Licence summary

Schedule 1 of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 defines Hiring out horses in the following way:

"Hiring out horses in the course of a business for the purpose of riding, or the purpose of instruction in riding."

In scope

This would include:

  • businesses that hire out horses for riding or for riding lessons
  • businesses that hire or loan out horses for trekking, hunting, polo/polocrosse instruction
  • businesses that include pony and donkey rides (including Pony Parties where the pony is ridden)

Out of scope

This would include:

  • businesses that run pony parties where none of the ponies are ever ridden (these should be licensed as animal exhibits)
  • activities carried out solely for military or police purposes
  • riding stables that are used exclusively for instructing veterinary students for the purposes of their course
  • individuals who occasionally lend a horse, where there is no profit made and there is no intent to make a profit


"Sufficient numbers of people who are competent for the purpose must be available to provide a level of care that ensures that the welfare needs of all the animals are met."  Competence can be demonstrated by holding an appropriate qualification, but can also be demonstrated through suitable experience or training.  The activity must not at any time be left in the charge of a person aged under 18 years.

New applications

Before any Animal Activity Licence is issued Warwick District Council must:

  • Consider the current and previous conduct of the applicant to determine whether they are a fit and proper person to carry out the licensable activity
  • Inspect the proposed site to assess if it is likely to meet the licence conditions (in some cases this may require a veterinarian to be present as well as the Local Authority Inspector)
  • Consider the contents and recommendations of the inspectors report
  • Ensure that the correct application form and fee have been received

The Animal Activity Licence, can be variable in duration, lasting between 1 and 3 years.  Each licence issued will be determined by the outcome of the risk assessment undertaken during the inspection.  Further information on this process can be found in the Procedural guidance notes.

Renewing a licence

Warwick District Council should advise each licence holder that their licence needs to be renewed 3 months before the current licence expires.  The licence holder must apply for a renewal licence at least 10 weeks before their current licence expires, if they wish to continue to operate the licensable activity without a break.  An inspection of the premises must be completed before a licence can be renewed.

The application form is available below in an editable word format or in a PDF format.  Applications can be made via email, post or at Riverside House during normal working hours.

An application for a new premises or renewal will be inspected by a council's retained veterinary surgeon who will examine each horse, saddlery, and stabling.


Please note: The centre will be invoiced for the additional vets fees that are incurred by the Council for the inspection.

As the duration of the licence is variable the licence fee is payable upon the granting of the licence.

View Licensing Fees

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted.

In partnership with EUGO