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Living her cowboy dream
Moss rearing, riding at Briarcliff Stables
Briarcliff Stables 3 es
Bocephus gets a pat Tuesday evening from Linda Moss and neighbor Heather Higgs.
Linda Moss grew up wanting to be a cowboy.

Decades later, the south Forsyth horse farm owner says, her life is “as close as you can get” to that.

“I could certainly be a lot more financially secure doing something else, but this is just what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Moss, who has operated Briarcliff Stables for nearly 30 years.

Her 13-acre farm is home to eight ponies, nine horses and a mule. Moss, the lone employee, takes care of the farm and animals, offers riding lessons and on-site horse boarding. She also travels with up to seven ponies for birthday parties, company picnics and carnivals.

Moss started riding horses at age 7. By the time she was 12, she was giving riding lessons at the L.F Still Pony Farm. While still in college, she bought the business.

She does some competitive trail rides with the North American Trail Ride Conference, but Moss said the business “is and always was the pony parties.”

“We take them out and we do birthday parties and school carnivals, company picnics and church functions,” she said.

Mary Ann Gilbert, the director of program ministries for Alpharetta United Methodist Church, said the youth there “love it.”

Briarcliff Stables, whose roots go back to 1947, provided pony rides for the 40th anniversary of the church’s preschool earlier this year, as well as its past several fall festivals.

“She definitely makes it fun for them and they seem to feel safe,” Gilbert said. “She’s got a good way of reassuring them.

“She’s able to keep them moving. She keeps it positive and she’s good with the kids and the ponies. We feel very safe with them here.”

Moss most enjoys working with beginning riders.

“I do a lot of the people no one else wants,” she said. “I do the little bitty kids. I’ll start them at 2 if they want to ride, or adults who have always wanted to but are scared to or they never got the chance.”

Visitors won’t find Moss outside at the crack of dawn. She’s the first to admit she’s not an early morning person.

At 9 a.m., Moss begins her day, feeding the animals. Her day’s end in pretty much the same fashion, with a 9 p.m. feeding.

“There’s always something to be done,” she said.

E-mail Jennifer Sami at