Our approach (EMR)

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What is Equine Memory Rewriting (EMR)?

EMR © uses the innate abilities of the equine nervous system to rapidly access and transform the schemas at the root of their problematic behaviours and psychological states. In EMR ©, the problematic behaviours and psychological states of equines that stem from schemas in their memory are seen as a reflection of the learnings that the various experiences linked to domestication have led them to construct in order to adapt.

The scientific validation of the EMR © framework and its methods comes from the major and relatively recent discoveries made by neuroscientists on memory reconsolidation. Reconsolidation is the only neural mechanism known to science that allows learned and ingrained behavioural and emotional responses to be fundamentally unlearned, “erased” and rewritten (Ecker & Vaz, 2022; Monfils et al., 2009). For almost a century, this result was presumed impossible to achieve, until scientific studies published between 1997 and 2000 took the scientific community by surprise by demonstrating the opposite (Nader, K., Schafe, G.E. & Ledoux, J.E., 2000; Przybylawski, J. & Sara, S.J., 1997;).

Sandy's Expertise

EMR © has been developed over the past 20 years by Equine Technician Sandy Letarte. After 10 years of full-time observation of horses in semi-natural conditions and in extensive breeding. She developed and tested an intervention method based on the coherence of equine communication and their need of completion. The EMR © methodology is, therefore, the fruit of 20 years of study, observation and experimentation in the field with hundreds of equines, and through the teaching and experimentation of dozens of professionals trained in this approach for over a decade in Canada and Europe.

The way in which profound change occurs in equine memory is very clearly represented in EMR ©, and rigorously follows the steps of the Therapeutic Memory Reconsolidation Process (Ecker, 2018; 2015). This is what enables practitioners to achieve changes directly in the equine’s memory with a high level of consistency in results.

The process  entirely based on the equine’s experiences during the intervention, and the consistency of the practitioner’s communication is crucial, as is the absolute necessity of respecting the animal’s limbic tolerance threshold.

A wide range of symptoms can be alleviated with EMR © (see below), as can more or less visible traumas that may also be held in memory.

Non-exhaustive list of symptoms* dispelled by EMR © :

Undesirable behavioursBehavioural disorders
Hard to approachProblems on the lead ropeDefensive behaviour while riding/drivingStereotypies (oral and locomotor)
Separation anxietyIssues with groomingResistance to the bitSelf-mutilation (self-harm)
Conflicts with pastures matesIssues with tackingResistance to the aidsLignophagia
Phobias (trailer, etc.)Issues picking up the feetImpulsion issuesAny other behaviour showing a significant and sustained deviation from a normal behaviour in terms of modality, intensity and frequency.
Heigntened agressionIssues with veterinary careLearned helplessness

*It is important to check with a veterinarian beforehand to exclude any medical cause for these symptoms.