The Equine Spine Level II Module 2


This page contains of lot of information. All of which you MUST read if you are serious about applying. This shortcut list is just for ease, for those seeking quick answers to key questions:

  • The module covers the equine spine and all its associated anatomy, introduction to paces and biomechanics and pathological/orthopaedic considerations. It also covers osteopathic considerations and appropriate testing;
  • It is a Level II module;
  • It is open to osteopaths and non-osteopaths with the necessary skills and qualifications;
  • It includes an online element AND a 1.5 day practicum in the UK;
  • You must complete ALL aspects to be given a completion certificate;
  • There will be assessments – theory and practical;
  • You will need to come to the UK for the practicum;
  • It costs £475 for 1.5 days of high quality practical plus all online content, assessments and certification. Flexible payment options are available.

As a result of COVID 19 and its effects on everyone, we have reviewed our educational strategy. This means that the Level II pathway, will be delivered online and (where applicable) via dual modality (with practicums). Under the new format, students may apply to take as many modules as they wish, but if they complete the entire pathway successfully, they will be awarded a Certificate by the ESO/AOI.

What is dual modality?

Dual modality is simply a term used to describe a course that has two forms of delivery: Online and face to face practicums.

Why study this module?

Below you will see the answer we give when students ask what the difference is between osteopaths is another manual therapists. The benefit of this module, in particular, is highlighted in the example below, because the better your understanding of functional anatomy and orthopaedic pathology, the greater your ability to extend your scope of differential diagnosis and therefore your working hypothesis. Ultimately, this means that you will be able to treat a wider audience of patient because you’ll learn to think outside the box; assessing and critically appraising all aspect of the case and any associated factors.

  • Advanced functional equine spinal anatomy and biomechanics (cervical, thoracic, ribs, lumbar, caudal and sacral),
  • Common equine spinal orthopaedic/pathological conditions,
  • Advanced tissue specific palpation to enhance your assessment of the equine spine
  • Advanced testing of the spine (joint, muscle, ligament, tendon) to enhance your assessment of the equine spine
  • Understanding your spinal findings and drawing conclusions to enhance the creation of high quality and effective treatment and management protocols
  • High practical content with demonstrations and practical,
  • Low student to horse ratio (1 between every 2-3 students),
  • Low tutor to student ratio (maximum 1:9 students).

Total number of study hours (to include: all taught online content, 1.5 x practical day, assessment, assignment and self-directed study): 44 hours
Price:  £475.00 (flexible payment options available).

Many people ask what the difference is between an osteopath and other manual therapists. One of the core answers is the way we think and what we do with the information that we attain from the horse, owner and other professionals. For example, an osteopath might come up with the same working hypothesis as another manual therapists, but, if an osteopath concludes that the reason behind the pattern of pathological disease or dysfunction is caused by external factors – such as external stressors instigated by the owner (or its environment), the osteopath would work as hard to change that factor – via education or referral, as they would to treat the symptoms. This is because osteopaths understand the basis of functional medicine, which is, that everything (from within or from without) can cause dis-ease. One fine example of this is the cortisol reaction caused by stress and all the physical symptoms that occur as a result (weight gain, heart pathology, diabetes etc.). As such, true osteopaths believe that treating nothing more than the site of pain (or dysfunction) is merely patching up the symptoms, it is not treating the “whole” patient nor the CAUSE of the dis-ease. This module will teach you how to evaluate a patient’s “whole picture” and what to do with the information. It’s also an immensely useful module to review as your depth of knowledge increases. This is because the more you know about equine medicine and anatomy, the greater the field of opportunity to be a truly osteopathic practitioner. We hope you enjoy!

When is this module likely to be released?

This module is likely to be released sometime in the autumn of 2020. If we can get it out before then, we shall. Join our mailing list to get live updates if you’d like to attend. See above.

Prerequisites to this course

Students can undertake this module as part of the Full Level II Pathway – Osteopathic Approach to the Equine Patient. As such, the prerequisite to this course is simply to have successfully completed the Level I Pathway (or have evidenced that you are already of Level I standard) and that you have completed Module 1 & 2 of Level II. This is because each module leads neatly on from one to the another encouraging autonomous thinking, criticality and a self reflective mind. All of which are important in the clinical setting.


Those who successfully complete this module will be awarded a digital AOI Certificate of Completion. Students who go on to complete ALL modules of Level II successfully, will be issued with a Osteopathic Approach to the Equine Patient – Level II – Certificate from the European School of Osteopathy.

Practical session requirements:

Students must also have the capacity to come to the UK for the practical sessions and assessments. Without this, no certification will be issued. As such, student require both the time and financial resources to attend the UK based practicum within 18 months of module commencement. Various dates will be issued at the start of each intake and Masterclass Pathway – Level II students will be given first refusal. Limited numbers per event do apply. Students are also responsible for the necessary acquisition of any visas that they need to enter the UK and we urge all students to visit the UK government website BEFORE booking on this module, to make yourself fully aware of any additional costs, travel restrictions, COVID testing requirements or quarantine periods that may be enforced as a result of your travel to the UK. We also suggest that you acquire suitable travel insurance to suit your needs.

