You need to be an adult to be able to ride Epona. She can be recruited as soon as you first leave the Temple of Time as an adult. Step 1: As child Link, after you meet with Princess Zelda, Malon will appear in the middle of the corral in Lon Lon Ranch. Talk to her three times, and then pull out your Ocarina.
How do you get Epona without Epona in Ocarina of Time?
Answers. No, if you beat the Forest Temple, you can return in the past in the Temple of Time, then go see Malon and get the Epona’s Song!
Do you need Epona to beat Ocarina of Time?
You don’t need to get her, but she’s useful to get a few extra items, like the 4th bottle, quiver upgrade, heart piece… and it makes traversing Hyrule Field quicker.