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Riding establishments licence

Changes to regulations

On Monday, 1 October 2018, new animal licensing regulations will come into force. We'll update this page with the new application form as soon as it's available.

What you need to know:

  • If you already have a riding establishment licence, you don't need to do anything as it will remain valid until the date it says on your licence. You just need to apply for a new one when it runs out.
  • If you need to apply for a licence before 1 October 2018 please use the form available on this page.

​​​​​​​​​​​What's a riding establishment?

A Riding Establishment is "the carrying on of a business of keeping horses to let them out for hire for riding or riding instruction". Licences are renewable annually and are issued under the Riding Establishments ​Acts 1964 and 1970​​.

Regulation summary

  • A horse found on inspection of the premises by an authorised officer to be in need of veterinary attention shall not be returned to work until the holder of the licence has obtained at his own expense and has lodged with the local authority a veterinary certificate that the horse is fit for work;
  • No horse will be let out on hire for riding or used for providing instruction in riding without supervision by a responsible person of the age of 16 years or over unless (in the case of a horse let out for hire for riding) the holder of the licence is satisfied that the hirer of the horse is competent to ride without supervision
  • The carrying on of the business of a riding establishment shall at no time be left in the charge of any person under 16 years of age
  • The licence holder shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him against liability for any injury sustained by those who hire a horse from him for riding and those who use a horse in the course of receiving from him, in return for payment, instruction in riding and arising out of the hire or use of a horse as aforesaid and which also insures such persons in respect of any liability which may be incurred by them in respect of injury to any person caused by, or arising out of, the hire or use of a horse as aforesaid
  • A register shall be kept by the licence holder of all horses in his possession aged three years and under and usually kept on the premises, which shall be available for inspection by an authorised officer at all reasonable times. (Sec. 1(4a)).

Application evaluation process

The council will arrange for the inspection of horses and premises by a veterinary surgeon to ensure the welfare of the animals and that the accommodation is suitable. The licence will be issued subject to compliance with licence conditions and payment of the licence fee. Guidance on conditions for riding establishment licences is issued by the British Veterinary Association.

Please note: You'll be required to pay the cost of any inspections carried out by our authorised veterinary surgeon or practitioner.

Apply for a licence ​

We must process your application before it can be granted. If you've not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

The licence fee is £155.

Apply for a riding establishment ​licence (136kb pdf)​​


0300 303 8871

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

Public Protection Service​​
Number One Riversid​e​
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU