Licence for hiring out of horses
If you hire out horses or ponies for riding (for example riding schools) you must have a licence.
Before we can approve your licence, we will risk assess your premises, and how you look after the horses or ponies in your care. To pass this assessment, you must meet the conditions listed in the The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. Defra have issued guidance (below) to help you understand these conditions.
If you meet these conditions, as well as your license, you will receive a star rating (between one and five stars) for your business. The star rating you receive determines the length of time your license is for (between one and three years).
See Defra: Animal licensing guidance and select the guidance notes for the licence you are applying for.
The fee for a licence is £255, plus £20 per horse or pony that you hire out. You pay this when you apply. This fee covers:
- licence application
- vet's assessment
Apply for a licence
What happens next?
When we receive your application, we'll arrange to risk assess your home or premises. After this assessment, we'll write to you to let you know if your application has been successful, and based on our risk assemement, the star rating you receive and how long your license is for.
If your application is not successful, we will include the reasons why in our letter.
If you are unhappy with our decision
If you don't agree with our decision, you can appeal.
If you do not agree with your star rating
If you do not agree with the start rating we give your business, contact us to appeal this.
Request a re-score
If you get less than five stars, we'll let you know what you need to do to increase your star rating. An increased star rating could increase the length of time that your license is for.
If you complete these actions, you can ask us to return to your home or premises to repeat the risk assessment. This costs £153 - contact us to arrange.
If we reject your application
If we do not issue a license, and you wish to appeal this decision, contact First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) to launch an appeal. For more information about the appeal process, and the form you'll need to complete, see General Regulatory Chamber's Notice of appeal form and guidance.
- Animal health
- Animal health
- 03000 261 016
Our address is:
- Community Protection
- Durham County Council
- PO Box 617
- County Durham
- United Kingdom
- DH1 9HZ