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Hi. I recently saw an advertisement for someone to part loan their horse so I went along to meet the owner and the horse. He was absolutely beautiful. The owner said he was only for an experienced rider as was prone to bucking people off. I've ridden most of my life, from riding school ponies to dressage, race and event horses. I rode him around the school and the owner watched me, everything was great.
I went to ride him a second time but the owner didn't come in the school with us. Everything was going good and I was doing a bit of dressage on him but my stirrup was too long so I put my leg back to adjust it, wrong move because he went ballistic and threw me off. The owner promptly took him back to the stable and left me on the floor of the indoor school. I went to the hospital in agony four days later to be told I'd got two breaks in my back so in a back brace for 10 weeks and then six weeks of physio. I've since remembered her saying he's got wobbles but medicated.
My horsey friends are saying that it's disgusting how she treated me and left me on a some what dangerous horse so I should make a claim but surely my willingness to go and ride him with the veiw of part loaning him doesn't give me any leeway to make a claim??
 

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I wouldn’t. You had prior knowledge of what the horse was, and you made the mistake which created the problem. I know that sounds harsh, but with horses it does go that way.

That said, I am sorry for you. My oldest daughter had a very similar wreck recently, fracturing her spine and knocking her post concussive syndrome into overdrive. She went a long time with zero short term memory, and had recently made a lot of improvements. I see some regression lately sadly. The back has seemed to be a low priority in comparison to the head, although she did suffer some nerve damage.

Now, was I annoyed with the horse? Yes, a little, he did it intentionally waiting for the perfect moment. Yet, I also know these things happen. We’ve all been in wrecks.

Riding something known to blow up, or a young colt, you should always be prepared for a grabbed stirrup to blow them up. Readjusting your hat? You’d better be ready for a ride. Things like that are to be expected. I expect it on any colt I’m starting. Yet, would I choose to get on a horse anyone defined as “needs an experienced rider?,” nope. Usually those horses have handed a lot of people their butts, and I’d expect the worst and figure that there are a lot of better horses to get on. If I did, and got my butt handed to me, I’d accept those consequences of my actions.
 

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Unfortunately, I agree with @Knave. It seems the owner warned you he might buck, and you decided you could stay on if he did. You didn't, and got injured, but those were consequences of a risk you consciously took.

I would say you also took a risky move attempting to adjust stirrup length while mounted on a horse you didn't know, and suspected might buck. I've ridden a few horses I would never try adjusting stirrups on while mounted. One of my mares would have run off happily if I got myself into such a compromising position.

And that to me is what a horse that needs an experienced rider is. Tricky and not to be trusted. If I told you my horse needed an experienced rider, and you set the reins loose on the neck while mounting, I would think it your own fault if the horse spooked and ran, and you fell.

Not sure of the laws where you live, but in my area there are inherent risk laws that state by handling or getting on a horse you are acknowledging it is dangerous and assume responsibility for injuries incurred. I think this is important, because horses are always dangerous, and people get injured and killed by well trained ones as well as more difficult ones. Without laws like these, things like riding lessons and horse events would not be possible.
 

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I agree with Knave and Gottatrot. You knew the risk. They told you he was prone to blowing up, and you chose to ride him anyway. And you chose to ride him without the owner there.
You ignored the warnings, and got hurt because of it.
Sorry, you don't have a claim.
 

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This is why I hesitate to advertise my horses for a loan, even though they could use the exercise. They are very good horses, but what if something happens (e.g. rider rides on a windy day, horse spooks, rider falls) and then the rider is thinking she should take some sort of legal action. I'm probably better off paying a trainer to ride them than possibly exposing myself to a giant personal injury lawsuit.

It's things like this that make people not want to let others ride their horses. Don't be part of the problem. You were told the horse bucked. The horse bucked and you fell. You knew the risk and rode anyways. I am shocked the "horsey" friends are telling you to take action. Riding is inherently dangerous and they should know this.
 

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Welcome to the forum...wish it was under better circumstance you shared your tale of...

My thought is you were forewarned of the horses known habit and you chose to disregard and ride anyhow.
You took the chance and got hurt....full disclosure was given so to me, you have no grounds for compensation.

What I can say is, thankfully broken bones are healing...
You could of been so much worse off and never got off the ground if you not only broke the spine but injured the spinal cord.
Horseback riding is a sport of known injuries serious occurring.

Most farms here where I live have signs hanging in open view, some or all of these appear in several locations such as barns, ring entry and the entrance to the property..
Rectangle Font Parallel Circle
Font Rectangle Poster Circle Parallel
Font Rectangle Parallel Triangle
Rectangle Font Electric blue Signage Brand

Do you have grounds for seeking damages...not that I can see.
Laws may be different where you are from and depending upon your legal age may make a difference too.
🐴...
 

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Really sorry this happened. I wouldn't be too put off that the owner left you - I think if there was only two of you it would have been a priority to secure an out of control horse than her risk herself trying to attend to you immediately. It could also be that she was in shock and did not know how to appropriately respond. A couple years ago my good friend, who wasn't that experienced but cantering in school lessons so thought she was, insisted, nagged basically, that she ride my new horse who was very big and green. She was/is a lovely mare but a big pansy. My friend got on with the instructors help and within 30 seconds my horse was running circles and my friend had her reins up to her chin trying to stop her, making her panic more. Her husband was spitting fire at me about how I let his wife sit on a dangerous, out of control horse, who did nothing bad except be frightened and run fast. I got on immediately after and my horse went fine, albeit a bit nervous now. I was angry because for weeks after they went on and on to everyone we saw about how my mare was so dangerous. Never once did they accept responsibility and say "we should have listened to the ample warnings given to us. We aren't good enough to ride a green horse, we still chose to take that risk". My bad decision was being pressured into saying yes, knowing full well they weren't ready and putting my poor horse in that position.

This doesn't mean you're a bad rider. This doesn't mean its a bad horse - there are a variety of reasons he bucks and he could possibly need help, physically and mentally. That's not your job though. You made a decision and it backfired. Just the other week I made a poor decision and came off. Shame I cant sue my horse 😅 Only joking, it was my poor decision in the first place. You can have insurance to cover you for injury but its not the same as making a claim, which I don't think you even have given all the info.
 
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