Written By Nina Bomar
I learned about the EponaShoe while walking around the AERC convention, which was held in Texas several years ago. I was intrigued with their product, but more importantly, I wanted to learn about the founder of the company named Monique. The guy who was manning the booth thought I’d really love to get to know her and he promised to share her contact information.
When we got home from our trip, I researched the whole EponaShoe history, watched every one of their educational videos, and quickly learned that Monique had also written a book titled “A Modern Look At The Hoof”. I ordered a copy and can remember reading it carefully and slowly for the next few months. I took notes and reread stuff that interested me or that I didn’t comprehend the first time around.
Afterward, I sent a message to Monique, never expecting her to respond. I wanted to congratulate her on the history of her intense study and the beautiful work that she had done with her book. I also wanted to know more about her as a person and her passion to help horses. In fact, I remember reading her intro and feeling so sad that it ended, when I really wanted more details on her journey.
Monique was very generous with her time and we corresponded frequently. She always answered my questions and more specifically she encouraged me to come up to Paso Robles where their ranch/Epona facility is located. I was so nervous to go but curious and determined to learn more.
I have 11 horses all Arabians and one Shagya. I’d been giving them barefoot trims for several years and using Renegade Hoof Boots while riding. Everyone was doing great and while I felt perfectly content with our hoof care protocols, I had acquired one mare who had less than favorable front hooves. She had been neglected for the most part of her upbringing and by the time I got her, her hooves were a mess and her confirmation was less than desirable.
Like with most things, when you really want something, you find a way and that’s how it was with my mare. The hoof boots weren’t working for her and I needed to learn how to apply a shoe. I didn’t want just any shoe and during my quest to find the right product and then to have to learn how to apply it, I hit the jackpot with Monique and EponaMind.
After several visits with Monique, I decided to bring the mare up to have them apply her first set of EponaShoe horseshoes. I couldn’t believe how beautifully she moved afterward and I knew that I needed to learn how to apply them myself.
I call the EponaShoes my horses’ dancing shoes. They absolutely love them. We compete in long-distance endurance riding and hoof protection is key to keeping the horses comfortable while enduring the long and rugged trails. I made many trips up to Epona over the next few months and years so that I could learn from Monique and her team of farriers. With each visit, they’d teach me something new and I’ve had great success with the application and use, while really putting these shoes to the test.
Monique and her husband John have put so much research and thought into their products but also it is their ability to teach that is truly admirable. They are very smart people and so interesting and whenever I get the chance to pay them a visit, I go. They offer a wealth of information and their educational seminars are truly off the charts.
I feel incredibly blessed to have met up with Monique and to be able to continually learn from them, through their lectures, educational videos, which are beautifully produced, and through the use of their products. With each horseshoeing, I take away a little tidbit on how to improve. I now have several horses running in Eponas and they are doing phenomenal.
Often my fellow riders and friends ask me how to shoe their own horses. Some folks just want to know how to nail and others still need to learn how to give a balanced trim. My advice is always the same… call Epona, make an appointment and get the proper coaching you need, and attend their workshops. This has been a very difficult year due to Covid, but hopefully, they will resume teaching and offering their fun and educational seminars.
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Nina Bomar is a lifelong horsewoman. She has 11 horses and rides endurance.