Instructor Bios

About Our World-class Faculty

Arlene White, PT M Anim St (Animal Physiotherapy) CEMT, CERT


Founder of Animal Rehab Institute  (561) 222-4400 mobile

Arlene received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL in 1998 and her Master of Science degree in Animal Studies (Animal Physiotherapy) under the coordination and directorship of Professor Catherine McGowan, from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2007.  Her research was performed in collaboration with Dr. Hilary Clayton at the McPhail Equine Performance Center at Michigan State University on equine limb kinematics using a tactile stimulation on the distal limb in horses which has been published in peer reviewed journals including Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology (2008) and the Equine Veterinary Journal (2009).  In 2000 Arlene founded The Animal Rehab Institute, Inc. an educational institution for veterinarians, physical therapists, chiropractors,  veterinary technicians, physical therapist assistants and horse enthusiasts.  An aim of the Animal Rehab Institute is to bring together experts in each specialist field within the realms of Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and to explore the new areas of research, evidence-based medicine, and clinical practice using a team effort.  Arlene has lectured on equine rehabilitation at the Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA in 2001 and the International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Symposium in 2008.  Arlene also co-authored the APTA’s Orthopaedic Section  Physical Therapy Evaluation of the Equine Patient in 2015.   In 2015 Arlene earned her USDF Gold Medal aboard her horse Zydeco; a true testament to rehabilitation of the equine patient.

Dr. Narelle Stubbs, B.App.Sc(PT) MAnSt (Animal Physiotherapy), PhD

narelle +1 517-712-5134

Physiotherapist in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation: International lecturer, Researcher and Physiotherapy consultancy.  Official Australian Equestrian Team Physiotherapist 1998-current.  Lecturer and research advisor: Animal Rehabilitation Institute, Loxahatchee Florida

1998-2014: Associate Professor of Equine Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy.  Physiotherapy clinician and equine sports medicine and biomechanics research associate at the McPhail Equine Performance Center, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College Of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.

Narelle originally graduated from the University of Sydney (PT), moving to the UK in 1995 she completed here ACPAT.A (Chartered Physiotherapy specializing in Animal PT) credentials in 1997.  Following this she worked in large-small animal and human private practice in the UK until 2002. On returning to Australia Narelle completed the Post Graduate MSc at Queensland University (UQ) and taught on the Vet.PT MSc at UQ until 2007. Dr Narelle Stubbs’ PhD (UQ) focused on equine back pain using a human motor control approach under the supervision of Prof Catherine McGowan and Prof Paul Hodges.

Her research focus is on equine Vet-PT-Rehabilitation including back and neck dysfunction, biomechanics, neuromotor control, the horse – rider unit and athletic performance. Narelle lectures regularly at scientific meetings, professional conferences and to riding enthusiasts internationally. She has authored many scientific publications, veterinary textbook chapters, lay texts and is co-editor of the Animal Physiotherapy text. Narelle has been the official Australian Equestrian Team Physiotherapist (horse & rider) at 4 Olympic and 5 World Equestrian Games (1998-2014), across all disciplines.

Narelle currently consultants in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation which includes clinical-teaching-outreach and research at multiple international academic and independent institutions, clients and international collaborations.


Dr. Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS


Dr. Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Dipl. ACVSMR, MRCVS
Professor and McPhail Dressage Chair, Emerita
President, Sport Horse Science, LLC

Dr. Hilary M. Clayton is a veterinarian, researcher and horsewoman. For the past 40 years she has performed innovative research in the areas of equine biomechanics, conditioning and rehabilitation programs for equine athletes, and the interactions between tack, equipment, rider and horse. She has published over 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts on these topics and numerous articles in the lay press. In addition, she has written 7 books: Conditioning Sport Horses, The Dynamic Horse, Activate Your Horse’s Core, Large Animal Applied Anatomy, Clinical Anatomy of the Horse (published in English, Polish, Portuguese, French, Spanish and Japanese), and two editions of Equine Locomotion.

Dr. Clayton is a pioneer of in the area of equine sports medicine. In the 1980s she was heavily involved with the Association for Equine Sports Medicine and served as president from 1990 to 1992. She has been active in the American Association of Equine Practitioners both in committee work and as a board member. She played a leading role in the establishment of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation; she is a charter diplomate of the college and was president in 2012-2013.

