WindReach Farm desperately needs your help!
WindReach Farm is a fully accessible Farm that provides programs and services to individuals with intellectual, physical and mental health challenges.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic the gates at WindReach Farm are closed but we are working hard to be the light at the end of the tunnel for the people we serve.
“Of course we can!” – A familiar response from WindReach Farm founder, Alexander (Sandy) J. Mitchell, Paralympic Equestrian and philanthropist, who has spent his life proving to people that with his vision, perseverance and community, nothing is insurmountable. WindReach Farm was created as a result of his inspiring vision.
Please donate today.
Help us keep the doors open for when our participants can safely return.
Donations of any amount are welcome and will receive a charitable tax receipt.
Therapeutic Riding Program
The human/horse connection is a powerful one. While learning to ride and care for a horse, participants experience improved physical strength, balance and coordination as well as increased attention, concentration and self esteem. This program is life changing.
Community Outreach - Beyond the Farm Gate (BFG) –
“BFG” is an innovative program that incorporates all that the Farm has to offer into a mobile service that visits users out in the community. The animal human interaction is well known for its therapeutic value and impact on our lives. BFG takes our small animals and provides a hands-on educational experience that brings comfort and reduces anxiety.
Supporting Mental Health and Addiction Recovery …
BFG partners with Renascent House in Durham Region, supporting mental health and wellbeing and offering support to those in addiction and recovery settings.
Supporting Women’s Shelters and Survivors of Domestic Abuse…
BFG visits Denise House, Herizon House and Bethesda House, bringing animal visits for educational and therapeutic benefits.
Testimonials: Read about the impact WindReach Farm has on our participants.
What does WindReach mean to Me? Everything.
Tracey Coveart - The Alexander J. Mitchell Equestrian Facility at WindReach Farm is a magical place, a place where dreams come true every day. I know this because I have watched my daughter realize her dreams here for more than 15 years and I have witnessed the magic firsthand.
My daughter, Stephanie, has been riding horses therapeutically since she was five years old, but it wasn't until she came to WindReach that she truly blossomed. Here, Stephanie has found a welcoming family – both human and equine. With the instruction of her wonderful coaches, she has become an independent dressage competitor, regularly entering the Sea-to-Sea national competition for riders with disabilities and regularly placing in the top three in her class. She has also realized her dream of owning her own horse – something no one in our family ever imagined possible. It is at WindReach that Stephanie has found both her joy and her vocation. She is welcomed as a volunteer; an integral member of the team that keeps the horses happy and healthy and the barn running like clockwork.
Stephanie is an amazing person. Kind, generous, loving, funny and eager to pitch in where she is needed. She also happens to have multiple disabilities caused by a rare genetic disorder: epilepsy, global developmental delay, sensory integration disorder, autism. At 28, Stephanie cannot read or write or live independently or do many of the things that neuro-typical 28-year-old women can do. It has not been easy for my exceptional daughter to find her place; somewhere she feels embraced and valued and happy. WindReach is that place and we are thankful every day that the barn and the people and horses in it are such an enormous part of her life.
Stephanie Coveart: I think WindReach is amazing. When I walk into the barn it is such a lovely feeling. It's a feeling that I never take for granted. I truly believe that the barn is my second home, my second life. It's the best feeling you could ever have to see all the horses that love you and all the people who love you. We have a community that is really special. I love it more than anything in the world. At the barn I am able to just be me and that means everything to me. I’ve missed the barn so much and all of the beautiful animals that live there. They are my friends and not being there with them has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with.
My job is something I take a lot of pride in. It's an unbelievable feeling to have a job that you love so much. I muck stalls, I sweep the barn floors, I clean windows, I clean tack, and feed the horses. My favourite job is taking the horses into the barn and out to their paddocks. It is an honour that I am trusted with that job. I get shivers down my spine thinking about it. To walk beside a horse is a really amazing feeling. You look in their eyes and you know that they trust you completely and they've got your back.
Horses are one of my favourite animals. They don't judge you; they are always there for you. I have always wanted to own my own horse but I never in a million years thought my dream would become a reality. Buddy was always the one. It felt surreal! Sometimes it still hits me all of a sudden that he is mine. I love Buddy so much. He is my best friend. His eyes are beautiful. You look in those eyes and you know that he is such an amazing creature. And when I get on his back, I feel so free. All your worries about trying to be someone go away. When I'm on Buddy I feel like I could take on the world.
Competing with Buddy in Sea-to-Sea is amazing. It's hard work, but it's hard work that I love. When I came in first place, I felt ecstatic! I feel very successful because I know that all this hard work is going to pay off in a big way. Someday, I hope to compete in dressage at the Special Olympics.
I love dressage. I love it because it opened my eyes to things, I didn't think I could do. It's one of the things I don't think I could live without. It makes me feel invincible. There are many things I can't do. I can't read or write or do any of that stuff, but when I get on a horse it feels different; like I've found somewhere I belong. If I wasn't riding, I don't even know who I would be. Buddy is my heartbeat. Not being able to ride Buddy for the past three months has been horrible. It was like a void; like a deep, dark void. If I thought I could never get back on my horse, I don’t know what I would do. Buddy is my whole life. My best friend. And I don’t know how I could live without him.