Edward, the skinny, asthmatic horse who arrived at SAFE last fall has been started under saddle. It has been a while since he looked like the gelding we first met – he has seen such dramatic improvement in both his health and his ground manners – and to see him with a saddle on, it is difficult to imagine his origins.

Out of his two companions, he fell right in the middle of the pack in terms of ease of saddling. Jacob acted as though he’d been wearing a saddle all his life, and Esme.. well, Esme is still getting used to it. Edward had his moments, but overall took to saddled life with relative ease. In preparation for a rider, Edward has been doing all of his groundwork under saddle, progressing through Buck Brannaman’s ‘Red Book,’ learning to give to pressure by way of a rope, and working on moving up and down softly through the gaits off a feel.

So far, our Eddie doesn’t seem to mind the ropes touching him too much. When they tighten up, particularly around his hind, he does get a little bothered (bunny hopping, a baby version of a buck), but he stands with a curious contemplation as Terry coils and swings and throws her rope — even when he is the target. There are a few wiggles in there, but for the most part he is quite stoic. All of this work on the ground will directly translate to when he has a rider on his back, something he is now well prepared for.