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Riding establishment licence

You must have a licence if you keep horses and hire them out for riding. .

Apply for a licence

We suggest you read the riding establishment licences conditions and guidance and visit the British Veterinary Association website before applying for a licence. You should also read Guidance Notes for Hiring out Horses.

You must be aged over 18 can apply for a riding establishment licence. You must not be disqualified from keeping a riding establishment or from keeping or having custody of animals.

To apply you need to complete and submit the following forms:

Use our online form to submit the completed forms and public liability insurance certificate. You will also need to pay the fee using a debit or credit card.

A veterinary inspector on the current RCVS/BVA Inspectorate will also need to visit your premises and carry out and inspection. They will need to complete the veterinary inspector report form.

The cost to apply for the grant of a riding establishment licence is £432. The cost to apply for a renewal is £402. You must pay for all veterinary costs.

You’ll get a star-rating for the premises, between 1 and 5. You can get more details about the rating system by reading DEFRA guidance notes.

You should allow two months for your application to be processed.

Report unlicensed hiring out of horses

If you know or suspect someone is hiring out horses without a licence, you can report it to us by using the general enquiries online form.

We will investigate reports to check if the premises has a licence.

Laws and regulation

Riding Establishments are licensed under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.