“Back of Beyond, for me, is a true horserider’s utopia. It is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the privilege of visiting. I wish there were more barns out there like Back of Beyond. Can’t wait to go back :)”
“Dear Cathy: We want you to know how much we enjoyed the sleigh ride and leading the horses. Nice to see your beautiful property in the snow. The red sleigh, the bells, and the hot chocolate were nostalgic flashbacks for me. Sleigh rides and hay rides were part of my childhood growing up in Owen Sound. I look forward to seeing you in the summer! Warmest wishes to you and Bill for 2013.”
My Desire To Connect
“I have been visiting with Cathy and the herd of horses at Back of Beyond Equine Centre for over a year now, and I cannot believe how my perspective has evolved in that time. I had ridden on and off throughout my entire life, but never before had I experienced the connection and communication with horses that I found here. For starters, I have discovered that there is a vast difference between leading your horse, and having them follow you. Not only that but the self confidence that Cathy has encouraged me to develop around the horses has flowed into my daily stride, and I believe my experience has been truly life-changing.
The very first time I saw Cathy with her horse Damascus, I was completely entranced. Her tiny requests to such a large creature never went unnoticed, and when they moved together – it was as if they had one mind between them. Their ability to read one another was so much more than familiarity with routine, and I realized while watching them that my love for horses came from something other than childhood dreams of show ponies. My love for horses came from my desire to connect with something.
Connection is what you will find at Back of Beyond. It may not be with the horse you expect, but Cathy will help you find – and connect with – a true friend.
There are few experiences I would recommend this highly.”
Scared To Death
“In the spring of 2012 I expressed the desire to start riding again. It was more than 30 years ago I rode and had my own horse for 10 years. But I was 30 years older and what if I fall and hurt myself. I spoke about it with Annemieke (Cathy’s daughter) and she said: “Why don’t you talk to my mom, Cathy?” I still took a while before I picked up the phone. Cathy called back and my first impression was a very pleasant one. I was worried about the image I remembered (riding schools where the outfit is important, the car you drive and the quality of your horse). Not really how well you ride or how you treat your horse.
I started with Cathy. Scared to death, stiff like a plank. Damascus (aka Big “D”) was my guy. Well he is very tall and I was not very sure about this. Cathy played into my comfort zone and we started from scratch. We are almost a year later and I could not imagine then what I have learned and still learn. Her teaching is fabulous. Her knowledge and love for her horses blows me away. The mistakes I learned 30 years ago are slowly getting solved. Riding is not the main interest. Knowing the horse. Understanding why he does what he does. Becoming his leader without dominance. And seeing the results with kindness and consistency.
I love it! I love being there, helping out, riding, grooming, just being with them. I have a great relationship with Damascus now. He is my buddy and I gained a great friendship with Cathy. Back of Beyond is my sanctuary for many years to come. The learning is just the beginning.”
Over The Moon
“Just a quick note but full of THANKS and wonder…Our family was more than wowed by the fun and experience from our Family outing. Your place is so awesome and you and your husband do a marvelous job. We felt so welcomed (even though we were late) and so special. The grandkids were over the moon that they got to “feed” the horses. They talked non-stop about the day, and our memories of the event are now “beyond” what we had imagined or expected.
Again we can’t thank you and your farm enough, for the joy we had with the fire, cookies (special touch for my diet needs), the ride, the fun, the tour of the barns…so much I will certainly spread the word….
Love & Prayers”
That One Ride…
“It was supposed to be one horseback ride, one afternoon – just enough to satisfy my curious five-year-old daughter. That was almost four years ago and we’ve been going almost every week since! Cathy was so patient and kind; she let my daughter progress at her own pace. Some days we just visited with the horses, other days my daughter rode. Either way, my daughter always learned something new. Cathy believes it’s important to let the learner and the horse develop a relationship, a relationship built on respect, harmony and fondness. She uses the horses as an aid to help individuals learn about themselves, just as much as they learn about the magnificent animals.
That’s the reason I decided to bring my class from the Bracebridge Adult Education and Training Centre for a series of lessons. Each student was paired with a horse; unbeknownst to me, these pairings weren’t random. Every horse had something to teach his/her rider. Whether it was horsemanship, confidence, a riding technique, or humility, my students all gained something from the experience. Cathy and the horses make the perfect teaching team. They were awed by the horses’ beauty and strength, just as much as they were surprised to discover their own abilities. It was an experience my students will never forget.
That one ride, on that one afternoon four years ago has ignited – what looks to be – a life-long interest in horses. But more than that, we discovered a peaceful, beautiful place that’s just a little ways back of beyond.”
“Cathy – Thank you so much for the Pony Party yesterday. We were very impressed with your facility, your animals, your people and the whole experience. Natalie was thrilled and her friends really enjoyed themselves. It was very gratifying for me (and I think the girls too) to see those girls that were so scared get up on the horses and then smile! We will certainly recommend you to our friends. Thank you again.”
You Make A Difference
“It has been 4 months since we left Huntsville. I wanted to drop you a line – first of all to say Hi! I miss the times I spent at the farm with you and your horses. All of your patience and hard work with me over the past few years has paid off! And yes, you were right – I wasn’t riding nearly enough. Riding 3 times a week on the same horse helped me to build the bond and trust that I needed. I can’t thank you enough for all you did for me. You helped me begin a journey with horses that I wished for all of my life but never thought would happen. You showed me how to listen to the horse, observe their movements, and taught me all about the herd mentality.
Please know that you make a difference in people’s lives, a very good and positive difference. Say hi to Bill for me and give Sadie a big hug.
Love to you all and all of your wonderful horses.”