EQ900: Anatomy Discovery Workshop Clay & Hands On


We have a blast at this course! It’s really close to an art class but artistic skills are not necessary! So much information is shared amongst the participants, loads of questions are explored, light bulbs are constantly going on and huge smiles of comprehension continue throughout the duration of the workshop.

The difference between the average equine bodyworker and a great one is accuracy. Anyone in the equine health care profession; whether you use your hands, tools, or machines, will find this is a great opportunity to expand and enhance skills. This course is also useful for the trainer or rider because analytical skills are honed after understanding the structure of the horse. This knowledge improves your riding and teaching skills.

This seven-day course is taught in increments in a study group format with a hands-on approach. This course is run in 3 days on, one day off for self-study and finishes with another 3 days on.

Using bones, models, visuals, books, hand-outs, reference material and live horses, Debranne Pattillo, MEEBW, and president and founder of Equinology Inc®, will lead and direct the group. Students will work in teams of two, building the muscles on the Equiken® models at a comfortable pace, researching each muscle as the building progresses. Students become very familiar with various published books, publications and internet resources during the course, thus enabling them to research anatomy better. The student will have a chance to ensure he or she has understood the information by completing a self-assessment before the beginning of each class. Students are responsible to attend all six days of class in the classroom and are expected to spend the off day reviewing material for at least 8 hours.

This is not like those anatomy classes you’ve attended with a dry lecturer reciting from a book. Debranne’s wit and style make this a fun course. She uses various approaches that leave you with the increased knowledge to continue on in your own studies. Past students rave about this course and return year after year.

The Equiken® models used for the course were created by Jon Zahourek of Anatomy in Clay® Learning Systems. Anatomy in Clay offers several courses at their Colorado, USA base. Have a look at www.anatomyinclay.com for courses on equine, canine and human anatomy. Please register directly with them for those courses or write to info@anatomyinclay.com for dates and costs. The 6-day courses that are taught there are suitable for the require anatomy modules for the EEBW Level III and the MEEBW Certificates of Achievement.

You can look at pictures all day, you can look at photos, but nothing will cement your understanding of origin, insertion, and function like building the muscles on a 3D model. There is something about making them and attaching them to the skeleton that really deepens your grasp of anatomy. Working with the clay is so much fun! It’s like being a kid again, but you get to keep your adult brain and learn something really important. We laughed … a lot. You don’t need to be an artist, or have any sculpting skills. All you need is curiosity and a desire for a fuller understanding of the equine body.” — Tracy Kerby

Course Outline:


  • anatomy vocabulary
  • directional terms
  • veterinary terms

Skeletal structure

  • form and function
  • skeletal organization
  • thoracic and pelvic appendicular system
  • axial skeletal system
  • bony landmark and surface anatomy identification

Muscle structure

  • function and form
  • intrinsic and extrinsic muscles
  • relationship to orientation
  • deep, middle and superficial layer major muscles
  • reciprocal apparatus
  • passive stay apparatus of the hind and forelimb
  • Injuries and issues relating to muscles


“Equinology’s Anatomy Discovery Clay Workshop is probably my favorite Equinology class. For a lot of us that work with horses, the art studio and the dissection lab are relatively unfamiliar environments… yet both are essential to understanding the dynamic anatomical relationships that structure the horse’s body. I really loved building each muscle and making the attachments and insertions. Thinking two-dimensionally, in muscle plates, is where we all begin… but leaving that behind, and beginning to really visualize the horse’s skeleton and musculature in 3-dimensions and in motion takes you to a whole new level of insight . You get a chance to build muscles in clay, research function, and really shore up a lot of anatomical learning in a fun and creative environment. And man, did we laugh!” — Sarah Miles

Course Practicals:

  • Building individual muscles in clay using the Equiken® model
  • Painting the middle layer muscles on the horse
  • Painting the bony landmarks on the horse
  • Palpation sessions for bony landmarks and muscles
  • Locating and isolating muscles
Text and Materials Required:

