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am I responsible

This is a discussion on am I responsible within the Horse Law forums, part of the Horse Resources category

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    06-22-2009, 01:48 PM
Green Broke
Before anyone lays a hand on a horse at my farm we make them sign a waiver, try this site, I think they have a download for it.

Woodpecker Farm - Caroline County, Virginia
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    06-24-2009, 04:26 AM
Yes, you can be found liable.
You should also discuss this with your insurance representative to make sure your liability coverages are sufficient to protect you in case of a litigation situation. The legal department of your insurance company can also give you advice on your form. Forms are available on line. Just do a document search for Hold Harmless Agreements and Liability Releases. Edit to your needs. Prepare the form and then take it to your attorney who can edit or add as necessary. It shouldn't cost you much money and you can probably do it all by email.
Then, have any guest (riding or not) who enters your facility sign the release forms. Minors must have a parental signature.

It is always interesting to watch the faces of people who are reading to sign my forms. There is a paragraph that discusses the inherent dangers associated with equine and farming leisure activities, horse behavior and the possible situations that can occur with any horse that can cause injury or even death.
I do not have my service providers such as vet, farrier,osteo, etc. sign the form but it is enlarged in sign form and posted throughout the common areas.

In the long run, this is a minor investment which will protect the assets of you and your family.
    06-24-2009, 09:27 AM
Super Moderator
I read an article about a girl that was boarding her horse at a facility. HER horse that she owned kicked her. The parents sued the barn owner and WON. They said that it was because even though she owned the horse and she was at fault, it happened on their property. So just be aware....
    06-24-2009, 09:37 AM
A signed waver by a minor is pretty much worthless. You are safer with one signed by her parents. In addition, concerning putting her back on a horse that ran away with her - that may survive any waiver in a law suit. If she can't handle your Arab, how much experience/training does she really have?
    06-24-2009, 04:08 PM
Green Broke
Yes. And even the liability waiver's or having an equine inherent risk sign on your property will not save you from being sued. I've often heard the waiver as a a pretty useless piece of paper. You just have be so careful in this day and age with so many sue happy people.
    06-28-2009, 10:48 PM
Wow, I have thought about this, but it's serious business and deserves some serious action. I wonder what the laws are here in Washington state. Hope it's like Colorado, I like their attitude! I think I remember reading once that a sign like "beware of dog" is actually a bad thing as it would signify that you have a dangerous dog that should be controlled and may exacerbate lawsuit issues. Dang, I hate this.
    06-29-2009, 12:57 PM
Green Broke
This link will show you Washington state liability laws:

Washington Equine Activity Liability Act

This link has a map where everyone else can click to find the relevant laws for their state:

Map of State Equine Activity Liability Statutes
    06-29-2009, 01:16 PM
This has been a worry for me as well.

We asked our insurance man about this and he told me that while it helps to have a signed release and a visible disclaimer in the barn, it won't change the fact that they will sue and most likely win!

He also said that even though the person who got hurt won't want to sue you, THEIR insurance won't have any problem doing it and will do it.

We are put in a terrible position for sure when we offer up our horses for others to ride.
    06-29-2009, 01:17 PM
Thank you for that. I checked out the Washington statute and then out of curiosity read the Colorado one. The latter really spelled things out well. I am not an "equine professional" but just a horse owner/lover who likes to have friends ride with me (spare horse here) occasionally. Guess we need to come up with a release form...
    06-29-2009, 01:30 PM
Thanks, Horsegma. I figured that was the case as I'm sure the insurance companies would go for the jugular. This really is sad.
At least your quote about losing weight made me laugh

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