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Riding Establishments

A riding establishment licence is required where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction in Scotland. "Horse" includes any mare, gelding, pony, foal, colt, filly, or stallion, and also any ass, mule or jennet. A licence may be granted to an individual over the age of eighteen years or a corporate body.

Applying for a Riding Establishment Licence 

horse and rider
horse and rider
Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with pdf icon West Lothian Council's guidance notes on Riding Establishments [313kb].

Anyone wishing to apply must first complete a word icon Riding Establishment Licence Application Form [172kb] and return it with the pdf icon appropriate fee [16kb]

Upon application for a licence, the premises must be inspected by a veterinary surgeon (at the expense of the applicant) and a local authority officer. West Lothian Council must consider a report from the veterinary surgeon detailing whether the premises are suitable for a riding establishment and detailing the conditions of the premises and any horses.  West Lothian Council will also take into account whether the applicant is suitable and qualified to hold a licence.

Once the inspection has taken place a separate invoice will be issued to cover the veterinarian's costs.  On receipt of this being paid and the licence conditions being met your new licence will be sent out. 

Once issued, licenses will run until the 31st December of that year.  Licences run from 1st January - 31st December of any one year.

Eligibility Criteria

A licence may not be issued if the applicant is disqualified under any of the following acts:

  • Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) Act 1933
  • Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934
  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • The Animal Health Act 1981
  • Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 

Licensed Riding Establishments in West Lothian

pdf icon View a current list of the animal premises licensed in West Lothian. [80kb]