Riding establishment licence

Licence summary

To run a riding establishment (where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction) in England, Scotland or Wales, you need a licence from the local authority.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be over 18 years of age. In England and Wales they must have not been disqualified:

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

In Scotland applicants must not have been disqualified:

  • from keeping a dog under the Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) Act 1933 or Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934
  • from keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • from having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • from keeping an animal boarding establishment under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • from a disqualification under the Animal Health Act 1981 following a conviction for deliberately infecting an animal with a disease
  • from owing, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals, working with, using, riding or driving animals, providing animal services, taking possession of animals for any of these purposes or taking charge of animals for any other purposes under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

Applicants must pay any required fee and comply with any conditions attached to a licence.

Regulation Summary

A summary of the regulation relating to this licence

Application Evaluation Process

Before deciding an application the local authority must consider a report from a veterinary surgeon or practitioner detailing whether the premises are suitable for a riding establishment and detailing the conditions of the premises and any horses.

The local authority will also take into account whether the applicant is suitable and qualified to hold a licence. They must also be satisfied of the following:

  • that consideration will be given to the condition of the horses and that they will be maintained in good health, kept physically fit and where the horse is to be ridden or used during riding instruction, be suitable for that purpose
  • that the animals feet will be trimmed properly and that shoes are fitted properly and are in good condition
  • that there will be suitable accommodation for the horses
  • that for horses maintained on grass there is suitable pasture, shelter and water and that supplementary feed will be provided as and when needed
  • that horses will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding materials and will be exercised, groomed, rested and visited at suitable intervals
  • that precautions will be taken to reduce the spread of contagious or infectious diseases and that veterinary first aid equipment and medicines will be provided and maintained
  • that appropriate procedures are in place to protect and remove the horses in the case of a fire and that as part of this the name, address and telephone number of the licence holder is displayed outside the premises and fire instructions are displayed
  • that storage facilities for forage, bedding, stable equipment and saddlery are provided

In addition to any other conditions a riding establishment licence must be subject to the following conditions:

  • that any horse inspected by an authorised officer and found to need veterinary attention will not be returned to work until the licence holder has obtained a veterinary certificate confirming the horse is fit for work
  • that a horse will not be let out for hire or for use in instruction without the supervision of a responsible person aged 16 years or older, unless the licence holder is satisfied the rider doesn't require supervision
  • that the business will not be left in the charge of someone under 16 years of age
  • that the licence holder holds indemnity insurance
  • that the licence holder keeps a register of all horses in their possession that are three years old or younger and that the register is available for inspection at all reasonable times

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period. The target completion period is 40 days.

Apply online

You are advised to contact us prior to submitting your application to discuss your proposal and the fees payable.

The fee to accompany your application is £260.61 pro rata. Please note licences apply from January to December.

Apply for a licence to operate a riding establishment (via gov.uk website)

Apply by post

You are advised to contact us prior to submitting your application to discuss your proposal and the fees payable.

The fee to accompany your application is £260.61 pro rata. Please note licences apply from January to December.

Application form for riding establishment (msword, 48 KB) (opens new window) .

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

An applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local magistrates' court. In Scotland an applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local sheriff.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local magistrates' court. 

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, the Citizens Advice consumer service will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

E.g. about noise, pollution, etc. Also should one licence holder complain about another.

 


 EUGO (European Union Go) gives service providers and entrepreneurs from the EU (European Union) and EEA (European Economic Area) the information and support they need to set up or do business in other EU or EEA markets. Central EUGO website portal.

Contact information

Pollution Control

PO Box 3176

Bristol, BS3 9FS

Opening Hours

Phone: 0117 922 2500, option 4

Our normal opening hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
  • Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm

Out of hours

We run an out of hours service, which is available during these times:

  • Sunday to Tuesday, 7.30pm to midnight
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7.30pm to 1am
  • Fridays and Saturdays, 7.00pm to 3.30am

Call 0117 922 2050 if you would like an officer to visit you about your pollution or noise complaint.

The service is provided by two officers.  They cover the whole city during times of peak demand, this works out to be about 75% of the year.  As we have to prioritise the calls we receive, there may be a delay in our response.

The service doesn’t operate on bank holidays.

Email: pollution@bristol.gov.uk