You can join the ABRS+ as a Riding Establishment or as a livery yard. You can find the details of both memberships below, and on each page you can download the application form and all other documentation needed to complete your application:

How to Join as an Approved Riding Establishment

How to Join as a Certified or Approved Livery Yard

If you have any questions about membership, the application process or eligibility you can contact the ABRS+ Office

For the year 2024/25 our annual membership fees are:

Riding Establishment:

Standard Membership £280.00

Small School Membership (5 horses or fewer) £185.00

Top-Up for Combined Riding School/ Livery Yard £25.00 (for a riding establishment adding a livery yard membership)

Certified Livery Yard £99.00

Approved Livery Yard £199.00 plus mileage (for inspection visit)

The ABRS Membership runs from 1st April – 31st March

Subs are levied pro-rata (anyone who joins throughout the year will pay a part subscription).

How to Join as an Approved Riding Establishment

How to Join as a Certified or Approved Livery Yard

If you have any questions about membership, the application process or eligibility you can contact the ABRS+ Office

The ABRS+ is an independent association. It is also a registered charity. We have a Trustee and Director Board who oversee the day-to-day running of the association. This consists of a mix of professional and equestrian people, including proprietors of equestrian establishments. You can find out more about the current Board of Trustees here

The ABRS+ is a National Governing Body, a member body of the British Equestrian Federation, and a member of both the Sport and Recreation Alliance and Sport Scotland. We have the access, therefore, to represent the interests of ABRS members to Government, Local Authorities, Councils and Regulatory Authorities.

At the end of 2020, given the lack of support or representation for equestrian establishments other than licensed centres, the Association of British Riding Schools decided to open its membership to equestrian establishments of all types- both licensed (such as riding schools, trekking centres) and unlicensed (such as livery yards, training venues). To reflect this change, and followings feedback from existing and new members, and represent the changing membership, it was decided to rename as The Association of British Riding Schools, Livery Yards and Equestrian Centres. However, an acronym for this was a little too much (The ABRSLYEC!!), and we wanted something that held true to the spirit of the much-loved ABRS, but encompassing the changes in direction. The board decided that the ABRS+ was a good way to make both of these happen!

You can find out more about the ABRS+ here

If you’d like to download a version of our new logo for your website and marketing, you can do so in the Member Area 

All riding establishments, by law, must be licensed to operate their business and the Riding Establishments Act 1964 1970 The license is granted by local authorities be this to a riding school, trekking centre or similar equestrian establishment offering riding lessons or horses for hire. The issuing of a licence by a local authority does not offer you any industry representation, it simply fulfils the legal requirements to allow you to trade.

In addition to this council licensing, the ABRS+ conducts its own approval scheme, setting a high standard for the care of horses and requiring confidence that the instruction given is well presented and correct. This also provides a professional membership for the establishment owner and professional industry support for their business. Provided they meet the required high standards of care and attention to both horse and rider, meet the membership requirements and agree to abide by the ABRS+ code of conduct, they are happily accepted as members following completion of the accreditation process. The ABRS+ also access to training for business owners, their staff and their clients, as well as additional promotion for their centre through the ABRS+ website, social media and other promotional initiatives.

Not any more! In 2020 the ABRS+ also opened up its membership to all types of unlicensed equestrian establishments (to say, those that do not require a license), including livery yards of all sizes. With the recommendation being made to introduce licensing for all equestrian establishments in the coming years, we have expanded our support network to include all types of equestrian establishments to allow us to continue to share the knowledge, industry expertise and opportunities to these new members as well as our existing riding school members. You have also always been able to join if you are any type of licensed establishment, it is not necessary to be a ‘riding school’. This could be a trekking centre, equestrian holiday provider, pony party venue, training venue or any other type of equestrian establishment requiring a license.

You do not need to be a riding school or offer riding lessons to become a member of the ABRS+ and each type of membership has its own advantages, as well as clearly having a ‘Riding Establishment’, ‘Livery Yard’ or combined membership so that you can find the right sort of client. We’ve also rebranded as the Association of British Riding Schools, Livery Yards and Equestrian Centres (The ABRS+ for short!) and have revamped our look and our website so it’s clear to all users exactly what our membership, and our members, offer.

Find out more about our Certified or Approved Livery Yard memberships.

Founded in 1954, The Association of British Riding Schools, Livery Yards and Equestrian Centres (Formerly The Association of British Riding Schools) is a registered charity and remains the UK’s only organisation that focuses solely on supporting, representing and promoting professional proprietors of equestrian premises.

Unlike the BHS which covers many aspects of the industry, the ABRS+ is a member-led association dedicated to the support of our members and their businesses. Like the BHS, the ABRS+ is a member of British Equestrian, giving our members a collective voice and representation at the national and governmental levels.

Our goal is to support our members, promote their equestrian establishments and offer guidance and support with licensing ad day to day management of their premises, as well as to improve and maintain the standards of the industry for riding schools and livery yards.

