Equine Positional Release Principles

Spanish Mustangs                           

Photo courtesy of Sierra Perkins, La Jara Spanish Mustangs, New Mexico   

11 Casuarina St


South Australia, 5481

Email: zcs@protonmail.com

Mobile: +61 477 945 006

“The highest ideal of cure is rapid,

gentle and permanent restoration of the health,

or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent,

in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way,

based on easily comprehensible principles.”

§ 2 The Organon of Medicine, Dr S. Hahnemann

Non Force Principles

Applying the holistic non force principles creates safe and reciprocal communication between the practitioner and the horse.


1. Movement Towards Comfort and Away from Pain

Comfortable positioning stimulates the neuromuscular self corrective reflexes which facilitate postural and structural adjustments. The practitioner moves the body away from a painful position to release the pain.


Working within the range of comfort creates a calm, safe, interactive working environment.


2. Less is More

The practitioner does enough to initiate a neuromuscular reflexive response.

Neuromuscular reflexes have the potential to engage the self corrective capacity of the body.


3. Preferred Posture

Moving with the preferred posture, we work with the energy and force of the body. Preferred posture provides a body map for the techniques.


4. Slight Exaggeration of Preferred Posture with Compression

The practitioner will mimic and slightly exaggerate the horse’s position, movement and posture.
The principle of exaggeration is related to the feedback mechanism of the neuromuscular reflexes, nerve endings called proprioceptors found in muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and hollow organs. Compression, applying slight pressure and movement into the effected area, speeds the process of proprioception and facilitates the process of self-adjustment.


Proprioceptors relay information to the nervous system about body position, balance, movement and coordination. Compression of the effected joint, speeds the process of proprioception.


5. Noticing and Observation

Noticing, observing and feeding back the horse's behaviour, posture and movement, enables the practitioner to work directly with the synchronistic nature of the horse. Noticing and observation stimulates self-recognition, cognition and the self-corrective mechanism in the horse.


6. Self Correction

Holistic medicine is based on the premise the body has the inherent capacity for adjustment and adaptation, self regulation, self correction and homoeostasis.


A holistic approach embraces the dynamic interaction of the horse, horse person and the environment. Using a non-force approach, non-force contact and positioning to trigger the neuromuscular reflexive responses, the practitioner aims to stimulate the horse's self regulatory mechanisms.

Everyone benefits from the work: the horse, horse person and practitioner.

7. Education and Accessibility

The foundations of EPR are simple and easy to learn. Anyone can learn the basics of EPR to use with their horse. The EPR theory, techniques and exercises are available to everyone from equine professionals to horse enthusiasts and lay people.


“Horsemanship through feel is handed down from one friend to another”

True Horsemanship Though Feel , Bill Dorrance

Equine Communication Principles

Tracking and interpreting the gestures of the horse, is as important to the effectiveness of EPR as applying the non force principles.


Movement toward comfort, less is more, preferred position, exaggeration, observation and synchronisation are all tools to help the practitioner listen to and respond to the needs of the horse,  enabling the horse to engage in the therapeutic process.


1. Observation

Observing the behaviour and gestures of the horse provides a platform for communication and understanding between people and horses.


Horses visually monitor their environment noticing movement and changes in their surroundings.


2. Gestures

Observing and interpreting the gestures of the horse is an essential part of the practice of EPR.

The practitioner makes use of the interpretation of gestures of the horse to:

  • Build rapport.
  • Maintain safety.
  • Interpret the responses of the horse.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of our cooperative approach throughout the EPR session.
  • Monitor the physiological effectiveness of the EPR treatment.


3. Engagement and Disengagement

The practitioner makes use of the interpretation of gestures and the signs of engagement and disengagement of the horse, to maintain a safe and effective working environment.


Signs of Engagement:

  • Eye Contact
  • Ear Movement and Position
  • Blinking
  • Mouth Movement
  • Head Movement
  • Following the Person

Signs of Disengagement:

  • Looking Away
  • Ear Movement and Position
  • Sleeping
  • Altered States: 'Zoning out'
  • Interacting with Others
  • Grazing
  • Moving away and Laying down


4. Signs of Pain

The practitioner learns to identify the common signs of pain.

Pain effects behaviour, body function, activity levels, facial features, gestures and vocalisation.

Pain adversely effects health and behaviour.


When distinguishing pain from behaviour it is important to determine if the activity being requested is understood and accepted by the horse.

To schedule an appointment contact:

EPR Institute

11 Casuarina St


South Australia, 5481


Email: zcs@protonmail.com

Mobile: +61 477 945 006