Riding Establishment

Licence summary

To run a riding establishment (where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction) in England, Scotland or Wales, you need a licence from the local authority.

Please contact us if you are trying to find a licensed establishment in Malvern Hills, or if you are thinking of letting other people use your horses or ponies.

You should not pay for lessons on anyone else's horse, unless they are licensed.

If you do, and you have an accident, they may not be insured.

We try to make sure that horses are well looked after, that the layout of any facilities are suitable and that staff are trained and properly insured. 

And we make sure that the operator has thought about dangers to the public using the facilities.

Licences are usually valid for one year, and should be on display. 

We can issue provisional licences, for up to six months.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be over 18 years of age.

In England and Wales 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

Applicants must pay any required fee and comply with any conditions attached to a licence

Regulation Summary

A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence

Application Evaluation Process

Before deciding an application we 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.

We also visit during the year, and may return with the vet if we get complaints about the condition or care of the animals.

We 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 and that as part of this the name, address and telephone number of the licence holder is displayed outside the premises and fire instructions are displayed
  • That storage facilities for forage, bedding, stable equipment and saddlery are provided

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from Malvern Hills District Council within a reasonable period, please contact us.

You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.

Apply online

On line facilities are available through the national Business Link portal:
Apply for a licence to operate a riding establishment
(Not yet available) Tell us about a change to an existing riding establishment licence

Apply by Post

Telephone or e-mail us to ask for an application form, or download an application form. 

Send the completed form with application fee and proof of insurance to us at the Animal Welfare Department, Malvern Hills District Council, The Council Offices, Avenue Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3AF

Failed Application Redress

Please contact Malvern Hills District Council in the first instance.

An applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact Malvern Hills District Council in the first instance

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local Magistrates' Court.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice.

From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Trade Associations