For kids who say they love horses, a one-time horseback riding experience is a great way to find out if the reality of riding lives up to their fantasy. Saddle up at one of these Atlanta area stables where beginners can take the reins and learn about horse care.

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Adventure Trail Rides

Take a one-hour valley trail ride in the scenic Blue Ridge mountains with some uphills and downhills for a dash of excitement, but not too much for beginners! Take in some pretty country views of the Appalachian Mountains and old farmsteads from atop a gentle horse. All riders must be age seven or older and under 240 pounds.

The Details: 933 Cashes Valley Rd., Cherry Log. 706-258-BARN

Georgia Frontiers

Get the true cowboy experience on a Western-style one-hour trail ride through wooded trails. Riders must be age nine or older and under 22o pounds. Rides are tailored to experience level, and guides often share stories about historical events that happened along the route. Request a ride time at least 24 hours in advance; there isn’t a regular schedule.

The Details: 545 Ruff White Rd., Canton. 678-234-8852

Sunburst Stables

Sunburst Stables offers daily one- or two-hour guided trail rides into the Chattahoochee National Forest on mountain trails for any experience level. Riders ages seven and older get their own horse, but younger children double with a parent. On two-hour family adventure rides, trot a mountain path to the mini animal farm and enjoy an up-close visit, stop for fishing at a stocked pond, and take a snack break. Families can also see a blacksmith demonstration, ride a train through a gold mine cave, and check out the bird aviary.

The Details: 3181 Hwy 255, Clarkesville. 706-947-7433

Lake Lanier Islands Equestrian Center

The equestrian center at Lake Lanier Islands offers pony rides for young children and three choices of trail rides for ages seven and older.  The trail is a peaceful, shaded loop around Lake Lanier on gentle horses. Slots are available daily, on the hour. Book an overnight family equestrian adventure to make a first ride a special occasion! The package includes a trail ride and visit to the petting zoo.

The Details: 7000 Lanier Islands Pkwy., Buford. 678-318-7886

Linda’s Riding School

Take a family trail ride any day of the week, by appointment. Beginners and families with younger kids can reserve slots in Saturday Camp, where a trail ride is combined with instruction in bridling, saddling, and grooming. Participants learn that there’s more to riding than what happens while on their horse!

The Details: 3475 Daniel Bridge Rd. SW, Conyers. 770-922-0184


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