Accessibility Skip to main content

Riding establishment licence

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

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 Act 1963
  • 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

How to apply

The links below take you to another website which processes these applications on behalf of South Ayrshire Council

What happens next?

Before considering an application South Ayrshire Council must have received all the required supporting documentation before the application is considered lodged.

South Ayrshire Council must also 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.

South Ayrshire 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 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

It is in the public interest that the South Ayrshire Council must process your application before it can be granted. We would expect to process your application within 15 working days. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

the interests of public safety, there is no automatic granting of a licence should we fail to respond to you. Tacit Consent does not apply.

What if I have been refused approval?

Please contact South Ayrshire Council using the contact details below in the first instance.

An applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local sheriff court.

Also, a licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to the local sheriff court.

Consumer complaints

If you wish to complain about a licence holder then please use the contact details below.

Who to contact

Environmental Health
South Ayrshire Council
Burns House
Ayr KA7 1UT
Tel: 01292 618222
Fax: 01292 288755

Trade Associations

Was this page helpful?  Yes  No

Thank you for your feedback!

We're sorry about that. Why wasn't it helpful?
No response is given so please do not include contact information.

Weekly newsletter

Follow us