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1670 Bethany Church Rd., Madison, GA 30650, United States

Open year-round, this ranch is for families who don't need the cowboy shtick to enjoy horseback riding. Situated amid rolling hills, it's one of the few that lets capable riders go out on their own, without a wrangler. Its exclusive focus on horses (it breeds and trains its own, either quarter or paint) fosters bonding.

Riding: The hands-on program offers two two-hour trail rides daily, with a maximum of six people per group. The option to separate from the group is available to more accomplished riders after an hour with their guide.

Capacity: 40 guests; 150 horses.

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Southern Cross Ranch

Open year-round, this ranch is for families who don't need the cowboy shtick to enjoy horseback riding. Situated amid rolling hills, it's one of the few that lets capable riders go out on their own, without a wrangler. Its exclusive focus on horses (it breeds and trains its own, either quarter or paint) fosters bonding.

Riding: The hands-on program offers two two-hour trail rides daily, with a maximum of six people per group. The option to separate from the group is available to more accomplished riders after an hour with their guide.

Capacity: 40 guests; 150 horses.