Champions Ride In 2020!

Eleven Turning Point Riders brought home medals in Trail at Special Olympics Equestrian this year and it wasn’t easy! Emily has competed for six years and finally brought home a GOLD on Doc. Kody on Isaiah and Gwen on Derby won BRONZE medals.

The event went “Virtual” to meet Covid safety precautions, so all runs were video’d at Turning Point. We pulled out the mongrammed Turning Point shirts and silk wild rags to give every rider a special team uniform to wear. And every horse wore a matching teal blanket.

Special Olympics Oklahoma judged each video entry and mailed the results and medals. You can watch the competition from a Facebook LIVE event held November 20. And be sure to notice the Special Olympics Oath was led by Turning Point’s Maggie McGaugh.

We are super proud of the grit, determination and practice the riders put in to guide a 1200 pound horse through a complicated Trail Course. And we’re pretty sure you can see the feelings of accomplishment are priceless!!


Remember When… “Horse Salad” was on the Menu?

How does a “Salad Bar for Horses” spark communication and mobility for folks at the Life Center?

Rosie is a picky eater. She was dainty, but ate only the hay and grain until one cook added lots of salt..
Following the recipe means counting, unwrapping, stirring and shaking the salt shaker.
Those peppermints are hard to unwrap but Baxter would eat the wrappers too.
Baxter ate everything in the feed bowl and brought it back for a refill. He ate Rosie’s leftovers too!

Making a “Horse Salad” might sound simple, but there are a lot of steps involved and a variety of skills, textures and surprises for folks who haven’t cooked in awhile. Rosie and Baxter were ready and willing to taste the results.

Continue reading “Remember When… “Horse Salad” was on the Menu?”

Derby Party Rides Again!

You can make a difference in the life of someone facing challenges at the Party for a Purpose! The 2021 Kentucky Derby Party to support Turning Point horses is ON for May 1, 2021. Larry and Jimi Reece are inviting a limited number of guests to the poolside party OUTDOORS with room for social distancing – so masks will be optional.

Enjoy Derby Classic food fit for the owner’s box, a chance to back horses that make a difference, a ladies BEST HAT competition and MOST DAPPER GENT contest plus mint juleps and screens to watch the big race.

But you’d better hit the Buy Tickets button TODAY if you want to make the guest list. Attendance will be limited to preserve Covid safety.

Continue reading “Derby Party Rides Again!”

BB Goes Big Time!

Baxter is taking on a new role this fall as "BB", Bullet's sidekick. He will be escorting Pistol Pete's Partner of the game onto the field at all home games this fall. And the announcement has gone VIRAL!

Click HERE to read the Daily Oklahoman story about his Day Job.

Click HERE to read Baxter's Blog.

Here's a sneak peak at BB's Lil Sebastian-style t-shirt that will be for sale soon to support Turning Point Services in Stillwater!

Larry Wins Again!

Since 2019, Turning Point’s Mini horses, Baxter and Sparky have traveled to The Life Center to visit participants and use their equine magic to boost cognitive, verbal and mobility skills.  But this week, five members of the Life Center crew made a field trip to the Ranch.  A few made it clear that they wanted to meet “Tall horses.”That’s how Larry brought home the Gold again. He is part of the carefully trained herd used in therapeutic riding and other activities at Turning Point. It’s a job he found after retirement from a competitive career in Reining with the OSU Equestrian Team.   

Turning Point’s mission matches the magic of horses with tools to build futures for people facing challenges.  Those challenges might be mental or physical disabilities like those facing many of the Special Education students who come to the Ranch through a contract with the Stillwater Public Schools.  

Or the challenges might be age-related disability, health or memory decline like some of the Life Center participants battle.   

For Kathy and Paul, time with Larry brought back a flood of memories and opened the flood gates of stories to share. 

Kathy stayed by Larry’s side the whole hour and called him “absolutely beautiful” and “a stud and a half.”  Larry loved it.

Her Life Center colleague, Paul, massaged Larry throughout the hour.

“Larry is an angel on earth,” says Turning Point Executive Director, Rachel Royston.  “He really senses what people need.  We call it emotional intelligence.”

Not every horse has it, Royston explains, but the best therapeutic horses do.  And programs like Turning Point are always looking for those special ones. 

“They are usually retired from a successful career.  We have roping horses, polo horses, and reining horses,” according to Royston.  The best ones are smart and looking for a new job.  They tell us if therapeutic riding and activities are their “thing.”   We can show them what’s expected, but we can’t make them love it.  Some do and some don’t. We’re looking for three horses now as there are students on our waiting list.

Kristy Moorman is the Life Center’s Executive Director and she says the field trip was a home run.

