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Riding establishment licence

Last Modified October 19, 2015

Riding centres, where horses are kept and let out for riding or riding instruction, must have a licence from us. 

How much does it cost to apply?

£385 per year, plus veterinary inspection fees.

How long does a licence last?

One year and it needs to be renewed every year.

How can I apply?


Or application forms are available from our offices.

What will you consider?

We will arrange for the inspection of horses and premises by a veterinary surgeon to ensure the welfare of the animals and that the accommodation is suitable.

In addition the following conditions are required by the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970, whether specified in the licence or not:

  • a horse found by an authorised officer to be in need of veterinary attention shall not be returned to work until the licence holder has obtained at his own expense (and has lodged with us) a veterinary certificate to confirm the horse is fit for work;
  • no horse will be let out on hire for riding, or used for providing instruction in riding, without supervision by a responsible person aged 16 or over unless (in the case of a horse let out for hire for riding) the licence holder is satisfied that the hirer of the horse is competent to ride without supervision;
  • the business shall not be left in the charge of any person under 16 years of age;
  • appropriate insurance is in place to insure the licence holder against liability for any injury sustained by those who hire a horse for riding, those who use a horse during riding instruction and against injury to any person caused by, or arising out of, the hire or use of a horse;
  • a register shall be kept by the licence holder of all horses in their possession aged three years and under and usually kept on the premises, which shall be available for inspection by an authorised officer at all reasonable times. (Sec. 1(4a)).

Further advice

Guidance on conditions for riding establishment licences is issued by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in collaboration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association.

A copy of the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970 can be viewed at our offices, along with a copy of our standard conditions.


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