Animal licences

Horse riding establishments

If you hire out horses or donkeys or provide a riding school service, you will need a licence. This includes livery yards providing horse riding lessons to owners of their own horses on the livery yard premises.

This licensing requirement does not apply to livery stables (the stabling or keeping of horses for money) which do not require any form of licence and do not have to be regularly checked.

About the licence

Licences are renewable annually.

The conditions stated in the Riding Establishments Act 1964 (link opens in new window) and Riding Establishment Act 1970 (link opens in new window) must be complied with.

Any ponies / horses introduced to the establishment since the last veterinary inspection that have not been examined by a veterinary surgeon with equine experience within the last 12 months must be examined by a veterinary surgeon with equine experience before use with the public. The standard of examination must comply with the Royal College Veterinary Surgeons guidelines in force at the time.

Occupied paddocks must be kept free of any rubbish, parked machinery or other equipment likely to cause injury to horses.

Horses at grass must be visited once daily by a person competent to recognise injury or illness.

A day / diary / appointments book to be kept on the premises for inspection, which records the workload of horses.

The riding establishment licensing system

Year 1

Once a completed application form is received, it will be reviewed by an Environmental Health Officer responsible for animal licensing. We will arrange for the inspection of your horses and the premises by an equine vet approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Once we receive a satisfactory veterinary report and the licence fee, we will issue a 12 month licence.

However, if following the inspection improvements are required, we may issue a 3 month provisional licence allowing you to operate whilst improving matters. If adequate improvements are not made we may give a further 3 months or refuse a licence. Only two 3 month provisional licences can be given within any 12 month period.

Provisional licences are charged at 25% of the main licence fee.

Year 2

You must apply for a renewal at least 3 months before the expiry of the current licence. We may visit to check that the premises and operation of the riding school are satisfactory. Following a satisfactory visit, a 12 month licence is issued.

Year 3 onwards

You must apply for a renewal at least 3 months before the expiry of the current licence. We will arrange for the equine vet to visit to inspect the horses and premises prior before the licence is issued.

After that, providing your riding establishment operates to the satisfaction of the council, veterinary inspections are carried out every other year.

Fees

Fees for horse riding establishments
Number of horses
Full licence fee
Provisional licence fee
1 to 5
£124
£31
6 to 12
£186
£46.50
13+
£258
£64.50

How to apply

You can apply online for a horse riding establishment licence (link opens in new window)

What happens next?

After you submit your application, we will contact you within 5 working days.

Your application will be validated and inspections / checks will be carried out to ensure your premises meet the required standards. Upon approval payment will become due.

Payments may be made by telephone (0300 300 8136) or cheque made payable to Central Bedfordshire Council, or you may pay online (link opens in new window).

The validation check list is:

  • application form is received
  • visit from Officer from Environmental Health
  • approval
  • payment

If following the inspection improvements are required, we may issue a 3 month provisional licence allowing the establishment to operate whilst improving matters. If the matters are not adequately addressed within that period we may give a further 3 months or refuse a licence. Only two 3 month provisional licences can be given within any 12 month period.

Tacit consent

Your licence will be issued within 20 working days of payment.

Tacit consent does not apply for this licence. You must not assume that your licence is granted if you have not heard from us.

Appeals and complaints

If you have been refused a licence or have a complaint about the issue of the licence, you can write to:

The Service Manager
Public Protection
Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House
Monks Walk
Chicksands
Shefford
Bedfordshire
SG17 5TQ

Alternatively, you can email the Service Manager at env.health@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Back to the top