Please note: The course does not cover the cost of travel, food or accommodation. It includes only light refreshments on the day of the practicum and the teaching content itself. Please dress appropriately and brings laters and an all weather coat if you are not used to the cooler British weather.

AOI will not be held responsible for costs incurred as a result of student naïveté. As a professional we expect you to do all the necessary research BEFORE booking any dual modality course – especially if you are coming into the UK as an international visitor.

Location of the practicum:

Dorset/Hampshire region (New Forest District) UK. There is a chance that if student numbers in any given country exceed 16, that we will consider sending the teaching team out, instead of student into us. BUT this must never be assumed at the start of a cohort, as we cannot know, until we confirm student numbers (which can vary year on year). If this option becomes available in any given country, you will be informed. Please do not keep asking us.

Online component

Your online lectures will cover the following topics:

  • Functional spinal anatomy;
  • Biomechanics with osteopathic integration of orthopaedic and pathological conditions.
  • Online assessment to test your knowledge and learning.

Practical component (must be taken once you have successfully completed the theory element of the course, online.

During your practicum in the UK, you will learn the following:

  • Advanced tissue specific palpation to enhance your assessment of the equine spine;
  • Advanced testing of the spine  (joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons) to enhance your assessment of the equine spine;
  • Understanding spinal findings and drawing conclusions to enhance the creation of high quality and effective treatment and management protocols.

Module structure:

This course will be delivered online, via our platform AND via a face to face teaching practicum in the UK – unless student numbers dictate otherwise. Students MUST assume that we will be teaching the practicum in the UK, unless they have been offered other alternatives.

Online format and internet requirements:

The module will be delivered online. As such, students must be able to ensure internet connectivity. AOI will not be held responsible for internet failure or that of poor signal, so if you lose connectivity, you will only be able to watch the replay. You will not be given a replacement code.

Who can apply for this module (and the Full Level II Pathway):

This course is for equine osteopaths, veterinary and manual professionals or those training in the equine musculoskeletal profession who wish to develop their practice and understand a holistic approach to the equine patient. Proof of prior experience and education is only essential where the student wishes to complete the entire Level II Pathway and has not been a student of ours in the past. Also, as stipulated above, ALL Full Pathway students must have completed Module 1 Level II.

International Students

We are happy to take national and international students but all students MUST be proficient in all aspects of the English language (both written and spoken), so as to ensure that you can make the most of the course and its contents. The AOI will not be held responsible for any language challenges that arise and no refunds will be made on these grounds.

Full Level II Pathway Students – Prerequisites:

Attendees who want to attend the Full Level II Pathway (with an intention of attaining certification, must have successfully completed one of the following:

  • AOI’s Equine Level I – MCP pathway (no other pathway considered); or
  • AOI’s Level (or Stage) I CPD courses – condensed or standards; or
  • The ESO Equine Foundation Course; or
  • Have provided AOI with mapped evidence of existing knowledge base with proof of certification from another educational provider.

Full Pathway applicants must only start Level II modules if they can guarantee they have the following as a minimum:

  • A solid musculoskeletal and biomechanical knowledge of the equine model;
  • Sound competence in the equine musculoskeletal assessment process;
  • Sound competence in the equine musculoskeletal treatment process (articulation, stretching and soft tissue);
  • An ability to critically consider common orthopaedic conditions;
  • An ability to critically reflect upon one’s own limitations and work with other veterinary practitioners where required.
  • An unquestionable ability to know the indications and contraindications of treatment and when an animal should be seen by a vet with immediate effect.

Please note: If you apply for the Full Level II Pathway, informing us that you are up to the required standard, and within the first 2-3 modules your grades and/or technical skills indicate that you are not, we will be recommended that you put your Level II learning on hold and undertake the appropriate Level I modules before continuing. This is simply to guide the student accordingly, so successful completion is more likely. No refunds will be made for the modules that you have or are completing at the time. As such, please ensure that you apply for the right level and do not “up-sell” yourself, to bypass Level I. Doing so could be costly and is not professional. We will always do our very best to support your journey, but we do expect all applicants to be open and honest about their level of competence.

Important information: Please read below…

Please note that minimum numbers will be required in order to run the practical session for this module in the UK. That being 6 students. If minimum numbers are not met, AOI reserves the right to cancel the event (within 30 days of the expected date) but will reschedule the event. If for any reason, AOI has to cancel the course within 14 days, (due to extreme circumstances – such as COVID – or a failure on the behalf of our third-party facilities), you will be issued with a new date for the practicum event as soon as the AOI can reschedule it. As a result of the uncertainty that we all currently face, we do not advise that you book any hotels, flights or travel arrangements in advance without cancellation options. AOI will not be held responsible for any costs incurred as a result of such pre-booking because we firmly recommend that you only do so with appropriate insurance or cancellation cover in place.

If you wish to demonstrate an interest in this course, please complete the form below.