Epona Stable and Farms
Felicia has had a passion for horses since a small child when she began a classical European riding education. When her parents immigrated to Canada some years later, Epona Stable and Farms was started in 1975 on their property in North Vancouver, BC. Felicia continued with instruction from several noted instructors in Canada. After a university and two time college graduation education, Felicia continued to dedicate her work and life to horses.
Most of Felicia's nearly five decades of, as she puts it, “living and loving horses” has been primarily as a horse trainer working with young horses (foals), former race horses, traumatized horses, horse/rider combinations and basic and advanced horse training/riding styles.
Her training method for pacers “Retraining The Pacer ~ Standardbred Horse Training” was made into a video in 1994 and has been acclaimed internationally as the foremost humane and effective retraining method for the 'cure' of the pacer gait in the retired sulky race horses. She is also the founder of the Standardbred Horse Fan Club and horse rescue which rehabilitates abused and traumatized horses.
Felicia began early on to explore Natural Horsemanship as an alternative to her many years of a classical riding education and her passion for horses soon took her on another journey, the language and nature of horses. After seeing how Natural Horsemanship was becoming commercialized by so-called 'horse whisperers' for profit and at the expense of the wellbeing of the horses, she developed the True Natural Horsemanship method to show how horses can be trained with humane and compassionate communication - without the constant use or presence of a whip or ropes around their necks - with just a few simple changes and a little knowledge.
TNH is known for its lasting outcomes and healthy, happy horses showing willingness and cooperation while in training and related activities. The Epona Academy of True Natural Horsemanship provides programs, certification and workshops.
Felicia is also an innovator and pioneer in Equine Assisted Natural Healing (EANH) . EANH is based on Equine Intuitive Healing©, a concept she originated and has specifically developed and taught for almost three decades although she credits the horses with the "gift of equine intuitive healing" with humans as the facilitators in the EANH program.The principle of Equine Intuitive Healing is based on horses supreme survival abilities (which have evolved since the time of the dinosaur) where horses were much smaller living among their long since perished ancestors. Incredibly, horses have survived many, many millions of years of evolution and environmental challenges as prey animals. The extraordinary senses that horses have developed enable them innately to sense our energies and emotions silently and non-intrusively. Felicia puts it this way: Horses feel our energies and emotions then intuitively sense how to bring unity from chaos to those inner feelings and expressions.
EANH is helpful for PTSD, reconnecting, improving relationships and working with youth at risk.
Felicia's work with autistic children in horse therapy has been particularly effective for its non-intrusive, gentle approach and significant improvement in cognitive and communication skills outcomes. The autism and horse therapy program is recognized by the BC provincial government and those seeking financial assistance should submit their applications to the Specialized Provincial Services, Ministry of Children and Family Development. A book on her work entitled, "Breaking Ground, Non-riding horse therapy and autism" is soon to be published (pre-orders can be made by contacting Epona Stable and Farms)
A year ago Felicia also started another program that she created, Giddy Fit With Horses! to provide overweight and obese individuals experiences with horses while developing skills for lifestyle changes for continued health and wellbeing in a non-riding program where horses assist as personal trainers. More information on Giddy Fit! With Horses is available in the Non-riding programs section.
An accomplished rider, trainer and instructor, Felicia resides in BC, Canada and continues to operate Epona Stable and Farms. She is also the founder of the Equine Right To A Quality Life movement in Canada.
As a longstanding contributor to social justice and animal welfare causes, Felicia has had a profound impact on the treatment of less fortunate animals and people. Her natural horsemanship methods are internationally recognized by her peers and by experts
Dr. Kedrick James, University Of British Columbia
Felicia's love of horses is clear, and she is a great role model to learn from.
Adam Tatelman, Staff Writer, Douglas College.
You are the first instructor that suggested that the problem might be with the horse's tack. I can't thank you enough for the change in work and riding. We are finally realizing our dream of higher level dressage competition - I have waited so long Felicia for this to happen. I just wanted to send you this note after our lesson today - Thank You!!!!! Christine W.
I am so happy that there is finally a united movement to oppose these associations that are in league with the horse slaughter industry. I was feeling so helpless.
Thank you for campaigning to build Canadian Veterinarians for Equine Welfare - love it - LOVE YOU!
Thank you for being so caring to create the club (Standardbred Horse Fan Club) and care for the wellbeing of these beautiful animals!!!!
I still can't believe that you got my daughter out of her 'shell'. The Equine Natural Healing workshop was an eye-opener that horses bring so much more to our lives than riding.
Those horses are very lucky to have someone as caring as you are to care for them as you do. I hope you know how much I think you are a phenominal woman.