Since healing from his popped splint, Edward has been on the mend and back in work.
Edward is a special guy. He is definitely the kind of horse who, if he knows you and trusts you, allows you to get a lot more done. Whatever happened in Edward’s past, a combination of being orphaned as a foal and poor handling in his time before arriving at SAFE, has not set him up for success. He has always been historically difficult to catch, with a wicked pull-away spot that took a while to excavate, but as is sometimes the case, such spots do not disappear entirely. Casey A, who has been spending the most time with Edward as of late, has done a lot to attempt to get to the bottom of this issue, working on passing the rope above his poll and doing loads of hooking on and changing eyes. And she has been seeing some great results. But while she might not have issues catching, leading, or releasing him, others who he does not know as well still do. In the right (or wrong) circumstance, his eyes go big, almost like he’s forgotten all the good stuff he knows, and he reverts back to the Edward we first met. It’s clear that, at least at this point in his life, Edward will need to establish a good rapport with someone in order to make the relationship a success for everyone involved.
We are working on finding the right set of circumstances to keep Ed as happy and safe as possible. One thing that has been crucial for Edward has been to be kept in regular work – he is not a gelding who vacations well, and it has made all the difference in the world for his behavior when he is in work multiple times a week. He also has been very much enjoying his time in turnout with buddy Jacob. In an ideal world, these two would find a home together, but until the day one or the other gets adopted, they will remain together. Being in isolation from people and other horses is not good for any horse, but being stimulated in work and in play is definitely crucial for Edward.
In her work with him, Casey also found that Edward had a spot in him that led him to rear. She has been spending lots of time on the ground working to free up his front end, as what causes a horse to rear is a stickiness in the front. They don’t feel they can move their feet, and so they go the only way that seems available to them in the moment: up. She has found that helping him balance his movement has done wonders for this issue, and she has seen it beginning to clear. She has also been working to clear up a blind spot issue under his chin that was causing him to paw, and has been seeing similarly positive results. Spending so much time on the foundational basics of groundwork and excavating these spots has made Edward a lot more comfortable in his skin, and a lot safer for his handlers.
It is likely that Edward will take some of his baggage with him wherever he goes for the rest of his life, but through the help of people like Casey, that load is getting a lot lighter.