IRVAP Sub group

Institute of Equine Hydrotherapists (IEH)

The Institute of Equine Hydrotherapists (IEH) is a new sub group of IRVAP. This is an exciting first for the formation

of a professional association that is industry led.



Become a MemberFind a Therapist
what we do

Raising the Industry Standard

Animal hydrotherapy is currently a non-regulated industry and the IEH will set the standards for professionalism and clinical proficiency in equine hydrotherapy, leading the way forward in equine and animal welfare.

We believe in investing in our professional community of therapists and are passionate about raising standards in equine hydrotherapy. All IEH members will be professionals who annually pledge their commitment to the IRVAP Code of Practice.

The IEH Board is directly accountable to the IRVAP Council and this unique checks and balances system is an IRVAP initiative to ensure best practice is consistently achieved by our members.

The professional status and registration with a professional body like the IEH provides confidence for the referring Veterinary Surgeon, as well as assuring owners their horses are receiving the best equine hydrotherapy treatment available.

What we OFFER

Member Benefits

Our registered members are entitled to these benefits:


Representation at local, regional and national level


Listing on Find a Therapist area of our website


Access to learning and professional resources


Access to a group insurance plan


Members only area for updates and discounts


IRVAP Conference with high profile industry speakers


Recognition by major insurance companies


Research collaborations


Office hours and conversations with IEH Chair


Access to online journals


New Mentor programme


Discount for IRVAP accredited courses


Regular email updates


Use of branded merchandise

Additional benefits for IEH members


Accredited Equine Hydrotherapy courses (coming soon)


Access to learning and professional resources with Equine Hydrotherapy Consultants


Members only area for equine hydrotherapy information and updates


Currently negotiating to establish recognition with all major insurance companies


Equine hydrotherapy specific Insurance - £100,000 Bloodstock - as part of our IRVAP Group Insurance

College & Hydrotherapy Centres Membership

If Colleges or Hydrotherapy Centres wish to become IEH members, an individual application for each employed equine therapist to become registered is the way forward. If a registered IEH member of staff leaves, then the new staff member will have to apply. IEH membership is not transferable– this ensures equine hydrotherapy centres will be run to the highest standard consistently, providing the best equine service.

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 sub group application process.

How to Join

For the first year there will be a Grandparent application process and every application will be looked at individually and assessed by the IRVAP Council and IEH Board –  We need evidence to include your equine CPD record and equine CV. This needs to cover your equine experience, education level, suitable professional courses and equine hydrotherapy experience. Additional evidence includes your insurance cover (you are entitled to access our Group Insurance plan), equine first aid and water management course or 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 sub group application process.

New IEH applications this year will be £50; 1st Oct 2020 – 31st March 2021.

For further information please contact us by email; 

friendly faces

Meet the IEH Board


Deborah Winchester, IEH Moderator and Verifier


Deborah holds a Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy, practising in the South East of England and specialising in the sports horse industry. As a FEI permitted therapist she utilises equine hydrotherapy modalities regularly in rehabilitation and fitness programmes for her clients. Deborah is an ABC Awards Equine Hydrotherapy moderator for their developing suite of qualification. Her role as a BHS Assessor aims to provide a professional assessment for candidates progressing along their BHS career pathways and she is also a BHS approved and accredited Professional Coach.



As a veterinary physiotherapist for 21 years, specialising in the thoroughbred industry, Grainne helped launch one of the first Equine Therapy Centres at a UK College, with an aqua treadmill, swimming pool and cold spa. As a manager and hydrotherapist, she achieved Ofsted 1 status, British Horseracing Association(BHA) Certificate of Approval, a pool plant operator certificate and built an incredible client base. She also worked in Newmarket as resident equine physiotherapist and hydrotherapist at a racing yard, managing the equine water and high speed treadmill and cold spa. Grainne lectures on hydrotherapy modalities regularly and is an ABC Awards specialist writer for their developing equine hydrotherapy suite of qualifications.

Susanne Pender BSc(Hons)Phys, PGCertSART

IEH Equine Hydrotherapy Insurance Co-ordinator

Susanne is the IRVAP Insurance Representative. As a past Joint Chair of IRVAP and Chartered Physiotherapist and Veterinary Physiotherapist, she has a balanced overview of the needs of therapists. She specialises in small animal rehabilitation at her practice Paws4Rehab and has advanced hydrotherapy skills.

Dr Rebecca Mouncey BVetMed, MRCVS

IEH Affiliate Member

Dr Rebecca Mouncey is a practising Veterinary Surgeon for 16 + years working with performance horses and predominantly thoroughbred racehorses overseeing hydrotherapy – mainly swimming, water treadmills and high speed treadmills for training and rehabilitation. Rebecca 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 BSc Equine Management

IEH Affiliate Member

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, DipAPhys

IEH Affiliate Member

Georgia a practising veterinary physiotherapist and has recently launched her hydrotherapy and rehabilitation centre in Wiltshire, where she has an equine ACTIVO-MED AquaLine Water Treadmill. She aims to do more research projects and case studies with a specific interest in the maintenance and management of the sport horse, equine back pathology and rehabilitation. She is Director of Equiperformance Ltd and Co-Founder and 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.

The ICH has a specific admissions policy as part of its rigorous accredited registration process.

IRVAP is recognised by all the major insurance companies and we are currently working closely with them to include the IEH as being one of their approved associations. 

Get Involved

Join our friendly community of professionals with a shared vision of delivering best practice and supporting each other along their animal therapy career journey.


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