Back of Beyond Equine Centre is a Christian horse farm serving the Muskoka community. We strive to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ through horses, faith in action, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Back of Beyond is a sanctuary for rescued and retired horses; a place where they are dearly loved, well cared for and where they can live out their days in peace.
The horses of Back of Beyond have served hundreds of children and adults over the years and formed many special relationships with their favourite people.
About 20 years ago, Bill and Cathy met, fell in love, married and started Back of Beyond Equine Centre. They had both grown up with horses as an important part of their lives so developing a horse farm was a natural step. In the early years, they bred horses and spent lots of sleepless nights in the barn on foal watch; well worth it to see new life enter the world. At that time, Cathy was an Educational Assistant and Bill worked as head of maintenance at Taylor Statten Camps.
As the years passed, Bill and Cathy realized there was a gap in the horse world. There were very limited places for old, lame and retired horses to go to live out their days in peace and comfort. They both felt there was still great value in these horses, even though they were no longer able to be ridden, and they had much to give and share with people. In response, they changed their focus from breeding horses to saving older, lame and retired horses that no one else wanted.
By 2011, they had both retired from their other jobs to care for their horses, full time. In addition, they acquired a few big draft horses to run sleigh rides in the winter. The sleigh and wagon rides bring in the funds needed to care for the rescued and retired horses.
As Back of Beyond has evolved, Cathy and Bill’s love and passion for horses and people, particularly the horses nobody wants and the people that love them, continues. It has always been their dream to have a place where people of all ages, who love horses but cannot own one, would be able to come and make a unique heart connection with a special horse.
Their oldest horse. Beau, is now approx. 30 years old and even though he has no teeth, he is still going strong. He was rescued from being abandoned in a field, given much needed dental work and a new lease on life. Over the years he has been a teacher, friend and confidant to many. A true testament to the gifts horses share with those they interact with. He is just one of many horse stories that have been written at Back of Beyond.
Back of Beyond strives to create a culture that encourages people and horses to play together, learn together and be together. We are passionate about our horses and believe that each one has value, purpose and something to teach no matter what their limitations. We love how each horse and person, who comes to Back of Beyond, adds to our culture. We believe that is what makes us different and makes us stronger.
Back of Beyond welcomes volunteers to come to visit the horses, learn about them and help out with their care. Building an inclusive, welcoming and nurturing organization is good for our horses, our volunteers, our customers, our sponsors and our community.
Each year, new programs and activities are added to meet the needs of the community and provide a way for people to make their own horse connection. As Back of Beyond has continued to grow and evolve, one thing has stayed the same; Bill and Cathy’s mission to bring love for Jesus and appreciation for horses to as many people as possible.