Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Epona in Saddle

Epona: patron goddess of mares and foals
Pona: to heal, to recover. To survive.

Day 3 at training, and Epona has learned to pack a saddle. I commented that she looks bigger with the saddle, and her trainer said that she is also "the best girl."

It's nice to know that the sweetness and strength we saw here has carried with her to training. 

I've also witnessed an incredible confidence in her feet, or sure-footedness, and I'm eager to see if that also translates into the formal training. She's the kind of horse who just slides through mud and ice and stays on all fours like it's nothing. Mud puddles, standing water--meh. She hasn't shown any fear.

I had worried about not having separated her from her mother these last few years, and if that would make her more buddy/barn sour. Oddly, it has seemed to have done the opposite. Her mom didn't miss her, and she doesn't appear to be missing home.


I follow several trainers on FB, and it's always interesting to see what they're doing with the horses. (One of the things I love about ours is that she has always kept us in the loop and even encouraged us to participate in the training. Not all do that.) Anyway, I was reading the bio of this other very good trainer, and it mentioned a few things that she specializes at:

1. Getting to the feet
2. Mental soundness
3. Lateral Work
4. Centered Balance

Those are all the things I, too, am working on with Tumbleweed.

I realized, after the despooking clinic, that I need to spend more time on 1 and 2, while still working on 3 and 4. 

I will be focusing on MORE forward, and MORE straight, with MORE togetherness (which seems to help him), over new obstacles. By togetherness I mean, more ground work at my side, where I can see him with my peripheral vision, and less driving work over obstacles. (That's the advice I received from the horse trainer at the clinic, and I think it was wise.)

I will also focus on being, as he said, less greedy, and really trying to learn when is the best time to stop and take the win.

It's funny to think that Epona and Tumbleweed, if all goes well, will be on the trail together someday. That will be a dream come true. I'm looking forward to adding her into the training and riding around here when she gets home.


  1. Awww look at her, all grown up! She sounds like she has an incredibly good attitude- no surprise there really, after all the attention she has had during her short life. All that good handling has paid off- and good genetics tops it off.
    Who is this old cowboy trainer? He sure has good advice.

    1. Very true. I've often thought she is the perfect combo of "orphan foal" and non-orphan. She had the intense human handling, but never really lost the influence and training of her mama. Cowgirl is a no nonsense boss mare, and that is showing through, but Epona is sweeter than her mama, and that is probably the human influence.

      The trainer is Larry West. This clinic was the first time I'd met him, but I have heard a lot of people in my area like what he does and follow him through social media. I felt that his observations and suggestions were spot on, and he has an understandable presentation.

  2. She does look bigger with the saddle on. I’m glad it’s going well.

    1. Our vet predicted she’d be taller than her mama, and that was hard to believe. But she is still growing. 😳

  3. Epona is all grown up & looks awesome! Glad she is doing so well. I have no doubt that Epona & Tumbleweed will be traveling Happy Trails together!!


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