As a horse owner or someone who has responsibility for horses, you should be familiar with the unique risks and exposures associated with them. Consider the following in managing your risk:
If you own, lease or board horses, you are responsible for knowing their propensities. If you board a horse with others or lease a horse to others, you have an obligation to inform them of known propensities.
This includes, but is not limited to: Employees, Contract Instructors, Students, Trainers, Groomers, Farriers, Veterinarians and Other Professionals.
Locations include owned land, leased land, public land, private land, event facilities, parades, highways, roads, streets, parks, trails, bridges, rivers, near construction, near loud machinery, trains, airplanes and ships. Transporting includes hazards from loading, traveling and unloading.
Shelters need to be designed, built and maintained to minimize animal injury. Fencing needs to be properly designed, installed, regularly inspected and maintained to contain horses. Fencing requirements are horse specific, not breed specific.
Develop a written rider assessment method to be reviewed and signed by the rider. Include: approaching, handling, leading and turnout, tying, bridling, saddling, mounting and dismounting, warm up and riding. All riders must be evaluated for their skill level, ability to perform the activity and ability to safely manage a specific horse. That is, this horse, this day, on this ride, with this rider.
Negligence is a legal liability that exists when the party causing the accident/injury breaches a duty to the injured party. The duty may be “to warn,” or it could require extensive assessment and instruction. State law and court decisions establish duties and reasonable standards to meet those duties
Liability and Waivers
Equine Liability Acts (ELA) or Equine Activity Statutes (EAS) – Fortyfour states have laws that limit equine owners’ liability for inherent risks IF THEY WARN according to the law. One example is a horse being startled unintentionally from an external stimulus. Know the law to gain the protection.