Riding establishment licences

You need to obtain a licence from us to run a riding establishment a place where you hire out horses or ponies for riding or riding instruction.

Eligibility criteria

You must be over 18 years of age and had no disqualification from:

  • 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 you keep animals, dealing animals, 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

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

Regulation summary

Riding Establishments Act 1964 (chapter 70).

Application evaluation process

Before deciding an application, we must consider a report from a 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 will also take into account whether you are suitable and qualified to hold a licence and we must be satisfied that a number of conditions have being met. Please refer to the Riding establishment conditions document (PDF 28KB).

How to apply

You can apply for a licence online using the Apply for an animal welfare licence form.

An application form is available from the related documents section on this page.

We review the cost of the licence annually in April. If you think you need a licence, would like further information, please contact us.

You can also apply and pay for your licence as well as changing your existing licence online at GOV.UK.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. Before we can grant you a licence, it is in the public interest that the authority must process your application.  If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us.​​

Contact us



0113 378 5959 (Mon to Fri, 9am and 4pm)



Riding establishment condhttps://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Riding establishment conditions.pdf28396pdf

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