It almost depends on where you end up living. While distances are short, mileage-wise, they can be extremely long travel-wise. There are quite a few top notch trainers in the areas North of "the city", including Lendon Grey. There are also terrific trainers on the NJ side of the river. Either way can be minutes in commute, or hours, depending.
Welcome to an altered lifestyle.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.
Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.
I don't know if you are looking to have a trainer on site every day kind of thing or you just want to touch base on a weekly or monthly basis.
Gunnar Ostergaard and Jon Brons come regularly throughout the year to Long Island, different barns, to clinic.
Old Westbury Equestrian Center is one of nicest places to board on LI, with a price tag attached. I hear the indoor footing is to die for but I am not sure of the dressage trainers there.
If you need more info, send me a PM, pls.
Ashley Nicoll/Holzer (her married name) is based out of Riverdale Equestrian Center which is in one of the Northernmost parts of the Bronx. I'm not sure that Ashley is taking on new clients but it might be worth checking out. http://www.riverdaleriding.com/
I second Merrygoround---a lot depends on where you settle. If you live in Westchester, it'll be a miserable commute keeping your horse on Long Island. The saying in our family is to never put a bridge between you and your job--or in this case, your horse. Traffic can be pretty brutal at times.
That said, there are some really great barns on the island, in NJ, in Westchester and CT. All will be very pricey.
If you end up in Westchester, feel free to PM me. I've got a young horse too (although my little girl is growing up) and I checked out many, many barns in the area.
Hunterdon Cty (Flemington, Ringoes) in NJ will get you plenty of dressage barns.
My hubby works in Manhattan too and we live on the border of Hunterdon & Warren Cty, NJ, perfectly commutable into Manhattan.
If you decide to look in westchester, feel free to pm me. I don't know NJ or LI that well. However, I agree that you should only look in the same area you plan to live in or work in. The basic areas are (1) Long Island, (2) Westchester County, NY/Bronx/Fairfield County, CT, and (3) NJ/Rockland County, NJ/Orange County, NY (which are both west of the Hudson).
The board prices in Westchester or Ct are double or triple what they would be in NJ (generally $2k per month MINIMUM, more often $2,500 or $3,000).
I grew up in Westchester County but when I got a job as a lawyer in Manhattan I moved to NJ because even on a six figure salary the board prices near me were just ...I would like to retire someday, yanno?
I lived in Jersey City which was a simple commute to midtown; the horses were an hour south in Flemington.
There are so many excellent trainers in NJ; one who is EXCELLENT (and very reasonably priced, more like UNDER priced) is at www.winchesterfarmnj.com .
There are so many great trainers in the area that if you have a truck and trailer you can do a hop and a skip and lesson with somebody who would have cost triple to clinic.
If you don't want to spend $30k on your horse before you even put shoes on it and have its teeth done, NJ is a better option.
Definitely, the Long Island Dressage and Combined Training Association is a good starting point for your search. www.lidcta.com
I would personally recommend Raul de Leon, recent laureate of the American Riding Instructors Association's title of Master Instructor; a title shared by an elite few - including Bert de Nemethy, Jack le Goff, George Morris, Denny Emerson, Bob Dover and Lendon Gray.
Raul still free-lances on the Island, from Patchogue to Lloyd's Harbor!
... It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that Shwung
Go in the NJ direction and live there if you aren't jonesing for the Manhattan experience. I was in Jersey City for a minute a few years ago and it felt as if one could be somewhat hip there. The City is a short trainride away and it otherwise feels like "dense, busy, city."
Anywhere circa Manhattan, I'd live outside close to (slightly) cheap(er) board because all other horse expenses will be a tad less, too. That's slightly true for real estate and the general cost of living. You'll pay less for fuel in NJ, even close to NYC, than in any other direction.
But this scheme would work for me because I am not averse to commuter trains. If you must drive, things are harder....you might as well submit to the will of traffic sooner rather than later.