University of Tennessee

Equine Rehab
Certificate CERP


In cooperation with the Colorado State University Orthopaedic Research Center, the University of Tennessee (in 2004) developed the only university-based, RACE approved credential program in equine rehabilitation. The Equine Rehabilitation Certificate Program (CERP) is a sequence of postgraduate courses for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, physical therapists or students of these professions, which include case studies and a cumulative examination. The CERP program is designed to guide the practitioner from the theoretical foundations to the clinical applications of equine rehabilitation.

The blended learning environment (live and online) increases the productivity of the hands on lab sessions, reduces time away from work or home and allows the student freedom to review presentations as needed. Introducing modalities prior to lab sessions allows students to record their questions for faculty to address before turning on machines or lowering a horse into the underwater treadmill. Advanced hands-on anatomy review during dissection and lab is optimized as the basics are reinforced thoroughly during on-line preparation sessions, ensuring each student has the review necessary to keep the flow of the class steady.


Consists of 3 modules to be completed in order: 

Hands-on Live Lab Dates (Equine II)


  • The team approach to equine rehabilitation Which conditions are appropriate for physical therapy
  • To design and implement a comprehensive rehabilitation program for commonly occurring musculoskeletal, integumentary and neurologic conditions
  • How to document the rehabilitation programs using standardized forms


  • The regulatory issues surrounding the practice of animal rehabilitation
  • Therapeutic modalities and mechanisms of action
  • Cause and medical or surgical therapy for tendons and ligaments
  • Response to injury and healing of tendons and ligaments
  • Correlate the rehabilitation program with the physiologic processes that the patient is undergoing during its rehabilitation.

Be Proficient In:

  • Recognizing equine lameness and basic gait analysis
  • Equine neurologic examination
  • Understanding reasonable time frames for treatment, when to begin and frequency
  • Methods of referral and communication between the referring


Our mission is to promote the art and science of equine rehabilitation, this will be achieved by:

  • Educating professions in the principles and practical application of equine rehabilitation
  • Promoting and support research that will advance the knowledge, skill and treatment of equine rehabilitation
  • Making the benefits of equine rehabilitation known to the veterinary, physical therapy and related professions


Participants must have a degree as one of the following;

  • Veterinarian – Proof of degree(s) and/or license(s) must be provided.
  • Physical Therapy – Proof of degree(s) and/or license(s) must be provided.
  • Veterinary Technician – Proof of degree(s) and/or license(s) must be provided.
  • Student in one of the above professions
    • You must have completed at least one year of your program before taking your first course
    • Successful completion of your degree is required prior to taking the certification exam
    • Proof of enrollment must be made available.

All individuals must have demonstrated equine handling abilities and are required to sign a statement to that effect.


In cooperation with Colorado State University Orthopaedic Research Center

Orthopaedic Research Center