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Where is the best place in CANADA for dressage?

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  • Where is the best place in CANADA for dressage?

    I'll be graduating from school in a few years and will be considering relocating. My professional certification will only be recognized in Canada, so I'm wondering what the best place in the country is to be a dressage rider. I live in Vancouver now. The temperature is mild, we have access to several good FEI trainers. However, the cost of living is so high here! A 2 bedroom condo is going to cost a half million dollars. There are no CDI competitions, and the price of board at a good barn is $600-$700! Are there other parts of the country that have stronger dressage communities and are more affordable? I'm thinking Ontario or Quebec. Any input appreciated.
    www.saraalberni.com

  • #2
    I would have to say southern ontario -north of toronto.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know how much more affordable Ontario or Quebec would be when it comes to board and training....but there are definitely more options when it comes to competition and such. But why would you want to leave us?????

      Comment


      • #4
        There are a few National comptetions in Ontario, most of them are just North of Toronto, plus a couple in the East, in the Kingston area. When it comes to boarding and training, I think Ontario is very much at par with the Vancouver area, if not more expensive. But the price of a 2-bedroom condo in downtown Toronto - do not even get me started. It seems to be more affordable if you look for one in the outskirts of the city.

        If you want to check local dressage groups, here is a link to the list of their websites:

        http://www.cadora.ca/cadora-ontario/....asp?pageid=25

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Forte View Post
          I live in Vancouver now. The temperature is mild, we have access to several good FEI trainers.
          thats more than an understatement.

          Having lived and trained in vancouver for 20 years, I have to agree that the weather is not really an issue for riding, as almost every single large dressage barn have an indoor arena, and all-weather paddocks. There is a very good recognized show-circuit with affordable show fees. If you are serious about competing, and need to do CDI's, you go south in the spring with the rest of the caravan and do the california circuit.

          Also, if you need CDI-level competition, chances are good that board fees at 6-700 dollars per month are not that big of an expense when you weigh in your monthly training fees, farrier, show fees (at thousands of dollars PER week at a CDI) etc. If you are playing in the big leagues, you must know that!

          There are many new townhomes in cloverdale, delta, maple ridge, langley, richmond, port coquitlam, etc that are close enough to the city it's not too bad, and they are actually very affordable, not even close to half a million dollars. Unless you want to live downtown, you don't have to pay half a million dollars for two bedrooms....
          Nothing worth having comes easily.

          Comment


          • #6
            Having lived in Ontario (Toronto and SW Ontario) and Vancouver, Vancouver is far more expensive! That being said, the weather is worth it.

            Ontario has lots of options, and as soon as you get out of the GTA lots of reasonably priced properties. BUT, you also have the cold/snow in winter, and extreme heat and humidity in summer.

            Board *can* be less, and pasture more plentiful.

            I don't know about the Ottawa-Montreal area, but for some reason I think there's an active dressage scene there too.
            "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Hi.
              I guess I should clarify, that I would want to live in a place where buying a small farm (5 acres) or so, would be possible for the normal working person to buy. In Langley or Delta, that is easily going to cost 1 mil or more. I'm trying to break out of downtown condo-land living. Access to high quality trainers would be a number one priority. We are very lucky in the Vancouver area to have so many Level III coaches.
              www.saraalberni.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Forte View Post
                Hi.
                I guess I should clarify, that I would want to live in a place where buying a small farm (5 acres) or so, would be possible for the normal working person to buy. In Langley or Delta, that is easily going to cost 1 mil or more. I'm trying to break out of downtown condo-land living. Access to high quality trainers would be a number one priority. We are very lucky in the Vancouver area to have so many Level III coaches.
                I'd try Ontario then - somewhere on the Toronto - Guelph - Kitchener - London corridor. North of Toronto (i.e. Newmarket, King) is getting increasingly expensive for what you want. I expect that you'd find good prices going east as well, but I don't know the market there and can't comment.

