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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've been at this barn for over a year now, and just found out this rather odd rule. Though it is not written down, nor in my board agreement, the BO is saying that no one is allowed to ride horses other than their own if they are not in lessons or working it off. This came up because my mom started taking lessons instead of me, and I was riding a horse for a friend with permission from her and her parents. Then the BO told me I was not allowed to ride my FRIEND'S horse because "there are plenty of other girls who are in lessons and working to ride him." She told this to my mother, to which my mother said something along the lines of "but my daughter has permission from the owner of the horse." The BO said too bad. So, apparently, if I ever wanted to have a friend of mine come out and ride my horse that would not be allowed. ??? Has anyone ever heard of a rule like this? Shouldn't I be allowed to choose who can and cannot ride my horse? The BO said that it was a liability thing, but everyone who comes out to the barn has to sign a waver, so that should not be a problem, right? And I was thinking about it, if it was a liability issue then wouldn't every barn have that rule? Please let me know if I'm being ridiculous thinking that the horse owner should have control over who rides their horse.

P.S.
After I did talk to the horse owner, and she had not been informed of the "rule" either, and thought it was weird.


P.P.S.
I have let other girls at the barn ride my horse while the BO watched, she never said a thing, and now she's saying that was against the rules. It's sounding to me like this is more a personal attack against me, rather than a barn rule.
 

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Your BO needs to get a liability SIGN, and post it where everyone can see it. I think that relieves you of having to do the waivers. Sounds like she is just one of the more paranoid type... I can understand that she is just being smart and doesn't want to get pulled into a big mess with people trying to sue her for an injury on horseback. But that usually happens with people who don't know horses and are shocked when a family member gets hurt and want to sue. Usually, people who actually have some background with horses don't sue easily. It's kind of a mess, but I can see where she's coming from. Then again, if she's going to make it a rule she needs to make sure she's understood and stick to it, not make it conditional. Maybe its time to look for a barn with a more reasonable owner...I would be a little annoyed if someone was telling me who could ride my horse.
 

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This seems odd. If you have permission to ride the other girls horse, get it in writing. Your BO shouldn't have any control over peoples own personal horses.

If it was a rule for a school horse....this would be more understandable.
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I have never heard of a rule like that, it is up to the owner of the horse who rides it.

Does this rule mean that the BO is letting her students ride your friends horse and she was not aware of that? I would be livid about this.
 

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Signs and liability waivers protect you more than not having them, but they don't mean you still can't get sued.

I would imagine she is worried about the liability. Maybe you could ask her if she would be willing to arrange something where you would have it in writing for your friend to ride your horse to make her feel like she has more protection?

I've never heard of this before. Every rider at my barn has to sign a waiver (and we have signs posted). Minors have to wear helmets. Otherwise so long as the owner of the horse gives permission, those choices are left up to the owners. Weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have never heard of a rule like that, it is up to the owner of the horse who rides it.

Does this rule mean that the BO is letting her students ride your friends horse and she was not aware of that? I would be livid about this.
I'm not really sure, but at the last schooling show the BO allowed a girl to ride this horse in a class without letting the owner know. I also rode the horse but asked the owners first. I do know of a time that the BO had allowed students to ride a horse when the owner said no one could ride him. I just happened to be there when the owner said no and when the owner found out the BO wasn't listening (not pretty).

SD: Why wouldn't it? I believe in the liability wavers the BO has it specifically says that you cannot sue her or the barn. Would someone still be able to sue?

We were already moving my gelding to a different barn that is closer to trails so my mom could ride him, and were planning to bring Dulcinea to the barn in question when she comes home. We aren't now. I'm fully moving barns now, as I cannot deal with being at such a strict barn with the rules constantly changing. It's kind of driving me nuts.
 

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As a barn owner I can tell you this is not a common rule and is over-bearing IMO, but I do understand her point of view. I have signs posted every where and I liability waivers available in the tackroom for their guests to sign. Any guest caught without a waiver on file, the boarder is fined $50 and this IS in my barn rules and boarding contract. My state's liability statute is also at the bottom of all my forms.

A boarder can do whatever they want with their own horse unless its instructing and then they have to pay an arena fee and it is subject to my approval. Sorry but no one is going to make money off of my blood, sweat and tears without ME getting a share. My name and business reputation is on the line whether it's me teaching or not so I may step-in there.

I suspect the barn owner is just being stingy. She is trying to gain more lesson, leasing and training customers. "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free" so to speak. If you ride a boarder's horse, you could technically be "stealing" a training ride fee from her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
^^^ That sounds like something she would do. Then again, she hasn't ever had a problem with owners letting other people ride their horses, until me. Apparently, according to other boarders and lessonees, the BO has disliked me for a long time. Sucks for me I guess, she's just loosing more money by alientating me.

Thanks everyone for the input! It's nice knowing that I'm not a total idiot in thinking it was a weird rule haha :)
 

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I suspect the barn owner is just being stingy. She is trying to gain more lesson, leasing and training customers. "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free" so to speak. If you ride a boarder's horse, you could technically be "stealing" a training ride fee from her.

If the BO is using a boarder's horse for "lessons" then she better get permission.

That is a total breech of trust between the horse's owner and the BO.

What if I went up to ride my horse to train and find him totally off the aids and tired. That would be stealing my time with my horse plus I could get sued should the person riding my horse have a fall.
 

