Meet your new
best friend & trusty steed
Meet your new best friend & trusty steed
Southern Cross Guest Ranch offers a hands-on horseback riding program, suitable for all levels of rider
No more tired old swaybacks...
Many horseback riding ranches limit the time leave no time for riders to find “their horse.” Instead, they give you a tired and lackluster horse who is already saddled and ready to go. Even if you’ve ridden before, you’re lumped together with a large group. And the “trail ride” is just a big long walk on the backs of tired horses.
We believe that this time spent with your horse before and after each ride is just as important as the riding itself. Horseback riding at Southern Cross gives you will have the opportunity to assist our staff with grooming and tacking your hand selected horse as if it were your own! We offer trail riding in small groups at a pace that suits your experience level!
Our Horseback Riding Program:
Our twice daily rides are available to all of our guests who meet our riding requirements*. The All-Inclusive Riding plan is the best way to enjoy up to 4 hours in the saddle each day! Our scheduled rides are perfectly timed between meals and rest time to give you ample opportunity to relax before hitting the trails again.
No matter if you are a beginner wanting to ride with your guide lazily across beautiful open pastures or a more experienced rider, ready to trot or lope through lush wooded trails; we have a horse to suit your experience level. Here, you’ll find our horses to be well rested and well cared for, ready to be a part of your unforgettable vacation!
Whether you are a complete greenhorn or a die hard cowboy, we will match you with the right mount for your ability. With our hands on approach, every rider will have the chance to learn how to safely groom and saddle their horse prior to each ride.
Cautious about other
so-called trail riding options? We don’t blame you...
Cautious about other so-called trail riding options? We don’t blame you...
While others offer horseback riding suitable to all levels, what you usually find is a boring, ‘one size fits all’ approach to trail riding. But at Southern Cross, things are different. Riders and horse owners come back year after year to the only East Coast horse riding facility of our kind. Here you can enjoy our riding opportunities at a walk, trot or lope on our beautiful wooded trails.
Riders can enjoy...
Your plan options:
All plans include complimentary breakfast, snacks, unlimited soft drinks, and mountain bikes
How to book:
Your typical day at the ranch
Here your friendly barn staff will assign your horse and after everyone is groomed and saddled, you will set off with your group for up to two hours of glorious riding.
Free Time & Lunch
Head on back to the barn for another installment of horseback adventures. Our riding packages are created with a significant value in mind, so it’s not uncommon for guests to pass up a ride or two during their stay in order to relax and/or do other activities on or off-site.
Dine & Unwind
Our on-site photographer is waiting to capture your Ranch adventures!
Horseback Riding FAQs
Horses are matched for novice and experienced riders alike at the beginning of each ride, and lessons are available upon request. You will be guided in small, ability based groups of around 4-5 riders, never more than 7. Two trail rides are arranged per day, one in the morning (9:15 a.m.) and one in the afternoon (2:15 p.m.) – morning ride times do vary during the winter months. To further enhance their experience, guests are encouraged to continue to ride the same horse throughout their stay. Guests on the All-Inclusive plan are welcome to ride for up to 2 hours per riding session.
Guests weighing 250lb or less may participate in our riding program.
It is recommended that you bring jeans or riding pants for horseback riding and boots are suggested over sneakers. Check out our packing list download below or this horseback riding style guide!
Absolutely! We have horses for every level of rider. Our experienced staff will also teach you basic horse riding skills and be there to answer your questions and assist you.
Children must be 8 years or older to participate in our horseback riding program.
It’s not uncommon for guests to skip or miss a meal and/or a trail ride. Some guests simply don’t arrive at the ranch in time due to travel delays. Others take a day to visit Madison or area attractions. With this in mind, the trail rides and meals within the AI/AINR packages are heavily discounted versus booking a non-riding package and adding rides or meals a la carte and we therefore do not offer credit for missed rides or meals.