Equine Positional Release

Equine Positional Release (EPR) is a manual therapy based on the principles of non-force and movement away from pain to achieve joint stabilisation, soft tissue repair and postural re-education.


Treating the whole horse

Holistic Health Assessment considers:

  • The presentation of the horse.
  • The nature of the horse.
  • The environment the horse lives in.
  • The horse person.
  • The role of the horse.
  • The work or tasks the horse performs.
  • The herd environment.
  • The feeding regime.
  • Access to pasture, hay, fresh water.
  • Access to movement.


Building Co-operative

Horse-Human Relationships

Equine Positional Release uses non-force methods of handling, joint mobilisation and structural adjustment techniques to build rapport and to improve the lives of horses and horse people.


The EPR practitioner observes and listens to the horse, actively including the horse in treatment process.


Making use of the horse's gestures and body language, the practitioner can determine physical positions of comfort which ease pain and improve mobility.


Signs of pain, learning behaviour and self-corrective capacity are monitored to build trust, safety and rapport.


Equine Positional Release

Non-force positional release exercises and techniques stimulate the self-corrective capacity in the body.


Positional Release exercises directly stimulate the nervous system, acting as an educational tool for body posture, gait, performance and ultimately behaviour.


Postural re-education is a spontaneous outcome of the co-operative approach, style of contact and the stimulation of nervous system via proprioception.


Proprioception is a reflexive, self-regulatory system initiated by movement, touch and positioning to assist with balance and spatial orientation.


The natural response of the body is to seek balance and sustainable performance using these self-corrective mechanisms in the body.

EPR Treatment

An initial consultation involves some discussion with the horse and rider/trainer about the current situation including history and veterinary or complementary treatments. This is followed by an assessment of the horse which includes:

  • Observing posture, movement patterns and gait at the walk, trot and/or canter.
  • Palpating specific areas to determine pain or tension and easy, comfortable contact.
  • Range of motion exercises involving muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.

The assessment is followed by specific positional release exercises exaggerating the horse's posture and movements with a focus on pain free, comfortable positioning. Front leg exercises may be used to affect the shoulder, neck, ribs and legs. Hind leg exercises are used to affect the back, abdomen, rump and hind leg. The exercises influence the nervous system to help re-organise the horse's balance and alignment. The horse is walked following the session to allow for integration.


What EPR can assist:

EPR works with the whole body, the horse as a whole.

Range of motion, flexibility, strength and endurance all improve once the body can move more freely. Comfortable, pain free movement under saddle or in training will improve attitude and behaviour.


EPR can be used to prevent injuries and to aid in the treatment of injuries including:

  • Muscular soreness and injury.
  • Joint problems.
  • Neck problems.
  • Shoulder problems.
  • Back problems.
  • Leg problems.
  • Hoof problems and rehabilitation.
  • Problems with movement.
  • Gait patterns irregularities.
  • Reduced performance.
  • Pain management.

Working holistically with the horse and rider improves attitude, understanding, behaviour and performance, along with the horse-rider partnership.