Originally Posted by its lbs not miles View Post
Among other horse laws, a few years back SC passed a law when one horse was killed and another had to be put down later as a result of injuries sustained from the same car accident after someone (not connected with the horses) openned a gate that allowed the horses to leave their pasture and the horses wandered out. There is something like a $10,000 fine for openning someone else gate and letting their horse out.
Some states still have some VERY old laws still on the books that not only give horses the right of way, but place several restrictions on vehicles where horses are concerned. Whether they are enforced or not is another story.
Yes. At least in NC, the statutes about horses/livestock are, for the most part, very few and very old (i.e. from when cars being on the road was a new thing). In those days livestock was an extremely valuable item, providing both transportation and work (e.g. plowing, etc), so causing harm to someone's livestock is typically a felony.
Keep in mind, also, that in the situations where there are no specific laws on the books, courts will look for guidance at 'common law', i.e case law, rulings/precedents from previous similar cases...and some of this is very
old also, e.g. Farmer Bob and Farmer Joe had some dispute over injured livestock back in 1910.
Years ago when I started doing a lot of road riding, I talked to the District Attorney's office in my county (because there are some drivers that are nasty/dangerous to horse riders) and the bottom line was that if you are not prohibited from it by a law/statute, think about what a 'normal' person would see as 'reasonable', e.g. a leisurely ride on a 2 lane road v. galloping down a busy 4 lane highway. Although both are 'legal', they may be viewed very differently in the case where injury/liability comes up.