The Epona Trust – What We Do
Russells Equestrian Centre is home to the Epona Trust. The Trust was founded in 1993 to accommodate horses and ponies in need of specialist care and attention on a daily basis. Managed by four trustees and a voluntary committee, the Trust is committed to the rehabilitation of animals back to a stable and healthy lifestyle. On completion of the program, the horses and ponies either remain at Russells to fulfil a normal working life or are re-homed with riders that are able to continue the work of the Trust in a private and caring environment.
Epona by Definition
Epona was the ancient British goddess of horses. The native breeds of Britain are sometimes referred to as the foals of Epona. This is an appropriate name for the Trust as we aim to help each horse reach the full potential that it possessed as a foal.
The Epona Trust strives to:
- Increase public awareness of the needs of horses and ponies and thus counter the ignorance which lies at the base of so much abuse of these animals.
- Rehabilitate animals into the working world when they have been through the first stage of rescue (physical rehabilitation).
- Promote the use of horses for therapeutic work with the young and with people with special needs.
- Increase understanding of problem horses by the use of workshops and clinics using the rehabilitated animals.
- Set up a network of educated riders who can provide supervised foster homes for rehabilitation cases, thus giving space for a further intake of animals.
- Undertake that animals will remain the property or the Trust or of the providing charities. They will never be sold again and will be humanely put down at home when veterinary opinion considers it necessary.
- Set up and fund a museum of horsemanship to provide a focal point for study and to promote understanding of the roles of horses in human development.
Therapies and Training Methods
The therapies and training methods we use with the horses and ponies that come to the Trust include:
- Round pen work (Monty Roberts join up).
- McTimony chiropractor treatment (Well Back clinic). Students from the college use our premises for their training.
- Shiatsu massage/equine massage.
- Bach flower remedies (very effective for horses!)
- A specialist veterinary practise (Riverside vets).
- An equine dentist (Gregg Wood).
- A specialist farrier (Mark Philips).
To enable the work of the Epona Trust to continue, we offer a number of horses and ponies for loan. We also stage fundraising events such as open days, barbeques and mini shows. The funds raised are used to support the ongoing rehabilitation programs.
Working closely with other animal welfare organisations in the protection and care of ponies and horses, it is often the case there are more animals in need of help than the resources and funds available to help them.
Donations of any kind, either monetary or practical help are always gratefully accepted.
Horses and Ponies for Loan
Adults and children showing a reasonable level of competence in horse care and in riding may take a suitable horse or pony on loan. This is a good way to develop a one-to-one relationship with your horse or pony without having sole responsibility for it and with the support and encouragement of professional and knowledgeable staff.
For further information about the work of the Trust, how you may help, or loaning a horse, please contact us by e-mail, telephone or in person.