We have an exceptional, highly motivated team of lecturer/practitioners who treat animals regularly in their careers. Their wealth of knowledge and camaraderie offers our delegates the very best opportunity to learn in a fun and relaxed setting. We also understand that students learn in a variety of ways, which is why we teach with various models of learning and aim to keep the whole experience calm and supportive.
We also believe in the power of community and learning together, not in egos and isolation. So, when you attend an AOI course, you will see that we work together as a team, without hierarchy. Because we all have something to bring to the table and caring for each other is part of who we are.
Dustie Houchin – executive Director
Dustie has worked in the therapeutic field since the age of 16. After a number of years working in sports medicine, personal training and rehabilitation, Dustie decided to undertake osteopathic training and graduated from the British School of Osteopathy in 1998, before completing a Diploma in Animal Osteopathy with the European School of Osteopathy. Since then, Dustie has worked in animal and human private practice.
Dustie furthered her education at Ashridge Business School graduating in 2006 from their Advanced Management Programme before completing an MBA with Warwick Business School and being awarded a scholarship to attend SDA Bocconi School of Management. She also holds a PG Certificate in Higher Education, awarded by The University of Greenwich and a PG Certificate in Paediatric Osteopathy awarded by the University College of Osteopathy.
Dustie’s empathetic nature and unique way of working with her patients allows her to work in a truly osteopathic manner, her ability to analyse the animal, its environment and understanding its needs allows her to communicate in a truly all-encompassing manner delving into complex cases with astounding results.
Dustie’s wish to support the welfare of animals and improve osteopathic education in the animal field, led to her undertake further studies in education in 2015, after which she became Programme Leader of the MSc, PG Dip and PG certificate in Animal Osteopathy, Validated by the University of Greenwich – alongside other consulting roles for the development of animal osteopathic courses.
Dustie’s fight for the animal osteopathic profession and the welfare of animals led to her become a Founder Member & Chair of the Association of Animal Osteopaths and the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP). Dustie is also a QAA Reviewer & Assessor for the General Osteopathic Council and the CEO of Herdwick & Goose Limited.
Dustie has supported hundreds, if not thousands, of students during her time as an international lecturer and examiner of animal & human osteopathy (Russia, Poland, Denmark, UK, Austria, Italy) and has presented lectures and run workshops at international conferences. She is a Master Practitioner of Animal Osteopathy and also specialist paediatric osteopath.
Eleanor Andrews – PROGRAMME DIRECTOR
Eleanor Andrews (Programme Director & Master Practitioner of Animal Osteopathy) is one of the best lecturers of animal and human osteopath in the UK. She holds a Masters degree in (human) Osteopathy, a Diploma in Animal Osteopathy, a PG Certificate in Paediatric Osteopathy and has sat on Council and held the position of President within RAMP (The Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners). Additionally, She also holds a PG Cert in Higher Education (awarded by the University of Greenwich) and has lectured at conferences and to many specialised groups, in Italy, Russia and the UK.
She has taught both nationally and internationally for many years, supporting hundreds of students to reach their academic goals. Eleanor brings to AOI, the experience she had as the lead lecturer on the MSc (Animal Osteopathy) at the European School of Osteopathy in Kent, UK, and also as a postgraduate and international lecturer of human and animal osteopathy, academic dissertation supervisor, Master’s level examiner and moderator.
Clinically, Eleanor works in private animal and human osteopathic practices, incorporating an extensive equine background. She has further developed her equine and canine anatomy, biomechanics, neurology, pathology, orthopaedics, and rehabilitation through research and self study, attending seminars and carrying out dissections, post-mortems, and paraprofessional observations.
Eleanor works with a wide variety of mammals, breeds and disciplines across all levels, rehabilitating animals post-injury, working with young animals to ensure they are ready for working life, supporting those who are changing career or discipline and working with older animals to keep them happy and active.