You can find out more about the ABRS+ here

For licensed riding establishments, you are eligible to become an Approved Riding Establishment. You will already have to hold a LA license for your activities so we’d need proof of this, plus other supporting documents such as Insurance, Risk Assessments, Safeguarding and First Aid certificates amongst other things. If you employ staff, we’d need some evidence of your employment practices too.

For Livery yards and other non-licensed equestrian establishments, you can opt to be Certified or Approved. Understanding that all yards are different in respect of size, facilities and the services they offer, each application is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. However, you’ll still need to self certify or send evidence of documentation such as Insurance, Livery Contracts, Risk Assessments and suchlike.

We can assist you with the application documentation, including the application or renewal of a LA license, as a provisional member to ensure you can fulfill the criteria.

More details on the Approved Riding Establishment membership

More details on our Certified or Approved Livery Yard memberships

Yes. Previous to the applications and licensing processes being taken over by the LA (Local Authority), the ABRS+ issued licenses for many years to our members through our own inspection teams. We, therefore, have vast experience in understanding the application process and can help our members obtain or renew their council licenses. Whilst we cannot approve riding establishments that do not yet have their licenses, if you join, during a period as a probationary member you are able to access the EEA and other resources needed to help you create and submit the supporting documentation for your application, as well as guidance from the ABRS+.

If you are an existing member needing to renew your license, there are lots of information and resources in the Member Area. If you are looking to start a new business and need your first license application, feel free to get in contact with the ABRS+ Office to seek further advice or to request a membership pack.

If you are a current member as an Approved Riding Establishment, we will have a majority of the information needed to assess your ability to meet the livery yard criteria. It may simply be the case that you need to send us a few extra documents to confirm the details of your livery services. These may be examples of your livery contract, or your insurance.

Even better, if you are already a member as an Approved Riding Establishment, you can add the livery yard membership for only an extra £20 per year!

Find out more about becoming an ABRS+ Livery Yard member here

Livery Yards can self-certify, through the use of the ABRS membership application form and by providing the necessary supporting documents that they meet the criteria for membership of the ABRS. Livery Yards that have self-certified may use the description ‘Certified Livery Yard’.

Livery Yards may wish additionally to be accredited as an Approved Livery Yard. Accreditation provides independent assurance that the criteria for membership of the ABRS have been met. Livery Yards that have been accredited may use the description ‘Approved Livery Yard’. A Certified Livery Yard may seek ‘Approved’ status through accreditation at any time. It does not need to be requested at the point of initial membership application.

Find out more about becoming an ABRS+ Livery Yard member here

We have recently revamped our Member benefits. Within your membership, you also receive free membership to the Equestrian Employers Association (EEA). The EEA is not just for employment, but also offers a host of advice on health and safety, business management and general business advice as well as a free legal helpline. You also receive a listing on the popular livery yard directory LiveryList, which covers riding establishments too, as well as a mirror listing on Horsemart.

You also benefit from the support and resources offered by the ABRS+ itself. You feature on the Member Directory, and are promoted through our social media and promotional publications, being recognised for the quality of service you provide to your clients and the horses in your care. If you are a licensed establishment, you will receive support in respect of attaining and retaining local authority licensing for your riding school.

There is also a dedicated Member Area on the ABRS+ website which holds information on legal requirements, licensing guidance, safeguarding policies, H & S templates and much more for livery yards and riding establishments. You can also take advantage of our communications network within the equestrian industry: the ABRS+ is represented with British Equestrian and has close ties with other key national equestrian bodies. We also offer external ad internal training opportunities for yourself and your staff.

As well as this, our member Benefit Scheme offers lots of other benefits from partner companies to offer you advice, support and discounts on bedding, supplements, worming, yard equipment, H&S and legal advice to name just a few.

You can view all of the member discounts and benefits here, and you can find how to redeem or claim these offers in the Member Area

Your establishment will belong to a professional body representing hundreds of riding schools, livery yards and equestrian centres across the UK. These pupils and clients can be reassured that they are learning to ride, continuing their equestrian education or stabling their equines, at a professionally managed establishment where the ABRS+ have deemed an excellent level of skill, competence, management, and welfare are available to pupils, clients and the equines in the care of the premises. This includes the confidence that staff are appropriately qualified and trained, that the horses and ponies available are well schooled and suitable for all levels of rider and that the premises adhere to the recommended codes of conduct with regards to professional conduct, equine welfare and client management.

More details on the Approved Riding Establishment membership

More details on our Certified or Approved Livery Yard memberships

If you are a member, you can access the dedicated Member Area to find your membership details, resources, support and information. You can log in here

If you have forgotten your login details, you can follow the link above, click on ‘forgotten password’ and enter your registered email address or username (your ABRS+ membership number), a password reminder or reset link will then be sent to your email address. If you are unsure of your membership number or registered email address, you can contact the ABRS+ Office

If you’d like to download a version of our new logo for your website and marketing, you can do so in the Member Area 

The directory listings are managed by the ABRS+ office. The details and contact information on the listings will be those provided to us at the time of membership approval, or that are found on your website at the time of approval. It is important for these details to remain up to date to correctly promote the service you offer, and to ensure potential clients can get in touch with you.

