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Horse riding

Under the Riding Establishments Act 1964 and 1970, those who run a riding establishment must obtain a licence to ensure the welfare and safety of both horses and riders.

If a riding establishment is unlicensed then we will be unaware of any inadequacies or risks that may be present, and therefore unable to remedy them. The public should check whether the riding schools they visit are licensed, and notify us if they are not.

This licensing requirement does not apply to livery stables (the stabling or keeping of horses for money), which do not require any form of licence and do not have to be regularly checked.

Licence conditions

Please note: There is no provision in the Act to transfer the ownership of a Licence from one person to another. Therefore if you are intending to purchase a currently licensed premises, you will need to apply, pay for and obtain a new Licence.

Who can apply?

Any fit and proper person who is not disqualified from keeping animals may apply.

Is planning permission required?

We recommend that you discuss your proposals with Planning Services to determine whether a planning application is needed.

How long will it take for my application to be assessed?

Once your application has been received, an officer will contact you as soon as possible, and within 28 days. The amount of time taken to determine the application will range depending on a number of factors, such as the amount of work required to comply with the licence conditions.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. A riding establishment must not be run without a licence.

How do I apply for a licence?

Advice to Mac users – you may need the latest Adobe Reader (for Macs) to open the GOV.UK PDF application form and use the 'open with' function (control left-click and select Adobe Reader).

How much does a licence cost?

  • £202

If you have a licence that expires on 31 December you can apply now for your licence online.

How long does a licence last?

A licence lasts for 12 months from the date of issue.

What can I do if my licence application is refused?

You can apply to the Magistrates' Court if your application is refused.

Public register of licensed riding establishments

Suffolk Coastal register of licensed horse riding establishments Waveney register of licensed horse riding establishments