & Tendon Issues – Dr. JM Denoix, MV and Dr K. Allen, DVM, 16 hours,
Diagnosis of Poor Performance – Dr. A. Couroucé-Malblanc, MV and Dr. E. Hammer, MV,
Dr. Desmond Greaves -Maryborough, Australia-mentor in complementary equine modalities
Equiken; Anatomy in Clay by Zahourek Systems Anatomy-4 sessions, 160 hours,
Equine Acupressure – Dr Peggy Fleming, DVM-1 session, 72 hours,
Equine Acupressure -Dr Kerry Ridgway, DVM-1 session, 72 hours,
Equine Acupressure -Susan Tenney, CMT, EBW-2 sessions, 80 hours,
Equine Biomechanics & Applied Anatomy -Deb Bennett-1 session, 16 hours,
Equine Biomechanics -Barb Crabbe, DVM-3 sessions, 120 hours,
Equine Biomechanics -Dr. Hilary Clayton-3 sessions, 66 hours,
Equine CranioSacral Techniques I by Upledger Institute USA-1 session, 24 hours,
Equine Dentistry – Dr Mitch Benson, DVM-2 sessions, 16 hours,
Equine Dissection- Dr. Narelle Stubbs and Nicole Rombach- 2 sessions 52 hours,
Equine Dissection (Head & Neck)-Dr. Deb Bennett, PhD – 1 session, 24 hours ,
Equine Dissection – Dr. Deb Bennett, PhD -2 sessions, 80 hours,
Equine Exercise Physiology – Dr. Hilary Clayton, DVM- 2 sessions, 64 hours,
Equine Lameness – Dr. Michael Ross, DVM-1 session, 6 hours,
Equine Lamenes – Dr. Carrie Schlachter DVM- 1 session, 24 hours,
Equine Locomotion Conference – Michigan State University (2005),
Equine Myofascial Release -Ruth Golladay, CMT, ESMT, PT – 2 sessions, 80 hours,
Equine Nervous System & Function -Chris Pasquini, DVM-1 session, 40 hours,
Equine Nutrition – Dr. Carey A Williams, PhD -1 session, 24 hours,
Equine Nutrition -Dr Robert Bray, Phd -2 sessions, 48 hours,
Equine Postural Release – Zarna Carter- 1 session, 14 hours,
Equine Sports Medicine & Science – Dr. Steven Wickler, DVM- 1 session, 32 hours,
Essential Oils – Catherine Bird- 1 session, 24 hours,
Farrier Science and the Current Trends -Patrick Reilly- 2 sessions, 32 hours,
Gait Abnormalities -Dr Bob Norrie, DVM- 3 sessions, 72 hours,
Hands on Horse Care- Diana Thompson,
Horse Handling Skills for the Equinology® Equine Body Worker- Terry Church- 2 sessions, 48 hours,
Horse Handling Skills for the Equinology® Equine Body Worker Tina Hutton- 1 session, 24 hours,
Master Equinology® Equine Body Worker certification Equinology, Inc.,
Monitoring of Health and Performance in Sports Horses – Dr. Anne Couroucé-Malblanc and DrA. Lindholm, MV,
Physical Therapy & Stretching -Nancy Spencer CFI, 2 sessions, 48 hours,
Principles of Farrier Science -Ed Laney, California-2 sessions, 48 hours,
Principles of Farrier Science -Stuart Greenberg-college semester, 3 units,
Reiki Level One certification -QLD Australia
Saddle Fitting – Dr Kerry Ridgway, DVM- 3 sessions, 72 hours,
Saddle Fitting -Andrew Foster, England-seminar,
TTEAM – Linda Tellington Jones-seminar,
Ultrasonography of Equine Articulations – Dr Jean-Marie Denoix, MV, Zoology

Debranne currently resides on the beautiful Northern California coastline at The Sea Ranch with her husband, Paul Hougard. Paul is “Mr. Equinology” and the flagship of running the education company out of their Gualala, CA office.

Address: PO Box 1192 Gualala, CA 95445
Phone: 707 884-9963
Fax: 707 884-9983
Email: equinologyoffice(at)