She enjoys looking at osteopathic concepts as relate to animals and ensuring ‘the whole’ is looked at. Eleanor believes that we should treat in harmony with our animal patients working with their own system to achieve optimal function. She has an innate ability to be in-tune with patient needs and find/treat the cause not just the symptoms, often removing long standing compensation patterns and facilitating profound changes, using flow and rhythm to enhance her treatment. She understands the importance of a strong focus on the day to day environment and changes owners can make to support their animal’s quality of life and how to achieve this
AOI Lecturers & Speakers
SARAH WISSON – New Zealand AO lecturer
Sarah has worked with Dustie and Eleanor for over a decade and has extensive experience in the field of animal osteopathy.
Today, Sarah lives in New Zealand, but she qualified over twenty years ago as an animal osteopath, having studied human osteopathy at the University College of Osteopathy, in the UK.
Sarah teaches the Certificate Programme Practicum in NZ and is also involved in the rehabilitation modules.
Bettina Hvidemose – Behaviourist and Osteopath
Bettina is an animal behavior therapist and manual therapist/osteopath based in Hirtshals, Denmark. Together with her team of colleagues she runs “Center for Animal Therapy” offering animal training, behavioral consultations, manual treatments and rehabilitation for dogs and horses. In addition, Bettina and her team teach a variety of courses and educations within the field.
Bettina graduated her BSc in Applied Animal Behavior in 2006 and she has a special interest in how physical challenges impact animal behavior and thus, how many behavioral issues are consequences of pain and/or physical restrictions. Therefore, Bettina has expanded her knowledge into physical approaches to animal biomechanics and treatment and she holds qualifications in different approaches to manual therapy. In 2018 – 2019 Bettina completed the Stage 1 and 2 courses, both canine and equine pathways, with Animal Osteopathy International.
Bettina is passionate about improving animal welfare from a holistic approach including both brain and body. Both dogs, horses and cats are included in Bettina’s everyday practice and teaching field. As a curiosity, she also works with marine mammals, applying ethology and learning theory to enrichment and husbandry training for seals.
If you are interested in learning more about Learning Theory for horses and dogs, why not check out her courses by clicking below. Bettina also has owner courses, which can be found under the Owner Course tab.
Jade Douglas (BVMS, MRCVS)
RCVS recognised Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Ophthalmology
Upon graduating from Glasgow University in 2000, Jade worked in a mixed practice on the west coast of Scotland. Exciting as it was, two years was enough to prompt the search for a warmer, drier climate. She moved down to Dorset in 2002 where she has worked in small animal practice ever since. Today, Jade works as a Senior Vet with Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. Jade loves the variety that general practice brings. She will sometimes use acupuncture to complement medical treatments, predominately for osteoarthritis in geriatric patients. Her professional passion is ophthalmology. She obtained her AP status in veterinary Ophthalmology in 2017. Jade welcomes collaboration with other clinicians, within and out with the veterinary profession.
Federica Cantatore – Veterinarian
Federica graduated in 2014, at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Turin. As a student, she had the opportunity to visit clinics in Belgium, France and UK. Immediately after graduation, she moved to a busy practice in the north of the UK, where she completed her veterinary internship and subsequently decided to stay.
She is a joint Resident of the American College of Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation between Pool House Equine Clinic and the University of Turin. Her main interests are equine orthopaedics and sports medicine, with a particular interest in emergency and anaesthesia. Federica worked with horses and rode to good level for many years before becoming a vet, giving her a solid foundation in the equine field. She also has an adorable rescue dog called ‘Pudding’ who often joins her when she teaches for the AOI.
Do you teach already or feel that teaching is something that would like to get involved with but you’d like the backing of experienced lecturers? If so, AOI is always looking for talented animal specialists (not just animal osteopaths) to join our team. So, if you are interested in teaching, send in your resume and contact details to email@example.com
Teaching options available:
- Specialist Pop-Up Speakers – to speak as a specialist. Being interviewed for the purpose of an online webinar and/or podcast.
