Riding establishment licence

If you run a business that keeps horses and you let them out for riding or instruction for payment, then you will need to have a riding establishment licence.

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a riding establishment licence, but must not be disqualified from keeping a riding establishment or from keeping or having custody of animals.

To apply you need to complete and submit the following forms:
• Animal Licensing Standard Applicant Profile Section 1
• Animal Licensing Standard Declaration
• Application for Hiring out Horses

Once completed, return these to us with the relevant fee and a public liability insurance certificate.

A veterinary inspector on the current RCVS/BVA Inspectorate will also need to visit your premises and carry out and inspection. They will need to complete the veterinary inspector report form.

The cost to apply for the grant of a riding establishment licence is £358. The cost to apply for a further licence is £340.  All veterinary costs will need to be met by you.

You can find out how the Council constructs its fees by downloading the document Guidance on fee construction.

Upon completion of the inspection, the applicant will then receive a star-rating based upon compliance, risk and standards.  The rating your premises receives pending inspection will determine the duration for which the licence will last (one, two or three years).  Please note, as new applicants will not have a compliance/complaint history with the local authority, they will initially always be treated as ‘high-risk’ and, as such, may not be eligible for the highest ratings until they renew the licence.  Full information about the rating system can be found by viewing the DEFRA guidance notes.

It is strongly advised that you read the relevant guidance notes below for more information on best practice. 

You should allow two months for your application to be processed.

• Guidance Notes for Hiring out Horses 2018

Laws and regulation

Riding Establishments are licensed under The Riding Establishments Act 1964, The Riding Establishments Act 1970 and The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.