Horse Riding in the New Forest

Horse riding in the New Forest is one of the finest ways to experience the natural beauty of the National Park. With over 3,000 New Forest Ponies roaming the beautiful and varying landscapes, The New Forest is truly the perfect backdrop for a relaxing hack or carriage ride.

Take to the bridleways and tracks crossing our open heathland, pick up some of the coastal routes and soak up the atmosphere of this magical part of the country. Here we explore some of the ways you can enjoy the New Forest by saddleback, whether it’s on a beginner’s lesson, a hack through the open countryside or on a horse-led trailer ride. We’ve also put in some top tips for local equestrian shops and places you can stay in the New Forest with your own horse. Read on to discover more…

Horse riding lessons in the New Forest

Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner at horse riding, the New Forest will cater for your experience levels and ensure you have a great day at any one of the recommended stables that can be found here. Horse riding lessons are often available for local residents and visitors alike, get in contact with one of the companies below for advise on what they offer.

Riding stables and equestrian centres can be found at:

Burley Villa School of Riding, New Milton
Including English riding, Western riding, livery and riding breaks.

Brockenhurst Riding Stables, Brockenhurst
With horse riding and direct access on the forest. Livery and holiday livery also available.

Bagnum Equestrian Centre, Ringwood
Offering hacks, walk outs, lessons, courses and livery.

Eastmoors Riding School, St Leonards
Lessons, livery and woodland trekking.

Ford Farm Stables, Brockenhurst
With lessons, hacking and livery.

Arniss Equestrian Centre, Fordingbridge
Lessons, pony fun days, walk outs, picnic rides and livery.

Fir Tree Farm Equestrian Centre, Fordingbridge
Lessons, equine reiki and hacking.

Countryside hacks

A hack through the New Forest National Park can provide you with a wealth of opportunities to explore, experience, and discover the beauty of our countryside. If you are visiting The New Forest on holiday you can arrange a forest hack from one of the many stables available around the area that are mentioned above.

You can enjoy a hack across a variety of landscapes within the forest from rolling heathlands, beautiful coastlines to magical woodlands.

Keep an eye out for the incredible New Forest wildlife on your journey – you are likely to see the famous New Forest ponies, donkeys, cattle and perhaps even some pigs on your journey!

If you fancy doing your own hack then why not download the British Horse Society’s ‘New Forest Drive Route’? This route can be easily accessed from the M27 and follows a 9½ mile journey via Fritham. To access the inclosures along the route a key will need to be purchased from the Forestry Commission. Alternatively, pick up a copy of the local Ordnance Survey map for the New Forest and explore the wide range of bridleways that can be found here.

If you would prefer to be guided on a hack in the National Park then Ride New Forest are a local company who offer guided hacks on a variety of routes. Bring your own horse and let them lead you through the beautiful landscape. This is a popular way of literally getting off the beaten track in the National Park, plus with excellent local knowledge about the routes on offer.

Carriage rides

Enjoy a horse drawn carriage as it weaves its way through the narrow lanes of the New Forest. Burley Wagon Rides and The New Forest Carriage Company offer carriage days and bespoke days for anyone who’d like to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a carriage.

If you wish to drive your own pony and cart on Forestry England land in the New Forest you will need to purchase a New Forest Driving Permit from the Forestry England.

Equestrian shops in the New Forest

There are several equestrian shops located within The New Forest including:

  • Aivly Country Sports, Ringwood
  • Bearhouse Saddlery, Fordingbridge
  • Chelsea Equestrian, Ringwood
  • Norris & Sons, Brockenhurst
  • Forest Pet Supplies, Fordingbridge

The New Forest Show which takes place during July is another great place to pick up equestrian items as well as watching the show jumping!

Bring your horse on holiday to the New Forest with you

Many people take their dog on holiday with them so why not bring along your horse?

If you fancy bringing your own horse on holiday with you, then there are a several places to stay which also offer livery or horse riding facilities including:

  • Burley Wagon Rides Holidays, Bransgore with own turn out and direct access onto the forest.
  • Burgate Manor Farm, Fordingbridge with horse stabling and grazing
  • Hackney Park, Sway offers horse stabling and grazing as required
  • Upper Kingston Farm Cottages, Ringwood which offers grazing on the farm and locally-arranged stabling
  • Wilf’s Cabin, Burley which has two stables, two paddocks and a tack room adjacent to the cabin

Alternatively, livery is available at many of the equestrian centres and riding schools mentioned above.

Useful information for horse riders in the New Forest

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. Head to the National Park Authority's website for more information.

Please note:
Horse riders have open access to the New Forest and are able to ride with out a permit, but to reduce damage to the ground please use tracks when it’s wet.

To help ground-nesting birds rear their young safely, please keep your horse on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of July.

Also, don’t forget to purchase your Go New Forest Card in advance of your visit for just £10. The card gives you money-saving discounts of many of our attraction, places to stay and restaurants and cafes in and around The New Forest.

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