“It’s so good for our clients to get out in the community – so many are withdrawing physically and verbally.  Interaction like this that spontaneously sparks conversation plus the physical activity of leading or grooming a horse is priceless. We loved watching their eyes sparkle again!”

Larry went back to the pasture with a little extra swagger too.

Turning Point is a premier accredited Therapeutic Horsemanship Center located on Country Club Road in Stillwater.  The program was established in 2000 and offers programs in therapeutic riding, literacy, at-risk youth and mobile mini activities plus academic partnerships with OSU.

The Life Center is a United Way agency located at the First Christian Church to offer safe and enriching activities for older individuals who need daily assistance. Founded in 1983, the Life Center also supports families and caregivers who can continue working with peace of mind thanks to their quality programming.

Insider News on Turning Point Happenings


Get the scoop on what’s happening at Turning Point and how you can help on Giving Tuesday. Stay in the know by clicking


Fall 2022 Newsletter

First look at a new Turning Point Tee, Keeping up with Baxter, Ty’s Adventures and so much more!! Read all about it by clicking:

FALL 2022 Newsletter

Continue reading “Insider News on Turning Point Happenings”

What a Difference … A Roof Makes & Doors Will

New Arena Opens for Orientation & Classes

The “Sky’s No Limit” Campaign successfully funded the long awaited covered arena at Turning Point. But Covid related supply chair issues have made completion challenging!

Orientation and the first classes took place under construction lights. But the permanent lighting is now bright as day no matter the time.

And overhead doors… hopefully shipping soon…. have provided some spectacular sunset views during evening classes.

Taio (left) and Felicity are both riding for the first time this semester and REALY like the space and rain protection in the new arena.

Fans, cupolas and a pipe fence are still awaiting delivery, but having a place for families to sit inside and a place for brothers and sisters to play are already making a difference.

The magnetic letters on the wall have proved to be a popular part of the new Family Space! But, as you can see, there are books, balls, noodles and other toys for brothers an sisters to use during riding sessions.

And riders and volunteers alike are blessed with the two latest gifts from Turning Point supporters. An irrigation system was always on the wish list but the wind and lack of rain recently mean hand watering couldn’t keep dust from rising from sand arena base.

Jim and Nancy Beckstrom donated funds to purchase an arena watering system.

Recommended by the Therapeutic Riding Center in Edmond, Coffee Creek, the waterer hooks to a hose and travels in circles until the entire space is dampened.

Riders and walkers alike give it a BIG thumbs up. And the instructors who were coming in hours early to hand water think it’s a TRULY great addition to the facility.

Mila likes to help Larry warm up herself!

But walking in deep sand rutted with the hoofprints of the class before is a REAL challenge to tiny riders with short legs AND not easy for volunteers.

Both are so grateful to DeeAnn and Gary Beeby who donated funds for an arena drag to smooth the surface between classes. It makes a HUGE difference.

And Turning Point owes a big Thank You to Sara from the OSU Equestrian Team staff who came over to train our staff in the best way to keep the new arena looking great.

Growing takes a VILLAGE and we are so lucky to have one!

Baxter’s Book Delivery: To EVERY First Grader

No One Trick Pony

Baxter, Turning Point’s mini therapy horse, went back to school in a Big Way in March.  He took books to EVERY First Grader at Sangre, Westwood, Richmond and Skyline.  That’s 14 classroom and 4 libraries!

The First Book distribution is a partnership between Turning Point Ranch and Pi Beta Phi sorority at OSU who wrote a grant together to buy hundreds of books.  Then they raised a little extra to give a book to every child plus a bundle to each school Library.

Baxter makes a present of First grade books to Library Specialist Morganne Morejon at Sangre Elementary along with Rachel Royston and Pi Beta Phi partner Piper Aldridge

Baxter also gave each class a copy of his favorite book: Little Black, A Pony.  He had a little trouble turning loose of that book in Mrs. Billman’s class at Richmond.

Baxter reluctantly gave Mrs Billman his last copy of “Little Black, A Pony” at Richmond.  Really he was just hamming it up for the cameras.

Baxter is BB at the OSU football games when he’s not working at schools, the Life Center, Wings of Hope or other sites in his job as a therapy horse.  So he also gave each class his 2022 Calendar with his picture on every month,

And there was a surprise at Sangre when he was so “hungry” for knowledge that he ate a worksheet right off the wall.  Really!! A horse ate my homework?

Oooops!  Baxter is apparently interested in writing sentences and helped himself to a worksheet at Sangre to the surprise of Turning Point Executive director Rachel Royston,

And how does a mini black horse and hundreds of books get to school?

In a mini van, of course!  He usually rides in the back seat of a black pickup truck with “BB’s Ride” vanity plates.  But prefers either to riding in a horse trailer.

