My answer is: It depends on your boarding contract. ALL of the ones we've encountered while barn shopping last year stated that the owner of the property WAS NOT liable for any injury or illness to the horse. PERIOD
Personally, this clause always caused me some discomfort as it implies that a barn owner could feed your fat horse sweet feed and if it founders, not be held responsible. OR that a barn owner could have barbed wire, or insufficient fencing or have tin magically appear in a pasture and if the horse escapes or gets hurt due to what is obviously negligence on the BO's part....they can't be held responsible.
Just never like the clause and how it absolves the BO should negligence or improper care result in death or injury of the horsee .....
An example of my dislike of the clause: a boarding facility in our area has serious issues. Firstly, they've had 6 horses die of colic in 2 years. I know colic happens, but that number vs. time ratio seems worrisome. Perhaps someone needs to reevaluate their feeding regimen or check those pastures for toxic trees or plants.
Secondly, three times in the last few years (3) the horses have escaped the fencing and were found running out on a major highway. ....posing a danger to themselves and passing motorists. The last episode occured last year. A boarder who had just bought his horse, and from the same man we bought our OTTB from, had his horse get hit by a car and killed.
Thirdly, horses are grouped together in volatile cicrumstances. In other words, horses are put out with other horses despite knowing that these groupings have serious aggression issues. One instance of said unwise turnout groupings resulted in a horse being viciously attacked by the alpha and a sidekick of his and the horse was run through a fence. The horse died.
Now, IMO, safe and reliable fencing is A MAJOR RESPONSIBILITY of the BO...but in this case, the fencing continues to be inadequate enough to allow the horses to escape and pose a danger to themselves and motorists travelling a major state highway which passes near their property. Horses are turned out with others despite the BO knowing there were issues...I know this because we used to go trail riding with her as she runs a trail riding business and she would always say to keep this horse from that one or they would fight....or kick, etc. AND having so many colic issues would have me doing some serious property checks for chemicals, toxic plants or trees, or reevaluating my feeding regimen.
Last edited by Beauseant; 11-17-2011 at 08:45 AM.