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Where in my boarding contract can I find...

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  • Where in my boarding contract can I find...

    Who is liable if BO gets hurt while handling one of my horses?

    A little bit of back story.

    The woman who owns the property where I board my horses is very nice, and I think that her intentions are good, how ever she drinks the NH kool-aid (This is NOT about that, really, and I don't want it this thread to turn into a NH train wreck... please!) I could care less how she handles her own horses, and for the most part all three are very well behaved. However she is a bit nervous around Willow. I understand that, and have tried to make a point to be around to bring her in/out and feed. We live 4 miles away, so it's easy.

    I was talking to her the other night, and the BO mentioned that she was doing some of her NH stuff with Willow the mornings that I couldn't be there. Working with her 15/20 minutes before she turned her out. I politely mentioned that she wasn't so good with that kind of stuff, and if she was nervous I would make an effort to be out there every morning to put her out. I really don't mind. She's really not bad, just a little bit high headed and snorty, but I understand that she can make people nervous. BO insisted that she was fine, not nervous around her. She seemed to think that it was helping... but I can tell that it's not so much. Willow doesn't really hide her feelings.

    Not only am I a little bit miffed that she was working with my mare without any permission from me (this has happened a few times with feed changes... but all was resolved with polite conversation) but I'm worried that Willow is going to say enough is enough one morning. I don't want to be liable if BO gets hurt while handling Willow.

    I've poured over my boarding contract, but can't find anything about it, only that she is not liable should I get hurt on the property.

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    Normally, the BO is covered by her OWN insurances, both farm and major medical. I can't imagine a scenario in which she could come after you unless you withheld a major piece of information about your horse--like it had killed a groom at the last place you boarded! I wouldn't be worried about that aspect at all.

    However, if somebody started doing their interpretation of some brand of NH on my horse without permission, now THAT would make me BALLISTIC!

    The way I would handle this is to show her, actually demonstrate by doing it your way, the way Willow is USED to being handled, led, fed, etc. and convince her that she'll have the fewest problems doing things that way. Tell her that if she has problems doing it like that, you want to know immediately.


    • Original Poster

      That's what I'm hoping. Maybe I should just ask her.

      The first week that the girls were there, there were a lot of liberties taken with my horses (including a sudden farrier trip to pull hind shoes on my TB that I didn't hear about until after the fact...) but I had a long conversation with her and things seemed to be resolved, except for the whole working Wills in the morning.

      I have shown her how I go about things. When I first went to look at the farm, it was with full disclaimer that Willow could be a handful and that I was okay with it if she didn't want to deal with the mare. When they got there and got settled in, I went through everything and she seemed comfortable with the routine...then I heard about this. I am perfectly open to any technique that will help make my horses better citizens, however this is not helping and I worry that she is going to get hurt.

      I plan on having a chat with her about it, and if we cannot resolve the issues, the horses will be moved right away. If she's covered under her personal insurance, and she won't be able to come after me, than I'll sleep a LOT better.

      Thank you!


      • #4
        I think you either need to be at the barn to handle the horse yourself, or you need to find a new barn.

        It sounds to me like the BO is taking a lot of liberties with your horse that she should not be. I would find it unacceptable for a BO to be "doing some of her NH stuff" on my horse without my permission.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gainer View Post
          I think you either need to be at the barn to handle the horse yourself, or you need to find a new barn.

          It sounds to me like the BO is taking a lot of liberties with your horse that she should not be. I would find it unacceptable for a BO to be "doing some of her NH stuff" on my horse without my permission.
          Truly. I don't see a difference between this and deciding to teach her jumping or WP or to lie down and roll over without your permission. Training someone else's horse without the owner's knowledge is just totally over the line anywhere!

          Wondering if this BO has ever taken boarders before . . .


          • Original Poster

            I agree.

            I really do like the facilities, and the closeness. I can honestly say that I've never had this kind of an issue before at a barn. The woman is very nice, and has been really accommodating to us... I really don't want to slam her. I was just looking for some info as to who would be liable if the horse hurt her, esp after I warned her. I have had full disclosure with everybody I've talked to about Willow and do not gloss over anything.

            Her resume is extensive, and in talking to her it sounded like she really knew her stuff which is why I decided to put the horses there. Perhaps I should have vetted her out further, but other than this issue, we've been pretty happy there.


            • #7
              A thought, maybe the BO wouldn't come after you for damages if she were injured handling your horse, but could her insurance company do so??

              I'd have a cow, literally, if I found out someone was 'training' my horse in a way I don't care for. But, then again, I'm old-fashioned and don't believe in touching another's horse for love nor money, well, for payment money, but you get the drift. Sounds like the BO is sort of a newbie to horses??
              GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


              • #8
                I just left a barn that sounds very similar. I am very happy to be out of there. My BO took liberties with my horse that resulted in hefty vet bills. If the place you board at is causing you to lose sleep it is probably not worth it.
                Impossible is nothing.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by goneriding24 View Post
                  A thought, maybe the BO wouldn't come after you for damages if she were injured handling your horse, but could her insurance company do so??

