Donna Witt Turner, Owner and Manager of the 5W Ranch/Underwater Treadmill, was born into a family of talented Austrian/Hungarian/Germanic horsemen and horsewomen. Donna’s early childhood was spent following closely at the heels of these family members, absorbing five generations of equine knowledge and skill.
An educator, clinician, strength-training specialist, nutritional specialist and entrepreneur, Donna specializes in the use of a state-of-the-art Underwater Treadmill that she designed and built. She has extensive experience in the processes of test and evaluation, and brings an experienced knowledge to the crucial role nutrition exerts in the athletic performance of horses.
From 1987 to 1992, Donna managed and operated a 365-acre facility, where she maintained the land, through conservation and fertilization programs, grew quality forage for use by the 5W and public sale, managed several rental properties owned by the 5W Ranch, operated a 40-stall barn and three 20-stall barns, ran 100 head of Santa Gertrudis cattle, and oversaw the exercise and nutritional race program of several Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred clients, including that of Bill Miller, Jr., who still utilizes her services for his race horses.
In 1992, Donna purchased 40 acres of the 5W Ranch, and put her entrepreneurial skills to work designing, developing and funding a permanent, in-ground underwater treadmill facility built to her exact, proven specifications. Today horses are exercised on the Underwater Treadmill which incorporates 20 whirlpool jets in an indoor, climate-controlled environment for year-round operation. The pool is 54 feet long with a 12 foot stainless steel treadmill. Many champions of every equine breed have been developed on Donna’s unique program.
Donna has trained in and competed successfully in roping (heading/heeling both), under the guidance of the Ekins family of Mississippi; barrel racing, goat tying, hunter under saddle, western pleasure, showmanship, halter, jumping, pattern classes, halter; and owned, trained and raced two Thoroughbred horses, etc. Not only does she bring a depth of knowledge to fit and condition a horse, but she has first-hand experience of the multiple disciples for which she is preparing the horse.
Donna did undergraduate studies at Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama, and her extensive continuing educational training includes: Nutrition and Forage with Dr. Bill Vandergrift; Farrier, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Contagious Diseases, Lameness, Conservation and Land Usage, Performance and Training methods of several equine disciplines, etc.
Donna continues her self-directed studies and utilizes extensive reference material and resources, including surrounding herself with innovative professionals that compliment her methods, and have a serious focus on the horse.