Licences for animal related businesses

Licence to hire out horses

You need a licence to hire out horses for riding and for instruction in riding. This includes pony and donkey rides and pony parties where the ponies are ridden. This is to ensure the welfare of the animals and the safety of the public. Newham Council is the licensing authority for riding schools and stables. It is against the law to run a riding school without a licence.

Application fee for a riding school licence

When you apply for the licence, you will have to pay for the inspection cost of a veterinary surgeon appointed by the council and annual licence fee. Please contact Animal Welfare who will advise you of the total cost.

If you need to apply for a licence, please email us at or telephone 020 8586 9739 for further information and an application.

Inspection of riding schools and stables

The London Borough of Newham will inspect your premises and horses, with an authorised veterinary inspector, to ensure compliance with all the general and specific conditions as required by Schedule 2 and Schedule 5 of The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, before the London Borough of Newham agree to grant you a licence. The London Borough of Newham may also inspect at any time after you have been issued with a licence as stated within the regulations. The length of the licence depends on the star rating you receive. Please contact the animal welfare service for a copy of the licence conditions.

If you already have a licence, The London Borough of Newham will write to you to advise you when you need to renew it.

It is your legal responsibility to make sure that you have a current licence.

If you are unsure if you require a licence please contact the animal welfare service before using your equine for any form of riding for hire or reward or pony parties to prevent potential legal action being taken or a warning being issued as this may affect you being able to apply for a licence in the future.