Horse Whisperer: Alisa Waxman’s Horse Trails In Rockdale County
For a decade, Alisa Waxman has volunteered her time to maintain, expand and create new equine riding experiences throughout South Rockdale Community Park.
For as long as she can remember, Alisa Waxman has wanted to be around horses. “As soon as I knew what a horse was, I was infatuated and in love with them,” said Waxman, who owns Stockbridge’s Ahavah Arabian Adventures, LLC, which provides personalized horse rides, lessons, and other equine experiences. “I begged my parents to buy me a horse and put it in our backyard.”
Though she got to ride horses at summer camp growing up, Waxman didn’t own her first horse (an Arabian) until she was 30. Since then, she’s become quite the skilled equestrian, not only founding Ahavah Arabian Adventures to share her love of horses, but also expanding and creating new horse trails in South Rockdale Community Park.
Trailblazing With Horses
Waxman creating a new water crossing.
“There were a limited number of horse trails in the area,” said Waxman about how she got into trail maintenance. “A decade ago, when I heard there was a new horse trail opening at South Rockdale Community Park, I made it my priority to clear and mark it and make it available.” She reached out to Rockdale County and the Arabia Alliance and got permission from both to maintain and mark the more than six miles of horse trails that run through the park in south Rockdale County.
That initial interest spurred a decade-plus passion for clearing, caring and (when needed) creating new horse trails at South Rockdale Community Park. Waxman’s efforts entail not only trail upkeep but also leading other equestrians on guided horse rides through the park on a regular basis. That wasn’t always easy at first.
“We’ve come across people riding their ATVs or dirt bikes on some of these trails, and they can spook the horses. I asked one young man on a dirt bike not to ride these trails anymore, and he flipped me off,” laughed Waxman. “The county has put up signs to discourage that.”
In addition to her exciting rides at South Rockdale Community Park, Waxman offers riding lessons, educational sessions for people who’ve never seen or touched a horse, equine assisted therapy, and even horsey photo sessions. However, Waxman’s long-term vision is one day creating a network of connected horse trails that traverse all of Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area.
“Part of the heritage area’s mission is to preserve our history and way of life,” said Waxman. “Horses are really what allowed people to settle this country and build it out. It’s critical to preserve access to horseback riding on trails as part of our life as humans. Also, equines have a real positive effect on human health and well being. People find it very calm, peaceful and serene interacting and partnering with the animal to go down the trail together. There’s something genuine and inherently natural about that.”
Waxman loves the experience so much that in her spare time she’s trail riding or, even more daring, taking her favorites horses on long-distance endurance rides. We’re talking 25-to-50 miles long. “It’s a lot of fun—like marathoning with your horse,” said Waxman. “I took a break during Covid, but my goal now is to attend a 50-mile race at least once a month. And I’ve had the good fortune to compete all over the country—everywhere from the border between Mexico and New Mexico, up to Minnesota, out to California in Death Valley, and races along the East Coast as well.” Unfortunately, there are no long-distance horse races left in Georgia. But that’s another thing that Waxman is hoping to change in the near future.
For those who want to become an equine expert, Waxman offers guided rides and lessons on a personalized basis, weekdays and weekends. Phone 404-490-1410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.