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Allowing horsey neighbors/friends to use your arena?

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  • Allowing horsey neighbors/friends to use your arena?

    I'm curious for those of you that have your horses at home and have your own arena do you allow your neighbors or friends to use it?

    Do you charge a fee? If so, how much?
    Or is it too big of an insurance liability?

    Moving on doesn't mean you forget about things. It just means you have to accept what happended and continue living.

  • #2
    Friends haven't asked to use it. I would be reluctant to let them. The liability plus the wear and tear on the arena.

    If you do let someone use yours, get them to sign a liability waiver.


    • #3
      The one person I know who did this charged $50 a month. Charging a fee per ride is hard because they can say they rode 3 times and you saw them ride 5 times. Get them to sign a wavier.


      • #4
        I borrow a friend's arena from time to time, for free, and make sure I scoop any poop before I leave. I've made my arena available, for free, and just ask that the poop gets scooped.


        • #5
          I have one neighbor with a ring that I can hack to and use it for free. Arena is smaller than a small dressage ring. It needs serious work done to the footing. I only use it when desperate. I have offered to pay/ redo footing and my offer was declined.

          Another neighbor whose daughter is a BNT has allowed me to trailer in and use their's in the past. It's $10 per use and I've signed a waiver.


          • #6
            stupid question: what does "BNT" mean?


            • #7
              Big Name Trainer


              • #8
                It all depends on your relationship with the friend. Sometimes it's helpful to share. But don't get into the habit of being a doormat; it's ok to say no to some people.

                A friend of mine is a sweetheart and will let me use her beautiful, private Indoor any time I want. I am grateful for her kindness and I have hauled for her and lent her my backhoe. Sometimes it's good to do favors back and forth for good friends.
                Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


                • #9
                  Our neighbor lets me use hers! I watched her horses and dogs while she went to Europe for a few weeks in exchange. I have never had to sign a waver, but I also so not believe in lawsuits and suing people. I have had major injuries in others arenas and land previously and have never even thought it was anyones fault but my own. Locally I am one of the "safe" ones to let ride on your property, it is common knowlege in our area if someone is a problem of not.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by englishcowgirl View Post
                    Our neighbor lets me use hers! I watched her horses and dogs while she went to Europe for a few weeks in exchange. I have never had to sign a waver, but I also so not believe in lawsuits and suing people. I have had major injuries in others arenas and land previously and have never even thought it was anyones fault but my own. Locally I am one of the "safe" ones to let ride on your property, it is common knowlege in our area if someone is a problem of not.
                    To be safe, anyone who lets you ride should have a liability policy covering riders and a release. You may not sue, but your health insurance might. There is no way to stop them, unless you lie about where the accident occurred. If you were taken by ambulance, there is no way to lie. Not worth a chance, IMO.


                    • #11
                      Winter before last new neighbor wanted use my arena. I told her she'd have to pay the entire Equine Commercial Liability policy PLUS $10.00/trip/horse up to a max of $100/month. I also took her over to another neighboring indoor that did allow other riders to come in and did charge for it so she'd have a place to go that wouldn't cost her as much. She'd have to trailer to both indoors regardless so she might as well save a few $ and go to the other place.

                      All this happened in about Sept. I didn't hear anything from her so I figured she'd gone to the other place as it would be a LOT cheaper for her. Well, along comes January and she calls to find out how much the Liability policy would be. I called the insurance co. and got the cost. Told her, she wrote me a check on the spot, I called the insurance co. and she came over the next day. I honestly think she didn't want to have to share an arena with anyone.

                      Last Dec I asked her if she wanted to use the indoor again so I could renew the Liability policy. She decided it really would be cheaper to go to the other indoor. She ended up having a female dog with a litter of 6 pups and didn't ride all winter.

                      I won't allow anyone to use the indoor or outdoor unless they have paid the Liability policy and a per use fee to a max/month. I simply won't take the chance of an accident and even if the person or their family wouldn't consider suing, for sure their health insurance company would. I'm not willing to risk losing my farm just to a nice person. No way Jose!

                      Edited to add that I also have anyone using the arena sign a waiver but it's doubtful that waiver alone would stand up in court or for the damned health insurance co.
                      Last edited by msj; Aug. 16, 2011, 08:52 PM. Reason: added last paragraph

                      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                      • #12
                        I allow friends to use my arena and trails.

                        I will not charge anyone.

                        They all sign a release upon arrival.
                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                        -Rudyard Kipling


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by katarine View Post
                          I borrow a friend's arena from time to time, for free, and make sure I scoop any poop before I leave. I've made my arena available, for free, and just ask that the poop gets scooped.

                          Liability laws vary by state
                          I wasn't always a Smurf
                          Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                          "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                          The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                          • #14
                            A good friend of mine lives close by and she occasionally hacks over to use my outdoor ring. I don't charge her; we are good friends and she helps me out when I need an extra hand. I also know she is a good horsewoman and won't do anything goofy.


                            • #15
                              My DD uses the indoor w/jumps, at the barn we layover the horse at when we go on vacation, signed a waiver, no charge.
                              "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                              "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


                              • #16
                                I've let a friend & her DH ride in my indoor a couple times.

                                And one Thanksgiving when I was out of town my hayguy brought his horse & (teen) grandkids - with my permission - over to ride.

                                Neighbor kid (in his 20s) has worked his driving ponies in there too.

                                No waivers, no extra insurance.

                                Right now there are 2 loaded haywagons in there, 1 with a flat tire.
                                I'll be getting some bush-hogging & manure spreading done in exchange for providing temporary out-of-the-weather storage.
                                My 60X120 is sorta 40X120 for the time being.

                                I actually had a really good dressage lesson in there yesterday - horse did not mind the detours and the wagons are placed so there's still a diagonal to cross and plenty of room on the rail for WTC.
                                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                                • #17
                                  I am very lucky to have use of my neighbor's outdoor arena. I keep it mowed and make sure to close all gates etc. We have the kind of relationship where we don't even keep track of favors at this point - we each do a lot for the other (feed, transport, pick up supplies etc.).

                                  That said, if it wasn't someone exactly like my neighbor, I'd have them sign a liability release and check my insurance to see what else I needed.


                                  • #18
                                    As someone has pointed out... nice for all you people that have good working relationships with your friends and neighbors.

                                    But, that friendship will mean nothing when someone's insurance company decides to sue you or if your insurance company decides to sue your friend. You will not be able to stop them and it could cost you or your friend a pretty penny and perhaps destroy a friendship.
                                    You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something… S. Jobs


                                    • #19
                                      For me it depends on the relationship I have with the person and the frequency with which they would want to ride in it.

                                      Friends come over to ride with my dressage trainer on occasion, and I have a couple of friends who come out to jump. I don't charge them anything, but they do sign liability waivers.

                                      I had a neighbor who wanted to ride regularly and I told her it was either $5 a ride or $100 for the month. I didn't know her well and didn't particularly want someone riding in my arena frequently. And after my last boarder left I became a much happier barn owner Turns out I don't like other people using my stuff, generally speaking!
                                      Flying F Sport Horses
                                      Horses in the NW


                                      • #20
                                        Personally, I would ask anyone who uses my arena to sign a liability waiver. As other posters have pointed out, while your friend or neighbor might not sue, their health insurance carrier might. Last time I was involved in a riding accident on my own horse my health insurance carrier asked a number of pointed questios to determine if the accident could be someone else's liability. It doesn't matter how good your friendship is, if your friend or neighbor is injured riding on your property, you better believe the injured party's health insurer is going to look to pass the liability on to someone else.