Forestry Commission logo

Horse Riding in the New Forest & Woodlands of Ringwood and Dorset
(Average user rating: 1 unrated 1/5)

Horse riders in Wootton, New Forest 
The New Forest, Ringwood Forest and Wareham Forests are wonderful places to go horseriding.

There are mature woods, shady streams, dappled glades and beautiful open heathland - what better way to see the landscape than from the back of a horse.

The New Forest

Horse riders have always enjoyed open access to the forest, which is well furnished with suitable tracks. Seeing the forest from the back of a horse is an excellent way to see the forest’s mature woods, shady streams, dappled glades and beautiful open heathland.

You can ride a horse in the New Forest without a Forestry Commission riding permit. However we request that you adhere to all warning signs and the advice given on them. 

Please refer to the New Forest Horse Riding Code of Conduct for further information.

Pony and Cart

If you wish to drive a pony and cart on Forestry Commission land you will need to purchase a New Forest Driving Permit.

The cost of driving permits for the New Forest are; 

£20.00 - valid for 1 month.
£50.00 - valid for 1 year.
£140.00 - valid for 3 years.

Please click here to download an application form or please call 0300 067 4640 (Mon-Fri 9am - 3pm) or e-mail;

 Ringwood and Wareham

If you wish to ride a horse or drive a pony and cart on Forestry Commission Land in any of our Ringwood or Wareham woodlands you are required to have a Forestry Commission Riding Permit for each horse ridden.

The costs of the permits are below:
£20.00- Private Riding - Valid for 1 month.
£50.00 - Private Riding - Valid for 1 year.
£100.00 - Commercial Permit for businesses - Valid for 1 year.
£50.00 - Driving a Pony and Cart - Valid for 1 year.

Please click here to download an application form or please call 0300 067 4640 (Mon-Fri 9am - 3pm) or e-mail;

What do other visitors say?

It is totally wrong that cyclists and walkers can use the forests and car parks free yet horse riders and drivers have to pay.In addition, when we had a driving

permit we had to pay 25 extra for each key so it doesn't include a deposit for a gate key!!

Anonymous, 25/Aug/2016
1 Star 1 Star

This website is woefully lacking useful information. The map is abysmal - it's essentially a green blob with a few named black spots on it. I also fully agree with the other comments about the disproportionate and unjustified charges to horseriders. You should be encouraging them to come to the New Forest - not the opposite!

Kelli, 25/Nov/2015

Thank you for your comment and for alerting our attention to the error on the car park map. We have now uploaded a clear map of the car parks in the New Forest. Horse drawn permits are charged for both the New Forest and Dorset and permit access through the Inclosures which normally a wheeled vehicle would not. The charge covers administration fees as well as a deposit for a gate key to access the Inclosures. We do not charge for horse riding apart from in Dorset where again there is an administration fee. This will apply to those wishing to ride on Forestry Commission land in Dorset but off bridleway. For further information about horse riding in Dorset please contact 0300 067 4640

Forestry Commission Response

I walk my dogs a few times a week (on a lead) in Bushy Leaze woods (Ackender Woods) near Alton and Beech in Hampshire. Many years ago I used to ride my pony and initially (some 30 years ago) permits were not required and then they were introduced. I am considering taking my young son on his Shetland pony with me while I walk the dogs so could you please tell me if a permit is required and the charge. (the pony is not ridden often and is therefore unshod). Please advise. Thank you.

Mrs J Paterson, 15/Nov/2015

Thank you for your comment. The riding permits for our woods in the Bushy Leaze Woods Bramshill area are administered by TROT (Tollride Off-Road Trust) - their contact is:- TROT Office on 01622 735599 (Monday to Friday 10am-2pm) or e-mail us on if you have any queries.

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

Last updated: 7th March 2016

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.