Environmental Health Licences

Riding Establishment Licence

Licence Summary

To run a riding establishment (where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction) you will need a licence from us.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be over 18 years of age and 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

An application fee should be paid at the time of your application and you will also be required to pay all veterinary inspection fees before the licence is issued. You will need to comply with any conditions attached to the licence.

Regulation Summary

A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence

Application Evaluation Process

Before making a decision we will 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.

We will also take into account whether the applicant is suitable and qualified to hold a licence. We 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 need supervision
  • that the business will not be left in 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 if I haven't heard anything after 28 days?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Apply Online

Apply for a licence to operate a riding establishment

Tell us about a change to your existing riding establishment licence

Apply by Post

Riding Establishment - Licence

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

An applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local magistrates' court. Please see address below:

Northamptonshire Magistrates Court
Regents Pavilion
Summerhouse Road
Moulton Park
Northampton
NN3 6BJ

Tel:01604 497000

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. Please see address above.

Consumer Complaint

If you are not satisfied with the service we would always recommend that you should complain to the person who first dealt with the matter. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive at this stage you should then complain to the Head of Environmental Services giving details of your complaint.

You can then take the complaint a step further by writing to the Executive Director who will arrange for it to be investigated. You should receive a reply within 10 days, but if the matter is complex, or other organisations need to be contacted, it may take longer. But we will still let you know what action is being taken. You should give all the details of your complaint and say what you have done to try to get it put right. If you are still not happy after using our own complaints procedure you can complain to the Local government Ombudsman. A free booklet is available from all council offices.

Trade Associations

Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS)

British Dressage

British Equestrian Federation (BEF)

British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA)

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