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There have been some issues come up at barns where someone will say that they have permission to ride X horse and really don't and it then leads to all sort of headaches when the owner of the horse finds out. If this particular BO has ever gone through this, they may have decided that they were just going to make an across the board rule that folks can only ride the horses they own to curb any of the drama. However, if this is the case she should make an addendum to her boarding contracts and have everyone read and sign off on the new rule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If the BO is using a boarder's horse for "lessons" then she better get permission.

That is a total breech of trust between the horse's owner and the BO.
That never happened with my horse, but I have seen it done and it did cause me to loose trust in the BO, but when I first saw it I thought it was just a mistake and moved on. Then the BO allowed a lesson girl to ride a boarder's horse in a schooling show without the horse owner knowing or giving permission. That happened a month ago, and I started looking around at other barns after seeing that, along with a bunch of other stuff going on. (This is really the tip of the iceberg with my BO).

Cat: The rule is more like only people in lessons or working at the barn can ride horses other than their on, even with permission from the owner. I totally would understand where the BO was coming from if what you said was the case, except any drama caused by kids riding horses without permission from the horse owner was because the BO had given the kid permission without the knowledge of the owner. I've seen this occur twice in the year and a half I've been there, and in one of the occasions it caused drama. In the other the horse owner didn't say anything because she's a 13 y.o.
 

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No one should be able to ride a boarders horse unless they have an email or signed consent including the barn owner! You are wise to look for another place! Why does she not like you?
 

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Wow! If I ever found out someone else was riding my horse I would be livid! There is no excuse ever to ride someone else's horse without approval.

I tend to think she is looking at it as lost money. If you don't have a horse to ride and use a friend's horse at the barn then she is loosing out on you spending money to ride in a lesson or losing your cheap labor. You are smart to move your horse. A private horse is the owner's responsibility and it is up to the owner to decide who can or can not ride. Good luck at your new barn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No one should be able to ride a boarders horse unless they have an email or signed consent including the barn owner! You are wise to look for another place! Why does she not like you?
From what others have told me it started last June. We had been planning on going on an overnight trail ride, and so the BO charged everyone going $100 dollars to pay for gas to get to the park and to rent out one of the barns there. All the parents of the girls had paid, and then the BO decided that we should instead just bring tents to our barn and ride around the property. I was okay with that, and asked for my money back, since it wouldn't be needed to pay for gas or the rental barn. But the BO refused, saying she had already used the money. I was not happy, and though the other girls have no back bone with her (they will admit that) I talked with some of the parents to let them know what was going on. Of course the parents weren't happy either, so they talked to her. We did end up going to the park, so the BO wouldn't have to give us the money back.

And that's when it all started....
 

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but at the last schooling show the BO allowed a girl to ride this horse in a class without letting the owner know.
If I was the horse's owner I would NOT be happy about that. Just because the horse is at the BO's barn, doesn't mean it's "hers" to give out to other riders.
 

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If I knew the BO was letting others ride my horse without my permission, I would move, not just that day, but that hour. I would be livid.
 

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At my old boarding barn they had a rule where no one but the boarder could ride a horse. I thought it was a stupid rule when I was boarding there, but that was the rule and it was posted on the wall and in our boarding contract. My boyfriend was not allowed to sit on my horse and walk around the arena. Even other boarders at the barn were not allowed to try my horse. The only time anyone was allowed was if it was during a lesson with my permission.
 

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It sounds like this barn has a whole list of other issues going on than this one.

Your BO needs to get a liability SIGN, and post it where everyone can see it. I think that relieves you of having to do the waivers.
Not all states have an Equine Limited Liability law. The sign thing may sound like a warm and fuzzy truth but it is not really that simply.
Signs, state specific wording, are required to be covered by the equine limited liability laws in the states that have them. That does not mean the BO's insurance will not still require the BO to have waivers, etc.

There have been some issues come up at barns where someone will say that they have permission to ride X horse and really don't and it then leads to all sort of headaches when the owner of the horse finds out.
This is the reason I know some barns require a signed lease on file for someone else to ride a privately owned horse.


Cat: The rule is more like only people in lessons or working at the barn can ride horses other than their on, even with permission from the owner.
People have been known to lie about having permission. You (generic you) can say that you have permission to ride Dobbin but that does not mean Dobbin's owner knows that you are going to be riding Dobbin.


If I knew the BO was letting others ride my horse without my permission, I would move, not just that day, but that hour. I would be livid.
I agree.
 

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One thing that came to mind (I am sure there is more going on in this case) as far as that particular rule goes, is if the owner of the horse is allowing the BO to use the horse in lessons in order to pay off some of their board, or get a reduced rate for their own lessons. I could completely see then, why the BO would not allow someone else to ride the horse that was not in lessons or paying, as they then do not have the option of using the horse as per the agreement. But that doesn't sound like the case here.
 

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I've never heard of a rule like that. But common sense would be that you don't go and ride another's horse without permission. We've always told our BO who was allowed to ride our horses IF we weren't there. They have liabilty signs posted AND require waivers signed for ANY guest. Most of the time we are there when a guest is going to ride, but if we know that someone is experienced enough, they can ride without us being there. Maybe if the horse owner and you, together, were to talk to the BO beforehand, there wouldn't be any problem.

I would be leary of a BO or BM that would say one thing and do the opposite, either pertaining to riding or like the camping trip issue the OP had
 
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