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Liability/Legal help - horse training

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  • Liability/Legal help - horse training

    So, I have a friend who has been riding a young horse for me at my farm. She is doing a GREAT job. So great, that when another acquaintance asked me who was training my horse, I told her about my friend (who I will now refer to as the trainer) and she would like the trainer to work with her young horses too. Trainer owns and boards 2 horses at a small farm. This farm has room to take in a few horses for trainer to train. In fact, the trainer has been taking clinics and lessons from a well-known clinician, and the clinician has sent a horse for her to train! The clinician is traveling too much giving clinics to train his own horse. He obviously thinks very highly of my friend's skills too. Enough to send his own horse to her. So, the trainer already has one horse at the boarding farm in for training, but she is bartering her training fees for lessons and clinic fees.

    Up to this point, everything my trainer friend is doing is among friends. But now this acquaintance of mine wants to send her a horse to train. It is an "expensive" horse. She will take money for her services and the horse will be boarded at the farm where the trainer keeps her horses and board will be paid directly to the BO. I am just a little concerned about liability. My friend does not have insurance (other than her own health insurance, but nothing related to training horses). What should she be concerned about? When she did a brief stint giving riding lessons at this boarding barn, the BO made her pay for insurance through the BO's policy (I was never completely clear on that).

    Should she ask the horse owner to insure the horse? (It may already be insured, I'm not sure. Value is probably around $20K). Does she need to get insurance for herself as a trainer? What is the liability if the horse in for training injures someone (other than the trainer) or another horse on the farm? Would the trainer be liable? Or would the BO?

    I just want to make sure my friend is covered before taking on this new job. Thanks!

  • #2
    All professional trainers should have trainer's liability insurance. This is seperate from health insurance or property insurance (inusrance on a horse or on the farm).

    Comment


    • #3
      Along with mortality and major medical you can buy additonal liability insurance on a horse.
      http://www.talloaksfarm.net ---"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts." --- Winston Churchill

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        One of the issues is that she is NOT a professional trainer. She is receiving money for it (which I suppose could be a definition of pro) but she would just be training one horse for money for a few months. I'm not sure if her compensation would make up for the cost of the insurance. I have no idea how much the insurance is.

        So, my question is, for those of you who have taken on one or two horses for training on a short term basis, did you have insurance? If so, what kind? What would be her liability if something "went wrong". Go ahead, give me worst case scenarios. But then let's do realistic scenarios.
        Last edited by avezan; Jul. 16, 2009, 09:24 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          When you start messing around with well-to-do people's expensive horses, YOU BETTER HAVE INSURANCE -- at least if you have anything to lose. Not already (at the point of this writing) mentioned is CC&C insurance, which is a separate deal from trainer's liability insurance. At the very least, the property owner will want to be protected if somebody wants to dabble in the horse business on his/her property (they could get sued too, if something goes south).

          Once you take money for something (and I suspect even the barter arrangement you mentioned qualifies), you are held to the standards of a paid bailee, which has a whole lot more hooks to hang you on than "just doing a favor for free" does.

          Comment


          • #6
            The thing about liability is that it tends to find those with the deepest pockets.

            If you're letting a "trainer" onto your property you're exposed too. You better hope she has insurance because I can promise you if she so much as breaks a nail she'll put you in the poorhouse. And I hope you have proper liability coverage too.

            Think I'm exaggerating?

            No "trainer" or "instructor" gets on my horses without medical insurance and liability insurance. I didn't work my ass off since the age of 16 to end up living in a homeless shelter.

            No insurance - no riding.

            Never ever ever make any arrangement "just between friends". Everyone should be insured, and any agreement should be put in writing, and it should include written assurance that the trainer carries insurance.

            Always always always.



            Originally posted by avezan View Post
            One of the issues is that she is NOT a professional trainer. She is receiving money for it (which I suppose could be a definition of pro) but she would just be training one horse for money for a few months. I'm not sure if her compensation would make up for the cost of the insurance. I have no idea how much the insurance is.

            So, my question is, for those of you who have taken on one or two horses for training on a short term basis, did you have insurance? If so, what kind? What would be her liability if something "went wrong". Go ahead, give me worst case scenarios. But then let's do realistic scenarios.

            Whoops. I just realized I posted this in Around the Farm (my favorite forum!), but I meant to post it in Off Course.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling

            Comment


            • #7
              Ditto JSwan....

              Oh and she should get a VERY good Training Contract legally drawn up that puts as much in writing as humanly possible. Cuz we COTHers have alllllll heard the horror stories since If it ain't written down, it don't exist.
              <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks everyone. I will recommend to her that she get the trainer's insurance. What about the horses? Should she suggest they be insured? Does anyone have a "VERY good Training Contract"? Sounds like a great idea! I'm always in favor of a contract.

                Deep pockets. Yup. I understand. Luckily (or not) the trainer does not have them, the horse owner does, though. Greys and Bays: Pretty much my sentiments exactly. What is CC&C insurance?

                Thanks again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Renae View Post
                  All professional trainers should have trainer's liability insurance. This is seperate from health insurance or property insurance (inusrance on a horse or on the farm).
                  An absolute must!
                  "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is EXCELLENT advice.

                    I am at a co-op barn where the owners (non horse people) are the ones with the deep pockets. To protect them, we have two rules 1) Everyone MUST wear a helmet every time they ride and 2) No one without instructors insurance can teach or train on property.

