Horseback riding is straight up one of the most enjoyable activities you could ever do, especially in the summer time. Being able to hang out with animals, experience nature, and try something new is what makes horseback riding so fun, and what keeps people coming back again and again.
If you're nervous about trying horseback riding for the first time, don't be! I know horses can look scary or unpredictable, all the gear can be intimidating, and the actual riding seems too difficult unless you're a pro. While you should always be careful when interacting with horses, the reality is that riding, whether it's your first or fiftieth time, does not have to be a wild, complicated experience.
Every good horse ranch will be more than happy to accommodate beginners, but it's up to you to be vocal about your level of experience and comfort. Usually, ranch owners will offer to put you on the gentlest horse, or provide a lesson before you get out on the trail. So please, don't let fear hold you back from experiencing the unique joy of horseback riding - and rest assured these places are guaranteed to provide the perfect experience.
1. Captiva Farms
Out of all the places on this list, Captiva Farms is the furthest from Montreal - about a 2 hour drive - but trust me when I say, it is beyond worth the trip. I've personally gone horseback riding here on multiple occasions, and each time has been a truly wonderful experience. This ranch is nestled in the Quebec hillside, and the scenic, relaxing trail will open to gorgeous expansive views.
The team at Captiva is very experienced, and each rider gets a lesson before the trail, so no need to be worried if you're a beginner. Overall, it's just such an incredible horseback riding experience that I hope everyone gets to do at least once.
2. Centre Equestre Saphir
The horse ranch at St. Lazare is quite popular at this point - it's only 15 minutes from downtown Montreal - so it offers the closest and most convenient opportunity to horseback ride. If you want a trail ride, or an indoor or outdoor lesson, this ranch does it all. It's a well-rounded place to learn and enjoy riding, and they boast that the trails offer beautiful views, especially at sunset.
Bonus: they encourage clients to bring their own food, since there is a grill on site where you can enjoy cooking your own meals. Close, convenient, awesome views, and some home-grilled cooking; this ranch is here to cultivate your perfect summer day.
8. Punkin Patch Farm
Another place that offers only lessons, this adorable horse ranch that doubles as a pumpkin patch has an ultra relaxing vibe that is perfect for beginners, and those looking to advance their riding knowledge.
Located in Rigaud, also fairly close to Montreal, this ranch prides itself on being organic and natural, using the most holistic tactics to take care of their animals. Horse lovers will definitely find their oasis at the Punkin Patch.
9. Centre Equestre des Laurentides
Looking for a place that's pro in Equestrian riding? This stable amongst the mountains is an amazing setting to learn Equestrian, regardless of your skill level.
Again, this is a place that offers only lessons, but if you're looking for somewhere that you can consistently improve your riding skills, this stable is definitely worth a look.
10. Ranch Double G
Another stellar ranch in the town of Mascouche, Ranch Double G is guaranteed to be a good time. I mean, the above photo looks unreal - riding trails through the water? I'm down.
In all seriousness though, this ranch functions in true Western style, and it's quite popular for good reason. The trail rides will take you through rivers, mountain scenery, and there is even one called the "Moon Light" where you ride at night and end off with a campfire. Overall, Ranch Double G has something for everyone, and it'll definitely be a fun adventure whether you're alone or in a big group.