Alumna Starts Her Own Equine Massage Therapy Business

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Jasmine Coates ’22 has started her own business in equine massage therapy after receiving her bachelor’s in wildlife conservation and management and a certificate in equine massage therapy. Coates joined the western team as an undergrad, and equine has always been a part of her undergraduate life at DelVal. In the summer of 2022, Coates worked at a ranch in Colorado, where she enjoyed mountain views and led horse trail rides. Equine massage therapy is a new venture for her, but she grew a passion for it at DelVal, and decided to start her own equine massage therapy business called Mane Kneads, LLC.

Coates enjoyed several parts of the equine massage therapy certificate program including being able to meet students and experienced professionals from several disciplines with different backgrounds. From the basics, to holistic therapy, to hands-on instruction, and business guidance, Coates describes her equine massage certificate as an expansion of her degree in conservation and wildlife management.

“DelVal instructors look for why that animal is feeling a certain way, how to treat it, and then how to prevent it in the future as well,” said Coates. “We also learned how to get a business started which included advertising, marketing ourselves, and several other business aspects.”

Coates designed her own website, business cards, and social media brand, and she manages all of these by herself. The hardest part for her was coming up with the name, and the rest was a step-by-step process she learned by networking, researching, and learning the world of small business. She receives clients through phone call, text message, email, or booking through her website at She first checks the background of the horse to know if they have any medical conditions or abnormalities. Then, she performs the massage, and does a follow up with client.

At DelVal, Coates was a socialite, where her knack for leading was apparent. She was involved in the dance team, social media chair and president black student union, and the Western team. Coates grew a peaking interest in riding that led her to where she is today.

“I’m a learn it as you do it type of person, and DelVal definitely had that,” I think that if you are doing it as you're learning it, you can also ask questions and make adjustments while you're still learning it.”

Coates completed two internships as a student; one was completed at Plumpton Park Zoo in Maryland, and the other was at Sombrero Stables at Estes Park in Colorado. Plumpton Park Zoo was relatively close to Coates as a Maryland native, but she drove to Colorado for five days for her second internship. She describes the state as mostly flat lands, with beautiful weather near Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Mane Kneads, LLC is based in Hartford County, Maryland. Her goal is to help make horses healthier and more comfortable in their everyday lives and teach owners new concepts in their horse care. Learn more about Jasmine and Mane Kneads at

Jasmine Coates '22 an african american woman wearing a hat standing with two horses.
Credit: Mane Kneads, LLC