Rental of Equiken® Model and Clay Supplies: Free

Course Workbook: Free

Course Handouts: Free

Externship Grading (Case Studies and Visual Presentation) and Certificate: Free

“After a few years of training as an Equine Craniosacral practitioner, I found that I still had a huge gap in my equine anatomy. I found Equinology to be a superior place of education and had been checking out their courses for a while, when the EQ900 Anatomy in Clay grabbed my attention. I am based in Australia, so to hear that it was coming over there in 2016, I just had to do it! I didn’t have the discipline to try and learn muscles, nerve innervation, origin and insertion on my own. The outline of the EQ900 sounded perfect, as it incorporated structural and creative learning.
This course really was money well spent. An intensive 7 days building the layers of muscles onto the Equiken horse from the Zahourek Anatomy in Clay learning system (www.antomyinclay.com).
Debranne’s incredible knowledge, enthusiasm and amazing artistic ability made this such a fun course to be on. I am always on board when the teacher loves teaching a subject. Whilst I found that my clay building skills were bordering on hopeless, the anatomy began to sink in. Incorporated into this was on-the-spot research into each muscle; a constantly running overhead projector with further information about each muscle, its origin, insertion, innervation, function, and problems that may occur; going outside the classroom, locating and palpating muscles, and bony landmarks on a horse. Debranne has a wealth of experience working with horses from many disciplines, not to mention working and studying with other pioneers in equine anatomy and biomechanics so we were never short-changed on information. And to keep us from getting overloaded with clay building, we were able to text our newly learned anatomy towards the end of the course out by getting the chalks out and painting a horse. The externship is good, incorporating more of what we were taught in class. It is a lot of work, but so so worthwhile. I always encourage anyone in the field to get on the EQ900 as it is so in depth, and the way it is taught is first rate.” – Emma Loftus
Students must review the veterinary vocabulary and terms, skeletal anatomy, and bony landmarks in the EQ50 Equine Anatomy online course found at https://equinologyinstitute.com/product/eq50-equine-anatomy-precourse-distance-study/. This is the precourse used for the Equinology ® Equine Body Worker Certification Courses so it is not necessary to redo for those having participated in the EEBW course.

If you feel you are already well versed in vocabulary and the musculoskeletal system please contact the office to waive this prerequisite.

Books Suggested for the Classroom:
Bring at least one anatomy book to class: Color Atlas of Veterinary Anatomy: The Horse Volume 2 by Ashdown and Done or Atlas of Equine Anatomy by Chris Pasquini or Clinical Anatomy of the Horse by Clayton and Flood.

“ANATOMY IN CLAY® and EQUIKEN® are registered trademarks of Zahourek Systems, Inc. or affiliates in the US or other countries.    Authorization for limited trademark use licensed by Zahourek Systems, Inc., a sole provider of Anatomy in Clay® Learning System. www.anatomyinclay.com” or as otherwise requested by Zahourek.

© Zahourek Systems, Inc. and affiliates. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied, rewritten, broadcasted, or redistributed. Authorization for limited copyright use licensed by Zahourek Systems, Inc., a sole provider of Anatomy in Clay® Learning System. www.anatomyinclay.com” or as otherwise requested by Zahourek.

“If you think you know anatomy because you’ve studied anatomy books, taken other Equinology courses where anatomy knowledge is expected, or even taken a dissection course, but wonder if there’s more to know, then you need to take this class. There is nothing like building a horse from the inside out! Making the muscle from clay, finding the origins and insertions, discovering that what you thought you knew from 2 dimensional drawings isn’t even close to what is real (the tensor fasciae antibrachii comes to mind for me), and marveling at the complexity of muscle interactions, makes this course totally worth the time and expense.

Debranne Patillo makes the class fun and engaging with time spent both working on your model and looking at real horses to put the work into perspective. Be prepared to learn at a deep level. It’s designed to further your anatomy knowledge so you can be of even more benefit to your clients and their horses. I highly recommend it!” – Betsy Novotny

   Date: October 2-8, 2024
   Location: Taylor Made Community Space
   Instructor: Megan Kanz, MEEBW, BSc (Equine Studies)
   Price: $2950
You can register on this site directly for all New Zealand onsite courses and all worldwide online courses. External links for non-New Zealand onsite courses will take you to the appropriate website to continue your registration.

Registering via the Website:
You can click on the course number and scroll down to the bottom of the link to register for the particular New Zealand location and dates. The USA west coast office currently registers all online courses directly no matter where you live. Follow the “register now” link which will take you to the secure shopping cart. Here you can pay with a major credit card or Pay Pal. We do not accept wire transfers due to the processing fee.

Registering via Phone:
Please call the office during business hours 10 am-1 pm Pacific Time: 707.377.4313. You have the option to pay via credit card, Pay Pal or can arrange to send in a check.

Registering via Mail:
You can send your payment (checks, money orders or credit card numbers including the expiration date, CCV and billing zip code) to Equinology, Inc., 610 Noah Ct, Napa, CA 94558. Credit card registrations are also accepted over the phone.
Students are not registered until the non-refundable/non-transferable $500 deposit is received for the course. The $500 deposit is credited towards your course tuition. Courses $500 or less are paid in full at the time of registration. Please take note that all tuition balances are due 60 days prior to the beginning of the course.

