It is so heart warming to watch our sassy lass Epona come into her own within the herd and now with people in Equine ReWilding work.
When she first came into our lives she was compliant and perhaps a bit shutdown. She didn’t really engage with us too much at first, although we were consistent in our positive regard for her. We would take a selection of brushes into the field to brush the herd and she refused to be brushed. Rather than use approach and retreat method to get her to accept brushing, we weren’t in a rush. We let her have the choice, if she didn’t want to be brushed, no problem, no brush.
In our work, it is so important we allow our ponies and horses to ‘re-wild’. To connect to their four body system (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies) (their inner world) and also to the herd, nature and the land they live out on (their outer world). This connection helps bring their out their real self, their wild self. As a Dartmoor Hillie it didn’t take too long to become her wild self and out came the sassy attitude. It was amazing to see her character develop with the others in the herd, she may be little but her energy was massive and she is a very brave pony. Danny moves everyone’s feet in the herd but if he pushes her at a pace too fast she will swish him in the face with her tail whilst moving. He doesn’t seem to allow the other mares that leeway.
As the months passed we noticed she would approach certain people for a moment and then retreat off. Last month she stepped up to work with a young lad, alongside fellow Dartmoors, Hope and Grace. At our winter warmer yesterday we were quite amazed to see her actively participate and connect with someone, she was so affectionate and even welcomed brushing and stroking. Shortly after this event, she made a beeline for another lady who had just popped in to collect her sister and mother from the winter warmer. It turned out that back in July when we did a talk and meditation for the Ilminster positive living group that lady had been drawn to stand by the photo of Epona and connect to her. Months later, Epona was drawn to stand by her renewing the connection in person. This is when we appreciate how connected our connections can be, how powerful and that they can test our previously held perceptions and beliefs.
Interesting Fact About Epona: All year round she has a shiny almost black coat except for a few weeks in the summer when her secret roan will come out and a star map appears which we joke is Epona’s Guide to the Galaxy.