Executive Committee

Executive Committee 2021 – 2024

Gisela Heimsath-Rhodes

education@HETIfederation.org

Role

President

Country

Germany

Areas of specialisation

Therapeutic Riding, Vaulting, Education and Curriculum development

Languages spoken

German, English

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Gisela Heimsath-Rhodes

Gisela has a Masters Degree in Education from her native Germany. She was the Executive Director of HETI from 2009 to April 2018. She is senior faculty for the HETI Level I Education Program. She also teaches for the Council for Education and Certification in Therapeutic Horsemanship and PATH Intl. She is the author of Hello Bob, and Co-Author of Fitting In – A Horse’s Tale.

Alexandra Stergiou

alexandra@HETIfederation.org

Role

Vice President

Country

Greece

Areas of specialisation

Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation, Therapeutic riding, Research

Languages spoken

Greek, English

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Alexandra Stergiou

Alexandra has been running her own business at Ioannina Therapeutic Riding Centre in Greece for the last 12 years. She holds a master degree in Special Education from the Department of Primary Education and a PhD from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the Medical School of the University of Ioannina. She is also a further and professional education instructor, registered at the Greek Department of Education in selected modules in Special Education and Rehabilitation.Her research interest is on the rehabilitation of children with neurological-muscular disorders and with an autism spectrum disorder. Alexandra is a junior Editor of the HETI scientific journal and has taken part in numerous scientific conferences and served as a member of organising and scientific boards. She has also attained and announced many oral and poster presentations in congresses and published numerous articles in international scientific journals.

Marilyn Sokolof

marilyn@HETIfederation.org

Role

Treasurer

Country

USA

Areas of specialisation

Psychology, Psychotherapy, Mental health

Languages spoken

English

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Marilyn Sokolof

Marilyn has been providing Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy for over 20 years. She was President of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association and is an active member of working committees for PATH Intl (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) as well as faculty/evaluator for the Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Certification.PhD - Licensed PsychologistCertified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and LearningRegistered Therapeutic Riding InstructorClinical Director, HorseMpower, Incwww.unbridledtherapy.com2011 North Central Fla. Psychological Assoc. Distinguished Psychologist Award

Vera Lantelme-Faisan

vera.lantelme@HETIfederation.org

Role

Board Member

Country

Czech Republic

Areas of specialisation

Equine Facilitace Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy early care, International and European collaborations

Languages spoken

Czech, English, French

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Vera Lantelme-Faisan

Current Position: Chairwoman of The Czech Equine Facilitated Therapy Association (CEFTA) Current Employer: private businessVera has extensive experience in paediatric rehabilitation (since 1999) and has completed several specialized courses – Hippotherapy (CEFTA and AHA), Vojta method, CranioSacral Therapy, etc. She focuses on hippotherapy services for children from 3 months of age with a wide range of diagnoses. She has served on the Czech Equine Facilitated Therapy Association (CEFTA) board as a chairwoman since 2013. Since 2004, she has been teaching basic and advanced hippotherapy courses both in the Czech Republic and abroad. She is a coordinator of the European Equine Facilitated Therapy Network (EEFTN) governed by HETI.Vera is co-author of several publications: Hippotherapy (2018), Therapy Horse Certification System (2018) and Zooterapie v kostce (2020). In the period 2004-2009, she assisted to found a hippotherapy centre and conducted certified hippotherapy courses in the rehabilitation hospital in Saudi Arabia. Vera is a licenced physiotherapist in the Czech Republic and Great Britain and she is a listed therapist under the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA). Currently, she lives in France.

Renate Deimel

renate@HETIfederation.org

Role

Board member

Country

Austria

Areas of specialisation

Psychotherapy, Vaulting, Therapeutic riding

Languages spoken

German, English

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Renate Deimel

Renate says, “Therapy with horses has become my passion! I am lucky to work with Gundula Hauser and Roswitha Zink, so I had the honour to learn from them from my very start in this field. Now 10 years later, I am working as a psychotherapist with horses with foster children, children with different problems and disabilities and palliative care patients but also in the organisational Work, currently, I’m working a lot at our social media and website also fundraising and Team organisation”.At emotion Lichtblickhof, it has always been essential not only to work but also to think about what is working for the patients; there were many interesting 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 studied special needs education and am a psychotherapist and riding and vaulting instructor, also 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.

Anton Saratov

anton@HETIfederation.org

Role

Board member

Country

Russia

Areas of specialisation

Hippotherapy, Centre start-up and development, Para-equestrian sport

Languages spoken

Russian, English

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Anton Saratov

Anton joined hippotherapy activities in Russia as a volunteer in 2011. Two years later he founded an equine-assisted therapy centre Invacon in Moscow together with his wife Vera Elanskaya.  In 2018 the centre provides treatment for more than 120 children on a regular basis. Invacon also runs a para- and special Olympic program for children and adults, including National Paralympic team members. Anton is Vice-president of Invacon, Adviser for President of the National Federation of Therapeutic Riding. Anton holds a Master degree in applied mathematics.

Kiginu Nakata

kiginu@HETIfederation.org

Role

Board Member

Country

Japan

Areas of specialisation

Instructor of Riding for the Disabled, Therapeutic riding

Languages spoken

Japanese, English, French

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Kiginu Nakata

I first encountered therapeutic riding 15 years ago and started volunteering as a member of the RDA Japan and continue to present. Since I was little, I have been riding horses, and I had a physical disorder with coxarthrosis, so I started volunteering because I wanted to help people and society through therapeutic riding activities. I had worked as the secretariat of RDA Japan from 2012 to 2020. During that time, I managed the entire organisation's operation and was involved in reconstructing the Instructor qualification system. I mainly work in the field as an instructor, and I have two qualifications, RDA Japan level A instructor and HETI level 1 instructor. I am currently serving as a lecturer at the instructor training courses. And I’m acting as the vice president of RDA Japan. I also worked as a general manager or in charge of management departments like corporate planning, public affairs, including human resources and accounting in the foodservice industry and cosmetic industry from 1985 to 2012.Through these experiences, I would like to contribute to the HETI Executive Committee, bringing my skills such as strategic planning, qualifications, and human resource development to spread the spirit of HETI’s activities.

