Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Very Uncommon Man


I first met Steve Edwards near the beginning of my now 5 year journey as the Director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. It is safe to say that other than my husband, no other man has inspired me like Steve. He is a man of many gifts and possesses more talent, energy, intelligence, and creativity than anyone I know. During the day, he is the District Attorney for Isle of Wight County in Virginia. It is not a job for the faint of heart, for day after day he sees the very worst of what humans can do to one another. Because I know Steve to be a warm and caring man, I can only imagine the effect his profession has on his gentle soul.
Steve’s comfort is found in the soul of his horses, the love of his family, and in the hearts of the many students, both children and adults, with whom he has shared his highly successful natural wild horse training skills. Steve and his wife Bethany own Mill Swamp Indian Horses in Smithfield, VA. The land is located on property owned by his mother’s family –the Gwaltney’s, for over 100 years. Deeply rooted in his family’s past, he has an intense interest in and vast knowledge of local history. So much so, that he is in the process of creating the” Gwaltney Frontier Farm” – a recreation of a poor man’s farm in the 1600’s.
Steve is a man with many, many great ideas. I am not sure how or when he sleeps. It is usual to get an e mail from him at 4:30 in the morning. Lots of people have great ideas but the difference is that Steve turns them into realities and in short order.
Since our first meeting, Steve has: connected the Corolla Wild Horse Fund with the Horse of the Americas Registry and the American Indian Horse Registry who now recognize the Corolla wild horses as Colonial Spanish Mustangs, eligible for registration; accepted 5 wild stallions, 3 geldings, and 5 mares, trained and found homes for most, and all at no cost to the Fund; taught countless children and adults how to earn the respect and trust of their horse; has promoted the value of our horses to countless media outlets and breed associations; held free training clinics; initiated an offsite breed conservation program; produced a documentary film; rehabilitated a severely foundered wild stallion and rode him 206 miles to the2011 HOA National Pleasure Trail Horse; wrote the book “and a Little Child Shall Lead Them – Learning From Wild Horses and Little Children; designed and offers online classes in natural horsemanship; participated in countless parades and clinics featuring Corollas; received the Keeper of the Flame Award from the American Indian Horse Association; the Carol Stone Ambassador Award from the HOA; and the Currituck Star Award for his efforts to preserve and promote the Colonial Spanish Mustang and Corollas. This is the short list!
An accomplished musician, a prolific and immensely talented writer, a husband, father, brother, and grandfather; a very successful prosecutor, a highly skilled horse trainer, farrier, and teacher; a philosopher, dreamer, and creative thinker; an historian, a friend and mentor, Steve Edwards is the personification of a very uncommon man.
“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon if I can.” - Anonymous

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