Riding establishments

If you want to run a riding establishment where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction, you need a licence from us.

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. We also make sure that the operator has thought about dangers to the people using their facilities.

Licences are usually valid for one year, and should be on display.  We can issue provisional licences, for up to six months.

Contact us 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.

The licensing process

Before we can issue you a licence we need to check the suitability of your premises.

You will receive a visit from a vet and/or an officer from Worcestershire Regulatory Services. If the premises are found to be suitable we will then be able to issue a licence, and the business may begin. The licence will have certain conditions attached to it. These relate to the condition of the horses, the suitability of the premises and the experience of the instructors.

Your licence will run for a 12 month period, and must be renewal each year.

We will consider the following criteria when considering an application:

  • Suitable qualifications
  • Condition of horses especially hooves/shoes
  • Suitability of horses for hire
  • Accommodation - construction size etc
  • Grass
  • Food, drink and bedding
  • Prevention of disease
  • Fire precautions
  • Adequate accommodation for forage, bedding and saddlery

Apply online

You can apply online for a licence via the GOV.UK website

Apply online

Apply by post

An application form should be completed and returned with the appropriate fee and the documents referred to on the form to:

Licensing, Worcester City Council, Guildhall, High Street, Worcester, WR1 2EY

You can download the application form here:

Riding Establishments Licence application form

The current fee to apply for a licence to keep a riding establishment can be found on our licensing fees and charges page.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please get in touch.

Fire safety

You can find advice on fire safety in stables and other animal premises on the GOV.UK website