Richmondshire District Council

Running a riding establishment

To run a riding establishment, where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction, you need a licence from us.


The legislation relating to this licence is The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018.

Applying for a licence

Any “fit and proper person” over 18, who isn't disqualified from keeping animals, a pet shop, a riding establishment or an animal boarding establishment, can apply.

After we've received your completed application form and fee, we'll ask for a report from an authorised vet or veterinary practitioner detailing whether the premises are suitable and the condition of the premises and any horses.

We'll take into account whether the applicant is suitable and qualified to hold a licence and whether the standard riding establishment licence conditions set out in the guidance are complied with.

The applicant will also be responsible for paying any fee for the vet's report before the licence is granted.

It can take up to three months from receiving the application to the licence being issued.

Public register 

There's no public register but a list of current licensed riding establishments is available on request.

Further information

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website has some useful advice and guidance.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website offers information on health and safety in horse riding establishments and livery yards.

You can contact us for more information at

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