                My sister and BIL bought a house in a small town north of London, 3 bed, renovated century home, big yard etc etc for $159k... You can't even get a decent 1 bed condo, in the suburbs, for that out here...
                "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                Comment


                • #9
                  I will throw in my two cents as I have lived lower mainland BC, Alberta (Calgary area), Sask. and Ontario (newmarket area). Yes, I dragged my horse all around with me !
                  At the time of all of my moves, I was boarding, but now own my own place. Honestly boarding at a the good facilities with good feed and good footing turnout etc. did not vary as much between the bigger centers. However, I did find Vancouver and area the priciest for all things horsie.

                  Southern Alberta is very scenic beautiful and I think the winters are milder. I think Calgary is the area for dressage in AB. I think board can be just as high in Calgary as what you pay now.

                  I recently bought property in Sask and it is dirt cheap but, there is no access to bigger shows and instruction is lacking. Very affordable here for horsekeeping, buying land etc. Board here is closer to 500/mo.

                  Personally I am dream of the day I could afford a place back in Vancouver area so that I can ride at home all year round, and ride in a T shirt in the middle of Feb :-)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK WHOA! Are you thinking of the same Vancouver Firefly???? There is NO WAY you would catch me riding in a T-shirt here in winter..........brrrrrrrrrrrrrr... LOL!!

                    Forte.......why don't you try looking east of Langley if you are looking for property? The further you go towards Chilliwack, the less expensive it is. We are just starting to get busy building an equestrian center between Maple Ridge and Mission. It's very doable in this area (and GORGEOUS), and even here there are many nice horse properties that are affordable. There is no way we could afford to do this right in Vancouver.......nor would we want to. Just a thought.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Find the Ishoys

                      My wife used to train with Ishoys near Toronto many years ago. Cindy in particular is a very knowledgeable trainer. I think they are still in the area.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Ishoys are near Hamilton (in Binbrook), Ontario. There is a girl at my barn who currently trailers into their barn every other week and definitely enjoys their coaching. I believe land in that area is reasonably priced too.
                        www.offthewalldesigns.ca

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In Quebec, the dressage aera is St-Lazare, Hudson. That is where most of the top riders and trainers are. Boarding is around 500-600 range I believe.
                          Élène

                          Fighting ovarian cancer ! 2013 huge turnaround as I am winning the battle !..
                          http://esergerie.wordpress.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would vote for the area around Toronto as well, maybe Ottawa as a second choice. I am in the St-Lazare region in Quebec, board has gone up consistently over the years, and Good dressage coaches are very rare (there are quite a few "average" trainers, but nothing to move here to, in my opinion).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am in south eastern Ontario, very near the Quebec border, and just 45 minutes south of Ottawa.

                              The cost of living here is reasonable, compared to Vancouver and Toronto areas. The price of land is very reasonable. For example, I know of a property, 5 acres, limestone house, 8 stall barn, good fencing, etc. and a short hack to a large indoor that is on the market for about $160K.

                              We are close enough to the Quebec circuit for shows, as well as lots of national shows in the Ottawa-Kingston areas. One of only two CDIs in eastern Canada will be in Ottawa. The other is in Toronto, and it's about a 4 hour drive (on mostly highways). So we really have our pick of the shows. Additionally, there is easy access to the Northeastern US shows, as we are just a stone's throw from the US border.

                              The dressage community is very active all around here. Ottawa has several good trainers/Level III coaches, St. Lazare in Quebec is full of barns, trainers, coaches and lots of doings (just back from a clinic with Neil Ishoy in St. Lazare). Even right here in the Brockville area is both my barn and Gina Smith's barn, within 5 minutes. We are only 20 minutes to Merrickville/Kemptville, where you can find Ruth Koch and Suzanne Dutt-Roth, as well as a number of Level II coaches, all with super facilities.

                              So my vote would have to go out for eastern Ontario. The weather is not as nice as Vancouver, but mostly it's OK (well, not so much today, as we are getting 40cm of snow and it's -10C). Typically along the St. Lawrence it is a bit milder than say, Ottawa. And definitely nicer than a big city, yet within reach of three of the biggest cities in Canada (Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto). We often go to Ottawa for dinner or the theatre, and it is not all that hard to go to Toronto for the day and still be home before midnight.

