Hiring out horses

Do I need a licence to hire out my horses?

If you hire out a horse, ass, mule or hinny in the course of a business for riding or instruction in riding, as defined by The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, you will be required to obtain an animal activity licence from Salford City Council.     


In order to obtain an animal activity licence, you need to ensure that you meet the specific licence conditions which relate to that activity.  The conditions relating to hiring out horses can be found in the legislation detailed above and DEFRA has produced a guidance note for the hiring out of horses, to assist licence holders comply. The link to this guidance is detailed below and a PDF version is available at the bottom of this page:

The conditions relate to accommodation, facilities, management of the premises and disease prevention and control. The vet and an Environmental Health Officer from Salford City Council will inspect your premises to establish if you are meeting these requirements.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has produced a guidance booklet 'Health and Safety Guidance for Inspections of Horse Riding Establishments and Livery Yards' to assist with the management of safety risks within these premises.


The fees for hiring out horses are dependent on the number of horses hired out and are payable in two parts:

  • Application fee – this should be submitted with your application forms (non refundable). In accordance with DEFRA guidance, to ensure that applications are processed and premises inspected before licences expire, application and fees to renew animal activity licences should be submitted at least ten weeks before the current licence expires. If applications and fees are received with less than ten weeks left on the licence, there may not be sufficient time to process the application and inspect the premises before the licence expires. Please be aware that businesses will not be permitted to trade unless a valid licence is held. If renewal applications are submitted after the expiry date there will be an interim period where trade is not permitted until a new licence has been issued. You should also be aware that failure to apply and pay for the renewal within time of the current licence, will result in having to apply as a ‘new’ business and the higher application and grant fees will apply.

Please be aware that if you are applying for more than one licensable activity such as hiring out horses and boarding of dogs then the higher application fee will apply, plus an additional £79 for every other activity applied for.

  • Grant fee - once the inspection has been undertaken and the inspecting officer has determined the star rating and duration of the licence, you will be advised of the grant fee (non-refundable).

The tables below summarise the fees:

Hiring out horses application fees

Number of horses New application cost Renewal application cost

Less than ten horses



10 to 49 horses



50 or more



In addition: Grant fee (after inspection)

Number of years Number of horses New application cost Renewal application cost

One year




Two year

Less than ten horses



10 to 49 horses



50 horses or more



Three year

Less than ten horses



10 to 49 horses



50 horses or more



Variation costs for new applications and renewals

£79 per hour of officer time (this will vary depending on the variation to the licence being requested)

Star re-rating request

£79 plus the grant fee

All the above fees do not include any charges incurred from a vet inspection which will have to be paid in addition to the licensing fee. A variation fee will be charged for any required changes to the licence once it has been issued.

How to apply

Before you apply you should be fully familiar with the specific licence conditions and be confident in meeting them.

If you wish to apply for a new hiring out horses activity licence or renew your current licence, you need to complete:

  1. Section 1
  2. Main application form and
  3. Section 10

Please download each of these forms, complete the relevant sections and return the forms, along with the necessary supporting documentation to Environmental Health. This can be emailed to dogwardens@salford.gov.uk. Alternatively the application forms can be posted to Environmental Health, Place Directorate, Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Salford, M27 5FJ Once fees have been confirmed, a member of the team will contact you to take payment.

Will my rating be published?

Yes. Once you have been inspected and the officer has determined your star rating, this will be published on our website. The register shows your business name, business address (although if you trade from a domestic premises this is not disclosed), the type(s) of licence(s) you hold and the star rating.

This page was last updated on 12 May 2022

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