Horse Riding Establishment Licence

Not everyone can just hop onto a horse and giddy-up into the sunset; most horse riders will have had to get trained at a horse-riding establishment first. To operate a horse-riding establishment business, however, you will need a licence.


Horse Riding Establishment Licence


Local Council

COST £220.00
VALID FOR 1 year
ELIGIBILITY 18+ years, right to work in UK

Pass horse pre-application inspection

Horses must be in good health and physically fit
Horses must be suitable to be hired out and used for riding
Horses must be provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
Horses must be regularly exercised
Horses must be safeguarded in an emergency

Pre-application documentation

Obtain liability insurance that covers you for any injuries that may result from people riding your horses.
Obtain planning permission for premises

Application for horse-riding establishment

Submit requested documentation
Applications to be made via local council
Get Licenced

Find Your Course

What is a horse-riding establishment?

A horse-riding establishment is where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction.


We make getting your Horse Riding Establishment licence a simple, stress-free process ✅


Novices who have never got atop of a horse before can turn from novices to equestrian riders with training from seasoned riders at a horse-riding establishment. It is also a place where riders can simply hire out a horse for the day and enjoy a day of trotting in the wilderness.



What is a horse-riding establishment licence?

If you want to run a horse-riding establishment as an operating business in England, Scotland or Wales, you will need a horse-riding establishment licence.

This includes riding schools and those that hire out horses, trekking, loan horses and pony parties (but only where ponies are ridden).

The requirements of the horse-riding establishment licence fall under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. 



How to apply for a horse-riding establishment licence

Horse-riding establishment licence applications must be made via your local council. You can find the contact details for your local council at the Official UK Government Website.


NOTE: Before your licence can be approved, your local council will risk assessing your premises, and how you look after the horses or ponies in your care. 




No. If you choose to open up a horse-riding business without applying and holding a horse-riding establishment licence you may be fined up to £1,000 or imprisoned for up to 3 months, or both.
Maybe. There are restrictions that may prevent you applying for a horse-riding establishment licence, this includes being banned previously from running a riding establishment, running a pet shop and keeping animals, including in a boarding kennel or cattery. If you are in doubt about any previous convictions you should check with your local council first.
Yes. A horse-riding establishment licence needs to be renewed every year. The fee and specific conditions will be set by your local council,
Yes, as part of the conditions of your horse-riding establishment licence your local council may inspect your premises and horses at any given time. You may also be asked to keep a register of horses aged 3 years or under that are usually kept on your premises, and make it available for inspection when required.

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