If you need to change these details at any time, please contact the ABRS+ Office who will arrange for the necessary changes to be made.

Your ABRS+ membership includes complimentary membership to the Equestrian Employers Association (EEA). This includes a free legal helpline and 30-minute free advice from their partners, equestrian and employment law specialists at 5 Essex Court Chambers and a 15% discount from the usual direct access fees. As well as this, the EEA offers a whole range of information and support for members on all aspects of employment from employment contracts to pension, payrolls and more.

As another membership benefit, you also benefit from 30-minutes free advice from Equine Law specialists Gunner Cooke (specialising in contract law and disputes), as well as 30-minutes free advice from equestrian Health, Safety and Environment management specialists Take up The Reins including your legal H&S obligations.

Should you need further advice, these recommended suppliers can continue to provide guidance and support to you as per their standard independent client fees.

To see more details of your Member Benefits, click here, and to find out how to redeem them, visit the Members Area.

Our livery yard members receive exactly the same benefits as our riding establishment members. For our livery yard members we do not tell you how to run your business, we simply offer a range of support and resources to ensure you are operating to best practice guidelines when it comes to equine welfare and client manegemnt. With an awareness that licensing may become a reality for livery yards in the not too distant future, we feel now is a great time to help livery yards to ensure they are run legally and professionally. With the help and resources of our partners LiveryList, the EEA and Stable Business, you can also be provided with up-to-date industry information and guidance for all aspects of your business.

The ABRS+ offers its members a range of training and courses for professional development. This includes CIEC (Certificate in Equestrian Coaching) qualifications overseen by 1st4sport, Safeguarding and First Aid Courses. Our training is held regularly. You can see forthcoming courses and training on our Events page.

We also offer training for your pupils and clients in the form of our Rosette Awards, Progressive Tests and Equestrian Care Awards. 

We are also always open to suggestions for additional training or courses we can provide to further support our members.

If you’d like to request a training course, request details of forthcoming courses or submit a suggestion please contact the ABRS+ Office

The ABRS+ offers CIEC (Certificate in Equestrian Coaching) Levels 1-3. The Equestrian Coaching Certificate pathway endorsed by UK Coaching and provided by 1st4Sport is a standardised approach across equestrian disciplines and focuses on the coaching craft in the context of equestrianism.

It usually contains a course with a taught element – both in the classroom and practically alongside the development of a coach portfolio based on clients you are coaching – and an assessment which looks at the your coaching skills (whilst coaching elements from the technical syllabus at each level) and also requires the submission of a portfolio.

It does not assess knowledge or expertise in relation to horse care and welfare albeit demonstration of an appreciation of equine health and welfare is necessary as a requirement to register for these qualifications either demonstrated through experience or previous qualifications.

To obtain these qualifications, you must be over 18 years of age, and also hold a Safeguarding certificate and a current First Aid certificate (both of which the ABRS+ can also help you obtain).

The ABRS+ offers these courses to members and non-members throughout the year at various locations in the UK. Course dates and costs vary depending upon the training centre and course level. To see our upcoming courses, please see the events page or contact the ABRS+ office to register your interest in forthcoming courses.

The ABRS+ offers training for your pupils and clients in the form of our Rosette Awards, Progressive Tests and Equestrian Care Awards. These are a good way for progressive learning for your pupils in both riding and stable management, they are also a great source of additional income for your establishment as well.

There are resources in the Members Area including the criteria and score sheets, and promotional leaflets for your centres.

The ABRS+ also runs a Test League to recognise the centres that excel in offering and completing these tests and awards.

Please see here for more information on Safeguarding. We ask our riding school Welfare Officers to attend a BEF or Sports Coach UK Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop, and would also advise it is undertaken by livery yard proprietors or managers if deemed necessary. Individuals who complete the course obtain a ‘Safeguarding in Equestrian Sport’ qualification. This qualification is valid for three years.

DBS checks (formerly CRB checks) are an official record stating a person’s criminal convictions. DBS Checks are especially important in finding suitable candidates to work with vulnerable groups, including children. If you are an ABRS+ member, you can contact the ABRS+ Office and a DBS pack can be sent to you.

Through our British Equestrian and the Sport and Recteation Alliance affiliations membership and other professional networks, we frequently share details of any eligible grants or funding. We also lobby hard for our members to gain funding and support on local, national and governmental levels, such as during the Coronavirus pandemic.

You can see our actions to Support Our Members here. It is also worth contacting your LA (Local Authority) for any regional-specific grants. We also regularly share details on our member e-news, our News page, and on our Facebook page.

You can find the current guidance for riding safety equipment below:

Riding Hats

Body Protectors

High Visibility Clothing (Hi-Viz)

© 2024 The Association of British Riding Schools. Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England No. 3186520. Registered Charity No. 1158748

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