Riding establishment licences

Horse - riding establishment licences

If you plan to keep horses or ponies to hire out for riding or to teach riding, you need to apply for a Riding Establishment Licence.

You must be over 18 years old and can’t be disqualified from:

  • keeping a riding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop
  • having custody of animals
  • keeping boarding establishments for animals
  • keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how animals are kept, dealing animals or being involved in transporting animals.

We will need to see a report from a vet about the conditions of the horses and the premises. We’ll also need to know:

  • How you plan to keep the horses healthy, fit and comfortable
  • If the area to be used for riding instruction is suitable
  • If there will be suitable accommodation and bedding for the horses.
  • If there will be suitable pasture, shelter and water and if other food will be given to horses kept on grass.
  • If the horses will be exercised, groomed, rested and visited regularly.
  • What plans are in place to stop the spread of disease and what first aid equipment and medicines will be provided
  • What plans are in place to protect the horses in a fire.

A riding establishment licence will come with following conditions:

  • That any horse needing to see a vet will not be returned to work until you have a certificate from the vet confirming that it is fit for work.
  • That a responsible person aged 16 years or older must supervise horses let out for hire or used in instruction, unless you are certain that the rider doesn't require supervision
  • That nobody under the age of 16 will be left in charge of the business.
  • That you hold indemnity insurance
  • That you keep a register of all horses in your possession that are three years old or younger and that the register is always available for inspection.

Can I appeal?

You can appeal to the local magistrates' court if your application is refused or you would like to make an appeal against a condition of your licence.  Please contact us about this first.



Application forms

Fill in an application online using the links below.  The links take you to another government website.

Apply for a riding establishment licence

Apply to change a riding establishment licence

You can also get an application form from us using the contact details on this page.  Please complete the form and return it with the fee to the area licensing office.

You will be charged a fee for this licence.

Licence fees and charges


Call charges