Horseback riding is permitted along the southern six miles of the ocean beach from October through April. This area begins between the two swimming beaches and extends south to the inlet. You must have a reservation to enter the park with your horses and trailers and you must register with the park 5 days in advance.
There are no special fees associated with this activity, you simply pay the entry fees you normally would to enter the park. To make your reservation you can call the park at 732-793-0506 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4 PM). There is no paperwork involved. When you call you inquire about horseback riding, letting them know you want to make a reservation, and they will ask for your name and the date you would like to visit.
The park does not provide any horses; you are allowed to bring up to 10 horses with you and your party for each reservation. All horses are required to be unloaded at Ocean Bathing Area #1 parking lot. There is NO horse ramp available. The park's single horse access trail runs off of this parking lot. This is the only riding trail that connects the area off of the main park road with the ocean beach.
You can find out about one person's experience riding their horse in the park at this photo essay- Sarge goes to the beach. Sarge's owner, Tory, not only had a good time at Island Beach but also was very helpful in getting the information on this page together.
If you have never ridden on the beach before but are curious to find out more about what this might entail, you can take a look at this article about Riding on the Beach. It can help you learn about some things to consider and be aware of before you take your horse to the beach for the first time.
You can also find helpful horse articles at Horse Searchers. The site specializes in horses for sale but they also offer a lot of useful articles that cover everything from physical horse care to horse psychology.