Akpinar Selçuk (Turkey)

Assoc. Prof. Selçuk Akpinar is currently employed at Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University at the Faculty of Education, Department of Physical Education and Sport as a Faculty Member. He finished his bachelor degree with honours (first rank position) at Hatay Mustafa Kemal University. He was assigned to be a Physical Education Teacher by the Ministry of Education. He worked as a PE teacher for two years. He continued his education with a master degree at Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University where he became a research assistant. Later on, he moved to Middle East Technical University for a doctorate, where he focused on motor learning and control studies. During his doctorate, he went to Penn State University, USA, as a visiting scholar for one and a half years and later on Post-doc for six months. During his state at Penn State University, he worked at a motor control laboratory and tried to find out the effect of participation in sports training on motor lateralization. After finishing his doctorate, he moved to Nevsehir. He was promoted as an Associated Prof by the Higher Educational Council of Turkey in December 2017. He has started working in the Equine Facilitated Activities program in Nevsehir in 2013. He participated in Erasmus + Projects in Equine Facilitated Activities and has been researching this topic. He is also an assistant principal of Horsemanship-Horseback Riding Application and Research Center at Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University. He has articles in respected international journals on this topic, too. He has developed much international cooperation and has many colleagues from all over the world. His area of interest mainly focused on motor lateralization in sports and equine facilitated activities, arm selection (handedness), motor learning and pedagogy, and body composition.

The effects of Equine Facilitated Activities on motor abilities - lecture
The lecture will include a review of the studies conducted on the Equine Facilitated Activities that show the beneficial effect of those activities on motor abilities.

Bednáříková Hana (Czech Republic)

Hana (MSc, Physiotherapist) has been engaged in Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy (EFPT) for more than eight years, focusing mainly on children with neurological diagnoses. Hana is also completing her PhD at the Department of Natural Sciences in Kinanthropology of Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacky University in Olomouc, focusing on the effect of EFPT in children with cerebral palsy. Currently, she works as an assistant at the Department of Physiotherapy of Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacky University, where she participates in teaching students of Physiotherapy Bachelor's and Master's studies. In outpatient care, she specializes in women with functional pelvic floor disorders, pregnant and postpartum women mainly. Hana supervises bachelor and master theses on the topic of EFPT.

The effect of Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy in children with a spastic form of cerebral palsy - a pilot study - lecture.
Evaluation of the short-term effect of Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy using the accelerometry method on the level of postural stability in sitting and walking in children with a spastic form of cerebral palsy.

Brady Heidi (United States)

Dr Heidi Brady is a Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University, where she has taught Equine Science for 20 years. Dr Brady received her PhD from Texas A&M University and is a Diplomat in Animal Physiology in the American College of Animal Physiologists (ACAP). She founded the Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding and Therapy Center (TTRC) in 1998 and currently serves as the Co-Director of this PATH Intl. Premier Center. Dr Brady is a PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor, she has served on several PATH Intl. Committees, and has frequently presented in the field of Equine Assisted Therapy at the national and international level. Her research interests involve hippotherapy benefits for young children with Developmental Delay.

Functional Motor Skills and Gait Parameters of Two- and Three-Year-Old Children with Developmental Delay Participating in Hippotherapy - lecture
This study examined the effects of 15 sessions of hippotherapy (HPOT) on motor skills and gait parameters in children (ages 2-3 yrs.) with gross motor developmental delay DD (n=11) in comparison to age-based controls without DD (n=6). Gross motor skills in both groups were assessed with the Battelle Developmental Inventory and gait parameters with a computerized gait analysis system pre-and post-study. The mean per cent motor delay score decreased by 24.1 points from pre-test to post-test in the DD group, indicating significantly (p < 0.001) less delay after HPOT. In contrast, mean BDI-2 motor scores of the CON group were unchanged pre- to post-study. The two groups' scores were significantly (p < 0.001) different indicating more improvement in the DD HPOT group when compared with the control group. Gait performance measures did not change significantly (p > 0.05) from pre-test to post-test in the DD group following HPOT; however, improvement trends were seen in step width and step length after HPOT. Results suggest that HPOT intervention in young children with DD can improve gross motor skills. These data provide important quantitative information concerning the efficacy of early HPOT intervention for children with DD during this critical stage of child development.

Casková Vanda (Czech Republic)

Vanda (MSc, BSc, Physiotherapist) studied physiotherapy at the University FTK JEP in Olomouc. Her interest in horses resulted in her exploring the field of Horse breeding at Mendel University in Brno. Vanda has had almost 40 years of experience in physiotherapy, and she has been practising yoga in her private clinic. She has been practising Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy since 1989. At first, she worked at the Spa Janské Lázně; then she founded the Epona Association in 1999 where she holds the position of a chairwoman and a leading physiotherapist. Vanda is a trainer licensed by the Czech Equestrian Federation with a focus on riders with a handicap, and she is a classifier for para-equestrian. Vanda is one of the founding members of the Czech Equine Facilitated Therapy Association (CEFTA) in 1991, currently serves as a vice-chair. She is a founder of the Czech Equine Facilitated Therapy educational system (1994) and the Therapy horse certification system (2011). She has been the principal designer, organizer, lecturer and committee member. As an external lecturer, she teaches at Mendel University, etc. Lately, she dedicates her time and skills to para-vaulting. Vanda is co-author of several publications: Hiporehabilitace (1994), Hiporehabilitace (2011), Hippotherapy (2018), Therapy Horse Certification System (2018) and Zooterapie v kostce (2020).

