Announcing the launch of the Institute of Equine Hydrotherapists (IEH)

This new sub group of the Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapy (IRVAP) is an exciting first ever, offering a Professional Association for equine hydrotherapists.

Hydrotherapy is currently a non-regulated industry and the IEH will set the standards for professionalism and clinical proficiency in equine hydrotherapy.

IRVAP and the IEH aim to lead the way forward in equine and animal welfare and are passionate about raising standards in the equine hydrotherapy industry and IEH members will be industry professionals who pledge their commitment to the IRVAP Code of Practice.

The IEH Board represents the stakeholders in the industry and are accountable to the IRVAP Council, ensuring a “balance and checks” and IRVAP’s Code of Practice is implemented and adhered to by all members of the IEH. This provides confidence of Registered Veterinary Surgeons to refer to IEH members for hydrotherapy treatments and of the horse owners in the IEH professionals leading the way and delivering best practice.

Benefits of IEH Membership

  • New interactive online Members Community for updates, resources and discounts.
  • Accredited Equine Hydrotherapy courses and CPD courses (coming soon)
  • Equine Hydrotherapy specific Insurance (UK only) - £100,000 Bloodstock IRVAP(IEH) members will be able to take advantage of our Equine Hydrotherapy specific insurance.
  • Listing on IRVAP’s new Find a Therapist area of our website.
  • We are currently negotiating to establish IEH recognition with all major UK insurance companies.
  • Representation at local, regional and national level.
  • Research collaborations.
  • Access to online Journals.
  • New Mentor programme.
  • Discount for IRVAP accredited courses.
  • Regular email updates.
  • Open Office Hours and Conversations with IRVAP Chair/IEH

How to Apply

For the first year there will be a Grandparent application process and every application will be looked at individually and assessed by the IEH Board and IRVAP Council. Evidence requried includes; your equine CPD record and equine CV. This needs to to cover your equine experience, education level, appropriate professional courses and hydrotherapy experience. Additional evidence required is your insurance cover ( you are entitled to access our Group Insurance Plan), equine first aid and water management training.

Membership Fees

Current IRVAP(VP) members are offered a free additional IRVAP registration, so our members can apply to also join the IEH, by completing the specific IEH application and registration process.

New IEH applications for 2020 are offered at £50; 1st Oct 2020 – 31st March 2021

For further information please contact us by email [email protected]

College / Hydrotherapy Centres Membership

If College or Hydrotherapy Centres wish to join the IEH, they need to put their Employed Equine Therapist through the application process, if that member of staff leaves they must go through membership again with new Staff member – this aims to ensure all Equine Hydrotherapy Centres will be run to the highest standard at all times, led by a current IEH Member.

IEH Board Members

Grainne Ni Chaba-Byrne - IEH Chair
A veterinary physiotherapist for 21 years, specialising in the thoroughbred industry. Helped launch one of the first Equine Therapy Centre’s at a UK College, with an aqua treadmill, swimming pool and cold spa, achieving Ofsted 1 status, British Horseracing Association(BHA) Certificate of Approval, a pool plant operator certificate and creating an incredible client base, during her two years as manager and hydrotherapist. Worked in Newmarket as resident equine physiotherapist and hydrotherapist at a racing yard, managing the equine water and high-speed treadmill and cold spa for two years. She lectures on hydrotherapy modalities regularly and is an ABC Awards specialist writer for their developing equine hydrotherapy suite of qualifications.

Deborah Winchester - IEH Moderator and Verifier
Deborah has a Master’s in Veterinary Physiotherapy, practicing in the South East of England and specialises in the sports horse industry. She is also an FEI permitted therapist. She utilises equine hydrotherapy modalities regularly, in rehabilitation and fitness programs for her clients. She is an ABC Awards Equine Hydrotherapy moderator for their developing suite of qualifications. As a BHS Assessor, she provides professional assessments for candidates progressing along their BHS career pathways. Deborah is also a BHS approved and accredited Professional Coach.

Susanne Pender - IEH Equine Hydrotherapy Insurance co-ordinator
Susanne is a qualified Veterinary Physiotherapist and a Chartered Physiotherapist that specialises in small animal rehabilitation at her practice Paws4Rehab and has advanced hydrotherapy skills. As a past Chair of the IRVAP Council and our Insurance Coordinator, Susanne is well placed to liaise between the Board and Council, as well as negotiating the best Group Insurance Plan for all our members.

Dr Rebecca Mouncey BvetMed - IEH Affiliate Member.
BvetMed, MRCVS
Dr Rebecca Mouncey is a practicing Veterinary Surgeon for over 16 years working with performance horses and predominantly thoroughbred racehorses, overseeing the use of hydrotherapy, mainly swimming, water treadmills and high-speed treadmills for training and rehabilitation. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the Royal Veterinary College researching the effects of early life exercise and future performance of young thoroughbreds.

Fiona Fitzgibbon IEH Member
BscEq Management, MIRVAP(IEH)
Fiona is the research and training Manager for ECB and is based in Northern Ireland. She was the pioneer and manager for 2 years in Ireland's first purpose built equine rehabilitation centre with a water treadmill. An accomplished horse woman competing at international level eventing, she has also worked at international Olympic eventing and showjumping yards.

Georgia Keegan IEH Affiliate Member.
Georgia a practising Veterinary physiotherapist and has recently launched her rehabilitation centre in Wiltshire and will be incorporating Equine Hydrotherapy in Spring 2021 with an equine ACTIVO-MED AquaLine Water Treadmill. Georgia hopes to do more research projects and interesting case studies with a specific interest in maintenance and management of the sport horse, equine back pathology and rehabilitation. She is Director of Equiperformance Ltd and Co-Founder and former editor of the Animal Therapy Magazine and Animal Therapy Media.

IEH Consultants

Geoff Mander – Mander Pool Ltd. Geoff is an equine hydrotherapy specialist engineer and consultant.

Richard Norden – Manager and consultant of ECB, British made Leading manufacturers of the equine spa and water treadmill.

Serena Hickson – Managing Director and developer of FMBs Therapy Systems, German made, Activo-Med equine water treadmills and spas.