Quebec- Ranch Mont Tremblant
Josee and her husband started Ranch Mont Tremblant, a Western style guest ranch in the ski area of Mont Tremblant, 18 years ago. The ranch has a mountain lodge-like atmosphere, with warm fireplaces in the main lodge, which like all of the five buildings on the ranch property, was once a barn. Josee and her husband started small with the ranch and has continually expanded, moving horses and guests from barn to barn as they grew.
After a big breakfast, I didn't want to leave the warm fire, but meandered over to the barn with Josee to meet my horse for the ride and my riding partner, Daniel Locas. Daniel would be riding Yanni and I would be on Judy, a mixed breed. Judy loved to go fast, but also listened very well, making her a pleasure to ride. We headed out onto the snowy, well groomed trails around the ranch, past the frozen Black Banks River with views of the beautiful Laurentian mountains all around. We varied groomed trails to choose from, but were also able to do some winter backcountry riding, off the trails. For a brief stretch, Yanni and Judy ploughed through the snow, leaving giant tracks in what was a pristine snow area. It was truly wild and cool!
For dinner, I had the best French onion soup that I have ever had. It really warmed me up after walking trotting and galloping on snowy trails in the mountains.
Darley Newman is the host of the Emmy Award-winning Public Television series Equitrekking??, which takes viewers on horseback riding vacations around the world. Equitrekking is broadcast on PBS stations and on international networks in over 30 countries. Visit www.equitrekking.com and www.equitrekkingtravel.com.