Henrika Jormfeldt

henrika@HETIfederation.org

Role

Board member

Country

Sweden

Areas of specialisation

Research, Mental health

Languages spoken

Swedish, English

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Henrika Jormfeldt

Educational Credentials/qualificationsProfessor in Nursing Sciences at Halmstad University, School of Health and welfare - 2019-still.Associate professor at Halmstad University, School of Health and welfare - 2013-2019.Senior lecturer at Halmstad University, School of Health and welfare - 2009-2019.Relevant work experience or work on committees etc.IFSAP Halmstad (http://ifsaphalmstad.dinstudio.se) President 2012 and still.Swedish Association of psychiatric and mental health nurses http://www.psykriks.se) President - 2009 and still.Horatio (http://horatio-web.eu/) Board member - 2017 May and still.Bråddared’s Horse for Health & Well-being (http://braddaredshast.dinstudio.se/14/1/hem/) CEO - 2018 and still.Experience working specifically with human and equine interactions.

  • Since 2018, I have been involved in horse assisted activities for people with enduring mental health issues at the company Bråddared’s Horse for Health & Well-being. For more information, go to http://braddaredshast.dinstudio.se/17/10/in-english/
  • I have received funding from the Swedish postcode lottery during 2018 and 2019 to provide and lead horse assisted activities for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and their relatives in cooperation with the user organisation IFSAP Halmstad.
  • I have received funding from the municipality of Halmstad during 2020 to provide and lead horse assisted activities for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and their relatives in cooperation with the user organisation IFSAP Halmstad.
I am involved in research (including fundraising), teaching, and the practical implementation of horse assisted activities regarding people with enduring mental health issues. I have also experience from being a board member at local, national and European levels.

Gustavo Dos Santos

gustavo@HETIfederation.org

Role

Board member

Country

Uruguay

Areas of specialisation

Para-equestrian sport, Special Olympics, Rehabilitation

Languages spoken

Spanish, English

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Gustavo Dos Santos

Gustavo has been an Officer Major of the Army Cavalry of Uruguay and a Horse Riding Instructor at the Army Riding School of the Country since 2004. From 2006 to the present time, he has occupied several positions in the National Equestrian Development and Rehabilitation Center (Ce.Na.F.R.E.) as Executive Secretary, Director of Center N °1 and as the Director of the Instructor Course of Equestrian Rehabilitation. Since 2009 he has been working in the Uruguayan Federation of Equestrian Sports (FUDE), holding positions as the National Director of Dressage (2009 to 2013) and as the National Director of Para-Equestrian Sports (2012 to today).

Marie-Therese Kuypers

marie@HETIfederation.org

Role

Public Officer (Belgian rep.)

Country

Belgium

Areas of specialisation

Languages spoken

Spanish, French, English

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Marie-Therese Kuypers

Marie-Thérèse is a physiotherapist from Belgium involved in a neurological paediatrics hospital since 1978. In 1980, she introduced horse therapy in the CHN William Lennox Hospital. She is a treasurer of “Handhippo”, the national non-profit association of Belgium, and has specialised in horse therapy and is a well-known expert in this field. She has been involved in FRDI-HETI as a board member, a vice-president and finally a “de jure” member for 20 years. She continues to help students in high school and university in completing scientific research relevant to this field.

Roisin Brennan

office@HETIfederation.org

Role

Executive Director

Country

Ireland

Areas of specialisation

Languages spoken

English

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Roisin Brennan

Roisin holds a Masters in Social Science from University College Dublin with a research focus on human and horse interactions during equine-assisted learning within a social psychological framework. She has apprenticed in several horse training facilities in British Columbia and California. Roisin has worked on and developed several programmes that utilise the horse’s presence and assistance for social and emotional development. Roisin’s interest and experience lie in curriculum development, research and equine welfare. Roisin is currently in her final year studying a Bachelor of Science in Counselling and Psychotherapy through Coventry University in the UK.

What are the Functions of the HETI Executive Committee?

The functions of the International Executive Committee are:

1) To act on behalf of the International Council between its meetings; to give effect to its decisions, recommendations and policies; and, to represent it at international events.
2) To promote therapeutic equestrian activities throughout the World by means of visits, correspondence, training courses and other appropriate action.
3) To advise and assist Federation members in carrying out the purpose, principles and methods of therapeutic equestrian activities.
4) To recommend the admission of organisations and federations applying for Federation Membership.
5) To expel any member for non-payment of dues or other non-compliance with membership mandates.
6) Provisionally suspend Federation Members which are not adhering to the purpose of HETI as laid down by Article I of this Articles of Association or which are not maintaining an organisational status as an independent, non-discriminatory, non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation. 7) To prepare the Agenda and Rules of Procedure of the triennial meetings of the International Council.
8) To appoint the Executive Director of HETI and to supervise the management of the International Bureau, and to approve its budget.
9) To grant consultative status to such individuals or organisations as may be of assistance to HETI.
10) To raise funds in the name of HETI.
11) To exercise other functions resulting from the Articles of Association and its Bylaws.