Information on Coronavirus

Apply for a licence for hiring out horses

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 stipulate that “hiring out horses” is a licensable activity by the definition below:

Hiring out horses in the course of a business for either or both of the following purposes —

(a) riding;

(b) instruction in riding.

Exemptions are listed in the regulations and Defra guidance.

Licence conditions

Each licence is subject to a set of mandatory general conditions and a set of mandatory specific conditions which are listed in the regulations and Defra guidance.

Star rating and licence length

Premises can be awarded 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 stars.

Licences can be granted for one, two or three years.

The length of licence issued and the number of stars awarded will be dependent on the outcome of a risk assessment and also the number of additional required higher standards and optional higher standards that are met. This will be assessed during an inspection by Melton Borough Council’s appointed Officer (see also “Vet inspections” below).

The licence specific; required higher standards; and optional higher standards; are listed in the Defra guidance documents.

Vet inspections

Premises licensed for this activity will require an inspection by an appointed veterinarian on a number of occasions:

  • On grant or renewal in the company of Melton Borough Council's appointed Officer.
  • Once annually by the vet. This must be conducted within 12 months from the date of licence issue.
  • Where the annual inspection falls in line with the renewal date (dependent on the length of licence in place) the inspection will be conducted in the company of Melton Borough Council's appointed Officer.
Current fees

For a list of charges, please see our Animal licensing fees page.

You will also be required to pay a separate vet's inspection fee before your licence can be granted. Vets fees are an additional cost and will be invoiced separately.

Pre-application advice

We understand that you may be unsure whether your business/activities fall within the scope of the new regulations and as such we are offering a pre-application service. 

If this is something you would like to access then please complete and return the questionnaire in as much detail as possible so we may determine whether an application is required in your personal circumstances and what the next steps for you would be.

How to apply

Applications can be made using the form in the download panel.

When submitting this form any personal information you give to us is covered by the Licensing Privacy Notice.

You will need to ensure you have the necessary authorisation under the Planning Acts to operate your business. Please contact the Development Control Team by emailing You can also find further advice by visiting our pages on planning permissions. You can also seek advice from Environmental Health.

Last updated 14 October 2021
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