The therapy horse certification system - analysis of the results for the period 2011 - 2020 - lecture
The therapy horse certification program has been intended for equines working in Equine Facilitated Therapy (EFT) in the Czech Republic. It is a way of monitoring the training level and equine character. This lecture introduces the analysis of the results collected in the period 2011 - 2020.

Demonstration of work with a draught horse in the hauling of heavy loads as a form of EFT - workshop
Demonstration of work and the importance of this activity both for the therapy horse and the client.

Debuse Dorothée (Germany)

After a 25-year career that involved clinical physiotherapy practice, management, teaching in higher education and international research in the UK and in Luxembourg, Dr Dorothée Debuse now lives and works in Germany. Having personal experience of cerebral palsy, she started riding at the age of eight and throughout her life, riding has helped her maximise her function. She completed her PhD on “The effects of hippotherapy on people with cerebral palsy” in 2006 and her DKThR Hippotherapy education in 2009. In her hippotherapy practice in the UK, she primarily treated children with multiple and severe disabilities and adults with acquired brain injury (using her own horses). She has published papers and a book (Ernst Reinhardt Verlag, Munich, 2015) on hippotherapy and has contributed chapters to other books on animal-assisted interventions. For many years Dorothée has had a keen interest in the integration of a natural environment (animal care, gardening, outdoor activities) into rehabilitation. This year she took on responsibility for the management and implementation of comprehensive educational day activities for adults with multiple and severe disabilities in a large residential care facility and is very happy to return to practice with clients – and the use of hippotherapy and green rehabilitation. She is also a coach and trainer.  

Principles underlying highly effective Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy
Using two case studies as examples, she will share her experience that as long as one gets the underlying principles right (a person-centred approach, the right environment and a well-trained horse), it is not necessary to provide Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy for a prolonged period of time in order to achieve extremely positive and sustainable results in adult clients. She will discuss those underlying principles and the reasons why she considers them so relevant.

Deimel Renate (Austria)

I studied special needs education (University of Vienna) and am a psychotherapist (Danube University Krems) and riding and vaulting instructor, with special training for disabled people. I have the certificate from the Austrian association for therapeutic riding (Österreichisches Kuratorium für Therapeutischesreiten) and many smaller formations.

Therapy with horses has become my passion! I am working as a psychotherapist with horses, sheep, dogs and cats with children who experienced trauma or grief, have different problems or are palliative care patients.

At emotion Lichtblickhof it has always been essential to work and think about what is working for the patients. There were many exciting research projects which showed the impact of horses on human health. Therefore, I would like to take this knowledge further. By joining the HETI board, I could get to know other people with the same passion and motivation to improve the quality of equine-assisted therapy. I am delighted to join the Executive Committee of HETI in 2021.

I am from Europe, Austria, Vienna. www.lichtblickhof.at

Horses touch more than our skin: heart beat, rhythm and music - lecture
Together with Riswitha Zink. A scientific study about HRV and Cortisol is presented in a practical and bottom-up way.

Du Plessis Ninette (South Africa - citizen and United Kingdom - living)

Ninette du Plessis graduated as Occupational Therapist in 1995 at the University of Pretoria (South Africa). After she became aware of hippotherapy through her own son with special needs, she obtained a certificate in Fundamental Hippotherapy from the Equine Assisted Therapy Association of South Africa (EATASA) at the beginning of 2012. Towards the end of 2012, she became a board member of EATASA. She was involved in hippotherapy as a treatment strategy since 2009 and started using hippotherapy in her own private practice from 2012 onwards. As she became aware of the need for more research, she enrolled at the University of Pretoria to be awarded a Master’s degree in occupational therapy in April 2016. Her Master’s Degree thesis was entitled: The effect of hippotherapy on the physiological cost index and on school activities of adolescents with diplegia.

From 2015 (while still writing her thesis) to 2018 Ninette moved to the United Arab Emirates and started working as the first therapist conducting hippotherapy in the middle east (as far as could be established) and helped set up the hippotherapy centre at Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs in Abu Dhabi.

In 2019 she published part of her research findings in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy under the title: Effect of hippotherapy on physiological cost index and walking speed of adolescents with diplegia in which she concluded that the participants walking speed improved statistically significantly within 12 hippotherapy sessions.

In the same year, she embarked on her journey to obtain a PhD in occupational therapy with the goal to develop transdisciplinary hippotherapy practice guidelines for clients with spastic cerebral palsy. This study evolves occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language pathologists from as many countries as possible within three phases. The results of the first phase, a scoping review on the different concepts within hippotherapy will be presented at this congress.

