RCVS/BVA Riding Establishments Inspections

Under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970, riding establishments are required by law to be licensed by local authorities.

The licence may only be issued or denied by the local authority following an inspection and report by a veterinary surgeon who is a member of the RCVS/BVA Inspectorate.

Environmental Health departments of local authorities have responsibility for enforcing health and safety legislation in the majority of riding establishments. They investigate reportable accidents and undertake health and safety inspections which they may carry out during licensing visits. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Officers (CIEH) have published comprehensive guidance on relevant legislation, suggested control measures etc intended for use by enforcement officers, proprietors and other interested parties, available free to download from the CIEH site.

The riding school inspection consists of:

  1. Basic examination of every horse hired out to the general public. This includes heart, eyes, back, farriery and general condition. The horses are then seen trotting up in hand.
  2. Each horses’ tack is examined, whilst on the horse, for fit and “ wear and tear”
  3. The riding establishment site is then checked for suitability to stable horses and storage of feed, bedding and tack. Fire safety is also taken into account
  4. The teaching school is checked for suitability for teaching in a safe environment for both horse and rider
  5. The grazing paddocks are also checked to ensure safety and welfare for the horses
  6. Both human and equine first aid kits will be checked for suitability
  7. Paperwork for insurance and accident reporting will also be checked