Inspection of Riding Establishments
All establishments or enterprises that use equines (donkeys, horses or ponies) for hire to paying customers, whether on their own premises, at public events or in public areas, require a licence to operate, under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970. This includes the hire of ponies to private homes for children’s parties.
A veterinary inspection of the condition of the animals, riding equipment and premises must be completed every year before the licence is issued by the district council. They may also arrange to inspect the premises themselves.
Sandy Jamieson BVM&S MRCVS and Kate Southorn BVSc MRCVS are currently members of the panel of Riding Establishment Inspectors and are allowed to carry out veterinary inspections in accordance with the Acts of 1964 and 1970.
Inspections are carried out at the district council’s request. All working equines are given a physical examination including: listening to the heart with a stethoscope, examining the eyes with an ophthalmoscope, examination of the feet, areas where the tack contacts the skin and seen at walk and trot to assess soundness. The tack is examined for defects and the state of the housing, feed and equipment stores and riding areas is assessed.
Prospective customers can check that the establishment they intend to use is fully licensed by contacting the District Council. Anyone planning to use equines for hire should contact the District Council for advice on how to register their enterprise.