Since November 2019 she and her husband Jannie lives near the Lake District in the Village Grey Southen in the United Kingdom where she became involved in the Equine Facilitated Occupational Therapists of the UK’s training committee. Ninette wishes to keep on contributing to the scientific development of hippotherapy throughout the world.

Components of hippotherapy found in scoping review - lecture
Within a PhD study to develop transdisciplinary hippotherapy practice guidelines for clients with spastic cerebral palsy the researcher conducted a scoping review. This first phase of the study investigated and clarified the many concepts that dynamically interact with one another within hippotherapy sessions implemented by occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language pathologists. The lecture will explain how each hippotherapy concept fit into a hippotherapy treatment plan, by organising concepts into four categories of treatment principles used in the Vona du Toit Model of creative ability namely therapeutic relationships, presentation principles, activity requirements and structuring principles.

Dzwonkowska Joanna (Poland)

Joanna Dzwonkowska is a speech-language therapist specialized in hippotherapy. For over 25 years she has been working with children having different types and degrees of disability. She gained her professional experience working as a speech-language therapist at the Integration Nursery School in Warsaw and at the Hippotherapy Foundation for Disabled Children. She also conducts classes for students of speech therapy at University. Hippotherapy for her is a supporting method,  complementing speech therapy. Joanna focuses on helping children with serious difficulties in communicating and children with myofuntional disorders.

In the years 2009-2015, she was a board member of the HETI Federation.

How can Equine Facilitated Speech Therapy support the work of a speech-language therapist – lecture.
The lecture will discuss the use of Equine Facilitated Speech Therapy to improve the functioning of children with serious difficulties in communicating and children with myofuntional disorders.

Elbasan Bulent (Turkey)

Bulent ELBASAN, PT, PhD, Prof graduated from the Hacettepe University School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation in 1998. He has obtained his master degree in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program in 2002 and received his PhD degree in the Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Program at the Institute of Health Sciences at Hacettepe University/Ankara. Since 1998, he is working in the field of pediatric physiotherapy rehabilitation. He has participated in many national and international courses and seminars in the field of pediatric physiotherapy rehabilitation. He completed internationally certified courses related to “Bobath Neurodevelopmental Treatment Approach” and “Adult Rehabilitation of Hemiplegia” in Cerebral Palsy. He is serving as the Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences at Gazi University. He has more than 50 published national and international scientific articles. He is also the coordinator of the Erasmus+ Project with the title “Specialised VET training on Hippotherapy for professionals working with children with intellectual, emotional, physical and psychomotor disabilities (hippotherapy).

Hippotherapy and children with special needs - lecture
This lecture will focus on the aims of hippotherapy and the effects of hippotherapy in children with special needs.

Giobellina Roberta (Italy)

Roberta is an Italian occupational therapist (since 2009) focusing mainly on the treatment of neurological diseases. In 2011, she completed her education in Equine Facilitated Therapy (EFT) at Niguarda Hospital. Since then, Roberta has been working as an occupational therapist at Vittorio di Capua Equestrian Rehabilitation Centre in Niguarda Hospital (Milan) with children with CP, movement, neurological and orthopaedic disorders. Moreover, she has given lessons at a university in equine facilitated occupational therapy; she is a clinical tutor for OT students. She attended as a speaker several national and international congresses. She is very interested in the EFT field focused on occupational therapy research. Besides, Roberta is in charge of the relationship with foreign countries for the "Amici del Centro Vittorio di Capua Association". She is working as a freelancer for Niguarda Hospital on a specific Project about Functional and Technical Aids Evaluation for children.

Modular Posture Pad HIPPO MB: from idea to practice - workshop
AUTHORS: Giobellina R., Luzzoli C., Caforio R., Dalla Costa D. Hippotherapy (HT) has been fully recognized as an effective treatment for children with Cerebral Palsy (CP). In order to allow paediatric clients to enjoy the horse's rehabilitating motor and sensory stimuli, with a higher degree of comfort and safety. So an improvement of the postural equipment is required to:

  • hold the child comfortably while riding in various postures, to avoid the development of pathological patterns;
  • facilitate the therapist's actions in maximising the therapeutic efficacy of the horse's stimuli perceived by the child;
  • ensure both the child's safety and the horse's comfort.

The postural device Modular Posture Pad Hippo MB designed by professionals in the rehabilitation field and a postural device company has been imagined, designed and produced to overcome a specific rehabilitation need for the treatment of a paediatric client. It is oval in shape and is made up of an upper and a lower part. It has a series of modular positioning components for various body parts and for supine, prone and sitting positions. The device was tested during the rehabilitation program and it has ensured comfort. It has been tolerated well by both the child and the horse.  

