Licences for riding establishments

Licences to keep a riding establishment are issued under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970.

A riding establishment is "the carrying on of a business of keeping horses to let them out for hire for riding or riding instruction".  Licences are renewable annually.  The council will arrange for a veterinary surgeon to inspect the horses and premises to ensure the welfare of the animals and that the stabling is suitable.

The licence will be issued subject to compliance with licence conditions and payment of the licence fee.

The following conditions are required by the act, whether specified in the licence or not:

  1. If an authorised officer inspects the premises and finds a horse to be in need of veterinary attention, the horse shall not be returned to work until the licence holder has obtained at his or her own expense, and has lodged with the local authority, a veterinary certificate that the horse is fit for work.
  2. No horse will be hired out for riding, or used for providing instruction in riding, without supervision by a responsible person of age 16 years or older unless – in the case of a horse hired out for riding – the licence holder is satisfied that the hirer of the horse is competent to ride without supervision.
  3. The business operations of a riding establishment shall at no time be left in the charge of any person under 16 years old.
  4. The licence holder shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him or her against liability for any injury sustained:
    - by persons who hire a horse for riding
    - by persons who pay to use a horse to receive riding instructions
    - arising from the hire or use of a horse as stated above and which also insures such persons in respect of any liability which may be incurred by them, in respect of injury to any person caused by, or arising from, the hire or use of a horse as stated above.
  5. A register shall be kept by the licence holder of all horses in his possession – aged three years and under and usually kept on the premises – which shall be available for inspection by an authorised officer at all reasonable times.

Guidance on conditions for riding establishment licences is issued by the British Veterinary Association.

Copies of the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970 can be obtained from Office of Public Sector Information.  Or a copy can be inspected at the council offices where you may also obtain details of the fee, an application form and further help or advice.

You can also download the application form or apply online through the Businesslink website.

You will be contacted in writing on receipt of the application form.

How to contact us:

Environmental Health Commercial Team – Health and Safety
Mulberry Place (AH)
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
E14 1BY

Open:  9am to 5pm - Monday to Friday

Tel: 020 7364 5008
Fax: 020 7364 6901