To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Best Practices: Loreen Pantaleone, in the November 2011 issue. Article summary: Loreen Pantaleone of Robbinsville, New Jersey, performs equine sports massage and other holistic therapies on horses. After completing her education and certification, Pantaleone started Loving Touch Horseworks with a focus on working with rescued, rehabilitated and abandoned horses, as well as horses in therapeutic riding programs.

Q. What are the top three things you credit for your business success? (Describe what each one is, and how each one contributed to your success.)

A. One, truly caring for what I do. If you don’t love what you do, then your heart isn’t in it. If your heart isn’t in it, clients will know. Two, representing myself professionally. From having spare clothes to change into between clients, to having my laptop and printing detailed and diagramed session reports explaining any issues, techniques and recommendations. Third, referrals.

Q. How do you balance your work life and your family life?

A. My family has always been excellent regarding my work with horses, even when a late-night, emergency massage calls in. This is usually a call when a horse is going into colic, a sometimes life-threatening gastrointestinal disorder that can be helped by massage if caught early enough.

Many of my clients tend to try and call me before calling their veterinarian. I always tell them I will come out only if the vet has also been called, as massage in no way replaces veterinary care.

Q. If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently starting out?

A. I would have started this career much earlier.

Q. What was the best business decision you’ve made?

A. Investing in insurance. I donate my services to local 501c3 equine organizations in my area. One evening while massaging at a rescue, a woman approached me and asked if I was certified and insured. I replied that I was. The woman turned out to be the director of a local therapeutic riding program and she hired me on the spot. Having insurance was necessary for their board of directors to allow someone in their facility working on their animals.