                    Your friend should insist that the horse be fully insured (loss of use/mortality) and should have instructors insurance. However, that will likely be expensive. We also recommend to boarders that they carry personal liability insurance for their horses.


                    Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                    The thing about liability is that it tends to find those with the deepest pockets.

                    If you're letting a "trainer" onto your property you're exposed too. You better hope she has insurance because I can promise you if she so much as breaks a nail she'll put you in the poorhouse. And I hope you have proper liability coverage too.

                    Think I'm exaggerating?

                    No "trainer" or "instructor" gets on my horses without medical insurance and liability insurance. I didn't work my ass off since the age of 16 to end up living in a homeless shelter.

                    No insurance - no riding.

                    Never ever ever make any arrangement "just between friends". Everyone should be insured, and any agreement should be put in writing, and it should include written assurance that the trainer carries insurance.

                    Always always always.
                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by avezan View Post
                      What is CC&C insurance?

                      Care, Custody, and Control. Covers horse's determination to commit suicide and you didn't prevent it because you can't predict the future and you can't be everywhere at once.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        CCC I think is care, custody and control, a term to say you are obligated and responsable for the horse in those areas, as all that is up to you to provide, but no more.
                        That is in addition to a very specific contract with all other the parties may agree to in it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by avezan View Post
                          One of the issues is that she is NOT a professional trainer. She is receiving money for it (which I suppose could be a definition of pro) but she would just be training one horse for money for a few months. I'm not sure if her compensation would make up for the cost of the insurance. I have no idea how much the insurance is.
                          Sorry, but if she's taking money, she's a pro. Period. There is no grey area with USEF on this subject. And if she's a pro, she needs personal liability insurance. Usually runs about $500-$1000/year, depending on the amount of coverage.

                          So, my question is, for those of you who have taken on one or two horses for training on a short term basis, did you have insurance? If so, what kind? What would be her liability if something "went wrong". Go ahead, give me worst case scenarios. But then let's do realistic scenarios.
                          See above.

                          Oh, and CCC insurance is only available to barn owners, not trainers. She can't get it, so shouldn't worry about it.
                          In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                          A life lived by example, done too soon.
                          www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For the OP - I think consulting EMO (or a similar agency) might be very helpful to you.

                            http://www.rideemo.com/

                            You'll want to consult your current insurer (homeowner's/farm) and coordinate coverage with EMO/or a similar agency) to ensure there are no gaps or overlaps in coverage (and to make sure you have the right type of coverage)

                            Your insurers might be able to provide a referral to a licensed attorney that is experienced in equine/ag related issues that can draft any releases or agreements you might require.

                            It is well worth the money to obtain reliable advice, documents and coverage. Because in an instant - you could lose everything.
                            Last edited by JSwan; Jul. 16, 2009, 10:28 AM. Reason: add
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ESG View Post
                              Oh, and CCC insurance is only available to barn owners, not trainers. She can't get it, so shouldn't worry about it.
                              Are you sure? When I was looking at training out of somebody else's place, I looked into CC&C (along with the other insurance that would be needed). They never told me I "couldn't get it".

                              I did not go through with the idea -- common sense butted in before I got a chance to do something really stupid with it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Anyone caring for a horse can get CCC. If you've been refused, get another vendor. Premiums will be based on # of horses and value.

                                RE: liability, it's generally called PG&L, not just trainer. Absolute must if anyone is paying you anything. Premiums frequently based on number of customers.

                                RE: horse insurance, that's the owner's responsibility. I would require it if I were the "trainer" and require a copy of the binder; if the horse is injured in your care your first call is to the vet and the second is to the insurance company.

                                RE: USEF "professional" designation. That's been modified recently, and at least in the USEA there's a $2500 threshold. Check your rule book. But that has nothing to do with liability, courts of law don't care much about USEF rules.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by avezan View Post
                                  What about the horses? Should she suggest they be insured? Does anyone have a "VERY good Training Contract"?
                                  Mortality insurance and major medical insurance on the horse is totally up to the owner. If they can easily afford to pay major vet bills out of pocket and if the prospect of the horse dieing and having to replace it would not be a financial hardship, then no, it would not make sense for them to invest their money in insurance. An owner's insurance on the horse has nothing to do with the trainer and wether or not they would be held liable if something happened to the horse while in the trainer's care.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by secretariat View Post
                                    RE: USEF "professional" designation. That's been modified recently, and at least in the USEA there's a $2500 threshold. Check your rule book. But that has nothing to do with liability, courts of law don't care much about USEF rules.
                                    Eventing is the only discipline that has attempted to change the USEF Amateur rules. In any other discipline if you make anything, in cash OR trade, from giving lessons or training you are a professional.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I've never owned a barn and I have had care, custody and control insurance. It's a must if your friend is going to be responsible for the horse on a daily basis. Even if the horse will be boarded somewhere else it might be a good idea.

                                      When I had my own training business I didn't require people to insure their horses but I did recommend it, especially if the horse was expensive.

                                      Liability insurance is also a good idea and again an absolute must if she is teaching at all. I've never trained without also giving lessons so am not sure exactly what is available for someone who just trains.

                                      When I get home and get to my main computer I'll try to remember to PM you a good training contract if you haven't gotten one already. I have a very good one that I stole from a friend.
                                      exploring the relationship between horse and human

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        We have our CCC through equisure, and we are not the BO's, so yes, you can get it. The cost varies depending on what you do (I believe that if my trainer were to do summer camps it would be an additional $500/year so we elected not to do them). It's not that expensive, and we have the BO/BM as additional insured at no additional cost.

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