Riding Establishment

To run a riding establishment (where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction), you need a Hiring Out Horses Licence (Animal Activity Licence) from the Local Authority.

A Riding Establishment is defined as:

  • A business which keeps horses to let out on hire for riding or
  • The horses are used for teaching people to ride (for payment) or
  • A combination of both of the above.

This includes riding schools, pony parties (where the ponies are ridden), trekking, polo instruction, donkey rides etc.

A horse includes an ass, mule or hinny.

Licence applicants must pay the required application fee and comply with the conditions attached to a licence. Licences are valid for a period of one, two or three years from the date of issue.

Members of the public should not pay for lessons on anyone else's horse unless they are licensed. If you do and you have an accident you are unlikely to be insured.

A licence is not required if you are simply providing livery (i.e. stabling) facilities for horses.

PLEASE NOTE: The requirement for a riding establishment licence also relates to beach donkeys.

Licence Fees

The current cost of a riding establishment licence, with this Authority, is £120.00. In addition, you will be recharged the cost of the vets inspection which will be undertaken by a veterinary surgeon registered on the current RCVS and BVA 'List of approved riding establishment inspectors'.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be over 18 years of age. They must have not been disqualified:

  • From keeping a riding establishment
  • From keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • From having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • From keeping boarding establishments for animals under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how animals are kept, dealing animals or transporting or being involved in the transporting of animals
  • From owning, keeping dealing or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

Regulation Summary

Animal Welfare Act 2006

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

Application Evaluation Process

Before deciding an application the Council are required to arrange for and consider a report from a suitably qualified veterinary surgeon or practitioner detailing whether the premises are suitable for a riding establishment and detailing the conditions of the premises and any horses.

The Council will take into account the following:

  • Whether the applicant is suitable and qualified to hold a licence.
  • That consideration will be given to the condition of the horses and that they will be maintained in good health, kept physically fit and where the horse is to be ridden or used during riding instruction, be suitable for that purpose
  • That the animals feet will be trimmed properly and that shoes are fitted properly and are in good condition.
  • That there will be suitable accommodation for the horses.
  • That for horses maintained on grass there is suitable pasture, shelter and water and that supplementary feed will be provided as and when needed.
  • That horses will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding materials and will be exercised, groomed, rested and visited at suitable intervals.
  • That precautions will be taken to reduce the spread of contagious or infectious diseases and that veterinary first aid equipment and medicines will be provided and maintained.
  • That appropriate procedures are in place to protect and remove the horses in the case of a fire.
  • That storage facilities for forage, bedding, stable equipment and saddlery are provided.

A riding establishment licence is subject to the following conditions:

  • That any horse inspected by an authorised officer and found to need veterinary attention will not be returned to work until the licence holder has obtained a veterinary certificate confirming the horse is fit for work.
  • That a horse will not be let out for hire or for use in instruction without the supervision of a responsible person aged 16 years or older, unless the licence holder is satisfied the rider doesn't require supervision.
  • That the business will not be left in the charge of someone under 18 years of age.
  • That the licence holder holds public liability insurance.
  • That the licence holder keeps a register of all horses in their possession that are kept for the licensable activity and that the register is available for inspection at all reasonable times.

Tacit Consent

We will aim to have your application determined within twelve weeks of receipt of a valid and complete application. However, if we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted due to public safety and animal welfare implications and therefore tacit consent does not apply.  This means you must wait for the Council to determine the application before any riding activities can take place.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact Licensing Services in the first instance. An applicant whose application is refused can appeal within 28 days to the First-Tier Tribunal.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact Licensing Services in the first instance. A licence holder who wishes to appeal against the star rating for their business can appeal to the Council.

Consumer Complaint

If you have any concerns regarding a riding establishment in the East Lindsey District please contact Licensing Services.

Riding Establishments Register

This register is not currently available online but should you wish to see a copy please contact the Licensing Team using the contact details set out below.

The Licensing Team, East Lindsey District Council, Tedder Hall, Manby Park, Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 8UP

Email: licensing@e-lindsey.gov.uk

Trade Associations

Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS)

British Horse Society

British Equestrian Federation