University of Tennessee

CERP Program


The University of Tennessee, in cooperation with the Colorado State University Orthopaedic Research Center, developed the world’s first university-based credential program in equine rehabilitation. The Equine Rehabilitation Certificate Program (CERP) is a blended learning specialization for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, physical therapists, or students of these professions. Candidates complete the program by submitting case studies and completing a comprehensive examination. The Academic CERP Program is designed to guide the practitioner from the theoretical foundations to the clinical applications of equine physical medicine and rehabilitation.

The basics are reinforced thoroughly during online preparation sessions, ensuring each student has the review necessary to keep the flow of the class steady.


The Academic CERP Program is the premier approach to lifelong learning for those who have dedicated themselves to bettering the lives of animals.

The exclusive academic package includes the full CERP education program and lifelong academic membership which provides free webinars, individual and group coaching, individual sponsorship conditions, and much more!

When you enroll*, you will benefit from the full commitment to your learning experience, and in the implementation of standard of rehabilitative care in your practice by the University of Tennessee and the Veterinary Academy of Higher Learning. Your interest and commitment to becoming a specialist in this field will be enhanced as you enjoy the in-depth, intensive training through in-person clinical sessions and online, on-demand didactic sessions.

What to expect?

  • Earn the CERP credential after successfully finishing the following parts:
    • Equine I – Online Lecture Series (52 hours)
    • Equine II – Live Hands-on Lab (32 hours, Knoxville, TN is 48 hours)
    • Equine III – Final Examination and Case Reports (15 hours)
  • Access to live webinars free of charge
  • Access to our global network
    • Industry
      • Special VIP service and packages
      • Special CERP discounts – on average 10% of the sales price up to 12.500 € ($12,500 USD) for one specific modality
    • Lifelong member of the global CERP Family:
      Faculty and global specialists
      • Access to additional training
      • Access to a referral service
      • Access to job offers/free platform to offer jobs
  • Academic Coaching on demand (up to 3 sessions per year free of charge for 2 years)
    • Career coaching
    • Marketing coaching
    • Case coaching
  • Promotion of your service or practice on our website
  • Access to the closed Facebook group for student or credentialed CERPs only, for internal case discussions and coaching on demand
  • As a credentialed CERP you will automatically be eligible to become a VAHL Ambassador (benefit from sharing your experience)

*Proof of degrees and or licenses must be provided for program application.

Equine II - Hands-on Live Lab Dates


General Information Flyer

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
~ Mahadma Gandhi

Why Academic CERP Program?

Injuries are common in athletic horses. Owners and trainers seek alternative therapies and techniques to facilitate rehabilitation. Animal Care professionals learn the standard of care in equine rehabilitation physical medicine by participating in the Academic CERP Program.

The Academic CERP Program is designed to guide the practitioner from the theoretical foundations to the clinical applications of equine rehabilitation in physical medicine.

The blended learning environment (live and online) increases the productivity of the hands-on clinical lab sessions, and reduces time away from work or home.

  • Since its foundation, the curriculum of the program has been continuously updated to deliver training and education in state-of-the-art standard of care, in both the theoretical and practical approach.
  • Our continuous research enables us to identify and present the most effective therapies and modalities
  • Upon successful completion of the program and examination, participants receive the coveted of Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner credential.

Getting Started in Equine Physical Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation of horses with orthopedic injuries has evolved tremendously. There are now numerous therapeutic modalities that have been scientifically proven for equine application. The Academic CERP Program will keep candidates and graduates apprised of new developments. It includes modules in equine anatomy, gait analysis, confirmation, lameness evaluation, and neurologic examination. Graduates of this course have received training to identify and implement the most effective modalities and therapies for their patients.


  • 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
  • Physical Therapist
  • Veterinary Technician / Nurse
  • Students 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.

Proof of degree(s) and/or license(s) must be provided for program application.


In cooperation with Colorado State University Orthopaedic Research Center

Learn more about CERP

Watch our videos

The Academic CERP Program is a sequence of postgraduate courses for veterinarians, physical therapists, and veterinary technicians, followed by a supervised clinical experience and a cumulative examination. The courses are designed to guide the practitioner through the theoretical foundations to the clinical applications of canine rehabilitation.

After successful completion of all equine rehabilitation online courses, practical labs, and the final examination, participants receive the title “Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner”.

Additional Reading

Essential Facts of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine in Companion Animals

Essential Facts of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine in Companion Animals

Editor: Barbara Bockstahler
Main Authors: Barbara Bockstahler, David Levine, Johann Maierl, Darryl Millis, Kathleen Wittek