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Riding establishment

You must get a licence to run a riding establishment.

A riding establishment is "the carrying on of a business of keeping horses to let them out for hire for riding or riding instruction".

How to apply

To apply fill in the riding establishment application form (DOC/47KB/7 pages)

There is an application fee of £234.89 (cheques made payable to SLDC) plus Vets fees.

Once you have filled in the form, return it, any other relevant documents and the licence fee to the licensing group.

You will also have to pay the cost of inspections carried out by our authorised veterinary surgeon or practitioner.


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

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

  • a horse found on inspection of the premises by an authorised officer to be in need of veterinary attention shall not be returned to work until the holder of the licence has obtained at his own expense and has lodged with the local authority a veterinary certificate that the horse is fit for work
  • no horse will be let out on hire for riding or used for providing instruction in riding without supervision by a responsible person of the age of 16 years or over unless (in the case of a horse let out for hire for riding) the holder of the licence is satisfied that the hirer of the horse is competent to ride without supervision
  • the carrying on of the business of a riding establishment shall at no time be left in the charge of any person under 16 years of age
  • the licence holder shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him against liability for any injury sustained by those who hire a horse from him for riding and those who use a horse in the course of receiving from him, in return for payment, instruction in riding and arising out of the hire or use of a horse as aforesaid 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 out of, the hire or use of a horse as aforesaid
  • 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.

Copies of the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970 can be viewed at South Lakeland House.