Riding establishment licensing
Horse riding establishments
Under the Riding Establishments Act 1964 and 1970, those who run a riding establishment must obtain a licence. This is to ensure the welfare and safety of both horses and riders is adequate.
If a riding establishment is unlicensed then we will be unaware of any inadequacies or risks that may be present, and therefore unable to remedy them. The public should check whether the riding schools they visit are licensed, and notify us if they are not.
This licensing requirement does not apply to livery stables (the stabling or keeping of horses for money), which do not require any form of licence and do not have to be regularly checked.
Who can apply?
Any fit and proper person who is not disqualified from keeping animals may apply.
Is planning permission required?
is recommended that you discuss your proposals with the Planning Department to determine whether a planning application is needed.
How long will it take for my application to be assessed?
Once your application has been received, an Officer will contact you as soon as possible, and within 28 days. The amount of time taken to determine the application will range depending on a number of factors, such as the availability of a veterinary surgeon and the amount of work required to comply with the licence conditions. Applications are normally determined within 2 months.
Will tacit consent apply
No. A riding establishment must not be run without a licence.
How do I apply?
The quickest way to apply is online:
- Apply and pay online for a horse riding establishments licence
Applying online takes just three steps:
- Click on the link to GOV.UK and follow the guidance on how to download the application form. Save the application form to your computer.
- Fill in the information to complete the form and save the form to keep the changes you have made. You can save the form and return to it later if you need to add more information or change it.
- When you are ready to submit your application return to the link at GOV.UK and follow the instructions to upload your completed application form. You will need a debit or credit card to pay the fee online and complete the application process.
You will be given a unique reference number for your application and receive an email acknowledgement to confirm that your online application has been submitted.
Advice to Mac users - you may need the latest Adobe Reader (for Macs) to open the downloaded PDF application form and use the 'open with' function (control left-click and select Abobe Reader).
You can also apply in writing by downloading and printing the GOV.UK application form and posting it to us at the address on this page with the appropriate fee.
How much does a licence cost?
The licence fee is:
- £192 (1 January 2016 onwards)
How long does a licence last?
A licence lasts for 12 months from the date of issue.
What can I do if my licence application is refused?
You can apply to the Magistrate's Court if your application is refused.
Register of animal welfare licences