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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.

COVID-19. For advice on animal care and what is permitted during restrictions on movement, please see Scottish Government Guidance on COVID-19 and Companion Animals (opens new window).

Applying for a Riding Establishment Licence 

horse and rider
Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with West Lothian Council's Licence Conditions and Guidance on Riding Establishments [313KB] .

Anyone wishing to apply must:

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 wishing to be licensed for use. 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 for a year from the date of issue.  

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 

Waste Management at Animal Welfare Licensed Premises

Please see Expected standards for waste management at licensed animal welfare premises.