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Applied Herbal Choices for Animals Consultant, Level 4 Accredited Diploma Qualification:

Integrating the study of the innate behaviour of animals (particularly focusing on horses and dogs, but with some feline practical application) to self-select and self-medicate from nature, with knowledge of oils and wild herbs.

We pride ourselves on our interactive onsite tutorial sessions, which enable students to open their senses to the amazing healing properties of herbs, and develop their ability to read the responses of the animals to guide the sessions to the best outcome.

Students can include horses, dogs and cats in their training, and other animals if they access to them.

The course was created in 2012 by Applied Zoopharmacognosist and herbalist; Jo Rose, and is co-taught by a number of specialists, whose combined knowledge and skills include applied zoopharmacognosy,  medicinal herbalism, wild foraging, animal behaviour and health, and herbal product making.  Jo qualified in Applied Zoopharmacognosy in 2009 with Caroline Ingraham.  She has qualifications in nutrition and herbalism, with a keen interest in wild foraging, 20 years experience in animal and human therapy, and a level 7 qualification in clinical education.

Part of the course is co-taught by medical herbalist, animal physical therapist, animal herbal consultant and horticulturalist; Rachael Maxwell.  Rachael has 30 years experience working with animals and plants and has been sharing her wealth of knowledge as a teacher since 2018.  Rachael will be providing lectures from her home in Costa Rica.

Sophie Xi-Zeta, animal Applied Herbal Choices consultant and wild forager will be providing on-site tutoring alongside Jo.  Sophie has been foraging and making wild remedies for humans and animals for many years.  She has a wealth of knowledge in the folklore of hedgerow herbs for health.

The course is accredited with UK Rural Skills, and meets the Ofqual descriptions for a level 4 Diploma.

Behaviour section (if no prior skills / qualifications):
Horses:  Distance learning with practical assessment during the course in ‘Reading the Response of the Horse’ and the ‘Applied Equine Handling Skills’.

Dogs:  We provide a ‘Reading Behaviour and Safe Handling’ practical day with canine holistic rehabilitation therapist and trainer; Alex Butler.

Cats: We provide a distance ‘Understanding Feline Behaviour’ module.

Other animals:  Students may add other animals to this approach, and distance learning modules on cats and rabbits are available.  Please contact us for more information.

Herbal Classifications and the Principles of Self Selection (1 day)
Students are provided with information on common herbal remedies; how they are classified, their properties and how they are taken.  They are introduced to the concept of self selection as they smell and taste some the herbs.  Animal self medication is discussed / demonstrated, plus how we can integrate this knowledge to help the wellbeing of domesticated animals.

Dried Herbs, Essential oils, macerated oils and offering to animals (2 days)
Students are introduced to a core kit of essential oils, macerated oils, dried plants, clays and hedge herbs, and given background information on each one. There will also be practical application sections.  We cover the main systems of the body and the herbs and oils that can support and bring balance to them.

Client care and practical section on sequencing (2 days)
This section covers pure application, incorporating sequencing, and practically covers the full client protocol.  Students have the opportunity to work through full sessions under guidance.  They will be using the client history to produce a flexible plan for the session, while working with applied behaviour, so that the session is always animal led.  Students will work together to problem solve and observe responses.

The sequencing module is supported with a one to one mentoring session as students start case studies with one of our experienced practitioners and mentors to help you get a clear practical understanding of the process under guidance.

Foraging and making your own products (3 days)
These 3 days are split into 1 day in Spring, 1 day in Summer and 1 day in Autumn.  Each day comprises of a hedgerow forage, with seasonal information, followed by a session of making products, including dried, teas, gels, poultices and compresses which can be stored for later use.  The Autumn forage day incorporates preparation for consultancy.

Integration day:  This brings everything together, and provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt during an informal assessment.  Students must have completed their homework before attending this day.

2024 dates … 

Herbal Classifications: Sat 9th March morning with Jo Rose and Sun 10th March afternoon with Rachael Maxwell. This is presented live via Zoom, with several PowerPoint lectures, discussions and question time.  After this tutorial, the sessions are all on site in Emmington.  (NB: This counts as one day from a payment point of view).  A recording will also be available.
Spring Forage:  Sat 4th May
Products module:  Fri 7th and Sat 8th June
Summer Forage:  Sat 29th June
Sequencing (practical application):  Fri 19th and Sat 20th July
Compulsory mentoring day (one to one):  A date is chosen to suit your venue / mentor / diary nearer the time between the 22nd July and 5th September
Autumn Forage / preparation for completion:  Sat 28th Sept
Integration (assessment) day options (one of the following):  Fri 18th Oct, Sat 19th Oct, or Sat 20 Oct (TBA to suit participants)

The cost for the Certificate in Applied Animal Natural Choices (2023) is broken down as follows…

To secure your place, we ask for a deposit holding fee of £40.

There is then an enrolment fee of £250 to be paid a couple of months prior to the course.  This covers the course materials, products used on the practical days, tutor support/ marking.

In addition: £110 per group tutorial day (there are 8 days in total).  Students may pay as they go.  Plus, £140 for the one to one mentor session (includes additional support), and £100 per species (horse and/ or dog) chosen to work with on the final assessment day.

If you would like to cover more than one species in your qualification, there will be a £50 surcharge per addition to cover marking and any additional support.

We provide behaviour modules to those with no behaviour prior training in the species they want to work with.  The behaviour module fees are as follows:  Equine is £50 (pdf and video home study with practical tasks), canine is £50 (pdf homestudy, videos), feline is £25 (pdf home study), and we offer a free caring for rabbits module.  Plus if you are producing work to cover more than one species, we charge a £50 per species surcharge to cover extra marking time.

Products you will need to buy in addition:  Animal Aromatics are kindly providing a varied herbal starter kit of 20 herbs at a 20% discount and no postage:  £82.  In addition, please be prepared to cover an essential oils starter kit (24 oils) and 10 hydrosols starter kit (both discounted by the providers) at a further £200.

These kits will last you well, particularly the oils and hydrosols; well into your first year or two as a consultant, and possibly longer.

We also provide a recommended reading list, so you may want to invest in some books as well.

Please contact us for more information.

Homework: Student practice record, modular homework (including conditions and plant research, evidence of practice), reflective journal, 1 research project (2000 words), case study evidence of 3 full sessions, with 2 follow up sessions for the main species studied and 2 full sessions, with 1 follow up sessions for each additional animal.  As this is a level 4 Diploma course, please allow at least 5 hours per week for practice or producing homework, particularly from the Summer.

Advanced CPD modules: We provide in-depth training covering some specific subjects such as the biochemistry of the detoxification system, immune system, inflammation, and herbs /oils that can help with these functions, and Herbal Energetics, Herbs and Canine Behaviour,  5 elements and essential oils.  Please contact for me information and fees.

‘A compact course to learn about herbal self- selection of animals based on the innate instinct of animals to self medicate. Three days of foraging provide an overview of a variety of common hedgerow and field herbs including different preparation methods and applications. With knowledge about essential oils and hydrosols and technique skills how to use the different herbal products I feel well educated to use this behaviour method to benefit the wellbeing of animals.’

Steffi Binder, Dog Trainer and Behaviourist, PDTE Full Member and Country Representative of Germany