Monday, April 4, 2022

Decisions About Epona

I was talking to my daughter last week about Epona and she plans to take her to training next year for "kindergarten." She said she wants to figure out if Epona will work for her in the next few years and, if she doesn't, she won't keep her. I took that to mean she'd sell her. It's her horse, and she can certainly do that if she wants.

But that wasn't what she meant, and she clarified yesterday that she would always give me a first right of refusal. In other words, if she doesn't work out for her, I can take Epona over. Either way, she said that while she's raising and having children--the next phase of her life--there may not be a lot of riding done, and she hopes we will do as much as we can with Epona until she's ready. The more work she gets, the better. 

Whew! I was happy to hear that. We could use another young one in the next few years as an extra horse to ride. Most of our herd is, or will be, retired. It kicked me into gear, and led to my first decision as a "co-raiser," releasing her with the herd.

I ran it by my daughter, and she was on board with my plan: release Cowgirl and Epona with the herd leader and sweetie, Foxy, and the elderly, head-shaker (in spring), Cowboy. Let them acclimate for awhile, and then introduce a few more, until all are together--sometime before June. 

We have a lot to do with the pastures this week--spray for weeds, rake them out--and there isn't any real grass growing, but they do enjoy their time out, and it gives them lots of space to get away from each other when the feet start to fly.

When I opened the gate for Foxy, she didn't waste one second, but ran straight out toward mama and baby. Mama ran straight toward Foxy, too. I thought it was going to be a mare war, but it was more like a joyous reunion. Epona slipped a bit and favored her back leg (as you might see in the video) but it was short lived. She did well and was OH SO HAPPY to be with new horses.





It was fun to watch them, and I was so happy for little Epona getting to make new friends. Her favorite is Tumbleweed, and he has eyes for her, too, but that full introduction will have to wait to happen since he is off at college.

We also got a quick hike in yesterday on the trails I usually ride. It's such a different perspective walking them myself. It makes me feel less sorry for my horses, too. I thought to myself, if I can do this, they certainly can.





There's a windstorm that has been predicted for a while, and it just arrived with 50-60 mph winds. We are prepared to lose power, and have secured as much as we can from damage, but it's going to be a long day here as we wait this out.

Wish us luck.

8 comments:

  1. Some interesting herd dynamics going on there. Epona is so full of curiosity and Foxy is making sure she knows who the leader of the herd is. Cowgirl is pretty chill about her baby getting the first lesson in pecking order. Cowboy is looking good too.

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    1. Foxy is great. I just love her, and so does Cowgirl. Cowgirl kind of lost Foxy as a best friend when Tweed came along. She was happy to be reunited and, honestly, I think there have been moments she would have gladly given Foxy Epona to raise. Lol. Cowboy is doing some head shaking, but all in all, he survived winter well and can now get in shape again. I’ve been doing MM bodywork with him and it calms the head bobbing.

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  2. That went really well. It so good for Epona to learn how to have good manners.

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    1. Yes, I agree. Herd life does more for them than I can, and with her being somewhat an orphan foal, the more horse life she gets, the better.

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  3. Awww, Epona is growing up!! Loved the video's. "I'm gonna stay on THIS side of mom until I figure the herd thing out" lol. It seemed to me Cowgirl was keeping one eye on Epona.

    At first, when I started reading your post I wondered how you/daughter could sell Epona after all the TLC it took to get her where she is. I do understand expenses and agree with having a good fit for both horses and humans. If it comes to passing her on, I was happy to read the pretty girl would land softly with you <3

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    1. Yes, my daughter is more pragmatic than I am. Haha. I don’t ever sell a horse. Never. Ever. She told me she wouldn’t charge me for her, and she considers her both of ours because of the investment I’ve put into her. As long as I am willing to care for her, she stays here or goes with my daughter to her next home, and maybe back and forth between us, as necessary to keep her busy. I was quite relieved. It takes so long to get them all grown up and trained, my daughter might be in a much different place by the time Epona is in her prime.

      I was impressed with Cowgirl, and continue to be impressed. She is socializing her baby exceptionally well, while still keeping a watchful eye on the situation. She’s a noble mama.

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  4. Love the videos. I hope Epona gets to stay with you after all you've done to help her along since she was born. It's obvious she loves and trusts you.

    I left a longer comment a few days ago. For some reason my comments aren't going through. Oh well, I'll try and figure it out.

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    1. I’m seeing some of your comments. I think I have a time limit on the posts that requires me to approve them if it’s after so many days. I was getting too many comments on articles that were years old.

      Epona really does trust me. We had that windstorm the other day and I went out to the barn and found her hiding in the corner of her stall, petrified. I brought her a bucket of water, assuming she was too frightened to go outside to her automatic. She drank and drank. Then I walked around outside in the windstorm so she could see me and see it was okay. She did a total turnaround and became very confident again. So, I think that rough start to life made her a horse between two worlds—human and horse. That’s a special situation.

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