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Level 6 Diploma in Applied Advanced Equine Hydrotherapy

The qualification for musculoskeletal practitioners, veterinary nurses and vets to be trained as a qualified equine hydrotherapist. Detailed units tailored to a progressive industry. Learn everything you need to setup and run your own equine hydrotherapy centre or as an adjunct to your current business.

Apply today , limited spaces available. 


Starting date


Applications Open

September 2024

Clinical Hours

150 hours

Price- introductory offer!



72 weeks
380+ Hours

Who is this for?

This course is aimed at animal musculoskeletal practitioners, veterinary nurses, vets or similar. 
Throughout this course you will:

  • Enhance your equine hydrotherapy clinical assessment skills
  • Explore the science underpinning hydrotherapy
  • Refine your professionalism and communication skills
  • Establish a through understanding of the animal therapy sector
  • Develop your record keeping and business acumen

Futureproof your business and your skillset.....

This is the only qualification that is recognised by the Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists (IRVAP) and the Institute of Equine Hydrotherapists (IEH), that on successful completion of the courses allows candidates to use the title  Advanced Equine Hydrotherapist.

This is the first of it's type and is written by a team of industry experts that value clinical hours, detailed theory and blended learning delivery. 

Clinical Hours


Theory Hours


What will you study on the level 6 course

The best instructors have designed the most motivating learning paths for you.

#1 Introduction to Equine Hydrotherapy

This unit will form the foundation for other modules by giving the candidate an overall understanding of the context in which the equine hydrotherapy industry operates; law, regulatory, and professional bodies, the modalities it uses, how they function and their safe and ethical application in performance and rehabilitation. Best practice will be explored as well as malpractice and how predicted future developments to the therapy industry, such as regulation may affect practice. 

#2 Water and Equipment Management in Equine Hydrotherapy

Candidates will develop the knowledge to maintain, test, and operate equine hydrotherapy equipment (water treadmill, pool, spa, and salt and oxygen therapy). Candidates will acquire in-depth knowledge on this theory-led module, which will be assessed in the portfolio during this unit and reinforced through clinical hours. Candidates will be able to keep appropriate records, understand the industry and legal expectations, handle chemicals, and recognise safe and appropriate action should there be a mechanical fault.  

#3 Equine First Aid and Health Monitoring

Candidates will understand how to monitor a horse’s health pre-, during, and post-hydrotherapy sessions to reduce the risk of injury or inducing further complications, such as colic. Candidates will be equipped with the skills to perform basic equine first aid including bandaging and wound management and understand the implications of management as a preventative measure. Candidates will be able to assess a horse's vital statistics such as pulse and respiratory rate and how to reduce stress and anxiety. This unit will also look at the management required for inpatient and outpatient care. 

#4 Equine Behaviour and Pain Management

Candidates will explore the anatomical makeup of the central and peripheral nervous system and how pain can be transmitted and treated. This will include pharmaceutical treatment and therapeutic modalities. Psychological changes because of chronic pain will be explored in contrast to acute pain and its management.

Candidates will explore the link between pain and behaviour in a therapy setting; considering behavioural changes when on box rest or reduced exercise and how we can manage the rehab patient to reduce the risk of further injury, stress or damage to the equipment or handlers. Candidates will understand how to manage aggressive patients, including how to recognise and minimise risk to the therapist, and how to adapt the session for the patient. Candidates will understand the evidence underlying behavioural modification and what Learning Theory is.

#5 Equine Assessment and Biomechanics

Candidates will take a closer look at how and what a vet and a range of therapists assess for when looking for lameness and biomechanical dysfunction. This will cover both static and dynamic assessment and how these findings can impact the practice of an equine hydrotherapist. Candidates will learn how to assess for practice and how to keep records and relay findings accurately. Candidates will understand what a normal gait looks like for a ‘sound’ horse and how this may alter in the pool or on the treadmill.

#6 Lameness and Common Conditions in Equine Hydrotherapy

Candidates will develop an in-depth understanding of single and multilimbed lameness, how these present, and the significance to their hydrotherapy treatment planning. Candidates will understand the most common conditions that are referred to equine hydrotherapy centres, from initial signs, symptoms, and diagnosis to treatment and ongoing management. Candidates will consider contraindications to treatment and when to refer a case back to the veterinary surgeon.

#7 Equine Rehabilitation Management and Welfare

Candidates will consider the changes in management of the rehabilitative client and their needs within an in-patient and out-patient setting. Candidates will explore how to minimise stress, maintain social stimulation, and follow veterinary instructions, such as administering prescribed medication and the side effects it may have. Candidates will also look at the safe ways to handle horses when they may be on long-term box rest or travelling whilst injured. Candidates will also look at research to establish how they can improve the welfare of the horse by enriching its environment, producing a varied rehab programme, and knowing the legal and legislative framework in which they can practice.

#8 Treatment Pathways and Clinical Reasoning 

Candidates will further develop their underpinning knowledge of treatment pathways and complicating factors, to be able to work through a series of case studies. These case studies will encourage an understanding of conditions/injuries, ethical conflicts, and practical solutions that are justified by the therapist. Using clinical reasoning to defend the chosen treatment pathway and developing an understanding of how this would fit alongside other musculoskeletal practitioners, candidates will further refine their skills to work within a team of allied professionals.

#9 Equine Hydrotherapy for Performance

Candidates will establish an understanding of equine exercise physiology and what is required from the primary sports that utilise hydrotherapy in their training, such as horse racing, dressage, and eventing. Candidates will develop an understanding of the demands on the physiological systems of the horse and the implications of this in their hydrotherapy training. Candidates will understand how to tailor the work that is prescribed to suit the equine athlete without increasing the risk of injury.

#10 Professionalism and Communication

Candidates will grasp professional standards, codes of conduct, legislation, and prioritising animal welfare. Candidates will learn about working within their scope of practice, preventing professional negligence, and ensuring a duty of care. Understanding the importance and benefits of professional membership for hydrotherapists will be emphasised. Candidates will also navigate challenging situations, develop skills to manage conflicts, and prioritise resolution. Communication protocols with allied professionals, owners, and the public, including social media etiquette, will be covered. Candidates will comprehend client confidentiality and the significance of record keeping.

#11 Equine Clinical Hydrotherapy 

Candidates will further develop practical skills through 150 hours of clinical placements to refine their assessment techniques, managerial and leadership skills. Working autonomously, candidates will set out fitness and rehabilitation treatment pathways and integrate the multi disciplinary team. Emphasis here is on what it takes to run a centre and using reflective practice to identify where improvements and refinement may be necessary.

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