Support & Guidance

Sourcing RDA Horses

One of the main issues that RDA groups face is finding an Equine to suit the needs of the participants in their group. We are regularly contacted with offers of Equines that are ‘the ideal RDA horse or pony’ when actually what is ideal for one group may not be for the next. We are trying to move away from the stereotypical view that RDA Equines are elderly and somewhat static, our horses and ponies need to be fit, healthy and athletic to cope with the lifestyle in an RDA group. They can range from smaller, forward going ponies to weight carrying cobs and can take part in a range of disciplines from Riding to Carriage Driving, Vaulting to Show Jumping and Endurance.

With this in mind, we are constantly looking for ways to support our groups in finding their horsepower.  Social Media campaigns are also a great way of raising awareness of your equine needs. We have a Facebook group called RDA Equine which is a closed group allowing RDA groups to advertise equines, place wanted adverts and sharing suitable adverts that they may have seen.

Horsequest have also kindly allowed all RDA Groups to place FREE wanted adverts on their website. Your advert needs to be a maximum of one hundred words including contact details. To place your advert please email

If you have a horse that you are looking to re-home into RDA please fill in our Equine Initial Interest Form and return to You can also contact your nearest RDA Group.

Riding School Licences

Many groups within RDA will already hold a Riding School Licence. This is provided by your local authority and is the result of legislation made to protect the welfare of animals involved in commercial business.

You require a license if you are business that hires out horses for riding and/or instruction in riding. You are a business if your activities are intended to make a profit, earn commission or result in fees. You are not a business if:

  • You occasionally lend a horse, even if a small fee is charged, where there is no profit or intent to make a profit.
  • Your income from trading is less than £1000 per annum.

Your local authority is responsible for determining whether you fall within the regulations and require a license. If you are not sure whether you need a license you should contact your local authority licensing team for advice in the first instance. It is important to remember that operating without one, if it is deemed that you should have a licence could result in criminal prosecution and may result in your RDA insurance becoming void. 

You apply to your local authority for a licence, the first stage of this will be to fill out an application form. A trained Inspector and a Vet will then visit your group to inspect the premises, equines and your documentation which can include: 

  • Equine care plan.
  • Records for equines workload, showing and any veterinary treatments.
  • Equine passports and microchip details.
  • Public notices on display to fulfil the criteria – insurance documents, emergency procedures, proprietors notice and emergency numbers, yard rules.
  • Accident reporting procedures and records.
  • Rider information and indemnity forms.
  • Safety certificates (PAT testing, fixed wiring, up to date fire equipment, gas safety and any other certificates where appropriate).

The cost of licencing can vary with local authorities. They will be able to advise you when you apply. Please note there may be different guidelines for Scotland/Wales. 

RDA groups can access a discount when joining the Equestrian Employers Association. They have a comprehensive guide to Riding School Licences on their website for all of the UK, plus all the legislation documents relating to this. Membership is £37.50 per year. To join please visit Equestrian Employers Association 




Page Last Updated: June 5, 2023