The Equine Spine Level 2 Module 3


This module includes a review of osteology. myology and arthrology, plus in-depth vascular and neurological functional anatomy. We then explore fascia, the correlation between all of these elements, to enhance clinical application. Additionally, we look at gait in more detail, global spine and joint specific biomechanics, and apply relevant research in the field to provide an evidence based approach. Lastly, we look at assessment considerations and pathological analysis (to widen your differential hypotheses), and a case example to illustrate osteopathic integration. It is designed for those who want to learn how to assess the equine spine thoroughly and competently, via a high-quality practicum. Typical students would be veterinary physiotherapists, AOI L1 graduates, OCA/UCO graduates and vets, who want to enhance their ability to assessment joints.


As a result of COVID 19 and its effects on everyone, we have reviewed our educational strategy. This means that the Level Two Pathway is being delivered online and (where applicable) via blended learning (with consolidated practicums). Under the new format, students may apply to one module at a time, or they can study the online elements of Module 1-7 and then come to the UK for one practicum visit. This would run over 2 weeks plus two days with two weekends in between for respite and revision. Studying in this way, radically reduces flight costs for international students. Successful completion of Modules 1-7 on the Level Two Pathway leads to a Diploma in Functional Osteopathy for the Equine Patient, validated by the ESO.


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 dog, 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 will 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 (internally and externally) can cause dis-ease over time. 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. At AOI we believe that the greater the depth of your knowledge, the greater the opportunity you will have to become to be a truly osteopathic practitioner.


This course is open to any AOI Level One (or past equivalent) graduate or experienced equine osteopaths. It is also open to physiotherapists/chiropractors and veterinary/animal therapy professionals (with degree level qualifications or EEBWII – post 2015 status), who fulfil all Level Two entry criteria. In addition, all applicants must have successfully completed Modules 1 of this pathway (unless they can demonstrate previous coverage of its content). A conversion course is available for those wishing to enter Level Two modules directly, but have not followed the AOI’s Level One programme. Please click HERE for more information. Proof of prior experience and education is essential (without exception). All delegates should provide evidence of insurance, which allows them to study/work on/with animals.

Total number of study hours (to include: all taught online content, 1.5 x practical day, assessment, assignment and self-directed study): 50 hours
Price:  £475.00 plus VAT or VATMOSS if applicable 


Students can undertake this module as part of the Level Two Pathway which leads to a Diploma in Equine Functional Therapy (Osteopathy), or it can be studied as a standalone module. As such, the prerequisite to this course is to have successfully completed the Level One Pathway (or have evidenced that you hold a qualification that matches our Level One content). Those studying on the Academic Pathway, must already have completed Module 1 and 2 of Level Two. This is because each module leads neatly on from one to the another encouraging autonomous thinking, criticality and a self reflective mind in our academic students. All of which are important in the clinical setting. 


  • A review of the osteology, myology and arthrology of the spine.
  • Advanced functional equine spinal anatomy and mechanics
  • This includes in-depth vascular and neurological anatomy.
  • Overview of Myofascial Kinetic Chains (and commonly associated symptoms).
  • Relevant equine spinal pathological conditions to highlight content.
  • Advanced functional equine spinal anatomy and biomechanics (cervical, thoracic, ribs, lumbar, caudal and sacral),
  • Relevant 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 dog ratio (1 between every 2-3 students),
  • Low tutor to student ratio (maximum 1:9 students).


At this time, students must have the capacity to come to the UK for the Level Two practical sessions and assessments. Without this, no certification will be issued, because it is essential to any practitioner who works with animals, undertake significant practical classes and assessment, as part of their learning journey. As such, students require both the time and financial resources to attend the UK based practicum within 24 months of programme commencement. That being Modules 1-7. The same policy is in place for Modules 8-14, which make up the Advanced Diploma. 


Dorset/Hampshire region (New Forest District) UK. There is a chance that in 2022/2023 we may be able to reconvene international practicums in Denmark, USA, NZ and Canada, but this must never be assumed at the present time. 


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. As a guide, we typically expect that students to have skills equivalent to IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 (or equivalent).

If you are interested in taking Level Two or this module as standalone CPD, please click on the fish to contact us today. Enrolment is ongoing due to the online nature of Part I. Practicums will be held in the UK in 2022 (Spring and late Summer/Autumn)