Surprisingly located in a small lakefront community just off the interstate near heavily traveled Fairburn Road in Douglasville, it is hard to imagine a 30-acre horse farm is at the trail’s end, with its winding riding paths and two creeks that come together.
This is where Joe Pratt and his wife, Melody Wilcox Pratt, have called home since moving from Utah’s winters a year ago in March.
The trucking company owners breed, train and sell American Quarter Horse Association barrel, rope and working horses. They recently opened a bed and breakfast and horse motel for people traveling across the country with their horses.
“We opened the ranch to provide a place to stay for people and horses,” said Wilcox. “We’ve traveled all over the country and know how hard it is to find a place that could accommodate us but also had adequate facilities for our horses.”
Both husband and wife have a longtime love affair with horses. He was a cowboy for more than 25 years, while she has owned and shown horses since age 4.
The couple planted roots in Douglas County after living the cowboy life all across the country. They have four children, living in Georgia, Tennessee and Ohio.
“We’ve lived all over the United States and we’ve settled down in Douglasville to be close to our first grandbaby who lives in Sandy Springs,” Wilcox said.
Here at home, the ranch is home to 22 horses, including two two-month-old foals, Johnny Walker and Talker.
Not only horses grace the ranch. There are three barn cats, two chickens and a canine ranch manager named Sally.
Visitors are welcome to spend the night in comfortable ranch-décor accommodations, or can hook up their RVs and trailers, she explained. Horses will be treated to sweet grass for grazing or clean, spacious stables after miles on the road.
“We get a lot of traffic for the horse overnights,” said Wilcox, “and get a lot of repeat customers — especially polo players.”
However, Exodus Farm offers activities for locals as well, with Joe Wrangler Cowboy Bible Camp sessions this summer and a “Murder at the Ranch” outdoor murder mystery event planned in the fall. Riding lessons are also available.
She said she considers the ranch a mission, explaining, “We believe everything that we have is from God,” and they want to share it with others.
Church and teen groups are invited to use the beautiful surroundings for events at no charge. She said she encourages people who would like to send their children to camp and cannot afford to do so, to apply for financial assistance.
“We have sponsors for kids whose parents can’t afford to pay,” Wilcox said. “Anything we can use horses and the ranch for we consider an outreach.”