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


IRVAP Private Members Area for free CPD


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


Private Members 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 few years there will be a Grandparent application process and every application will be looked at individually and assessed by the IRVAP Council and IEH Board. Evidence required;

  • Curriculum Vitae evidencing your equine industry experience and relevant CPD
  • Equine hydrotherapy industry experience / qualifications / training certificates – case studies . references from RVS are useful additions
  • Written evidence of daily water management prodcedures with hydrotherapy modalities used
  • Up to date Equine First Aid Certificate
  • Professional indemnity and public liability: equine hydrotherapy insurance certificate – members are entitled to access the IRVAP group insurance plan which specifically names hydrotherapy

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 are the same fee as for other IRVAP categories: £90

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 SEG 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 SEG ABC Awards writer for their developing equine hydrotherapy suite of qualifications.

Susanne Pender BSc(Hons)Phys, PGCertSART

IEH Board Insurance Co-ordinator, MIRVAP(VP)(ICH)

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 Board Member, 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, DipAPhys, MIAAT

IEH Affiliate Member

Georgia a practising veterinary physiotherapist and has recently launched her rehabilitation centre in Wiltshire incorporating equine hydrotherapy in 2020 with an equine ACTIVO-MED AquaLine Water Treadmill. She is Director of Equiperformance Ltd and Co-Founder and former editor of the Animal Therapy Magazine and Animal Therapy Media.

Carolyn Tranquille BSc Equine Science

IEH Affiliate Member, MIRVAP(IEH)

Carolyne was a member of the Equine Orthopaedic Research team at the Centre for Equine Studies at the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket for 15 years. Her research there focused on investigating risk factors for injuries in sport and racehorses and the effect of various rehabilitation techniques on limb and back kinematics in the horse. Carolyne is  a Visiting Professor at Hartpury University with research projects focussing on the equine water treadmill, as well as being a member of the Equine Hydrotherapy Working Group (EHWG) . Carolyne has published the findings from her studies in peer-reviewed journals and presented them at International conferences.

Jessica York, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), PgCE QTLS, BHSAI, MIRVAP(IEH)

IEH Board Member

Jessica has a PhD in Equine Hydrotherapy and is a practising Equine Hydrotherapist at Moulton College which has an aqua treadmill, swimming pool and cold spa. she has lectured at FE and HE and is a founder member of the Equine Hydrotherapy Working Group. She is an SEG ABC Awards writer for their developing equine hydrotherapy courses and holds the British Horse Society Assistant Instructor Qualification (BHSAI). The research from Jessica’s thesis “kinematics of the equine axial skeleton during aqua-treadmill exercise” has been presented at International conferences and she has had numerous research publications in equine hydrotherapy.

IEH Consultants 

Geoff Mander

Mander Pool Ltd.

Geoff is an equine hydrotherapy specialist engineer and consultant.

Richard Norden

Manager and consultant of ECB equine spas and water treadmills.

Serena Hickson

Managing Director and consultant of FMBs Therapy Systems equine aqua line treadmills and spas.

The IEH 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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