Video News Release: Columbus Area Practitioner Opens Horse Massage Business

Video News Release: Columbus Area Practitioner Opens Horse Massage Business

Contact: Adam Weinberg
(402) 452-3737

Licensing Reform Bill Removes Roadblock for Entrepreneurs

Columbus Area Practitioner Opens Horse Massage Business

COLUMBUS, NE – Business is brisk at Peak Performance Equine Bodywork, based in Columbus. The company’s Facebook page is filled with examples of client results from horses trying the new animal massage service.

But only a few months ago, state job licensing requirements would have made it unlawful for owner Dawn Hatcher to run her small business, despite her lifetime of experience with horses, and a new private certification in equine massage.

That all changed this summer when Nebraska’s Legislative Bill 596 took effect. The new law, introduced by state Sen. Mike Groene from North Platte, removed the state’s previous job licensing requirement for providing massage services for a variety of animals, including horses, dogs, and cats.

A new Platte Institute video on Dawn Hatcher’s story is now available for download. The video may be rebroadcast or republished, in whole or in part, with attribution to the Platte Institute.


The video also includes interview footage with Karen Hough, an equine massage practitioner from Arnold, Nebraska, Platte Institute Director of Government Relations Nicole Fox, and Dr. Bruce Crabtree, a chiropractor from Creston who opposed LB596.

LB596 removed a previous requirement that horse massage, or equine massage, practitioners either operate under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, be a licensed veterinarian, or earn licensing as a human massage therapist, in addition to an animal therapy license. While the state did license animal therapists in other practices, such as chiropractic, no one in Nebraska had completed the costly and time-consuming licensing process for animal massage since it was created.

The Platte Institute provided written testimony in support LB596 and promoted the bill in the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions, along with comprehensive reforms that review the state’s job licensing laws. Since that legislation also became law, the state will begin a five-year review of the nearly 200 careers impacted by job licensing following the 2019 legislative session.


“Every time the Legislature removes or reforms an excessive job licensing law, senators are making new opportunities possible for more Nebraskans,” said Adam Weinberg, Communications and Outreach Director at the Platte Institute.

“Legislation like LB596 not only helps create new careers in communities statewide, but it sends a very positive message about Nebraska nationally, that our lawmakers see the value in creating an environment where unique, entrepreneurial ideas can take root,” said Weinberg.   

To schedule an interview with Dawn Hatcher, Karen Hough, or Platte Institute staff on this story, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or email

The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. For more media resources, please visit   

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