Epona the Horse
The first step to obtaining Epona is to visit the Lon Lon Ranch as young Link. Enter the large horse pen to find Malon standing inside with a horse near by. Speak to Malon and she will introduce you to the horse standing next to her – Epona. Epona will run away but speak to Malon a couple more times and she will offer to teach you a new song for your Fairy Ocarina called Epona’s Song. Pull out your Fairy Ocarina to learn the song. This song can cause cows to give you milk when they are near by and if you have empty space in your Bottle.
As Adult Link
Note: You cannot proceed to the next step until you have obtained Epona’s Song as young Link. If you did not visit Lon Lon Ranch to obtain the song you can return to the ranch as young Link later on in the game, specifically, after you have completed the Forest Temple.
Return to Lon Lon Ranch as adult Link. This part of the quest can be completed as soon as Link transforms into an adult. You need to enter the ranch during the daytime – use the Sun’s Song to speed the passage of time if required.
Malon can be found working in the stables. She will explain that Ganondorf has ruined many of the places around the Castle and that people have fled in order to escape. She will also explain that Mr. Ingo is now in control of Lon Lon Ranch and is using the ranch to gain favor with the King of Evil.
Head out to the main horse pen in the center of the ranch and speak to Mr. Ingo in front of the gates. He will offer to let you ride one of the horses for 10 Rupees. Accept his offer and he will explain how to ride a horse if you ask. The controls are simple enough:
- Press the A Button near a horse to mount it
- The control stick is used to make it run
- Press the A Button while mounted to tap the horse with the whip, causing it to temporarily speed up
- You need to speed up when approaching a fence in order for the horse to properly jump
- Press the A Button when completely stopped to get off the horse
- Each time you tap the horse with the whip a “Carrot” will be used; be careful not to completely deplete the Carrot meter or it will take much longer to refill
Enter the horse pen and play Epona’s Song to stop Epona from running away from you when you approach her. Mount Epona and ride her over to Ingo and speak to Ingo while mounted (use Z Targeting to target Ingo while mounted). Ingo will offer to allow you to race him for 50 Rupees.
The first race is fairly easy. Be sure to cut the corners as closely as you can and use up all but one of your Carrots and then let the meter recharge. Challenge Ingo to a second race after the first. The second race is much harder.
The same basic principles apply – use up your Carrots as they recharge but be sure never to use them all completely. Hug the corners the same way that you did before and cut Ingo off whenever you can. The mechanics of each of the horses will not allow them to go through one another. You should also begin the race by tapping the A Button to use a Carrot early on in the race to get off to a quick start.
Ingo will keep his promise at the end of the race to allow you to keep Epona, however he will lock the gates to the ranch trapping Link and Epona inside. There are two ways to escape – you can jump over the gate leading to the entrance or approach one of the large fences on the west or east side of Lon Lon Ranch and jump over them out into Hyrule Field.
You can now use Epona’s Song anywhere in Hyrule Field, Lake Hylia or the Gerudo Valley to call Epona to your side. Travelling on horseback is a much faster method to get around from location to location and there are a number of additional side quests that can be completed with Epona.
There is one last task that you can complete at Lon Lon Ranch. Return to the ranch during the daytime and while riding Epona. Speak to Malon who can now be found out near the horse pen. The first time you speak to her she will thank you for rescuing the ranch from Mr. Ingo. Speak to her one more time (while riding Epona) and she will offer to let you attempt an obstacle course.
The obstacle course is comprised of a number of fences along the race track that Link and Epona must jump over. Make sure that you use a Carrot (pressing the A Button) as you approach each fence. The larger the fence the more time that Link and Epona will need to properly get up to speed. The video below may provide some assistance with identifying where and when to use the boosts from the Carrots.
The reward for successfully completing the obstacle course is a bit of an odd one – Malon will mention that it is too large to give to Link right now and to check out his house in the Kokiri Forest. The reward is actually a Lon Lon Cow. This is a pretty lackluster reward, however when you reset your game and return to Link’s house it does provide you with an opportunity to fill up any of your empty Bottles with some Lon Lon Milk.