- Specialist Lecturers – for those interested in developing a standalone online course with AOI on an isolated topic.
- Supporting lecturers – people who want to help to create online content that we can use in our mainstream programmes.
- Associate lecturers – for newer practitioners who want to help with our international/online projects but need more experience before lecturing on their own.
AOI Teaching Associates
Marie received her Masters in Osteopathy degree with distinction from Swansea University. She worked for Dustie and Eleanor after graduating, treating humans and interning for the animal osteopathy. This was alongside studying with the Osteopathic Centre for Animals (OCA) and the Animal Osteopathy International (AOI).
Marie then took ownership Dustie’s human practice in Buckinghamshire and has since been treating both humans and animals in that area. She has worked closely with a racing yard over the past few years, but also sees horses from a variety of environments, disciplines and backgrounds. Marie has been a member of the Teaching Associate Scheme (which supports and trains graduates who wish to become lecturers) since its inception and today, supports our Equine Year One students, alongside Eleanor Andrews, as a Senior Teaching Associate.
Faye Andrews, holds one of the only MSc. qualifications in Animal Osteopathy that exist from a UK-based osteopathic school. Graduating with honours, and also has a BSc (Hons) Osteopathy. Resultantly, Faye soon became a member of the AOI teaching team after qualifying. With a keen interest and focus on canine rehabilitation, Faye is able to share years of [personal/owner] experience in the field of postoperative care of dogs with her students and has a strong hands-on approach to learning.
Faye worked at University College of Osteopathy for over 15 years, as a lecturer of osteopathic technique. Today, she runs a busy osteopathic practice and works at NESCOT as the Head of Year 2. She is also a lead lecturer of human osteopathic technique and of sports injury and rehabilitation, in addition to the freelance lecturing work she does with AOI. She holds an Award in Education and Training, provided by NESCOT and regulated by Ofqual.
She also writes for Westie & Besties; the UK’s only West Highland Terrier Magazine and sits on RAMP Council.
Faye has been a member of the Teaching Associate Scheme since its inception and today, supports the Canine Year One students, alongside Eleanor Andrews, as a Senior Teaching Associate.
Supporting & Endorsed Teachers
Margrit Coates – Animal Healer
Margrit Coates is a senior practitioner with the British Register of Complementary Practitioners (Healer Counsellor) and has written 7 books on the topic of animal healing and communication.
Margrit Coates is the worlds’ leading expert in the use of healing energy for animals, with nearly 30 years experience. As well as discovering a new energy centre in animals, Margrit has developed unique techniques for resolving energy blockages in the body and cranio-sacral system rebalancing and unwinding. The use of healing energy holistically helps the animal on mental, emotional and physical levels. The techniques enhance other modalities to work on a deeper level. Margrit is renowned as an inspirational teacher helping people harness their innate healing power as well as awaken the intuitive ability.
Whilst Gillian doesn’t work with AOI as a lecturer, we support her work because she is passionate about horses, anatomy and sharing all she knows for the good of the horse. An authority in equine anatomy and biomechanics, a BHS Senior Coach, professional sports and remedial therapist, author and with a first class honours degree in Equine Science and Business Management. Gillian specialises in teaching anatomy and biomechanics in a fascinating and practical way. She is well known for her anatomical painting on live horses which she uses for her teaching.
Gillian founded Horses Inside Out in 2006, to give horse owners, riders, trainers and professionals a fascinating insight into equine locomotion, training and management from an anatomical perspective.
Horses Inside Out is now internationally recognised as a leading provider of equine education incorporating a solid understanding of anatomy and biomechanics with the most recent scientific developments alongside tried and tested traditional methods. AOI supports Gillian’s work because she makes such a positive contribution to the equine education community and we appreciate all the work she does to help horses. Her books can be found on their own unique page on our website.