Håkanson Margareta (Sweden)

MH is a registered Physical therapist, Certified specialist in mental health, OHI certified riding therapist and certified in Balance in Movement. She is a course leader, and teacher in the Swedish education in Equine Facilitated Interactions at Strömsholm, Sweden since it started in 2017. Her main interests are physiotherapy, and mental health and her first international presentation in Equine Assisted Interactions was “Body awareness therapy for patients with eating disorders” at WCPT 1995 in Washington. Her Licentiate thesis “Equine-assisted therapy in physiotherapy” was presented at HETI congresses in Münster 2009 and Athens 2012. An ongoing study in partnership with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences focuses on Equine welfare and human safety.

She is the owner of an ardenner working as a therapy horse at a centre for persons with special needs. She is married, has children and grandchildren and a family dog.

The horse as a painkiller - lecture
Two cases will illustrate how EFT may serve as a game-changer for persons with long-lasting pain difficult to handle within traditional health care and rehabilitation.

Harkness Rhona (United Kingdom)

Rhona Harkness (nee Young) graduated from Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh in 2002.  Rhona has been working with Children and Adolescents for sixteen years, specialising mainly in ADHD, ASD, LD and behaviours that challenge.  Rhona currently works as an independent Occupational Therapy practitioner within this field.

To widen her knowledge and skillset across the lifespan, Rhona is also working in a community mental health team within adult services.  Rhona works with a range of individuals who present with short-term mental health issues and more long-term complex presentations.

Rhona has particular interests in Sensory Integration and Equine Facilitated Occupational Therapy.  She uses these approaches frequently within her practice.  Rhona is the chairman of Equine Facilitated Occupational Therapy UK and within this role is currently working with colleagues nationally and internationally to develop Equine Facilitated Therapy, included in this role has been driving forward a qualification for AHPs, where OTs are now working alongside Physiotherapists, Equine Coaches and Speech and Language Therapists to deliver a pilot qualification structure for AHPs in Northern Ireland. 

Rhona is an experienced speaker and has delivered training in various subjects including ADHD, ASD, Sleep, Sensory Integration and Equine Facility Therapy.  Rhona has previously been involved in a Twinning Project with China, where she delivered training on ADHD and Sensory Integration in 2009 and 2010 in Zhengzhou.  Rhona returned to China in 2017 to deliver further training in Shenzhen and Zhuhai on this subject.  Rhona has worked on a volunteer basis for the Riding for the Disabled Association and Equibuddy Vaulting (no longer active) to deliver training and to provide specialist advice.  Rhona has supported colleagues to set up charities in the field of Equine Assisted Therapy/Learning.

Exploring the Sensory Benefits of Equine Facilitated Occupational Therapy - lecture
After an introduction to the sensory systems of the equine and the human, the sensory benefits that can be gained from accessing the equine environment will then be discussed.

Hauser Gundula (Austria)

Hauser Gundula is one of the pioneers in the field of Therapeutic Riding.
For more than 38 years she is working in different fields of this support with a horse.

Her profession is a physiotherapist (so she worked in Hippotherapy), special teacher (she worked in the field of remedial educational vaulting and riding) and systemic counsellor.

Together with Carl Klüwer, Antonius Kröger and Marianne Gäng, she was significantly involved to work out the curriculum for Remedial Educational Vaulting and Riding, today better known as “Therapeutic Facilitation with the Help of the Horse”, and she passed over this knowledge in different countries.
She also helped to make riding a discipline at Special Olympics

Gundula Hauser played an important role to build up Therapeutic Riding in Austria. She had been 15 years on the board of the Austrian Kuratorium of Therapeutic Riding (OKTR), 4 years as president.

Afterwards, she was 6 years president of the international association for Therapeutic Riding FRDI now HETI.

Awards for building up equine-assisted therapy:
“Vienna Health-Award”, 1999;
“Vienna Humanity-Award” and
“Golden Decoration for Merits for the Republic of Austria”, 2005;
“Silver Decoration for Merits for Lower Austria”, 2015.

Mindfulness on and with the Horse – based on DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), MBSR (Mindful Based Stress Reduction) and MBCT (Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy) a Way to Healthiness
Mindfulness has become a basic element in quite a lot of treatments, in different forms of psychotherapy and to facilitate communication. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Marsha Linehan developed these tools from secularized Zen Buddhism. The basic skills in all these interventions are: • Focus on a single object • Focus on a single minute with all senses (to be in the “here” and “now”) • Mindful breathing • Body scan • awareness of emotions • Not judging

Jámbor Péter (Hungary)

Dr Péter Jámbor (MSc, Agricultural Engineer; MSc, Teacher of Agricultural Engineering; BSc, Special Education Teacher) received his PhD in Animal Science from the Doctoral School of Kaposvár University, Hungary in 2013, researching and analysing the motion patterns of horses to select for hippotherapy. He has been the coordinator of Equine-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled Association in Budapest since 2003. The Association helps 120 children with physical and cognitive disabilities reach beyond their boundaries every week. In addition to practical therapeutic work, he is a regular participant in scientific conferences, where he gives lectures on the methodology of selection horses for hippotherapeutic purposes.

