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.
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
Applicants must pay any required fee and comply with any conditions attached to a licence.
A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence
Conditions of licence
No standard conditions
Click here for a full list of licence fees
All fees are payable on submission of the application and are usually non-refundable.
Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to Caerphilly County Borough Council. Please do not send cash in the post.
Applications may also be subject to an additional fee for a veterinary surgeon's inspection, which will be recharged to the applicant at a later date.
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
What happens if your application is not processed within the timescales stated?
If you have not heard from this authority within 28 days you can act as though your application has been granted. The start period runs from receipt of all documentation and payment of relevant fee.
You can now apply for your personal licence online via the GOV.UK website where payment (if required) can be taken electronically.
Apply for a licence to operate a riding establishment
Tell us about a change to your existing riding establishment licence
Failed application redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. An applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local magistrates' court.
Licence holder redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local magistrates' court.
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, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Click here for information about viewing public registers.
Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS)
British Equestrian Federation (BEF)
British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA)
Tel: 01495 235039