General Health Screening (GHS) & Functional Neurology Level 2 Module 4


Our blended learning course in GHS and Functional neurology is a vital competent of any manual practitioner’s toolkit. This is because many neurological and pathological conditions present with MSK symptoms and unless you’ve been trained to know the difference, it isn’t difficult to inadvertently do harm; if only through a lack of immediate referral. This more challenging area of differential “hypothesis” is one of the main reasons that human therapists should not “dabble” in animal treatment and why at AOI, we insist that all students who wish to set up in practice as a sole practitioner, should first successfully complete this aspect of training. 

Total number of study hours (extensive taught online content (practical and theoretical), 1.5 x practical days, assessments, assignments and self-directed learning and practice):  55 hours
Price:  £575.00 plus VAT or VATMOSS where applicable


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 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 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, who fulfil all Level Two entry criteria. In addition, all Pathway students must have successfully completed Modules 1-3 of this pathway. A conversion course is available for those wishing to enter Level Two directly, but have not followed the AOI’s Level One Pathway. 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.


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 1-3 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. 

Successful completion leads to a CPD certificate of completion from the AOI – when taken in isolation or as part of the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Equine Functional Osteopathy for the Equine Patient, which is validated by the ESO. Please check your state or country regulations regarding use of titles, as the terms Osteopathy and Osteopathic are regulated in some countries, for use by human osteopaths only. Where this is the case, AOI recommends you use the title Equine Functional Practitioner after completion of the Advanced Diploma Pathway.

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. 

To attend, you are expected to already have: 

  1. A dependable understanding of equine musculoskeletal anatomy and biomechanical knowledge of the equine model;
  2. A solid and well versed  equine musculoskeletal and neurological assessment process;
  3. Ability to competently apply soft tissue, stretching and articulation techniques to the equine patient;
  4. Safe and confident handling with a range of of equine models in a therapeutic manner;
  5. A thorough understanding of osteopathic concepts and an ability to think in an integrated fashion, which encompasses the whole horse;


  • Why carry out general health and neurological screening of the equine patient
  • Signs of systemic ill health; 
  • What to look for in the systems of the horse;
  • How to system check a equine patient, as relates to clinical practice
  • How to safely undertake a General Health Screen
  • Functional neurology of the equine (understand the central and peripheral neurological systems of the horse)
  • Understand how to localise a neurological lesion
  • Carry out neurological testing on a equine patient – how to apply effective testing and know what to look out for.
  • Cranial nerve testing in the equine model
  • Interpreting your results
  • Common equine neurological conditions
  • How to incorporate general health and neurological screening into your clinical practice
  • High practical content with demonstrations and practical


At this time, students must have the capacity to come to the UK for the 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. 


  • Introduction to the module and its content.
  • Why carry our general health and neurological screening of the equine patient.
  • Signs of systemic ill health.
  • What to look for in the systems of the horse.
  • How to system check a horse as relates to clinical practice.
  • How to safely apply a general health screen.
  • Functional neurology of the equine (understand the central and peripheral neurological systems of the horse).
  • Understand how to localise a lesion.
  • Carry out neurological testing on your equine patient – how to apply effective testing and what to look for.
  • Cranial nerve testing in the equine model.
  • Interpreting your results.
  • Common equine neurological conditions.
  • How to incorporate General health and neurological screening into your clinical practice.

1.5 day practicum must be taken once you have successfully completed the theory element of the course, online. 

  • Introduction to the practicum, your teachers and other module delegates;
  • General discussion about the course content and a chance to discuss any queries;
  • How to system check a horse as relates to clinical practice;
  • How to safely undertake a general health screen;
  • Carry out neurological testing on your equine patient – how to apply effective testing and know what to look out for;
  • Cranial nerve testing in the equine model;
  • Interpreting your findings and results; 
  • How to incorporate general health and neurological screening into your clinical practice;
  • General Q&A to wrap up the practicum.


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).

Our pathway courses are validated by the European School of Osteopathy. For more information on the ESO, go to:

If you are interested in taking Level Two or this module as standalone CPD, please click on the fish to contact us today. Applications are ongoing due to the part-online nature of the content.