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anyone heard of a horse liability waiver in a boarding contract?

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  • anyone heard of a horse liability waiver in a boarding contract?

    One place I am looking at had one that "they wrote themselves" which basically says that I am responsible for making sure my horse doesn't get hurt on their property by checking fences etc etc and also if he gets away from anyone leading him (including the BO's) and gets hurt that the BO is not liable even if it is their negligence because I am suppose to assume all responsibility for reporting and checking property and/or allowing anyone to handle my horse. Long, bad sentence- BUT has anyone seen anything like this? Sounds a little hinky to me, but I thought I'd check with the great minds on this board.

  • #2
    I have never seen one that specifically mentioned things like having to check fences etc ... but I have seen quite a few that included language holding the management harmless even in the event of negligence. The last one that I saw was written by the BO's husband, who was a non-horsey corporate attorney and as you can imagine, it was quite one-sided.

    But the bottom line is that facility owners can include whatever they want in their contracts. And they are not usually terribly negotiable.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Zipsmom View Post
      One place I am looking at had one that "they wrote themselves" which basically says that I am responsible for making sure my horse doesn't get hurt on their property by checking fences etc etc and also if he gets away from anyone leading him (including the BO's) and gets hurt that the BO is not liable even if it is their negligence because I am suppose to assume all responsibility for reporting and checking property and/or allowing anyone to handle my horse. Long, bad sentence- BUT has anyone seen anything like this? Sounds a little hinky to me, but I thought I'd check with the great minds on this board.
      Does sound like they wrote it themselves, but yes, most contracts hold the BO harmless even if negligent and a lot hold harmless even if it is gross negligence. It's up to you to sign or not.

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      • #4
        A BO can put anything he or she wants in a contract, but that doesn't mean it will hold up in a legal disagreement. As a BO, I do get a standard release from my boarders and anyone else they may bring to the farm. However, the last thing I want is to make my boarders responsible for things like fencing, gates, etc. That would be a real nightmare practically speaking....I can see my boarders now roaming the fields and making repairs as they deem fit. I don't think I can transfer my responsibilities as a property owner in any case.

        I would assume that this barn doesn't carry commercial general liability insurance or care, custody and control coverage. They probably think it is cheaper to be uninsured ("naked" as we call it in the industry) and transfer risk to the boarders. If they can't afford insurance, then they really shouldn't be in business.
        Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
        http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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        • #5
          yep...we had to sign a waver. The property owner is a Lawyer. Nuf said. As a boarder we can not sue them for anything...but there isn't anything in the contract that says they can not sue you!

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          • #6
            we had to sign a waver.
            Out of curiousity--did they hold a gun to your head? Otherwise, you didn't have to sign anything, you chose to.
            As a boarder we can not sue them for anything...
            Have you consulted an attorney about this statement because I think you may be wrong about that. It's my understanding that you cannot legally require anyone to sign away their right to persue legal action (especially if the BO's negligence comes into play).... I'm not a lawyer but that doesn't sound right. They may be buffaloing you because you think they know more than you do but I would definitely contact a lawyer about the waiver so you know where you really stand legally. There may come a day when you will need to know the true answer to that question.

            To Zipsmom--it is clear this BO is trying to reap all the benefits without having any of the responsibility and, quite frankly, I would not board at this place! The reason for boarding is so your horse is taken care of when you're not there and it doesn't sound as if this BO is in the slightest bit interested in your horse. Keep looking!

            Just because someone says they won't be responsible doesn't mean they cannot or will not be held responsible by the legal system if they are sued, especially if their negligence caused the situation.

            You should have some kind of liability insurance in place though if someone else is handling your horse. My regular home owner's policy would have reimbursed an equine care giver for medical expenses up to $5,000. had any such problems occurred, and this is when we boarded on someone else's property. We have since gotten an umbrella policy so I'm not sure exactly how much, or if, that amount increased (since I no longer have my horse) but this policy is to cover us for one million dollars in case someone comes onto our single dwelling property and hurts his/her self. We have an elderly neighbor who cannot stay off our property!

            Also, if your horse gets loose and runs across a golf course or someone's beautifully manicured lawn there could be heck to pay (ask me how I know ). Or if the horse runs into traffic and causes an accident. Insurance should pay for those damages.

            My sister-in-law had a small pony when they lived on Cape Cod who got loose and caused an accident; pony was arrested and taken into custody.....

            Even if it's not required by the place where you board you should have some kind of liability insurance--talk to an insurance agent. You'll be glad you did!
            Last edited by Cherry; Apr. 9, 2010, 08:26 PM.
            "None of us can move forward if half of us are being held back." ~Anonymous~

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