RDA Guidance on restarting Hippotherapy under COVID-19

RDA UK has agreed with CPTRH a series of protocols which enables groups that run Hippotherapy sessions to resume activities from 9th December 2020.  These are detailed below. 

Before Hippotherapy is considered at a group they must have been signed off by National Office to restart activities, by submitting a completed and signed Road to Restart trustee checklist, and completing a COVID-19 risk assessment for the Hippotherapy activities, to pick up any risks that are in addition to the standard risk assessment.  This should be completed in conjunction with the Hippotherapist. 

The timing of the commencement of Hippotherapy at a group is at the discretion of the group trustees. 

Prior to any Hippotherapy starting at a group, the equine/s to be used must first be fully trained with the full PPE worn by both the Hippotherapist and any volunteers supporting the session.  This may take some time and is likely to require a number of visits to the group by the Hippotherapist. These equines must be signed off by a suitably-qualified Coach/ Equine Manager for the group, in conjunction with the Hippotherapist, prior to any sessions starting, and using the Hippotherapy Equine Assessment & Induction Checklist.

All volunteers must have signed and returned a specific Hippotherapy consent form for coming back to volunteer at a group, due to the additional requirements and protocols for this activity.

The Hippotherapist will undertake a personalised risk assessment for each client.  We are recommending initially that no new clients are taken on until the equine and the volunteers supporting the Hippotherapist are comfortable and well-practised with the PPE. 

All Hippotherapy sessions must be led by a Hippotherapist following CSP and CPTRH guidelines.  All volunteers supporting the Hippotherapist must do so under the direct instruction of the Hippotherapist and must wear all PPE as required by CSP and CPTRH.  It is the responsibility of the Hippotherapist to train the volunteers to put on, wear, take off and dispose of the PPE in the correct manner.  It is also the responsibility of the Hippotherapist to provide the PPE. Green Cards for volunteers should be signed off to show that this training has been received. For family/household/’bubble’ members assisting in sessions (and who are not otherwise regular group volunteers) please use the Training Record sheet below:

Volunteers should understand that the PPE that is required may include a medical mask, face shield (where necessary), gloves and single-use coveralls and they will need to consent to engage with the session whilst wearing this PPE.   If at any time they are uncomfortable they need to tell the Hippotherapist immediately and ensure they are able to withdraw from the session without compromising the safety of themselves, the clients or the Hippotherapist. 

Page Last Updated: July 19, 2021