Selection of horses for hippotherapy with motion analysis - lecture
Fourteen horses, trained for hippotherapy, were used to study the stride kinematics of the free walk. The horses were led in a free walk and recorded with two digital video cameras in a sagittal plane at a rate of 25 frames/s. Ten strides per horse were analysed with Ariel Performance Analysis System. Descriptive statistics for the linear, temporal and hippotherapeutic stride variables were determined. Results of ANOVA and Duncan`s Multiple Range test indicate that the kinematics variables of horses were significantly different. The important hippotherapeutical motion characteristics were measured and their therapeutical effects were determined for each horse individually. Correlation coefficients between the equine conformation and kinematic variables were measured. Significant correlations were observed between sitting point height and step- (r=0.77) and stride length (r=0.75) and the same correlations were found with sitting point – tuber coxae distance (r=0.77 and r=0.81). Significant correlations were not observed between hippotherapeutic variables and body parameters. This method is suitable for assessing and comparing horses used in hippotherapy and to associate them with individual therapies.

Kulichová Jana (Czech Republic)

Jana  Kulichová, Dr Med is a physician engaged initially in paediatrics and hippotherapy. In the years 1991-1994, decisive for her interest in horse-assisted activities, she worked at The Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine Department of Faculty Hospital Motol in Prague. From this period also come her scientific works focused on hippotherapy's effect on posture and balance. On a voluntary basis she has been working with persons with a physical handicap in Club Respin, later Kvítek, Ondrejov near Prague, since 1989. She belonged to the founding member of the CEFTA since 1991 and was Chairman of the Association from 1996 to 1998 years. Since the second half of the 90s year, she focused on the para-equestrian sport. In 2000, She completed the Workshop on Assessment and Estimating Profiles for Riding organised on behalf of IPEC (International Paralympic Equestrian Committee) by Dr Chris Meaden in Prague. She has become an International classifier IPEC, later FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale and a member of CWG (Classification Working Group) since 2015. She professionally focuses mainly on the problematic classification of disabled people. She welcomes creating a new classification system, although she is not directly involved in the process. Jana is also involved in returning the intellectually disabled individuals to the family of IPC/FEI athletes. Since 2000, she has been teaching and guaranteeing Hippotherapy lectures for physiotherapy students at the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Motol, Prague, as she graduated from the Therapeutic Riding Course, i.e. analysis, treating and training posture, movement and balance from a Physiotherapeutic aspect led by Susanne von Dietze – Pollak, Charlotte von Arbin and Margareta Hakanson by Goteborg University, Sweden 2005-2009.

Para-equestrian sport in the Czech Republic - lecture
The subject of the presentation is a review of the 30-year history of the para-equestrian sport of individuals with a handicap in the Czech Republic, taking into account current developments and proposals for further directions to the future

Macauley Beth (United States)

Dr Beth Macauley is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.  She received her PhD from the University of Florida in 1998 with a specialization in neurologic communication disorders.  Her main area of clinical activity and research program is hippotherapy.  Dr Macauley has served on the board of directors for HETI and AHA, Inc. as well as the health and education committee for PATH, Intl.  She has given over 150 presentation and workshops across 13 countries and is the only person from the USA invited to present at the last 6 HETI conferences,  Dr Macauley maintains an active private practice in speech-language pathology specializing in hippotherapy in addition to her teaching and research endeavours.  When she is not working, you can find her riding horses, baking, watching her children at athletic events.

Speech Therapy with Hippotherapy - workshop
I will conduct "sample" speech therapy sessions with your therapy horses and your volunteers. I will talk about what I am doing, why I am doing it, and how the movement of the horse and horse-related activities can be integrated into speech therapy sessions.

Machová Kristýna (Czech Republic)

Kristýna Machová teaches at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague in Practical involvement of the dog in AAI and Involvement of animals in Animal-assisted interventions (AAI). She also completed her PhD in AAI at this university. She focuses mainly on working with dogs, but since she works at the Department of Ethology and Companion animal science, horses are close to her too. In AAI, she focuses mainly on examining the effect of AAI on clients, from a physiological and psychological point of view. She is the supervisor of Anna Kasparová's bachelor's thesis.

Evaluation of the effect of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy on health status and quality of life-related to the health of patients in a psychiatric hospital - lecture
The study evaluates the change in scores in psychiatric hospital patients in the AQol (Assessment of Quality of Life) and HoNOS (Health of the Nation Outcome Scales) questionnaires after completing the Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) cycle. In this study participated addicted patients who have undergone EFP once a week for 4-8 weeks. The study involved 37 patients in the experimental group and 17 in the control group.

Mattila-Rautiainen Sanna (Finland)

Physical therapist running her own business for 30 years specialized for Equine Facilitated Therapy for the Finnish Government. Her speciality is sports medicine (MSc) with an interest and research in Biomechanics; human and equine movement analysis.  Her 50% position is as a researcher at the University of Eastern-Finland in Biomedicine completing her dissertation. She is the Editor of the original book Ratsastusterapia, published by PS- publishing (2011) which is translated to English as Equine Facilitated Therapies- In Finland 2015. She is the President of the HETI Federation 2015-2021 and President of the Finnish Association of Equine Facilitated Therapies. She is also a teacher in Finnish EFT education at Equine College Hevosopisto.

