If you are searching for a new activity this semester, and you think you want to give horseback riding a chance, then you can go to the McGill Athletics website and sign up for 1 of 12 available slots. The lessons take place at a school called Equitation Elysee, in a farm in St. Lazare, one-hour drive away from downtown Montreal.
Commuting there by public transportation is next to impossible, but if you don’t have a car, the instructor will put you in contact with other students who do, so you can share the ride. The students range from 5-year olds to 70-year olds, and a previous background is not assumed. The instructor, Jo Sweet, is very experienced, she will tell you when you’re doing things wrong and will help you individually to improve your technique. A typical lesson starts with the student grooming the horse in the stables before the ride, then guiding the horse to the arena for the exercises. I should mention that the purpose of the lessons is to control the gait and speed of the horse, and eventually perform jumps; not to simply go riding along trails. The arena is cool though, and there is classical music playing while you’re training. The school runs all year round, and you can contact Jo even if you’re not a McGill student.