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Leasing your horse & liability

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    Leasing your horse & liability

    I am thinking of doing a half lease or a two day week lease for guy. The barn that I think I will end up at is a Hunter Jumper barn so I don't think it would be a problem to find someone. Obviously, I don't want to get sued if something should happen so I'm thinking liability insurance would be a good idea.

    For those of you who lease your horse out, what do you do in terms of liability? If you have it, what company do you use?

    **ETA** I mean liability in case something happens to the rider and they decide to sue me. I already have insurance on my horse. Also, I live in lovely NYS where we don't have the equine inherent risk law.
    Last edited by HJgirl; Dec. 11, 2015, 11:51 AM.

    I have not leased my horse out, but I did lease a horse. We had a contract. We were good friends but we still both signed a contract and kept it up to date. There are lots of form contracts on the internet that I believe would solve a liability concern. (I'm not a lawyer and I don't even play one on TV)
    When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
    -William Shakespeare (Henry V)


      Original Poster

      Originally posted by Foxglove6 View Post
      I have not leased my horse out, but I did lease a horse. We had a contract. We were good friends but we still both signed a contract and kept it up to date. There are lots of form contracts on the internet that I believe would solve a liability concern. (I'm not a lawyer and I don't even play one on TV)
      I would definitely have a contract but I guess I am paranoid with how sue happy people are nowadays.


        I leased my horse out and only used a basic/standard lease contract (not sure where I got it from, this was years ago) and the barn's liability waiver.

        I didn't have issues. I have also leased a lot of horses and only had to fill out the standard lease contract/farm's liability waiver.

        As far as I understand it, the liability falls more heavily on the barn where the riding occurs-- that standard "horseback riding is inherently dangerous" line and whatnot.

        If you're extra concerned for some reason, I would say just be certain that the rider is a good match for the horse, so that if an accident DOES occur, it's more likely to be a legitimate accident rather than a horse-rider mismatch accident, which to me (not a lawyer, but I do live amongst them!) leaves you with less fault. BUT, correct me if I'm wrong!

        At this point, I'd be more concerned about insuring the horse.


          1. Have a contract
          2. Have them cover insurance on your horse, payable to you
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies


            All the leases I have had to sign (as the person leasing the horse, not the owner) have included a "hold harmless" clause where I have basically had to agree to hold the owner harmless for any damage that may occur involving the horse to myself, other people or property. That leaves all the liability in my court but my homeowner's insurance covers me for damages the horse may cause to other people or property.


              Original Poster

              Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
              1. Have a contract
              2. Have them cover insurance on your horse, payable to you
              I updated my post. I would have a contract and I have insurance. I'm more worried in case something happens to the rider because my horse spooks/etc and they fall off and hurt themselves. Even with contracts, people still sue.


                Are you a USEF member? If so, you can get personal excess and ADD liability from Equisure through the USEF. It's very reasonably priced, I believe $35 a year. Even if you're not a member, maybe it's worth looking into something similar for your peace of mind?

                Here's some info on that:
                Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm:


                  I've leased 4 or 5 different horses and we have always, always had a contract. Granted I've never had a problem or issue with the owner of the horse, I would include your concerns in the contract. Something like, "I am not liable for injury occurred while the lessee is riding or around Mr. Ed". Section 4 of this PDF states liability very clearly: http://

                  Hope this helps!


                    You might try contacting Julie Freshtman. She is an attorney with extensive experience specifically in equine law. I used her to draw up some contracts for me and found her advice very valuable and reasonable. Better a few bucks spent to protect yourself properly than discover the high const of not doing so.


                      When I leased a horse out, I did have liability coverage. I was covered by that policy because it was a free lease situation and I received no money. If you are leasing for a lease fee for you would need a different kind of policy.

                      I used EMO. I would suggest contacting them. They were very helpful
                      Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                      Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.


                        Talk to your insurance agent. There is a horse owner's liability policy that you can buy that is generally very reasonably priced. In fact, this insurance is something that just about any horse owner should consider having, as even if you don't lease your horse out you could be held liable should your horse ever accidentally injure anyone in any circumstances.


                          Nothing prevents someone from filing a suit.
                          A good contract helps you defend yourself.
                          So does making sure, to the very best of your ability (or with assistance from an experienced professional) that you match your horse with a suitable rider.
                          Patience pays.