Reserving the knowledge - lecture
As documentation is made differently in countries collection of data during the therapy sessions similarly would benefit future research.

Özcan Kürşat (Turkey)

Assist. Prof. Kürşat Özcan is currently employed at Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University at the Faculty of Education, Department of Physical Education and Sport as a Faculty Member. He is also the principal of the Horsemanship-Horseback Riding Application and Research Center at Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University. He finished his PhD in 2018 at Erciyes University and worked on the Effects of Equine Facilitated Activities on Children with Cerebral Palsy. He has an adaptive riding trainer certificate and has been working in this area for more than 10 years. His research topics mainly include the participation of adapted physical activities (including Equine Facilitated Activities) on motor abilities and physical fitness among the disabled population. He participated in many Erasmus + Projects in Equine Facilitated Activities. He has scientific national and international publications about Equine Facilitated Activities.

The effect of riding exercise on some selected parameters in children with cerebral palsy - lecture
The aim of this study is to determine the effect of riding exercise on some selected parameters in children with cerebral palsy (CP) who are 8-12 age group and the effect of the direction and level.

Pasquinelli Anna (Italy)

Associate Professor of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Florence. Member of FRDI Medical Committee (1997-2009) and Journal Committee (2000-2009). Co-founder and President of Associazione “Lapo”, a National TR Association, Federation member of FRDI/HETI since 1998. Organiser and Director of EFI/TR Courses: “Theoretical-Practical Course in EFI/TR” (1999/today), “University Master in EFI/TR” (2002/today). Author of 162 publications, whose 45 on TR.

Editor and Author of “EQUINE-ASSISTED INTERVENTIONS - HANDBOOK OF THERAPEUTIC RIDING: Principles  Methodology  Organisation”, new edition 2020: a practical technical-scientific handbook consisting of a 400-page book and 2 didactic three-hours Videos.

Basic principles for EFI treatment in Neuromotor Disorders and for assessment criteria. Practical implications - lecture
The clinical symptoms in Neuromotor Disorders are often very complex, various, multiple, and sometimes mixed with intellectual or psychological impairment. We try to outline the guidelines that must be kept in mind for the rehabilitative treatment and the criteria for evaluation of the results. To exemplify we’ll show some videos.

Payne Martha (Italy)

In the horse's would since the age of 6, Martha has attended many courses such as horsemanship, Tellington touch, central riding. At 20 years old she began to work as a groom rider in the UK. She continued to improve her positions till she was accepted as a trainee instructor at Mr Philippe Karl École de Légèreté in 2011 in Italy where she obtained a licence to teach in 2016. In 2015, Martha began working in Vittorio di Capua Equestrian Rehabilitation Centre in Niguarda Hospital (Milan) as a horse trainer and instructor for the sports field together with her regular freelance lessons to private students in other equestrian centres.

Martha's extensive experience in different equestrian fields mixed with the need to have flexible animals to be able to deal with the various activities at the centre: from groundwork to a patient-horse relationship but also riding sessions where the horse needs to keep a smooth and constant rhythm and pace. So she started to work with the team, in order to understand the needs and to have the right training for each horse, since the most important thing was and still is to keep the horse honest in its emotions and true to the session. This is constant regular training. E.g. changing from riding sessions to relax and work on the horses' asymmetry through specific exercises; groundwork to exercise the horses to be lead during a session that could also be uncomfortable; liberty style both to create a stronger link with the person on the ground and to manage those negative emotions that can happen during a session such as stress or, sometimes, boredom.

How to be connected with the horse to work better - workshop
I will explain the different typologies of interventions that we can use in order to have a more cooperative relaxed and honest animal on our side.

Píšová Markéta (Czech Republic)

Markéta (MSc, PhD) is a teacher of the vocational subjects at High school of veterinary disciplines. She was a professor of Animal Husbandry at the Mendel University in Brno during her PhD program. She has been engaged in equine-facilitated therapy for 15 years as a volunteer. Since 1995, she has been working as a special-needs educator in her EFT centre focused on clients of all ages with a specialization in fine motor skills. Her research is intended primarily on graphomotor skills and fine motor skills development.

The effect of Equine Facilitated Learning on graphomotor skills - lecture
The lecture deals with the effect of Equine Facilitated Learning on graphomotor skills. The study shows the work of special needs educator using a horse for coordination of the arms and fingers - developing graphomotor skills.

Prokopová Zuzka (Czech Republic)

Zuzka has been enthusiastically raising horses and their people for 18 years. She has been working with wild horses from pastures, untouched by people, problematic horses and horses preparing for the life of riding horses. She tries to help people find common ground and mutual understanding with their horses. Therapy horses undergo special training in her centre to be ready to work with clients with special needs.

