Diana Thompson has been an adjunct instructor in the Equine Science Department at the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) for the past 12 years (since 2003). She developed and teaches the one-credit course for the college titled: Introduction to Equine Acupressure and Massage. The course was the first of its kind to be taught in the California college system.
In her work as a professional horse trainer, Diana teaches horse owners how to use equine acupressure, massage, range of motion exercises along with gentle training methods to help their horses. Diana’s methods calm the horse’s mind and relax tight, sore muscles. Her approach improves equine soundness, athletic coordination and learning ability. It also deepens the connection between horse and rider.
In addition to teaching for the SRJC, Diana has taught equine courses in England, Canada and 13 states within United States. She has also been a featured speaker for national and regional equine conventions.
A horse owner since the age of seven, Diana's first job in the horse industry came duringhigh school. She handled foals, started young horses, and showed and managed a breeding stallion for a Palomino quarter horse ranch. She also managed a boarding stable during college.
In 1980 Diana built a horse facility near Newport, Oregon. She ran a full care boarding business, started young horses under saddle, schooled English and Western show horses and conditioned race prospects.
In 1983 Diana received relief from chronic back stiffness and pain through lessons in The Feldenkrais Method. Her success with this work on her own body came at a time when she was questioning conventional horse handling and training methods. As a result, she sought out education in equine anatomy and massage as well as alternative health care methods such as acupressure and herbs. She also looked for instruction in non-violent horse training methods, adding liberty work and clicker training to her skills.
Within a year of graduating from college with a degree in journalism, Diana worked as a staff writer for Equus Magazine, a national horse publication. Almost two decades later, she drew on this writing experience plus years of horse training and barn management to develop a publication called The Whole Horse Journal - A Guide to Natural Horse Care and Training.
Diana served as Editor-In-Chief during The Journal’s first three years, guiding the publication to eight national media awards and an international readership. Her articles on massage and alternative training methods have also appeared in California Riding Magazine, Horse and Rider Magazine, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Endurance News, The Anvil Magazine and RIDE! Magazine.
Diana published her first book Acupressure Point Charts for Horses, An Illustrated Guideto 128 point Locations and Uses in 2008. The 272-page flip-chart book includes 400 photographs and 100 illustrations. She is currently creating a comprehensive instructional DVD that will teach horse owners how to do equine acupressure.
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