Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News

Jan/Feb 2007

Members of the Month

 

Turning Point Farm

Shawneen and Bill Magrum of Turning Point Farm, Lodi, Ohio

The words energetic and focused are the first two words that come to mind when you meet the Magrums of Ohio. Bill works in the heating,

air conditioning and plumbing industry, while Shawn is a 34 year veteran of the horse world.

 

"Bill is my great supporter in our small business, Turning Point Farm," says Shawn. " He puts up with having a horse woman for a wife and this makes him, I think, a saint."

 

Shawn first became interested in Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses after a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and two herniated discs brought about an end to her hard trotting days.

 

"I got involved with Mountain Horses 10 years ago," Shawn says. " The gait just intrigued me and I thought this would be a chance to broaden my training skills. Bill fell in love with the gait. Now he will only ride gaited horses. We both liked the temperament of

the Mountain Horses as well." 

 

Turning Point Farm is a small, private show facility.  Tucked into 8 well maintained acres, the 11 stall barn, includes three large broodmare stalls.  "We have many creature comforts for the person who likes to show horses," says  Shawn.  Shawn is also able to incorporate other skills into her work with horses.  "I am an Internationally Certified Equine Massage Therapist and I practice 2nd Degree Advanced Reiki, energy body balancing and healing.  I incorporate Reiki into my equine massage. It speeds healing time and penetrates the muscles better," she said.

 

In addition to training horses for the show ring, Shawn does ground work, including round –pen and longe work. A traveling riding instructor, she teaches Equitation, centered and balanced pleasure seats, hunt seat, saddleseat and still goes back to the trot with western pleasure horses.

 

"I teach people to have a relationship with their horses and I do trouble shooting," she explained. "Many of the people I instruct are having problems with their horses, and so learning about horse psychology ends up being as therapeutic for the rider as it is for the horse."

 

Although the days of breaking horses are behind her, Shawn enjoys helping people who are working their own horses to finish them. She also evaluates horses for sale and as breeding prospects and acts as an advisor when clients are intending to purchase an animal. With a background of eight years as a judge for the state of Ohio in the 4-H program, as well as open programs, Shawn has developed an "eye" for quality and likes to try to produce it, as well as ride it.

"We do some occasional breeding for our own horses at the farm. Every other year or so, we sell our babies. I hope to produce great temperament in a show type horse. I want pretty horses that are pleasing to the eye, but they also have to be structurally sound, square going horses, with good bone structure. I want to see a natural, smooth gait but the mountain horses I purchase must trot nicely as well. I personally will not purchase pacey horses." Shawn should know the gait; she is a certified KMSHA Examiner.

 

Looking forward to the 2007 KMSHA Show season, Shawn says that her two favorite categories are the Conformation classes and the Trail Pleasure division. 

 

"Halter, because it gives me a rush to present a structurally square, beautiful horse. It’s an honor as well as a performance to stand up with a horse like that. I am very picky what I take in the ring for conformation. It has to be darn near close to perfect. If I have a good horse, I spend hours and hours with the horse practicing halter work. The horse also has to have the performance attitude for the class and that means Pizzazz and moxy," Shawn confides.

 

Under saddle it has to be trail pleasure for this horsewoman.  " Why do I like Trail Pleasure?  Because I can keep the horse structurally more comfortable; in a more dressage type of frame. These horses can perform comfortably with good forward motion, head on the vertical, flexed at the poll, neck well rounded and flexible; back more rounded and rear tucked nicely and driving forward, while the gait remains smooth and comfortable. The trail pleasure horses can really go the long haul too."

 

It comes as no surprise that one of the Members of the Month has an ambition to stand in center ring some day. "Right now I am in the KMSHA Apprentice Judge program. I plan to work toward my goal as a fully certified judge for KMSHA. It may be a bit slow but I’m also methodical; I will reach it but I am in no hurry. I like to make sure I thoroughly learn," Shawn says.

 

Shawn adds that she enjoys every moment of every day that has a horse in it. " One of my favorite sayings is - ‘Show me your horse and I will tell you something about yourself.’ I believe, for us horse people - horses are the mirrors into our lives and hearts. Horses teach us to communicate. Horses have helped me heal and my students will tell you . they have helped them learn and heal also."