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How to horse ride at Hicks Lodge and use of the horse loop

Updated 2nd July 2020

You are welcome to ride your horse at Hicks Lodge – here is some information to help you make the most out of your visit.

When you arrive…

  • The horse loop is situated on the opposite side of the road from the café and main car park where there is a secure car park.
  • On arrival, please collect the key for the barrier and gate from the cafe - there is a signing out sheet where you will need to leave a name and contact number when you take the key. Please ensure it is returned by 5pm (café closing time) – where possible, please sanitise the key before returning.
  • The horse loop is accessible by opening the double green barrier. Lock the barrier once you pass through and please do not let other vehicles in.
  • Parking for horseboxes and trailers is on the right hand side of the car park as indicated by the signage. Please park sensibly, leaving enough room for loading and unloading and be aware of other users of this car park.
  • Please pay and display for parking – a ticket can be purchased in the main car park by coin. Alternatively you can pay by phone: please RING 01604 210 933 - Our site number is 3004
  • Charge is £5 – Alternatively you can become a member at Hicks Lodge which will give you free parking for a year plus a variety of other local and national discounts. This costs just £40 - Please visit https://www.forestryengland.uk/hicks-lodge/hicks-lodge-membership for further details. All car park revenue is greatly appreciated and re-invested back in to help maintain our site facilities including those provided for horse riders.

Ready for the off…

  • The route is open seasonally in the summer months (weather permitting) and is accessible through the wooden gate that exits the small car park, as indicated by signage.
  • Our permissive horse route, for the most part, runs around the far reaches of the site and should be visible as a mown grass strip. Signage has been installed to guide you. The route does at times merge and cross with the gravel trails so please use additional caution at these points and be aware of other forest users.
  • A map of the horse route is available from the café or can be downloaded from our website. 
  • If you experience any issues on the trails please report to site Ranger Chris Hart 07795801146 chris.hart@forestryengland.uk or to site Manager Seb Tighe 07786114633 seb.tighe@forestryengland.uk
  • There is a purpose built horse corral next to the café – feel free to use it whilst you visit the café for a refuel and toilets.

When using the horse corral…

  • Please secure your horse inside the corral before using the facilities. There are tie rings provided. Please do not take your horse up to the café area.
  • There is a mounting block outside of the corral for you to use to re-mount. Please do not use benches or seats.
  • Any manure left behind in the corral or around the café area must be tidied away using the tools and bucket provided. We ask that you please leave this area as you and other customers would like to find it.

Enjoy your ride!

Please tidy up after yourself, remove any manure left in the car park or corral and if possible when out riding, kick any mess off the path into the undergrowth to rot down.

Please be aware that Hicks Lodge is a busy site with bikes and walkers. Please be considerate to each other. Horses are large and unpredictable animals who can intimidate others, please bear this in mind.

Many thanks to our volunteers who constructed and continue to maintain the corral and horse riding facilities.