Riding establishment licence | Animal licences | Medway Council

Riding establishment licence

Hiring of horses

You will need a licence if you provide horses for hire as part of a business for either or both of the following:

  • riding 
  • instruction in riding

This includes riding schools, those that hire out horses for trekking, loan horses or pony parties (when the horses are being ridden), hunter hirelings, polo or polocrosse instruction, and pony and donkey hire.

How to apply

To apply for a license for the hiring of horses, you'll need to:

You are strongly advised to read the guidance notes from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.


There are two parts to the fee. 

Part A - for processing your application, including any appropriate checks.

Hiring of horses fees are:

  • £274 plus vet fees for 1 to 30 horses on the premises
  • £341 plus vet fees for 31 or more horses on the premises

Part B - an additional fee if you are successful in being granted a licence, which depends on the risk rating your establishment receives during its inspection.

This fee will be:

  • £204 if you receive a 1 or 2 star
  • £309 if you receive a 3 or 4 star
  • £444 if you receive a 5 star

If you need advice and guidance on applying for a license, we offer a pre-application advice service. The fee for this service is £68. 

If you would like to book a pre-application advice meeting please email animal.licensing@medway.gov.uk.

Paying the fee

You can download a complete list of fees

You can pay by card by calling 01634 333 333.

You will need to advise the customer services officer what you are paying for and ensure you include your payment reference number on your application form along with the date you made the payment.

Hiring of horses reference number is: 4E55194900058560 

Alternatively, you can send a cheque that is payable to Medway Council and attach it to your application form.

After you apply

Once we have your application, we'll contact you to arrange an inspection of the premises by one of our licensing officers and an independent vet.

After the inspection, if successful, you'll get a risk rating of either 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 stars. This will determine how long your licence will last for.

To complete your application and receive your licence, you'll need to pay the hourly rate for the vet, where necessary, and:

  • £204 if you receive a 1 or 2 star
  • £309 if you receive a 3 or 4 star
  • £444 if you receive a 5 star

For more information, you can download our guidance notes and FAQ.

Inspection reports

To speed up the inspection, you can download and begin to complete the inspection report that will be used by officers during your premises' inspection.

You can download the inspection report for hiring out horses.

Existing licences

If you've already got an animal licence, under the previous legislation, you'll need to apply for a new one when it expires.

You’ll need to complete a new application at least 10 weeks before your existing licence expires.

For more advice, you can contact the environmental protection team by email at animal.licensing@medway.gov.uk


Your licence will last for either one, two or three years, depending on the premises’ risk rating and level of compliance, with premises representing low risk and identified as maintain high standards, receiving up to a five star rating. 

You’ll need to complete a new application at least 10 weeks before your existing licence expires.

Other permissions you may need

When operating a business you may also need to speak to:

  • Planning - for the correct permission to operate your business
  • Business Rates - to ensure you are set up to pay your rates