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Riding establishment licence

Eligibility criteria

Apply for a licence

Licence conditions

Visitor Opening Times

If you run stables, which hire out horses or ponies for riding or instruction, you must get a licence from the local authority.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be over 18 years of age. At the time of the application you must not be disqualified from any of the following:

  • Keeping a riding establishment.
  • Keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951.
  • Having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954.
  • Keeping boarding establishments for animals under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.
  • Keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how animals are kept, dealing animals or transporting or being involved in the transporting of animals under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
  • Keeping, owning, dealing or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

When considering your application we will take into account whether you are suitable and qualified to hold a licence. We must also be satisfied that:

  • Horses will be kept physically fit, in good health and suitable for purpose.
  • Horses feet will be properly trimmed, shoes are fitted properly and in good condition.
  • Suitable accommodation is provided for the horses (construction, size, lighting, ventilation, drainage etc.).
  • Suitable pasture, shelter and water is provided for horses maintained on grass, with supplementary feed provided when needed.
  • Horses will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding materials.
  • Horses will be exercised, groomed, rested and visited at suitable intervals.
  • Steps will be taken to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Veterinary first aid equipment and medicine is kept and maintained.
  • Adequate procedures are in place to remove the horses in case of a fire.
  • The name, address and telephone number of the licence holder is displayed outside the premises along with fire safety instructions.
  • Storage facilities for forage, bedding, stable equipment and saddlery are provided.

Apply for a licence

An application fee must be paid when you make your pdf icon application for a riding establishment [32kb].

We will confirm that we have received both your application and fee in writing and arrange to carry out an inspection of your premises.

We will be joined by a veterinary surgeon or approved practitioner who will submit a report on whether the premises are suitable for a riding establishment. It will also detail the conditions of the premises and any horses.

Licence conditions

In addition to any other conditions, your licence will be subject to the following:

  • If any horse is found to need veterinary attention it will not be returned to work until you obtain a veterinary certificate confirming that it is fit to work.
  • Horses must not be let out for hire or instruction without the supervision of a responsible person aged 16 or over, unless you are satisfied the rider doesn't need supervision.
  • The business will not be left in the charge of someone under 16 years old.
  • You must hold indemnity insurance.
  • You must keep a register of all horses aged three years-old or younger. This must be available for inspection by an authorised officer at all reasonable times.

Visitor opening times

pdf icon Visitor Opening Times [231kb]

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