Horse riding establishments

The term 'riding establishment' refers to the business of:

  • keeping and letting horses out on hire for riding purposes, or
  • providing riding instruction for payment, or
  • both the above.

Note: This does not include livery or private stables.

Under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970, a riding establishment needs to be licensed with the Local Authority in order to carry on business and an annual veterinary inspection is required. Inspection includes approval of the following:

  • number of horses, suitability and health, condition of hooves and shoeing
  • accommodation and bedding
  • food and water, including provision and storage
  • housekeeping, cleanliness and pest control
  • condition of tack (saddles and bridles) and other equipment, including suitability and maintenance
  • staff training and facilities
  • isolation, quarantine and first aid (human and animal).

Guidance is published by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).