Founder and President of The Board

Stephanie W. Phillips
stephanie@theshepherdscorner.org



Stephanie W. Phillips owns and is the resident trainer/instructor at Trinity Farm – the host facility for The Shepherd’s Corner. As an active rider, trainer and competitor for over 25 years, she has always recognized the ‘person-hood’ of the equines (indeed all the four-leggeds) in her life and their unique reflection of the Divine.
In 2006, after a long battle, Stephanie lost her previous husband to cancer.  For the next few years, the necessity of caring for the (many) equines, felines and canines living on the farm, the maintenance of (and paying for) the physical property itself - while coming to terms with this loss, deeply challenged her long held faith. 
Many times, when peace and her Savior felt far away, it was in the unassuming action of a four-legged friend that she received comfort. Even when buried by grief, Stephanie found that solving the need of one furry body, watching the antics of another, or the uncanny timing of any denizen of Trinity Farm to nudge, curl up with or otherwise draw her attention - served to remind and bring her back to the Grace that had always sustained her.
 
The Shepherd’s Corner was born out of a desire:

  • to restore the body and spirit of equines (in particular) who have unfairly born the outflow of a fallen world
  • to share the riches of the process of restoration with other “two-leggeds”
  • to acknowledge, with thanksgiving, the ways that all creation may serve The Creator

 

Secretary

Loraine Teets 
loraine@theshepherdscorner.org

Ambassador at Large

“Odie”

“Odie” is the resident ambassador for The Shepherd’s Corner and has found his permanent home at Trinity Farm.  He is owned and cared for by brothers Adam and Jack Phillips, and their father, Don.  As a 3 year-old, Odie survived some horrific “training” techniques that left him scarred both physically and emotionally.  The details have become, perhaps for the best, muddied over time but we know that a 2” X 4” board and a barbed wire bit were involved. 

His owner at the time had entrusted his care to a “trainer” for some months and had not had much interaction with either during that time.  A surprise visit to the trainer’s farm found Odie bleeding and dejected in his stall.  One side of his mouth had been ripped into a hideous grin, the nostril on the same side suffering a similar tear and today, white hair patches betray the injuries suffered on his front legs.

A two-month stay at The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital served to improve Odie’s physical health, but he remained nearly untouchable by human beings.  His owner, not knowing what else to do, was about to consign Odie to a ‘kill sale’ when another Trainer stepped in.  She had seen and admired Odie and had the time and the heart to discover if he could regain confidence in his human handlers.  She bought him for a fraction of his original purchase price and took him to the farm where she was employed.

For the next 12 or so years, Odie lived on this farm and was the recipient of much kindness, pasture and good food.  As time passed, Odie recovered his sweet nature and became a favorite of everyone on the farm.
  
Through a friend, Odie’s owner heard of The Shepherd’s Corner and that one of our goals was to continue the training of rescues so that, if possible, their re-homing options could broaden to include loving working/showing homes.  Because her current barn schedule had kept her very busy, and even though Odie’s life had become one of comfort, Odie’s owner felt that she had not given enough time to further histraining and that Odie had more to offer under saddle.

She contacted us and arranged a meeting.

As soon as we met him, it was clear that we had found a piece of the tapestry that was becoming The Shepherd’s Corner.  A face that will always bear unmistakable scars of cruelty and that had once registered only fear and mistrust – inquisitively and immediately pushed its soft muzzle out to greet us.  In an acutely moving and humbling moment it hit home that, at some point after surviving his ordeal, Odie had chosen to allow the pain and terror learned from brutal hands in his past, to fade against the proffered kindness of new hands in his later life. Moving that such a choice was made by this sweet four-legged in front of us; humbling because it is a choice we also can make, and yet often fail to do so.

After further conversation with his owner and a couple of day’s time to solve logistics, Odie came home to Trinity Farm and The Shepherd’s Corner.  A few days after that, during a torrential thunderstorm, he met his new people - Adam and Jack, quietly and graciously accepting their ecstatic whoops, hugs and flashing camera. 

Odie, with help from the farm training staff and the boys, spent the summer of 2009 peacefully re-learning how to be worked from the ground in a rope halter, then gradually under saddle.  We discovered that although one corner of his mouth is misshapen with scar – Odie would accept, hold and seek to comply with the mild snaffle bit we offered.  Before summer’s end, both Adam and Jack were working Odie easily from the ground and similarly from the saddle.   Their adventure continues into 2010, and it is likely that Odie, Adam and Jack will be some of the first three you meet when visiting The Shepherd’s Corner.