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Information and advice

The New Forest is a paradise for any horse and rider, offering some of the most unique riding experiences in the south of England. It is however this uniqueness that can take even the most experienced rider by surprise. The New Forest horse riding advice and information below will help you to enjoy your New Forest horse riding adventure, so you know what to expect in this unique area.

Download the New Forest Riding Information Guide.


When horse riding in the New Forest you are bound to encounter some, if not all, types of livestock (cows, donkeys, pigs, ponies and sheep) that roam freely throughout the New Forest. Please be aware they are present and keep your distance, please do not touch or feed them.


April - July New Forest Stallions are let out onto the forest to breed with the mares. The New Forest Stallions tend to be found with herds of mares. Please keep away from the stallions and in particular do not get amongst the mares when there is a stallion with them or between a stallion and his mares.

drifts/round ups

From August until November the New Forest Agisters and the Commoners round up the New Forest Ponies. This can be very dangerous and is NOT a public event. If you are planning to take your horse onto the forest during this time please contact the Verderers to check whether a drift is due to take place.


The New Forest has hundreds of gates that you will have to open and close to gain access to different enclosures. Please make sure all gates are shut behind you to avoid any livestock escaping!

new forest hounds

The New Forest Hounds meet on Tuesdays and Saturdays from November until February so please be aware of this if you are riding at this time. Please click here for more information.


If you have your own horse or pony there are no restrictions for riding across any New Forest District covered beaches (Barton on Sea, Calshot, Milford on Sea or Hordle Cliffs).

We have been advised by Christchurch Borough Council that you are also permitted to ride on Highcliffe and Mudeford beaches between September and Easter.