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Discussion Starter #1
I am getting insurance finalized for my newest venture, http://www.littlerockequestriancenter.com They are requiring that barn rules be posted in the barn, where all visitors can see them. I have 11 rules right now, typed up. I'm wondering if I have too many, or maybe too few? Here's what I have so far:
1. NO SMOKING within 50 ft of the barn or arena.
2. Young children must be supervised at all times.
3. No yelling or running around the barn or horses.
4. No dogs or pets allowed on the premises.
5. No open-toed shoes around the horses.
6. Park only in designated areas.
7. Keep all gates and stall doors closed and latched.
8. Pick up after yourself and your horse.
9. Do not feed the horses without permission.
10. ALL riders are required to wear helmets when mounted.
11. No riding in the barn.
What do you all think? I'll have more detailed description of rules in a sheet with the release form parents and riders will be required to sign.

What are the rules at your barn? Are they posted on a wall, or is an abreviated list posted on the wall?

We will be giving lessons to adults and kids, giving pony/horse rides on weekends, offering pony/horse parties, and doing some public demonstrations and fundraisers.
 

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It's a good basic starting list but you'll find that you will have to make more rules for things you would consider common sense. How about rules concerning the paddocks? Permission concerning using other people's tack or horse (you never know)? Sharing the arena space, using equipment etc. The list goes on and on. Also make sure you have rules that cover the things that are in your insurance policy and make them specific.
 

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Some people like to think that they can do anything if there isn't a rule against it, so think like a trouble-maker. :D

If someone wants to ride someone else's horse, they have to have written permission from the owner. Not the owner's kid, nor the owner's uncle. The owner. Same with tack.

Also, make sure you have something about feeding other people's horses. At my barn, you're allowed to do this if you ask, but some people don't like other giving their horses treats.

I would say something about were you're allowed to ride. "Can I ride in this paddock? This one? Oh, oh, what about THIS one?" My BO gets that all the time.

Another thing is moving other people's horses around. Want a critter out of a certain field or have a lonely horse? Ask the BO and get permission.
 

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One thing my stables just got cited for.... is having hay or clutter within 20 feet of telephone polls. Also, we have to provide a line of credit with a vet for our horses in case there is an emergency and the owner isn't around. This is a new rule because a few times, the stable members have fronted money for colic treatment,etc, while the owner is noowhere to be found, and the owner leaves without paying up. No board payment= your horse... another thing to think about.
 

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One thing I never thought of until recently is headphones. The barn I'm at right now has a no headphones rule which is a pretty good idea I think. If you're listening to music on headphones you can't hear what's going on around you and that can be dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We are not a boarding facility. The only boarders I will have (2-3), will be my students with horses that I will share-board and use for lessons. Those people will be handed a more lengthy set of rules.
 

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To the rule about helmets, you might want to add that they must be certified riding helmets, and also that the rider must be wearing proper boots with 1/2"-1" heels.
 

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The legal department of your insurance company may be able to help you with the list you are working on by outlining the specific items which need to be covered. If your insurance company does not have equine experience, seek an alternative. The purpose of the lists (you will need liability and hold harmless statements and then safety guidelines) is to minimize you and your insurer's exposure to litigation in addition to providing visitor's a list of general safety rules so that they can behave in a manner which is suitable to your environment.
Risk management is an critical issue for you based on what services and programs you have written that you intend to provide services for. Once your insurance company tells you what you need to address specifically, you need to get an experienced attorney to put it in legal jargon for you and your clients. correct and you need an attorney to protect both you and your clients.
Your attorney will also suggest a series of other items which you will need to have such as a Boarding Contract, Hold-Harmless and Liability Release, Directional and Informational Signage, etc.
Don't risk your personal, family and investor assets by trying to make things up yourself.
Good luck with your project, it sounds like you have a nice vision.

Remember to keep your list items as short as possible to leave as few loop holes as possible. For example.
1. No Smoking
2. No Unaccompanied Minors
3. Appropriate Footwear Required
4. All Riders Must Wear Helmets
5. Dogs and Other Pets Not Allowed
6. No Feeding the Horses
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your input. We do have a good release form made up and a longer set of barn rules that will go with that to all riders. This is just what will be made in to a sign and posted in plain view.

Revised list:
  1. NO SMOKING within 50 ft of the barn or arena.
  2. ALL riders are required to wear helmets when mounted.
  3. Children 12 and under must be supervised at all times.
  4. No yelling or running.
  5. Do not feed the horses.
  6. No dogs or pets allowed on the premises.
  7. No open-toed shoes allowed around the horses.
  8. Park only in designated areas.
  9. Keep all gates and stall doors closed and latched.
  10. Pick up after yourself and your horse.
 

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Our rule is one adult per child age 12 or under.

Non-boarders/lessors are not allowed into a paddock with loose horses without a STAFF escort.

We have a list about 30 rules for boarders. They include board payment policy, etc. Folks coming for just lessons have a shorter list.
 
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