To be eligible for our courses, a student must possess these skill sets:
    High School English equivalency reading skills*
    High School Graduate** or over 18 years of age
    Clearly understand the English Language***

* Those who are not high school graduates need to take an “Ability to Benefit” (ATB) test. We now have our own approved alternative ATB exam specific to equine or canine. Please contact the office at equinologyoffice@gmail.com for the link, password and state whether this is for a horse or dog course. The exam is at no charge and you have 3 attempts to pass.
** Those who are under 18 years of age need permission from their parents or guardians. If the student is not a high school graduate, they will need to take and document the Ability to Benefit Test as described above with a minimum score demonstrating that they have the ability to benefit from Equinology’s instruction.
*** Equinology Inc. does not offer English as a Second Language instruction. It does not offer English language services of any kind.

If you have any questions, please call!


The deadline to enroll for onsite courses offered by Equinology, Inc® is eight weeks prior to the first day of class. Tuitions which are $500 and over will require a registration fee of $500 to enroll and these are nonrefundable and nontransferable. This $500 registration fee is credited to the total tuition of the particular course. There is no registration fee for the few courses that cost less than $500. Those courses which are less than $500 will require payment in full upon registration.

Any student that notifies Equinology, Inc. to cancel a course must do so in writing and has the right to registration and obtain a refund of charges paid towards the tuition prior to 60 days of the course commencement less the $500 non-refundable registration fee. Refunds must be requested in writing to Equinology, Inc., attention Mr. Paul Hougard, COO/CFO, at 610 Noah Court, Napa, CA 94558 or the Equinology email at equinologyoffice@gmail.com.

Confirmation letters as well as the course outline, things to bring, required study before the course (if applicable), directions and lodging will be sent when the deposit has been paid. The balance of the tuition is collected eight weeks prior to the start of the course date.

Our instructor’s contract policy allows us sixty (60) days cancellation after which we are locked into our agreement. If you are unable to attend this course you may sell your spot to another individual providing that person has met the course prerequisites. Please notify the office for the data correction.

Our refund policies are stated on the factsheet, confirmation letters and on the website. As a reminder, registration fees which are used as deposits for courses are nonrefundable and nontransferable . In the event that Equinology cancels a course due to low enrollment we will refund your registration fee and any monies paid towards the remainder of the tuition. We will not “roll” the registration fee (deposit) over to another course for you should you not be able to attend.


If a course should not run due to low enrollment or other circumstances, Equinology will notify the students 28 days prior to the course commencement and return all tuitions collected including the deposit. Although students may wish to make travel arrangement before this time, Equinology cannot be held responsible for travel arrangements made before the 28 days. Equinology also cannot be responsible for student travel expenses should the class need to be canceled due natural disasters, or sociopolitical conflicts or an instructor emergency (death or severe illness or injury of self or immediate family member). In the case of instructor emergency, we will substitute an appropriate instructor if available before canceling the course. We suggest you purchase travel insurance for travel arrangements in case of one of these rare incidents.

Please note:

  • You cannot be confirmed on a class list until the registration fee (deposit) is received and the appropriate documentation has been returned (enrollment form etc)
  • You will not remain on the classlist and will forfeit your deposit if you do not pay the balance of your tuition by the designated date. We will attempt to contact you at least three times via email, text and phone.
  • Please prepare yourself for the course if precourse study is required
  • If a course has required texts, you should purchase these prior to the course
  • Please read the list of things to bring
  • In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin
  • If you have any questions, please call us, that’s what we are here for!
  • Equinology reserves the right to cancel workshops due to circumstances beyond our control, including but not limited to, low enrollment, at which time all fees (including the registration fee/deposit) collected for the purpose of enrollment will be refunded.

Please note:

  • Equinology cannot be responsible for any losses incurred by registrants resulting from canceled or postponed workshops
  • Equinology recommends that registrants secure travel insurance
  • Registration fees (deposits) are non-refundable and non-transferable; no exceptions
  • Tuition is due 60 days prior to course commencement
  • A $25 fee is charged for any returned checks
  • Any students with outstanding accounts are not allowed to register for any Equinology or Caninology course worldwide until their debt has been addressed and paid.

For distance educational courses where the instruction is not offered in real-time, Equinology must transmit the first lesson and any materials to any student within seven days after Equinology accepts the student for admission. The student has the right to cancel the agreement and receive a full refund before the first lesson and materials are received. Cancellation is effective on the date written notice of cancellation is sent (see above contact information). If Equinology has sent the first lesson then the student is not eligible for a refund; Equinology shall not be obligated to pay any refund after the lessons and material are transmitted.