Hiring out Horses

Hiring out Horses

Licences to hire out horses are issued under The Animal Welfare (Licencing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. The legislation is designed to ensure the welfare of the animals and the suitability of their accommodation.

This application is not subject to tacit approval under the European Union Services Directive.  The indicative timescale for dealing with the application is proposed to be within 56 days of receipt of a full application.   The deadline may be required to be extended, you will be notified of the new deadline and the reason for extending it.

When is a licence required?

If you hire out horses or donkeys or provide a riding school service, or provide ridden pony parties, you will require a licence. 

The council will arrange for the inspection of horses and premises whilst accompanied by a veterinary surgeon. The licence will be issued subject to receipt of a satisfactory report, compliance with licence conditions and payment of the licence fee. 

You can find our Licensing Fees and Charges on our Animal Licensing page.

A licence will not be issued to individuals who are not over the age of eighteen years or a body corporate who is disqualified.

  • from keeping a riding establishment under the Riding Establishment Act 1964,
  • under Section 34(2), (3) or (4) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006,
  • 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 an animal boarding establishment under the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963.

What conditions apply to Hiring out Horses?

In deciding whether or not to grant a licence, the Local Authority must, without prejudice to its right to refuse a licence on other grounds, have regard to certain matters which include:

  • whether the person has suitable qualification or experience
  • the condition of the horses
  • the condition of feet
  • suitable accommodation
  • where appropriate, the condition of pasture
  • suitable food, drink, bedding and exercise facilities
  • suitable disease control
  • suitable precautions in event of fire
  • provision of adequate accommodation for forage, bedding and equipment

Making an application

Application for a licence to hire out horse can be submitted online by completing this application form for hiring out horses.

You are advised to consider the following:

  • will the activity require planning permission?
  • can you comply with the licence conditions?

Health & Safety

You are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of anyone affected by your business. You will need to undertake a risk assessment, record the significant findings and make sure that hazards are eliminated where possible, residual risks reduced as far as possible, and that systems are in place to make people aware of these and that anyone employed receives adequate instruction and training. If you want advice on Health and Safety, please contact Environmental Health's Health and Safety team. 


Subject to the local authority being satisfied that the business will meet at least the minimum standards set by The Animal Welfare (Licencing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, premises will be awarded a star-rating of between 1  and 5 stars.  The star-rating achieved will depend on how well the business complies with the licence conditions set out in the Regulations.  The licence will be issued for a period of either 1, 2 or 3 years, depending on the star-rating achieved.

The guidance notes on conditions for hiring out horses document sets out all of the licencing conditions that must be complied with.

If you require any further information please contact our Health and Safety Team.

Contact Details:

E-mail: fhsadmin@tendringdc.gov.uk
Environmental Health
88-90 Pier Avenue
CO15 1TN
Telephone: 01255 686767 

Last updated on: 06/12/2019 - 09:31