                              Board around here runs from $250-$700/month, and full training from about $1000-$2200/month. That's for dressage, not sure about other disciplines, but less, I think. Many places have heated arenas, and most barns are well insulated and warm.

                              It's nice here!

                              Liz
                              Liz Steacie
                              Porcupine Hill Dressage
                              Maitland, Ontario

                              http://www.porcupinehill.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Hmm. I would say Ontario or BC..Vancouver area.
                                Alberta has the highest cost of living of I think anywhere in NA right now..it's insanity to even FIND somewhere to live near or in the cities. And again, thats if you can even find somewhere to live. I am not exagerating.
                                It's FREEEZING here too half the year and the number of competitions and trainers ect is much lower than in the other two mentioned areas.
                                www.svhanoverians.com

                                "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Donella View Post
                                  Alberta has the highest cost of living of I think anywhere in NA right now..it's insanity to even FIND somewhere to live near or in the cities. And again, thats if you can even find somewhere to live.
                                  hmmm. that would explain why all my BC friends are selling their places, buying nicer ones in southern calgary, and living off the profit?
                                  Seriously, coastal BC OUGHT to be THE place for dressage given the mild climate, but it sux in many ways if you want to compete.

                                  Originally posted by Liz Steacie
                                  For example, I know of a property, 5 acres, limestone house, 8 stall barn, good fencing, etc. and a short hack to a large indoor that is on the market for about $160K
                                  That is incredible. That's almost worth flying out for a looksee to invest.
                                  That property near Victoria or Vancouver would be a million or more.
                                  I wonder how long the market will remain like that? Even Saskatchewan has shown a marked upturn in the last 12 months.
                                  "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Calgary, BC and Ontario are still the best areas. Unfortunately like right now Ontarion can get some heafty snow storms.
                                    www.dancinglite.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by CatOnLap View Post
                                      That is incredible. That's almost worth flying out for a looksee to invest. That property near Victoria or Vancouver would be a million or more.
                                      I wonder how long the market will remain like that? Even Saskatchewan has shown a marked upturn in the last 12 months.
                                      The market has been like this for many years. Our property, which would fetch several million in a market like Vancouver, was purchased and built on in the 90's for less than a quarter million.

                                      Of course, the downside is that when you sell, you only GET the market value for this area. But there are many truly lovely properties around for under $200K. And even groceries are less costly here :-). (I used to work in the food industry, and I know that pricing is several cents cheaper in certain areas.) But, we have all the amenities, and it's a really nice place to live. I was in Toronto last week for two days and I cannot honestly fathom how people live in such a place, with the traffic, SO MANY people, such long distances to even get groceries or simple things. I am 7 minutes to town, where I have everything except a Starbucks, and I believe one of those is going in soon. We have a HUGE Canadian Tire :-), 6 Timmies and two superstores within 10 minutes. And no traffic.

                                      It's great.

                                      Wait, why am I telling everyone?

                                      No, it's terrible. You can't go anywhere without meeting people you know, the shop keepers know your name and what you want, the dry cleaners deliver to your house (it's on the way home!), and the bank manager greets you like a long lost friend. My husband even knows a limo driver. When I go to the dump, the dump guys even ask about the horses. The vet is 5 minutes. The vet is our friend and comes quickly when we say it's an emergency.

                                      Terrible. Horrible place to live. DO NOT COME HERE.

                                      Liz :-)
                                      Liz Steacie
                                      Porcupine Hill Dressage
                                      Maitland, Ontario

                                      http://www.porcupinehill.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Liz Steacie View Post
                                        I have everything except a Starbucks

                                        with 6 Timmy's, why would you even NEED a starbucks?! I am craving a large Double Double SO badly out here in AZ!!! It's been a looong 2 years with no Timmy's in town..
                                        Nothing worth having comes easily.

                                        Comment

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