Partnership with a horse in Equine Facilitated Interventions - workshop
Horse training focused on cooperation, prevention of horse burnout in Equine Facilitated Intervenstions, fair approach to horses.

Shkedi Anita (Israel)

Dr Anita Shkedi’s life’s work in clinical and public healthcare and as an Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAA/T) practitioner, which led her to help people who have experienced trauma, face their adversity, build resilience, and find joy. After three and a half decades of working as an EAA/T practitioner with many veterans and others with PTSD, she has had ongoing opportunities to study, teach, write, and spend hours in reflective practice.

Dr Anita Shkedi founded Therapeutic Horseback Riding in Israel in 1985 and developed Israel’s official diploma curriculum for therapeutic horseback riding at the Nat Holman School of Coaches at the Wingate Institute of Physical Education in 1988, which became the springboard for multiple other related therapeutic studies. She has a Doctorate in Education specializing in curriculum building for EAA/T. She is the author of the book Traumatic Brain Injury and Therapeutic Riding and has authored many articles. She lectures and consults worldwide in the areas of equine-assisted activities and therapies, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries, and provides clinics and workshops through her new website, anitashkedi.com. 

In 2015, the author received an Award of Excellence from Israel’s prestigious Wingate Institute and is in the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for her contribution to therapeutic horseback riding.

Horses Heal PTSD: Walking New Paths - lecture
Today, the world is becoming more aware of the realization that horses, with whom we have had a relationship from ancient times, are able to provide holistic energetic healing, and can address the human mind, body and soul as an integrated unit, which is known to be more successful than treating any of these levels separately. The horse can reach the core of problems shifting energetic patterns that keep destructive emotions, physical symptoms, and life-depleting habits and negative thoughts in place. Experiencing the horse can be awesome. For individuals with PTSD, who have difficulty in reducing stressors, and controlling and even freeing themselves of unwanted thoughts and emotions, the release of new energy is extremely motivating, providing a renewed sense of control and fulfilment. In the company of horses, individuals with PTSD can relieve anxieties that are deep-rooted at the emotional and ethereal level, rebuilding mindfulness, spirituality and inner peace. Bonding with the horses, becomes a life-altering experience, allowing a person the possibility of, once again, setting goals, pursuing life dreams and wishes, and rebuilding the relationship.

Slepchenko Yulia (Russia)

Slepchenko Yulia was born in 1973 in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). She graduated from SPb. Pedagogical University in 1996. Speciality: speech pathologist, defectologist and teacher (special needs educator) for intellectually disabled children. From 1996 to 2001, she worked in a State pre-school institution as a teacher-defectologist with children with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability.

In 2001, she founded an equestrian club and hippotherapy centre «Poly Eco» where she is a director and owner. Since 2005, she has been a member of the National Federation of Hippotherapy and Adaptive Equestrian Sports, and since 2017, she is its Vice President. In 2009 she graduated from the Medical College, and in 2013 she graduated from the Russian Higher School of Osteopathic Medicine, now she is a member of the Medical Association of Professional Osteopaths.

Since 2013, she has been a teacher of additional professional education courses for training specialists in the field of adaptive riding at the Federation of Hippotherapy in Moscow and the Higher Equestrian School in St. Petersburg. She is a co-author of professional retraining courses: "Hippotherapy and adaptive riding in the system of adaptive physical culture" and "Hippotherapy. Training of therapeutic horses". He is the author of courses "Horse as a tool of therapeutic influence on the rider's body", "Practical basics of working with children with disabilities using methods of adaptive riding", "Practical foundations of working with adults using methods of classical hippotherapy" (problems of male and female health, scoliosis, osteochondrosis, the curvature of the pelvis, arthritis and arthrosis of the lower extremities, disorders of the autonomic nervous system, headaches.); "Diagnostics of a rider before treatment course of a classical hippotherapy using the methods of applied kinesiology" and "The use of body-oriented practices in the removal of rider's sports phobias".

Correction of pelvic somatic dysfunctions with the help of Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy - lecture
We´ll talk about the main pelvic somatic dysfunctions, the causes of the diseases. And also I´ll suggest you some exercises on the horse during the session of hippotherapy.

Stergiou Alexandra (Greece)

Alexandra holds a PhD from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the Medical School of the University of Ioannina. She is running her own practice since 2009 at Ioannina Therapeutic Riding Centre. Alexandra is also a further and professional education instructor, registered at the Greek Department of Education in selected modules in the field of Special Education and Rehabilitation. Her research interest is on the rehabilitation of children with neurological disorders and an autism spectrum disorder. She is a peer reviewer in high impact journals (American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Advances in Autism, etc) and she is also a junior Editor of HETI scientific journal: International Research and Practice. She has taken part in numerous scientific conferences and has served as a member of organizing and scientific boards. Alexandra has attained and announced many oral and poster presentations in congresses and has published numerous articles in international scientific journals.