                  I'd have a cow, literally, if I found out someone was 'training' my horse in a way I don't care for. But, then again, I'm old-fashioned and don't believe in touching another's horse for love nor money, well, for payment money, but you get the drift. Sounds like the BO is sort of a newbie to horses??
                  I honestly didn't think about that.... oh geeze.

                  I'm along the same line of thought. I understand corrections if a horse is being naughty. I have corrected others horses and had others correct mine, it's critical. I have never had anybody do anything quite this extensive though.

                  I have been fishing around for other boarding options, but to have them as close as they are here... the pickin's are... none.


                  • #10
                    I would first make sure that any reasonably competent person could handle my horse for turnout. Then I would write an e-mail or letter to the BO thanking her for her interest but clearly stating that your horses should only be led in and out and not "trained" and that if there are any difficulties she is to notify you.


                    • #11
                      I think you need to be clear with the BO that she is not allowed to do her NH training with your horse under any circumstances. If she has any issue handling your horse to please call you can you will be there to handle the horse yourself. On a side note, you get liability insurance on your horse to cover damages it might inflict on someone else's property, I believe it also covers injury to other's up to a certain dollar amount. That aside, you need to make the BO understand while you appreciate her etc that the NH training of your horse is not to happen.
                      "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."


                      • #12
                        If the BO is injured and uses her insurance to obtain treatment, the insurance company WILL go after you whether the BO wants them to or not. They may not be successful, but they will try and it can be a headache even if you don't end up out of pocket for anything.


                        • #13
                          How many times have we heard on here that NH is just good horsemanship sold to the koolaid drinkers with big expensive crap? ANYTIME someone handles a horse they are either training or untraining the horse. Why not see what she has been doing with the horse before passing judgement? It may turn out that you are both doing similar things.


                          • #14
                            I am not comfortable with others "training" my horse, especially others with questionable skills. That would really irk me.
                            APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                            • Original Poster

                              I would be totally fine with the process if it were working. However I've witnessed the work being done, and it just screams that somebody is going to get hurt.

                              I really, really am open to anything that will make myself and my horses better.


                              • #16
                                Chancellor does have a point. If the BO were pitching rocks at your horse to get her to move away from the gate it would be an unacceptable activity. If a BO has to have a CTJ with a horse they aren't comfortable handling for whatever reason, usually, USUALLY as a group we defer to the BO.

                                I think the problem here is that this is a "training method" and you'd prefer not to have it used without your consent, ie you arent' contracting with the BO for training, just for board and you've already sort of tried to discuss this by asking if the BO is not comfortable handling your horse, and of course she is (says she is) but wants to experiment or something.
                                I can't speak to your liability. There shouldn't be any to you if her business is structured correctly, but we can't tell.
                                I do have some bad feelings about the communication issues you seem to have already. You may need to move on, good luck.
                                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                Incredible Invisible


                                • Original Poster

                                  I totally understand having to have a CTJ. Horses are horses and it happens.

                                  I only prefer that the training method not be used because it is clear to me that somebody is going to get hurt in the process.

                                  Knowing that her insurance company can come after me, regardless, is making me re-start my search for a new place with a bit more vigor, in the event that we can't get this taken care of and other liberties continue to be taken without my consent.
                                  Last edited by Superminion; Mar. 27, 2013, 01:24 PM. Reason: Added more.


                                  • #18
                                    You may want to look into an equine personal liability policy, which is designed to protect you if your horses injure a third party party or damages someone's property. Technically, the barn owner is not really considered a "third party" because as a barn owner/manager she is knowingly taking on the risk of handling others' horses, but at least the policy would provide representation for you in case of a lawsuit, even if you are not responsible. Lots of companies offer them, usually under a couple hundred dollars for the year, and if you are a USEF member one of their memberships comes with the coverage, although I would check into the wording to see exactly how the coverage works.
                                    It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I will look into that, drawstraws... thank you! I'm a member of both USEF and USDF so perhaps I'll be able to get some info from them.


                                      • #20
                                        Meh, the BO is a professional at what she does and any insurance company knows that.

                                        Also, I'm a bit on the BO's side here: The person handling the horse is ultimately responsible for his/her own safety. If the BO thinks your horse needs to be handled a certain way to keep her own body intact, you have to let her.

                                        That having been said, I think you are doing right, OP. Offer to handle your own mare... to learn what the BO wants in a polite horse and offer to make your mare into that model citizen your own way... or tell her that the NH stuff might be creating a worse equine citizen. You are within your rights to tell someone else you don't want them to train your horse.

                                        If you *have* told your BO how to be safe with your horse and asked her not to open a can of worms with the NH stuff, I think your tuckus is covered with respect to liability. If you are wiggy, put that in writing. After that, the BO getting hurt is on her ledger, not yours and anyone can see your good faith efforts to keep the BO safe.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat