I'm moving to Montreal for a year! I'm excited, and frankly the first order of business is to find somewhere to ride. Oh, and I guess somewhere to live too... I expect I'll be living fairly centrally in downtown Montreal.
I'm looking for a relatively low key h/j barn. I'm not looking to do much showing, just keep myself sane by riding and having fun! I'm wondering if anyone can give me some suggestions. I'm hoping for somewhere with a pleasant atmosphere where I can find a horse to lease or to take regular lessons on school horses. I speak French moderately well (and I'm working on brushing up!), although I know Montreal is very bilingual, so I'm guessing language may not be an issue at all in finding a barn.
Any suggestions would be appreciated! Let me know if you need any more info to make suggestions. Thanks
Sorry cant be of much help, but if you google sandridge tack shop, you could probably give them a call or e-mail them for some info. The tack shop is about 20 minutes outside of montreal, in Hudson, QC. They are very active in the horse community there and I am sure they would have some recomendations.
Some of your decision may come down to what area outside the city is most accessible to you, since Montreal traffic can be pretty brutal. St. Lazare is horse central in these parts, and there are several good barns that would fit your requirements (both the barn and the tack shop mentioned above are in the area). I ride at Dunelm Farm and am very happy. It is run by a 3-generation family living on site, and has a friendly low drama atmosphere. 2 great trainers, primarily anglophone. The owner of Sandridge trains with them, so she would likely point you there as well (www.dunelmfarm.ca).
There are also some good places on the South Shore and up more north towards Laval/Mirabel. PM me if you'd like some names.
I've been with Melissa Schneider at Valkyr Stables since 2007 - it's 15 minutes from the major bridges off the island of Montreal, on the South Shore. Melissa is English-speaking originally and it sounds like our program might be what you're looking for. We do both the A- and B-circuits but also have a large contingent of recreational riders - along with a barn full of sound, happy horses who love their jobs.
In the St-Lazare area, Hodgson Stables (http://hodgsonstables.com) is another good, long-standing program. I've heard good things about Dunelm, as mentioned above, as well.
I've been riding on the South Shore for many years and would be happy to answer any questions about programs in the area. Feel free to PM me with questions!
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the info. I have heard many good things about the city, and I am glad to hear my horse habit will be well supported too. I will definitely be sending some PMs once I've nailed down a place to live. I hope to have that figured out in the near future It seems rentals go quickly in Montreal!
Rentals do go quickly up here! `Moving Day`is July first, which is when the majority of stuff will become available. Feel free to shoot me a PM with any questions, I`ve been in the horse community (St-Lazare, west of the island) for the past 10 years or so.