Riding Establishment Licence

Apply for a Riding Establishment Licence.

A licence is required under the Riding Establishments Act 1964 by any person who runs a business of keeping horses for:

  • letting out on hire for riding

  • and/or use in providing instruction in riding in return for payment

Applying for a licence

To apply for a Riding Establishment licence, please send us the following documents:

  • a completed icon Riding Establishment application [252.76KB]
    (the application is intended for completion on a computer)

  • a copy of a valid Insurance Policy.
    (a current certificate of insurance, or a letter from the underwriters specifying the maximum liability in respect of claims, which should not be less than £1,000,000 are adequate for this purpose)

  • if held by members of staff, a copy of the British Horse Society Riding and Road Safety Certificate or equivalent qualification.

Application fee

Send us your documents and pay the application fee of £89.00 over the phone by calling Customer Services on 01483 505050.

Licences are renewed annually.

Planning permission

You should be aware of the local planning requirements with regard to the proposed use of the premises. We advise that you enter into early talks with the planning authority before construction of any part of the building that may be subject to planning restriction or control.


Once we've received your application, we will arrange for a qualified Veterinary Officer to inspect your premises and any horses, to ensure the welfare of the animals and to make sure accommodation is suitable. 

You should anticipate a visit shortly after your application is submitted.

Renew a licence

To run a riding establishment, you must have a current licence. To renew this licence, please send us:

  • an updated  icon Riding Establishment application [252.76KB]
    (the application should be completed using a computer)

  • an updated copy of your Insurance Policy

  • copies of any relevant safety or teaching certificates for new members of staff if we do not already have them on file

  • confirm the fee of £89 has been paid to Customer Services over the phone on 01483 505050.

Documents may be submitted by post or emailed to hccs@guildford.gov.uk. We cannot accept photographs of documents, only clear scans.

You will be sent a reminder several months before the expiry of your licence. If you do not wish to renew, please inform us in writing.

We request that you return your completed renewal application as soon as possible (even if you have not yet received your invoice) so that we can arrange the veterinary inspection before the expiry of your licence.

Approval of licence

We will aim to respond to your application as soon as possible. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please get in contact. We must process your application before the licence can be granted so Tacit Consent does not apply.

New animals

If you have acquired new animals for use under the terms of your licence, you will need to have these health-checked by a qualified vet and the reports submitted to Health and Community Care. Your licence records will then be updated.