To run a riding establishment (where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or
used for riding instruction) in Scotland, you need a licence from the local authority.
A licence may be granted to an individual over the age of eighteen years or a body
"Horse" includes any mare, gelding, pony, foal, colt, filly, or stallion, and also
any ass, mule or jennet.
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
- 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
Application evaluation process
A fee will be payable for applications and if the licence is granted conditions
may be attached.
Riding Establishments Licence
£90 plus Vet's fee
Before deciding an application Falkirk Council 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.
Falkirk Council 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
- 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?
No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.
If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us.
How to apply
To apply, change or renew a riding establishments licence you can complete the form
below and send it to Falkirk Council by email or post:
Failed application and licence holder redress
Please contact us in the first instance.
Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence
can appeal to their local Sheriff in Scotland.
For example; complaints about noise, pollution, etc should be directed to the Environmental