Turning Point Board Member Natalea Watkins, transports First Books for every student and Baxter the mini horse and Executive Director Rachel Royston in her mini van.

And in case you think he’s just along for the ride, Baxter is FULLY engaged in just where he’s going next when he’s on a mission to deliver books to First Graders!

Baxter working as Equine GPS. “Turn left for Westwood!”

Baxter and his pal Sparky also delivered “Little Black, A Pony” to every First Grader at Highland Park and Will Rogers. Those Title One students will practice reading then come to the Ranch in late April to read to the horses and do 15 other horse related activities from roping to stick horse racing to learning about different kinds of saddles to building aa feed bag both horses AND people can eat.

Ms Roberts has been with Turning Point HorseTales Literacy program all ten years! She says reading to horses really motivates First Graders to get excited about ready.

Turning Point has offered HorseTales Literacy at Highland Park Elementary for the past ten years- delivering almost 2500 free books to first graders there. It’s all a part of Turning Point’s mission to “Build Futures” through the magic of horses. Annual donations from literacy supporters Gary and DeeAnn Beeby have helped purchase two books for each child each year.

And in 2022, support from Pi Beta Phi Sorority is providing the manpower to add Will Rogers Elementary to the program. The field day when students come to Turning Point to read to horses requires 30 to 40 trained volunteers to handle horses and staff the different activity stations so that students are both safe and challenged to explore and learn.


Ander is still a Rock Star, but riding at Turning Point has made a big difference in his life.  His self control has gone from zero to 60 to the point that he is in control of a 1200 pound horse like Isaiah.  Gifts from donors like you have made that happen!


As a 501(C)3 organization, all donations to Turning Point Ranch are both tax-deductible and truly appreciated. Below are a number of the current fundraising programs, but if you are interested in donating materials, horses, or your time, please contact us at give@turningpointriding.org or call 405-269-2225.


Meet the Difference Makers Who Give

Adopt A Horse ($1,342)

Our unique therapy horses are all very different. Tank is both sturdy and energetic enough to carry mature riders ready for independence.  Cash is so patient with new riders yet so curious we have to double lock all gates.  Isaiah is our power potato – a pony that gets rounder on air!

The twelve horses currently serving at Turning Point are key partners in the results our clients achieve. Each horse is carefully chosen for temperament, gait and intelligence.  They come in all breeds, sizes and colors but they share a heart for the lives they change and the bonds they build with people facing challenges.  It’s not an easy job and for most of our herd, it’s a second or third career.  Each horse is fed a specific diet by volunteers who love horses and watch ours carefully for health issues.  By adopting a horse, you give riders the security that “their” horse will be ready to ride!

Fund a Scholarship ($300 per semester)

Turning Point serves Middle School, Junior High and High School special education students through a contract with the Stillwater Public Schools.   Private clients who are older, younger or homeschooled  pay tuition of $25 per session for a 12 week semester.  Funding a scholarship, offsets the cost of therapy for one rider for one semester or lowers the cost of riding for a child for an entire year.

Other Ways To Keep Turning Point Turning:

There are items large and small that could make a real difference in the day to day operations at Turning Point so the focus is on the clients and horses.  Perhaps you have an item you could donate or a group of friends that could contribute to a purchase or dollars that can offset a cost.

Sustaining support for Turning Point  –

$20 a month to celebrate the 20 Years of Service

Book sponsorship for the HorseTales Literacy Program –

two books per first-grader – $10 per child

Gift Cards in any amount from:  WalMart,  Stillwater Milling, Lowes   Gasoline cards in any amount  

Fly Spray  

Duct Tape  

Western Safety Stirrups   or  alternate design

Children’s Western Saddle  

English saddle leathers  

Stiff Bristle Corn Brooms  

Water Hose  

Brown Priefert panels to augment existing panels  


If you would love to do something that makes a real difference, Turning Point Ranch needs volunteers to make horseback riding happen for special kids.


Turning Point needs volunteers on Mondays, Tuesdays,

Wednesdays and Thursdays.

2020 Spring Session Calendar
2020 Spring Session Calendar

As a volunteer, you can become a “sidewalker” to ensure the rider is safely on the horse and engaged in the activities or as a “horse leader” focused on the horse and the instructor to keep the session safe and moving.

We also need volunteers on the “Horse Team” that helps feed and care for our therapy horses.

Now that we are in our new location, we also need ongoing assistance with weed eating, landscaping, and office assistance.  There is a chance for everyone to get involved.

Student volunteers enrolled at Oklahoma State can get academic credit in certain courses requiring hands-on experience or credit through the University Volunteer Center towards a service cord at graduation.

Call 405-269-2225 or email volunteer@turningpointriding.org today if you are interested in volunteering at Turning Point Ranch!  We are also on Facebook and Instagram.