Riding establishments

The term 'riding establishment' refers to any business of keeping horses to let them out on hire for riding, or for use in providing instruction in riding for payment, or both. Premises where the horses are kept by the Secretary of Defence, Police, Zoological Society of London, or a university providing a veterinary course, are exempt. A report must be received from a listed veterinary surgeon or practitioner before a license can be issued.

The council must also consider the following matters:

  • Whether the applicant appears to be suitable and qualified (i.e. holder of an approved certificate, experienced in managing horses, etc)
  • That consideration will be given to the condition of the horses, that they will be maintained in good health and their feet properly looked after
  • Adequate pasture, shelter, water, exercise, rest and grooming is provided
  • The horses shall be suitable for the purposes for which they are kept
  • Whether a current insurance policy is held insuring the holder against liability for any injury sustained from using those horses

Licences are issued annually to persons over the age of 18. A 3 month provisional license may be issued to enable compliance.

Inspections are always done by a vet who must be approved by the RCVS and BVA. It is also essential that inspectors have a special knowledge of horses and horse management.

Establishment proprietors must have a current certificate of insurance which indemnifies them against public liability for a minimum of £2 million.

There is an application fee of £163 which must be paid at the time an application is made, plus the vets inspection fee, which is invoiced separately.   

If you wish to apply for a licence you can download, print and complete a Riding Establishment Licence Application Form; or ask us to send an application form.