Literature Review in Equine Facilitated Therapy - lecture
The lecture deals with the literature review conducted in scientific databases and is about equine-facilitated therapies that refer to the physical benefits of children with neurological-muscular disorders.

Svobodová Xenia (Czech Republic)

RNDr Xenia Svobodová, PhD, MBA works at CEFTA as a project manager and consultant for education. To support Equine Facilitated Therapy, she prepared several grant applications in cooperation with EFT centres. She completed CEFTA training in the field of EF learning and psychology and psychiatry. She works as a lecturer in the EFT centres Jupiter and Kamenitý vrch. Xenia has several years of counselling and educational experience, psychotherapeutic training and many years of experience as a businesswoman and manager in the field of diagnostics and drug research. She graduated from Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Natural Sciences, completed postgraduate studies at the Technical University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic and management studies at the Donau University in Krems, Lower Austria.

Equine Facilitated Learning - project in non-formal education of children - lecture
The lecture presents a summary of methodologies and results achieved so far. The activities of the project are realised in 7 EFT centres of the Czech Equine Facilitated Therapy Association. The project is supported by a grant from the EU and the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic.

Šámalová Magdaléna (Czech Republic)

Magda is a PhD student at the Czech University of Life Sciences. She has been actively participating in Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy for 5 years, as a horse handler and trainer in the EFT training centre Caballinus. Within her dissertation, Magda deals with the topic of the horse responses to clients behaviour in Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy (EFP). She started working on this topic during her master's degree when she conducted a pilot study on the Effect of the client's vocal expressions on a horse during EFP. The goal is to find out how clients influence the therapy horse welfare during the treatment session and to suggest recommendations regarding the schedule of clients with significant expressions to maintain horse welfare.

Does Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy affect horses? - lecture
The effect of the client's vocal expression on a horse during EFP therapy session.

Šťastná Kohoutová Monika (Czech Republic)

Monika (BSc) studied occupational therapy at the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. Since 2008 he has been working as an Equine Facilitated Therapy specialist and coordinator in the centre SRAZ, z.s. in Prague. She has been cooperating with CEFTA as a lecturer. She is a member of the Erasmus+ team under CEFTA and also a member of the Czech Association of Occupational Therapists. From 2006 to 2008 she worked at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University and the General Univesity Hospital in Prague. She was engaged in both clinical and educational practices (occupational therapist for clients after brain injury and lecturer of occupational therapy subjects).

Equine Facilitated Occupational Therapy with a 2 y/o child with dg. fetal alcohol syndrome and agenesis of the corpus callosum - a case study - lecture
This case study of a two-year-old client shows an undeniable effect of EFOT; it was the only rehab intervention. The lecture demonstrates the application of different therapy positions according to the reached developmental milestones resulting in a fully active child.

Vašíčková Lia (Czech Republic)

Lia Vašíčková, MD, PhD is a physician engaged initially in paediatrics, orthopaedics and hippotherapy. She did an equestrian sport from the age of 12, daily, active, junior champion of the Czech Republic in dressage, and member of the Czech Republic championship team in show-jumping. University degree at Faculty of Medicine of Charles University at level MD, equestrian sport as a recreation for pleasure. The first specialization in internal medicine, the second specialization in general rehabilitation, physiatrists and balneology. Professional work for 30 years as a specialist in individuals with paraplegia - problems of spinal cord injury (SCI), instructor and lecturer in the field, including seating and wheelchair mobility. PhD degree at the Masaryk University Brno with the thesis "The optimization of manual wheelchair mobility in patients with spinal cord injury.  1988 organization and the beginning of hippotherapy at Hamza's specialized rehabilitation centre in Luže-Košumberk. In 1991, she initiated the Czech Equine Facilitated Therapy Association (CEFTA) foundation, based in Luže-Košumberk and became the first chairwoman (1991-1994). In 1992, she founded the spinal rehabilitation unit in Luže-Košumberk as a chief medical officer. In 1995, she was the first in the Czech Republic to use horses to rehabilitate spinal patients in the early rehabilitation phase after SCI. She is currently employed at Rehabilitation Department and Spinal unit of Department of Traumatology of University Hospital Brno. She lectures as a professor at the Faculty of Medicine at Masaryk University Brno, in the National education centre in Brno, for CEFTA and other institutions. Member of many international and national professional societies.

The 30-year anniversary of the Czech Equine Facilitated Therapy Association - how it started
The history of foundation of the Czech Equine Facilitated Therapy Association

Zink Roswitha (Austria)

Roswitha Zink, M.Sc, studied biology and psychology, works as an animal-assisted psychotherapist mainly with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, grief or get palliative care. Passion and expertise are the training of therapy horses to make their special non-verbal abilities available to people in therapy. Body language and affect attunement, as well as self-efficacy, are valuable keywords.

Home in Europe, Vienna, Austria in the Otto Wagner Spital on the www.Lichtblickhof.at

Horses touch more than our skin: heartbeat, rhythm and music - lecture
Together with Renate Deimel. A scientific study about HRV and Cortisol is presented in a practical and bottom-up way.