Instituut voor Equitherapie en Hippische Sportpsychologie

The Code of Practice SHP

SHP-E(NL) code of practice and quality standards
The SHP-E(NL) equitherapist
SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must have an SHP-E(NL) equitherapy qualification (or equivalent qualification recognised by SHP-E(NL) ) as well as a riding diploma and up-to-date first aid certificate.

Therapists have a duty to maintain and, when possible, improve their skills and abilities and those of their therapy horse. They are responsible for their ongoing education and training and that of their horse.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must ensure that they have supervision and intervision on a regular basis.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must ensure that their employees/trainees are familiar with their approach and must be clear about their field of operation.
The horse

Working with horses has a character-building/ stimulating effect. This should be respected and encouraged.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must take responsibility for the therapy horse entrusted in their care. Until the end of the horse's entire life.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must show each horse equal respect regardless of race, age or gender.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must insist that their clients treat the horse with equal respect.

The horse must be fed and cared for appropriately in accordance with the needs of the breed. The following minimum requirements apply: Freedom to roam together in paddocks every day and overnight stabling in stables that comply with FN standards at the very least.

The mental and physical health of the horse is paramount, irrespective of its use.

The use of the horse in therapy must be appropriate to its disposition, ability and willingness to work. This must not be influenced by the use of medication or action that may be harmful to the horse.

When equitherapists work with a horse which is not their own, they must find out how much schooling it has had, work with it and develop a strong relationship with it before using it as a therapy horse.

The horse should be schooled according to classical principles based on the horse's nature. The schooling must encourage  the horse's natural disposition both physically and mentally and respect it as a partner in a two-way relationship. Harsh methods are not permitted (e.g. extreme use of auxiliary reins to shorten the neck unphysiologically, or which act from below on the horse's mouth or neck, hyperflexion or the use of methods which force the horse into an unnatural position, cause him pain, create tension, unbalance him, restrict their movement and/or unsettle him.)The client

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must take the best possible care to ensure the safety of client and horse.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists have an obligation to their client to take responsibility for their therapeutic approach and treatment plan.

Both client and therapist must abide by the agreed treatment contract.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must develop a relationship with their client based on trust and respect the client's private life.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must undertake to treat client data confidentially and in accordance with data protection guidelines.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must devise treatment in accordance with the express wishes of the client himself, his family (in the case of clients who are not capable of making decisions for themselves), or his referrer by mutual agreement with client and therapist.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must show each client equal respect regardless of their character, difficulties etc.

Therapists have a duty to tailor treatment to the client's individual circumstances.The foundation

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists must strive to fulfil the aims and objectives of the foundation.

SHP-E(NL) equitherapists belonging to the foundation must not abuse the name of the foundation and have a responsibility to perform their work to a high standard in accordance with SHP guidelines.

Within the foundation, equitherapists have a duty to pass on their knowledge to colleagues and to share ideas and information.

Client information must not be transmitted to colleagues without the client's prior approval.

Unqualified employees or trainees are not permitted to undertake the work of SHP-E(NL) equitherapists or to work in their name.Equitherapists are audited by SHP-E(NL).

During their training, SHP-E(NL) equitherapists will learn about the ethical principles that apply to horse-assisted therapy.

As part of its quality control, SHP-E(NL) seeks to ensure the essential role of the horse in the triangular relationship and promotes a horse-friendly approach with regard to stabling, husbandry, training, feeding and daily routine which is appropriate to their needs.

Responsibilities towards the client and the foundation are also defined.

Continuing professional development, and the retention and enhancement of knowledge and skills are an integral part of this code