About Mill Swamp
Mill Swamp Indian Horses is a program of Gwaltney Frontier Farm, Incorporated, a 501 (c) 5 non profit breed conservation program. Located outside of Smithfield, Virginia, the program works to prevent the extinction of the Corolla Spanish Mustang, perhaps the oldest and rarest distinct genetic grouping of American horses. Other nearly extinct strains of the earliest horses of America are also preserved and promoted here, including the Marsh Tacky, Shackleford, Grand Canyon, Brislawn, Galiceno, and Choctaw, comprising one of the largest and most diverse herds of Colonial Spanish Horses in the world. From the desert southwest, eastward through Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, into the swamps of South Carolina and the sandy beaches of North Carolina--these were the horses that built America. Their ancestors arrived in the New World nearly one hundred years before the English set foot on Jamestown.
All of this is done against the back drop of a reconstructed mid-17th century setter's farm, with a working smokehouse, home, corn crib and tobacco barn. Wandering around the farm visitors will see examples of early colonial goats, chickens, and hogs. This setting places the horses in their historical context as the horse not only of the Spanish explorers and Native Americans, but also the horse of the early English settlers in the southeast.
We are an American Indian Horse Registry Hall of Fame farm and have been awarded the Keeper of The Flame Award by that registry. In addition, our program and one of our young riders, Krysta Rutherford, have received the Carol Stone Ambassador Award for the Horse of The Americas Registry for promotion of Corolla conservation efforts. Two of our horses, Tradewind, a formerly wild Corolla Stallion, and Uncle Harley, a product of Tom Norush's "east/west" cross breeding program have won the Horse of the Americas National Pleasure Trail of The Year award.
We teach natural horsemanship. Program participants often train their own horses from start to finish. Several times a year we have lengthy trail rides of up to fifty miles in a day. Our longest ride was completed by Terry O'Boyle and Steve Edwards on March 23, 2014 when they rode one hundred and nine miles in 17 hours.
In his coat and tie life, Steve Edwards is a prosecutor in Smithfield, Virginia. In his boots and blue jeans life he owns Mill Swamp Indian Horses where he raises mustangs, including the rare and endangered Corolla Spanish Mustangs. Steve teaches natural horsemanship to students as young as five years old. He has written several articles on natural horsemanship and recently published his first book, "And a Little Child Shall Lead Them: Learning From Wild Horses and Small Children." Steve and Beth Edwards have three daughters and five grandchildren.