You will often hear the phrase "A horses behavior acts like a mirror of our own", but a horse is so much more than that...

The magnificent horse...more than just an animal, the horse is a sentient being, he thinks, he feels, he acts. He is capable of incredible insight and ancient wisdom, and he can share that with us…if we choose to listen.

At Epona we embrace a holistic way of being, and that includes our interactions with the horses. The thoughtful design of Epona Farm includes organic gardens, wildlife habitats, serenity, and the opportunity to achieve holistic wellness with the help of the horse.  Horses, and the lifestyle that goes along with them, provide us opportunities to become not only exceptional horse people, but people of great character. People who treat horses and animals humanely, with great compassion, empathy and respect. People who respect the earth. People who help others. We also learn critical life and communication skills, improve non-verbal communication, focus, attention, and self-esteem. Horses help us tap into our abilities to connect our minds and our bodies, to improve ourselves and make changes for the better.

When you come to our farm, you become part of one of our area's finest equine, and equine facilitated wellness programs, led by a team of experienced, credentialed and passionate equestrians.  You deserve the richness and positivity that our program can bring to your life...You belong here.


register now for Epona Services

Ready to learn to ride? Become a better horseperson? Improve your health and wellness while enjoying the beauty of the farm in the fall? It's easy and fast to join our program, just click the Epona registration button to begin! All fall lessons are buy 3 get one free until October 1st!


2015 EFL/EFP Schedule
Equine Assisted Therapies and Equine Assisted Activities.
click here for more info

Session 1
4/20-6/28/15
10 Weeks
register by 3/23/2015

Session 2
7/13-8/23/15
6 Weeks
register by 6/6/2015

Session 3
9/7-11/14/15
10 Weeks
register by 8/11/2015

Heart Work With Horses℠  helps horse owners improve their connections with their horse, builds rider fitness, and improves balance. In addition to the wonderful benefits riding can bring, it is also incredibly helpful for children and adults while they find their inner power and peace, build self-esteem, battle the effects of depression, improve health and wellness, improve functioning for those with physical and developmental special needs. For our Veterans, it is a proven therapeutic tool to help treat the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Through our understanding of the horses behavior and herd dynamics, we learn about the horses social and behavioral patterns, which can in turn, teach us about our own behaviors.

Where does the name "Epona Heart Work With Horses" come from? Epona is a Celtic deity and the protector of horses, donkeys, and mules. She is also known as a goddess of fertility, as she is often portrayed with abundant grain, cornucopia's and in the presence of foals. At the heart of what we do is humane, ethical and protective care of horses, donkeys and mules, and the sharing of our gardens, teaching of organic agriculture and therapeutic horticulture. When we were searching for official names to give our beautiful farm, Epona seemed so fitting, there really was no other choice!

Since 2008 we have specialized in riding instruction for children as young as 4, and children and adults with special needs as young as 2, but we serve individuals of all abilities. We also offer comprehensive learning and wellness programs that utilize the biomechanics of human and equine movement to improve function and physical fitness, while enjoying the many wonderful qualities that horses possess.

Colleen is an Equine Specialist and Instructor certified in Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Hippotherapy and as a ACE certified Therapeutic Exercise Specialist. She also has numerous certifications in health, wellness, and holistic life coaching. Allyson is an Equine Specialist certified in Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and has audited and attended several clinics related to Hippotherapy, wellness and health. You can learn more about us, and our own personal Heart Work Journey here

Epona Farm is the host of the Borrowed Freedom program. Our Borrowed Freedom program is one of four member facilities in NYS of the American Hippotherapy Association. With AHA credentialed staff and participating therapists, we borrow the motion of the horse to achieve freedom from many of the issues we face as individuals with special needs. 

Colleen Cheechalk holds the following Certifications:

  • American Hippotherapy Association Level I
  • OK Corral Series Equine Assisted Learning & Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
  • ACE Therapeutic Exercise Specialist
  • Mind Body Method With Horses with Kathy Pike

Allyson Cheechalk holds the following Certifications

  • OK Corral Series Equine Assisted Learning & Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

 

The Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies & Activities Program

In riding a horse...we borrow freedom

Colleen is the founder and executive director of the Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc. program. Since  its official beginnings in June of 2009, Borrowed Freedom has changed the live of hundreds of at-risk youth and children and adults with special needs by giving them access to low cost or free Horsemanship, Adaptive (Therapeutic) Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine Facilitated Learning and Adaptive Horsemanship. Colleen and Allyson each volunteer thousands of hours to the program each year from administration, horse training, lessons and fundraising. Todd makes sure everything works like it should.

Epona Equestrian Center & Farm Sanctuary has been the home of the program since its inception, and Colleen's family has provided the majority of the care for the horses that are used for programming, and the development of the farm, including the arena, classrooms, and all construction needed to be a fully accessible facility. It has been a true family affair, and labor of love. This allows Borrowed Freedom scholarship dollars to be used to their full potential. In 2013, Borrowed Freedom expanded with the formation of the Excelsior Thoroughbred Advancement Program and the Excelsior Equestrian Program. These two vital programs bring Thoroughbred racehorses who are at risk of being sent to slaughter with youth and adults at at-risk or in rehabilitation. In 2014 Borrowed Freedom established the Willis Ashley Foley Warrior and War Horse program for Veterans and their families.

Borrowed Freedom is an IRS Certified 501c3 Non-profit organization. Donations toward its many scholarship programs are welcome and are tax deductible. Click here to learn more about the Borrowed Freedom program.

Gifts to our Borrowed Freedom Program an IRS Certified 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN# 27-0327968), are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Borrowed Freedom is registered with NYS Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.

Wines for Charity

We have been home wine makers for many, many years and we've donated thousands of bottles. One of our favorite things was to create beautiful custom labels for the event we were donating to as a surprise.

These days our schedules just don't afford us the opportunity to make as much wine as we used to, so we were thrilled to find a producer and a program that would allow us to continue this tradition. They may not be my famous Mini Whinny Merlot or Thoroughbred Cabernet, but they are wonderful wines with unique labels I have created just for this program.

Wines are $19.99 per bottle, and 100% of the generous net proceeds will be donated to the Borrowed Freedom program for support of its community programming.  Shipping is discounted when buying multiple bottles. I really think everyone needs at least one of each! This charity wine sale will be one of the largest fundraising programs we will have.

To learn more about these wonderful vegan, organic and ethically produced wines, visit the sales website at www.benefitwines.com/epona

We also will have order forms available at all of our fundraising events, including our upcoming wine tasting event on December 6th! Click here for details!