Starting a Horse Riding School

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: December 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Horse riding schools provide individual and group riding lessons to learners of varying ability. These include complete beginners, learners who ride for recreational purposes, and experienced riders who take part in amateur eventing and require lessons in competitive disciplines such as dressage and show jumping.

Most horse riding schools run supervised treks in the countryside (often referred to as 'hacks') to enable riders to gain experience of riding on roads and bridle paths, and some train young, inexperienced or problem horses. There are also opportunities for riding schools to host pony clubs, children's birthday parties and riding competitions, and run carriage driving lessons.

A horse riding school proprietor must ensure that horses of varying size, temperament and ability are available to be ridden by learners during lessons, although some learners will prefer to use their own horse. Some riding schools offer a 'working livery' service, meaning they stable horses at a reduced rate in return for permission to use horses for lessons.

Providing horses for hire, including as part of a riding lesson or hack, is strictly regulated in the UK, in order to protect learners and horses ridden during lessons. Horse riding school proprietors must be granted a Riding Establishment Licence by the local authority in the area where the school is located before they can begin to trade, or by the Divisional Veterinary Office in Northern Ireland.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a horse riding school. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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