Riding Establishment Licence
When is a licence required?
To run a riding establishment (where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction) in England, Scotland or Wales, you need a licence from us.
Applicants must be over 18 years of age and they must not have been disqualified:
- from keeping a riding establishment
- from keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
- from having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
- from keeping boarding establishments for animals under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
- under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how animals are kept, dealing animals or transporting or being involved in the transporting of animals
- from owning, keeping dealing or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006
Applicants must pay any required fee and comply with any conditions attached to a licence.
Before approving an application we must consider a report from a veterinary surgeon or practitioner detailing whether the premises are suitable for a riding establishment and detailing the conditions of the premises and any horses.
We will also take into account whether the applicant is suitable and qualified to hold a licence. We must also be satisfied of the following:
- Consideration will be given to the condition of the horses and that they will be maintained in good health, kept physically fit and where the horse is to be ridden or used during riding instruction, be suitable for that purpose.
- The animals’ feet will be trimmed properly and that shoes are fitted properly and are in good condition.
- There will be suitable accommodation for the horses.
- For horses maintained on grass, there is suitable pasture, shelter and water and that supplementary feed will be provided as and when needed.
- Horses will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding materials and will be exercised, groomed, rested and visited at suitable intervals.
- Precautions will be taken to reduce the spread of contagious or infectious diseases and that veterinary first aid equipment and medicines will be provided and maintained.
- Appropriate procedures are in place to protect and remove the horses in the case of a fire and that as part of this, the name, address and telephone number of the licence holder is displayed outside the premises and fire instructions are displayed.
- Storage facilities for forage, bedding, stable equipment and saddlery are provided.
In addition to any other conditions, a riding establishment licence must be subject to the following conditions:
- Any horse inspected by an authorised officer and found to need veterinary attention will not be returned to work until the licence holder has obtained a veterinary certificate confirming the horse is fit for work.
- A horse will not be let out for hire or for use in instruction without the supervision of a responsible person aged 16 years or older, unless the licence holder is satisfied the rider doesn't require supervision.
- The business will not be left in the charge of someone under 16 years of age.
- The licence holder holds indemnity insurance.
- The licence holder keeps a register of all horses in their possession that are three years old or younger and that the register is available for inspection at all reasonable times.
How much does a licence cost?
How do I apply for a licence?
You can apply online at the GOV.UK website.
- Apply for a licence to operate a riding establishment
- Apply to change a riding establishment licence
When will my application be processed?
We will acknowledge receipt of your application within 4 working days.
We will determine your application within 28 days.
Will tacit consent apply?
No, it is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.
How do I appeal?
Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates but please contact us in the first instance.
Any licence holder who objects to a condition attached to a licence may appeal to the local Magistrates court.
Environmental Health and Licensing
01438 242908 / 242916