Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
  Non-Javascript users can confirm they have successfully signed out of MyAccount by clicking here

Riding establishments licence

Find out if you need a riding establishment licence, how to apply, what conditions you need to meet and how to appeal a licensing decision.

Do I need a licence?

You'll need a hiring out horses licence if you have a business that keeps horses to hire out. This includes any of the following types of activities:

  • Riding lessons
  • Horse rides and trekking
  • Loan horses
  • Hunting
  • Polo instruction
  • Pony and donkey rides

Your licence will specify the name, age, description and Horse Passport number of the horses you can use for your business.

Who can apply?

You can apply for a hiring out horses licence if you're 18 years old or older and live in Rochdale borough.

You're not eligible to apply if at the time of your application you:

  • Are disqualified under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals, or:
  • Meet the criteria in Regulation 11 and Schedule 8 of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 as being disqualified or had a licence revoked.

How to apply?

To apply for a hiring out horses licence:

  1. Download and complete the hiring out horses application form below and either:
  2. We'll ring you to take your payment of the licence fee by credit or debit card.
  3. We'll schedule an inspection of your premises by an animal welfare officer. Please note, you'll also need to pay the cost of any veterinary fees if a vet is needed during the inspection. 
  4. If the vet is satisfied your premises meet all the licence conditions, we'll issue your licence.
Hiring out horses application form and conditions (401kb pdf)

What conditions do I need to meet?

To receive a hiring out horses licence, an animal welfare officer will visit your premises to check if you meet all the licence conditions.

Once you have a licence, you'll also have to follow the conditions of the licence.

All these conditions are listed at the end of the application form which you can download in the section above.

Is my application granted if I don't hear back?

No. We must process your application before it can be granted as tacit consent doesn't apply.

How long will my licence last?

Your hiring out horses licence will last for 1, 2 or 3 years. We'll decide the length of your licence based on the outcome of your inspection.

Can I renew my licence?
Yes. You must apply to renew your licence if you want to continue hiring out horses as part of your business. We'll send you the renewal documents to your licensed premises 3 months before your licence is due to expire.

You'll have to complete and return the renewal documents at least 10 weeks before your licence expires. If you don't renew in time, you'll need to apply for a licence again. This may affect the length of your licence and you may have to pay additional costs.

How do I appeal a decision?

You can get in touch with us using the contact details on this page if you want to know more about why we suspended, changed or revoked your licence or why we refused your application and what actions you can take before re-applying.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Fines and penalties

You could face an unlimited fine or up to 51 weeks in prison, or both, if you:

  • Hire out horses without a licence
  • Don't follow the conditions of your licence
  • Obstruct or delay an inspection by the licensing officer


0300 303 8871

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Public Protection Service
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU