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"I'm afraid of owning a horse 'cause I might get sued?"

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  • "I'm afraid of owning a horse 'cause I might get sued?"

    Trying to talk my mom into buying me a horse and putting it in training with me. I own the property. I own a training business. She does not ride, I would. She probably would not want to be involved any way other than owning the horse and paying the bills. She knows nothing about the horse business, and horse ownership to her sounds scary. She thinks that horse ownership = lawsuit = lose everything she has.

    She brought the following things up to me and I didn't have a good answer because I have never heard of it happening: What if horse gets loose, runs off property, causes car accident on road, people die and/or get hurt, would she be liable? (Nevermind that my entire property is fenced and I have never once had a horse get loose and run off the property!)

    What if horse goes to a show and kicks someone in the head and maims them, would she be liable? Of course I would have her insure the horse, I've insured many horses for major medical/mortality, but does this type of horse insurance insure others from horse causing an accident? I've never asked. I will of course call my agent and ask, but I just wanted to hear from COTHers to see if they have ever heard of anything like this. I can also have her form an LLC to own the horse, but she still thinks it would be risky.

    If my property is insured (which it is) and "her" horse hurts someone on my property, would she be liable? If she is a totally uninvolved owner and leaves everything to me, the trainer, including all care and control, would she be liable?

    I know I can ask a lawyer all this, I'm not soliciting advice I just want to get a general idea from other COTHers if they have ever heard of this type of thing happening. (As in an uninvolved owner being sued for a horse doing a crazy thing, which we all know crazy things happen I've just never heard of the owner being sued.)

    And of course my ultimate goal is to talk my mom into buying a nice horse that I can ride! (And possibly sell, make her money back and do again.) Any other ideas let me know!
    ******
    "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
    -H.M.E.

  • #2
    Equine liability insurance is very reasonably priced . I can't remeber exactly what mine is but I think it is approx $200 a year.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Your mother is right, just by owning a horse she is liable for anything that happens, just as it is when she gets behind the wheel.
      There is risk to most any and all we do.

      Anyone can sue you for anything, insurance will only help you so much, but if it gets to a lawsuit, it will be up to the judge and/or jury to decide what happened and who is liable for what.

      Your mother has a good point and if she is not happy with the risk of owning a horse, that causes her anxiety, why not let her be horseless?

      Even if you talk her into owning a horse, I doubt that she will be very happy about it and, honestly, no one today really needs to own a horse, that is a risk she doesn't need to take.
      We do need to drive, that is a risk we can't avoid.

      Sorry, can't help you, your mother is the one that is right here, her risk assessment is right on ... for her and I would respect that.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm guessing your Mom wants nothing to do with the horse business. Nor possibly your business either. Why she she take ANY risk at all for something she has ZERO interest in? So you can potentially profit? And she can foot the bills?

        If you want money, then ask her. But trying to push her into a situation she (obviously) feels uncomfortable about is not very nice.

        Be a good daughter and leave your Mother alone. This type of situation NEVER works out. Not in horses, nor any other business. Seriously, she is just trying to get you to drop this and has raised some very good points.

        SCFarm
        The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

        www.southern-cross-farm.com

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        • #5
          I agree she is looking for a way out, but that doesn't mean she is not 100% correct. A liability policy as pointed out would remedy that rather inexpensively.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Horseymama View Post
            She probably would not want to be involved any way other than owning the horse and paying the bills.
            And it sounds as if she really doesn't want to do this either, since you spend the rest of your post explaining that she doesn't, and why.

            Liz

            Comment


            • #7
              If I was your mom, i don't think I would want to be buying a horse either!

              Liability insurance ... major medical insurance... cover some things, but not everything. You can max out a policy, or your insurer can find a loop hole as to why you weren't covered.

              Horses ARE a big liability to your pocket, that is for sure!

              I don't know, I think its pretty hard to make a profit on a horse. I don't know why someone would get into the biz if they didn't have a love for the animal.

              What if horse gets loose, runs off property, causes car accident on road, people die and/or get hurt, would she be liable? YES

              What if horse goes to a show and kicks someone in the head and maims them, would she be liable? YES (and no, your medical / mortality would not cover this, you would need liability insurance).

              If my property is insured (which it is) and "her" horse hurts someone on my property, would she be liable? YES


              And think of it this way. Insurance companies are ALWAYS looking for someone else to pay. Your insurance would look to her as the horse owner. A show ground's insurance would look to her as the horse owner, etc etc.
              APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes (with possible exception of open range areas of the western states where livestock can/do run loose...usually cattle but some horses/sheep/goats/llamas....and a driver is responsible if they hit/injure/kill)...and yes, it does happen.

                Yes...you would need liability insurance...how much and what exactly could be covered or not may depend on your state and if it has an equine limited liability law in place or not.

                Yes....same answer as above...check your state law and have liability insurance in place.


                All that said....I've been in horses for over 30 years, mostly with breeding (which means stallions around which give insurance companies a good excuse for almost any refusal they can think of) and had only two people sue me....neither over injuries. One was a gal that just didn't want to finish paying for the horse she bought and went to small claims stating that the horse was starved and couldn't be handled...unfortunately for her she'd shown him three weeks after getting him and won her class at the local fairgrounds...and I had the show record. The second was a long story of a con artist that did everything, and then some, possible to not pay for horse, breeding, and some other goodies and tried to steal a second breeding....I countersued and it was a wash (fine with me). I have however seen some big legal wrecks.

                I agree that it sounds like your mom just really doesn't want to be involved. Maybe you could find an investor, a business partner etc that would be interested....if you have a good business plan and some experience/expertice and have a track record of being able to make money with a horse you might find someone.
                Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
                Northern NV

                Comment


                • #9
                  Why don't you just ask to borrow some money from her to buy a nice horse?
                  Jigga:
                  Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh man.

                    Technically, jo mamma is right.

                    But really? That sounds like a many syllables for No.

                    I also think doing business with family members is tough at best.

                    Doing *horse business* with them can't really be called "business" in the sense of "We probably will make money" sense of the word.

                    If the woman is dragging her feet, take note. Besides perhaps messing up your relationship because the horse deal didn't put her in the black, can you imagine how bad it would be if the unforeseeable happened and she was sued? That would suck, and take a great sense of humor to get over.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Horseymama View Post
                      Trying to talk my mom into buying me a horse and putting it in training with me. I own the property. I own a training business. She does not ride, I would. She probably would not want to be involved any way other than owning the horse and paying the bills. She knows nothing about the horse business, and horse ownership to her sounds scary. She thinks that horse ownership = lawsuit = lose everything she has.

                      !
                      Good grief!!! Read what you wrote.
                      "Trying to talk her into buying ME a horse. She probably wouldn't want to be involved other than owning the horse and paying the bills."
                      Poor woman....why don't you just leave Mama alone.
                      Buy your own horse and pay your own bills.
                      I guess you want her to pay you to train it, too?
                      You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Horseymama View Post
                        ...What if horse gets loose, runs off property, causes car accident on road, people die and/or get hurt, would she be liable?

                        ....What if horse goes to a show and kicks someone in the head and maims them, would she be liable?


                        Are you buying a horse or an axe murderer?

                        Reed

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So what benefit would she get out of it? I'm with those who say she's probably just trying to say 'no' nicely.

                          But yes, as others have said she would be liable if her horse injured someone, even if she had never even seen the animal.
                          exploring the relationship between horse and human

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                            Are you buying a horse or an axe murderer?

                            Reed



                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just an FYI here--depending on the circumstances, the horse could theoretically be covered on a homeowner's or umbrella liability policy. Yes, even if the horse is boarded and therefore doesn't live with the owner/at the homeowner's address. As long as it is used for non-commercial purposes, it may be considered a pet and that means it's covered by homeowner's. I asked my State Farm agent this very question once when my BO started turning out my horse with a pony owned by total horse novices (the sort of people who did stupid dangerous crap and were so new to horses that they didn't even realize it was stupid dangerous crap). The analogy given was that if the horse got loose from the boarding barn and got hit by a car, that would be no different than a dog running away from home and biting someone while it was gone. It would still be covered under homeowner's insurance and/or umbrella liability.

                              But for the record, I am with the others. It sounds like your mother doesn't care to be involved, and I don't know why you'd expect her to be involved if she's not an enthusiastic partner. Even if you got her to say yes now, you'd have problems down the road. She would object to something you did with the horse and there would be issues.
                              Last edited by jn4jenny; Dec. 10, 2010, 09:05 PM.
                              Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I read the first paragraph and thought to myself that this had to be a teenager vent.
                                you may want to sit down and thoroughly rethink what you are trying to pass off to your mom.
                                www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                chaque pas est fait ensemble

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Pardon my asking, but how old are you? Because this sounds totally like 'my mommy won't buy ME a horse and I'm a trainer and everything'. I'm hoping that's not the case but really. Mom doesn't want to buy you a horse, so she can foot the bills and you can play.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Traum View Post
                                    Pardon my asking, but how old are you? Because this sounds totally like 'my mommy won't buy ME a horse and I'm a trainer and everything'. I'm hoping that's not the case but really. Mom doesn't want to buy you a horse, so she can foot the bills and you can play.
                                    older than you think, and tend to agree with you . if ones surposed to own a trianing business and yard then one should know already

                                    mate - if your mum doesnt want to buy you a neddy then get out there and prove your worth in your bisness
                                    as sounds like you want want want but dont dont dont deliver and mums got p'd off

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Ah well I was actually looking for ideas and support, instead of criticism. Thank you 4njenny4 and the other nice people. I am 43, own my own training business, have for years, mostly do young horses, and I feel I have been pretty successful. We have a nice farm, house, family, etc, but of course as many trainers/riders do, dream of having a "great" horse. I don't have the money for one. Many families have fun playing with the horses together, many parents of grown children buy horses for them, own horses for them, and have fun doing it. It's not like it is some strange idea! I know that I would/will support my son's passion to the best of my ability whatever it may be and have fun with it, too! I don't think it sounds that horrible or one-sided. If it were the reverse situation and she had a passion and wanted some help or support, I would do the same for her!

                                      Maybe some of you are right and she just doesn't want to, maybe I would be asking for problems down the road. When I asked her, she came up with the "lawsuit" thing. I will ask her straight up. She and I can talk. I haven't asked her to buy a horse for me since I was a teenager!

                                      I did talk to my insurance agent, and as others said too, you can add a policy called a "personal liability" to the major medical/mortality policy, which doesn't cost much more and protects owner from all lawsuits so that answers that.

                                      Oh well. I didn't think the question warranted the jaded responses I got. It's ok, I know what I'm in for on COTH!
                                      ******
                                      "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
                                      -H.M.E.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If your 43, doing well, have your own place, why can't you save up and get that dream horse on your own dime? You say your business is doing well. Course, that is how my own parents did it with me, when I starting asking for a real life pony like Tom Mix and Dale Evans, my parents said if I wanted one bad enough I would do what it takes to earn it, and sure enough, I did.
                                        "Promise me you'll always remember: your braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." By Christopher Robins to Pooh

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