a single headshot of Debranne Pattillo

Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW

Founder and CEO, Equinology and Caninology and Equi-Ink Publications

Co-Owner, Academy of Animal Sports Science and Online Academy of Equine

As founder and CEO of Equinology and Equi-Ink Publications, Debranne has
dedicated her career to advancing the knowledge and understanding of equine
anatomy, physiology, and complementary equine health care. Through
Equinology, she has pioneered innovative educational programs, equine
bodywork certifications, and cutting-edge research initiatives. Her
commitment to excellence has set new standards in equine health and wellness
to prepare her graduates for the professional world as team members.

She is also co-director, with Dr. Carrie Schlacter and Dr. Nicole Rombach,
of The Academy of Animal Sports Science (AASS) education company, which
presents the flagship hybrid Animal Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation (ASTR)
Program for licensed professionals. The course modules are taught by leading
veterinarians and specialists from around the globe, who continue to
emphasize our established standards of evidence-based education and
practical clinical experience.

With a background deeply rooted in equine science, Debranne has accumulated
decades of experience working with horses and like-minded colleagues. She is
passionate about bridging the gap between science and practical application
in equine care.

Debranne has also made significant contributions to literature in the
field. Her publications are regarded as authoritative resources, providing
valuable insights into equine anatomy and bodywork. Her published book,
Anatomy of Equine Bodywork: The Equinology® Approach, has been well received
and is in its third printing. Her app, which supports the book, allows
students to learn and test themselves in equine anatomy.

A whole-horse approach to equine well-being is at the core of Debranne’s
work. Her philosophy emphasizes the interconnectedness of horses’ physical,
mental, and emotional health, driving positive change in how professionals
and enthusiasts approach equine care.

Debranne sees equine anatomy with the eyes of both a bodyworker and an
artist. Her teaching is infused with her basic delight in the anatomical
precision that excellent bodywork requires and the dynamic variation
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 bodywork and sports massage
and makes her a much sought-after teacher. Her “Painted Horse,” the backbone
for presenting equine anatomy since Equinology started in 1994, was
showcased in the United Kingdom’s BBC television program “Country File” in
2001. Debranne is a regularly invited lecturer and guest speaker for
demonstrations and lectures in anatomy, stretching, and massage at colleges,
universities, private educational institutions, and various equestrian
facilities and venues.

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’s clinics. This clinic led to one of those “light bulb”
moments that Debranne has provided for so many of her 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 the
late 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. During this time, 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 senior retiree.

Since 1994, she has been the lead instructor for more than 300 equine
sports massage and anatomy courses to more than 3,000 participants in the
US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. She
holds the Equinology® Master Equine Body Worker Certification, a
certification that takes participants over 2000 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), the signature course for Equinology. In September
2019, Writtle University awarded Debranne an Honorary Master of Sciences
Degree in recognition of services to education in the equine sector.