Riding establishment licence
If you want to run a stables that hires out horses or ponies for riding or instruction, you must have a licence.
You're eligible to apply for a riding establishment licence if you meet the following criteria:
- licenses can be granted to either a business or an individual aged over 18
- the horse riding establishment must never be left in the charge of anyone aged under 16
- horses let out for riding hire or for instruction must always be supervised by a responsible person aged 16 or over (the only exception is if the licence holder feels the hirer of the horse is competent to ride without supervision)
- a licence is valid from either the date of issue or from 1 January (state your preference in your application form)
- the term 'horse' includes any mare, gelding, pony, foal, colt, filly or stallion and also any ass, mule or jennet
Applying for a licence
You can apply for a riding establishment licence online.
Once your application is submitted and paid for online it is automatically sent to the responsible authorities, so there's no need for applicants to send in paper hard copies.
A licence costs £682 per year.
Application evaluation process
Once your application is received, a licensing officer will contact you to make arrangements to carry out an inspection of your premises. The officer will be accompanied by an approved vet who will set the licensing conditions.
You can find further guidance:
- code of practice for tethering horses and ponies (pdf, 12kb)
- British Horse Society
- The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
Page last updated: 14 May 2018