She has received several honors in recognition of her scientific contributions. In 2001 she was inducted into the Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame and in 2011 she became an Honorary Fellow of the International Society for Equitation Science. She has also been inducted into the Midwest Dressage Association Hall of Fame and the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame

Dr. Clayton retired from academia in 2014 but she is still active in research through collaborations with colleagues at the University of Central Lancashire and Birmingham University in the UK, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden, Lusofona University in Portugal and the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil. Her company Sport Horse Science, LLC, has been established with the goal of applying the results of scientific research in the development of practical tools and techniques to help riders, trainers and veterinarians.

A lifelong rider, Dr. Clayton has competed in many equestrian sports, including eventing, show jumping, polo, endurance racing, cutting and combined driving. She now focuses on dressage and trains through the Grand Prix level. She has earned gold, silver and bronze medals from the US Dressage Federation and is currently training two Lusitano geldings.

Dr. Melissa King, DVM, ACVSMR,  PhD candidate Colorado State University


Dr. Melissa King is a board certified equine sports medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Dr. King graduated from Colorado State Veterinary School in 1997 and completed an internship at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY.  Upon completion of her internship Dr. King returned to northern Colorado to begin her career as an equine ambulatory clinician focusing on equine sports medicine.

In 2011, Dr. King completed a PhD in Equine Biomechanics and Rehabilitation at the Orthopaedic Research Center assessing the efficacy of underwater treadmill exercise to diminish the progression of carpal osteoarthritis. Dr. King co-authored the APTA Othopaedic Section Physical Therapy Examination of the Equine Patient in 2015.

Currently Dr. King is an assistant professor for the equine sports medicine and rehabilitation service at Colorado State University.

Anna Firshman, BVSc, PhD, DACVIM, ACVSMR


Anna Firshman, BVSc, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM, Diplomate ACVSMR (Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation)Dr. Anna Firshman is an associate clinical professor of large animal medicine at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and was previously a faculty member at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her veterinary degree from Liverpool University, England in 1999 and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2003. She completed a PhD involving the study of muscle disease in horses; with focus on polysaccharide storage myopathy in 2005. In 2010 she was invited to become a charter member of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Firshman has a special interest in equine rehabilitation therapy and conditioning, and received her certificate in equine rehabilitation from the University of Tennessee. She is particularly interested in the use of rehabilitation techniques in the care of horses affected by neurologic and muscular diseases. She has written or co-authored a number of scientific articles concerning equine sports medicine and is a regular invited speaker of this topic at scientific conferences. Her current research interests involve the study of the effects of underwater treadmill exercise in horses.


Anna Nielsen, BsCA, MSc Ex. Science, MSc Equine Science, CEPAS


Anna grew up in Sweden and Germany and has been involved with horses since she was a teenager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts, MSc in Exercise Science from Georgia Southern University and an MSc in Equine Science from the University of Edinburgh. Anna is a certified Egoscue© Postural Alignment Specialist and specializes in working with riders.

Brian D. Nielsen, Ph.D., PAS, Dpl. ACAN


Dr. Brian Nielsen, Ph.D., PAS, Dpl. ACAN
Professor Equine Exercise Physiology
Department of Animal Science
Michigan State University

Dr. Brian D. Nielsen completed his undergraduate degree in Animal Science at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and received both his M.S. and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. He currently is a professor of Equine Exercise Physiology in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University where he has a teaching and research appointment.

Dr. Nielsen has authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers and nearly 200 book chapters, conference papers, and abstracts, and has secured $1.5 million in research funding.  In addition, he has often been invited to speak to various audiences having given 45 invited international talks in countries such as Austria, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Norway, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.  He also has given dozens of invited talks at national meetings and 57 invited talks within the state of Michigan.

He frequently writes articles for popular press publications such as the Thoroughbred Times, Speedhorse, and the American Quarter Horse Racing Journal. He is an active member of the American Society of Animal Science, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and served as the President of the Equine Science Society – an organization that presented him with the “Outstanding Young Equine Professional Award” in 2001.  Additionally, he was awarded the “Outstanding Teacher Award” at the Midwest Section of the American Society of Animal Science and the American Dairy Science Association in 2005 and the “Equine Science Award” by the American Society of Animal Science and Equine Science Society in 2010.  Besides being on the editorial board for the Journal of Animal Science, The Professional Animal Scientist, and the international journal Comparative Exercise Physiology, he is a Diplomat in the American College of Animal Nutritionists and served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Horses.

Throughout his academic career, he maintained involvement in the racing industry by breaking and galloping racing Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds for over 25 years and has been a licensed trainer since 1997.

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