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Horse riding establishments

Who can apply

All applicant must be over the age of 18.

You can apply to us if you have not been disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • keeping a riding establishment
  • 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
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006


Before we can decide on an application, we need to see a report from a authority nominated vet or practitioner that tells us that the premises and conditions are suitable for a riding establishment.

We must be satisfied that:

  • horses are in good health, kept physically fit, and suitable for riding
  • feet and shoes are in good condition
  • there will be suitable accommodation for the horses, including suitable pasture, shelter and water
  • precautions will be taken to stop the spread of contagious or infectious diseases and that first aid and medicines can be provided.
  • that there are emergency procedures in place in case of fire, flood etc
  • adequate storage facilities are provided
  • the licence holder has indemnity insurance
  • the licence holder keeps a register of all horses in their possession that are 3 years old or younger
  • the business will not be left in charge of someone under 16 years of age
  • any horse inspected and found to need veterinary care will not be returned to work until a veterinary certificate is obtained confirming the horse is fit and well
  • a horse will not be let out for hire or for use without the supervision of a responsible person aged 16 or over; unless the licence holder is satisfied that the rider doesn't require supervision

How to apply

Riding establishment licence online application GOV.UK

Please contact us to apply.

What it costs

Riding Establishments Licence - initial or renewal

Excluding vet fees - vets fees are charged in addition to these fees based on full cost recovery

 As of 1st Apr 2020

1 - 10 animals


11 - 20 animals


21 + animals


Failed applications and appeals

In the first instant the first instance, please contact us if you have a problem with an application.

Any applicant that is refused a licence can appeal to their local magistrates court. You can also appeal to the court if you wish to appeal against a condition attached to your licence.

If you have any concerns over a horse riding establishment, please see our Animal welfare pages.