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Riding schools (hiring out horses)


To run a business hiring out horses you will require a licence under the The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

This includes businesses who hire out horses for the following; trekking, loan horses, pony parties where horses are ridden, hunter hirelings, polo / polocrosse instruction and pony hire, pony and donkey rides (please see legislation and guidance).

The cost and length of the licence is determined on meeting the criteria under the Procedural Guidance.

To apply for a licence you are required to download, complete and submit the application form along with part A payment (see Current fees and charges below). You must also forward a copy of your public liability insurance. Vet fees will be charged in addition.

Existing Businesses adding horses to the licence will incur a variation charge.

Go to 'Environmental Health payment'

Licences can be issued for a period of either one, two or three years depending on the risk rating and level of compliance. This also corresponds with the Star Rating for the establishment.

The procedural guidance describes the risk-based system that must be used when issuing licences under the Regulations (with the exception of 'Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition' where all licences are issued for three years).

Use of this system determines both the length of the licence and the star rating that will be awarded. Local authorities in England are expected to follow it in full.

Welfare standards/risk scoring matrix

Minor Failings
(existing business that are failing to meet minimum standards)
Minimum Standards
(as laid down in the schedule and guidance)
Higher Standards
(as laid down in the guidance)
Low Risk1 Star
1-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 12-month period.
3 Star
2-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 24-month period.
5 Star
3-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 36-month period.
Higher Risk1 Star
1-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 12-month period.
2 Star
1-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 12-month period.
4 Star
2-year licence
Min 1 unannounced visit within a 24-month period.

Fees for the following licence applications:


  • Boarding in Kennels for Dogs
  • Boarding for Cats
  • Day Care for Dogs
  • Home Boarding for Dogs
  • Breeding Dogs
  • Selling Animals as Pets

Part APart B
£320.00 plus veterinary fees for an initial inspection based upon an hourly rate (including travel time) 1 Star and 2 Star establishments:
£230.00 for a 1-year licence

3 Star and 4 Star establishments:
£357.00 for a 2-year licence

5 Star establishments:
£483.00 for a 3-year licence

Part A covers the application and authorisation process. Part B is the cost for administering and enforcing the framework. Both fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.

For example a business that applies for home dog boarding licence will pay £320 for the application and if they are awarded a 3 year licence (5 star establishment) they will pay a further £483 to cover the administration of the licence a total of £803 which will give them a licence for three years, in effect costing - £268 a year. Vet fees if applicable will be in addition to this. Whereas an establishment who is awarded a 1 year licence will pay £550 for a 1 year licence.


  • Riding schools (hiring out horses)

Part APart B
£320.00 plus veterinary fees for an initial inspection based upon an hourly rate (including travel tim 1 Star and 2 Star establishments:
£230.00 for a 1-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

3 Star and 4 Star establishments:
£357.00 for a 2-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

5 Star establishments:
£483.00 for a 3-year licence
(plus annual veterinary fees based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

Part A covers the application and authorisation process. Part B is the cost for administering and enforcing the framework. Both fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.


  • Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition – all licences last for 3 years

Part APart B
£320.00 plus vet fees if applicable (based upon an hourly rate including travel time) £380.00 for a 3-year licence
plus vet fees if applicable (based upon an hourly rate including travel time)

Part A covers the application and authorisation process. Part B is the cost for administering and enforcing the framework. Both fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.


  • Other charges

Part APart A
Licence renewals These will be charged at the same rate as new applications as above
Requests for Variations

Administration amendment only = £35.00

Inspector visit (if required) = £78.00 (additional to administration charge).

Vet fees will be recharged if applicable based

Request for re-inspection (for all licences) £137.00 (plus vet fees if applicable)
Pre-licence application advice and visit £45.00

Part A covers the application and authorisation process. Part B is the cost for administering and enforcing the framework. Both fees must be paid in full (along with any veterinary fees) prior to the licence being issued.


Payments can be made online. Please note fees are non-refundable.


Some documents on this page may not be in an accessible format. If you require any documents in an accessible format, please complete our online form to request them.