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Riding establishments - general conditions

Applications for Riding Establishments can now be submitted online. With effect from 1 May 2013 the fee payable is £207. The applicant should then complete the online form and once you have submitted the online form please contact the Animal Health team on +44 1624 685844 to arrange payment. Applications should be received by 31 March of the same year.

A Veterinary Officer will arrange to visit and inspect the premises. Following a satisfactory inspection, the current year Licence will be issued together with a covering letter from the Inspecting Officer.

Schedule of general conditions

The Licensee shall ensure:

  1. That paramount consideration will be given to the condition of horses and that they will be maintained in good health, and in all respects physically fit and that, in the case of a horse kept for the purpose of its being let out on hire for riding or a horse kept for the purpose of its being used in providing instruction in riding, the horse will be suitable for the purpose for which it is kept

  2. That the feet of all animals are properly trimmed and that, if shod, their shoes are properly fitted and in good condition

  3. That there will be available at all times, accommodation sufficient for horses which are to be kept stabled, and suitable as respects construction, size, number of occupants, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness and that these requirements be complied with not only in the case of new buildings but also in case of buildings converted for use as stabling

  4. That in the case of horses maintained at grass there will be available for them at all times during which they are so maintained adequate pasture and shelter and water and that supplementary feeds will be provided as and when required

  5. That horses will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and (except in the case of horses maintained at grass so long as they are so maintained) bedding material, and will be adequately exercised, groomed and rested and visited at suitable intervals

  6. That all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread among horses of infectious of contagious diseases and that veterinary first aid equipment and medicines will be provided and maintained on the premises

  7. That appropriate steps will be taken for the protection and extrication of horses in case of fire and, in particular, that the name, address and telephone number of the licence holder or some other responsible person will be kept displayed in a prominent position on the outside of the premises and that instructions as to action to be taken in the event of fire, with particular regard to the extrication of horses, will be kept displayed in a prominent position on the outside of the premises

  8. That adequate accommodation will be provided for forage, bedding, stable equipment, and saddlery

  9. That saddlery and other equipment used for the riding of horses will be kept in such a condition as not to cause danger to riders or other persons or danger or suffering to horses

  10. That protective headgear will be provided for all riders, and advice given by clearly visible notices and otherwise as to the need to wear such headgear

  11. That, where necessary, suitable warning devices are available for both horses and persons leading and riding them, and advice given by clearly visible notices and otherwise as to the need to use such devices on roads during the hours of darkness

  12. That, where groups of horses are ridden or led on roads, they should be supervised by a sufficient number of experience persons aged 16 years or over who the holder of the licence is satisfied are competent to do so

  13. Where instruction in riding is provided in return for payment, that a suitable place is available for that instruction

  14. A horse found on inspection of the premises by an authorised officer to be in need of veterinary attention shall not be returned to work until the holder of the licence has obtained at his own expenses and has lodged with the Department a veterinary certificate that the horse is fit for work

  15. No horse will be let out on hire for riding or used for providing instruction in riding without supervision by a responsible person of the age of 16 years or over unless (in the case of a horse let out on hire for riding) the holder of the licence is satisfied that the hirer of the horse is competent to ride without supervision

  16. The carrying on of the business of a riding establishment shall at no time be left in the charge of any person under 16 years of age

  17. The licence holder shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him against liability for any injury sustained by those who hire a horse from him for riding and those who use a horse in the course of receiving from him, in return for payment, instruction in riding and arising out of the hire or use of a horse as aforesaid and which also insures such persons in respect of any liability which may be incurred by them in respect of injury to any person caused by, or arising out of, the hire or use of a horse as aforesaid

  18. A register shall be kept by the licence holder of all horses in his possession in which the lateral incisors have not erupted and usually kept on the premises which shall be available for inspection by an authorised officer at all reasonable times

Special conditions

This licence is also issued subject to the conditions stated in the form of application remaining unchanged. In the event of a substantial alteration in those conditions the licensee is required to notify the department at once, so that if necessary a further inspection can be made. This licence is only a licence under the Riding Establishment Acts 1968 and 1986, and does not give any consent or approval under any other enactment.

Further conditions relating to above sections

12. When riding one horse only one other unmounted horse may be led. The rider must be over 16 years of age. A person over 16 years of age on foot may lead two uncounted horses. A person under 16 years of age may lead only one unmounted horse and then only under the supervision of a person over 16 years of age. All riders must use a saddle and bridle. All persons in control of horses must be authorised by the licence holder who must be satisfied as to their competence.

13. A suitable place for instruction does not include a beach or commonland which is being used by members of the public.

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