The goddess Epona, revered and worshiped by the ancient Celtic people as a loving protector of horses, was also a goddess of fertility, re-birth and abundance. The name Epona derives from the Gaulish for the Great Mare. Although originally a Celtic goddess, she was eventually accepted by the Romans who worshipped her as a protector of their cavalry.
Small images of Epona have been found in stables and barns all over Europe. A niche would be cut in the walls and a little statue of the Goddess would be found often garlanded with roses and sometimes with a mare’s head. In imagery Epona is normally portrayed, however, as a woman either sitting on, or surrounded by, horses. Depictions of Epona may be classified into 2 main types: the first type shows the Goddess sitting side-saddle on a horse facing forward and is commonly found in Gaul. The second shows Epona seated (occasionally standing) again facing forward, typically she is between either two or four horses which often turn their heads towards her and eat wheat or apples from her lap. This is known as the ´Imperial´ type and is more common outside Gaul.