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Riding establishment licence

How to apply for a licence to become a riding establishment (hiring out horses)

Who should apply

If you hire out horses for people to ride, you need a licence to do so.


You won't need a licence if you hire out horses:

  • solely for military or police purposes
  • for instruction of students as part of a veterinary degree course

Apply for a licence

To apply for a hiring out horses licence online you’ll need:

  • A debit or credit card for the fee

New hiring out horses licence application

Renew your hiring out horses licence application

What happens next?

We will visit you to look at the premises and a vet will examine each horse. We make sure the horses are fit and well, the accommodation is of an acceptable standard and the riding equipment is in good condition. You will need to pay the fee for the vet.

We'll then determine your application, and if successful, we'll award a star rating between one and five. An additional fee will then be payable, depending on the length of the licence (one to three years). To find out more, please see our fee document.

Planning requirements

Even if we've issued a licence, you may still need planning permission for hiring out horses. For further information, please see our planning pages.

Neighbourhood nuisance issues

We have a duty to investigate complaints of nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Even if you’ve had a licence or planning permission granted, if we find your premises to have issues like excessive noise, and odour, this could result in formal action being taken. For further advice, please contact


Mandatory conditions will apply to your licence, and there are some additional conditions in the guidance documents. You can find these at the bottom of the page.

Licence renewals

You'll need to renew your licence at least 10 weeks before it expires. We'll send you a renewal form when it's time for you to renew. Being late with your renewal may mean a break in licensable activity.

Further information

For further information, please contact us. Our contact details are below