Equine Law Blog

Subscribe to RSS

Get updates by email

Blog Contributors


Foster Swift: Equine Law

Honors & Recognitions

Congratulations, Julie! We're proud to share that Julie Fershtman has received two prestigious awards.

On April 13, 2013, she received the American Youth Horse Council's 2013 "Distinguished Service" Award. As the award itself states, she received it "[i]n recognition of years of dedicated service to the American Youth Horse Council and tireless efforts to touch the lives of youth involved with horses." For more information about the American Youth Horse Council, please visit www.ayhc.com/.

On May 7, 2013, Julie received the 2013 "Industry Award" from the Michigan Equine Partnership for her work over the years supporting legislation to promote and protect the Michigan equine industry. For more information about the Michigan Equine Partnership, please visit www.miequine.com/.

RECENT EQUINE LAW COURTROOM VICTORY

We're pleased to share that Julie just won a case in Michigan where she defended a boarding and training stable that was sued by a visitor who was injured in the barn aisle. Julie cautions that this case might have been avoided altogether if the stable required every visitor to sign its waiver/release of liability. (Julie, interestingly, drafted that stable's release document years ago but the stable only presented it to customers.) Make sure that your release is well-worded and complies with the laws of your state.

Other Articles

"The Seller's Contract Includes an "As Is" Disclaimer – Now What?" - Desert Mirage Magazine, August 2013

"What Mare Owners Should Look for in a Typical Horse-Breeding Contracts." - America's Horse Daily, September 14, 2012

Should Exculpatory Agreements Relieve Liabilities Founded on an Equine Activity Liability Act? American Bar Association - TIPS Animal Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2012

Win Equine law Books!

We're always on the lookout for good article and update ideas for the Equine Law Blog. Please share yours! We'll give the sender of best tip of the month a free copy of Julie Fershtman's books, EQUINE LAW & HORSE SENSE and MORE EQUINE LAW & HORSE SENSE. Click here to send your ideas. [For more info on these and other publications written by Julie Fershtman, please visit www.equinelaw.net and www.equinelaw.info or call her directly at (248) 785-4731.]

Large Step Forward for the Horse Industry

We applaud the American Horse Council (www.horsecouncil.org) for its national marketing initiative for the horse industry. The AHC joined together ten national associations and large corporate industry stakeholders to make this happen. We await its marketing plan, which will propose ways to help people become more interested in horses and equine activities, either as participants or spectators.

THE NATION'S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER EQUINE LAW SPEAKER

Did you know Julie Fershtman has spoken at the American Horse Council Annual Meeting, Equine Affaire, Midwest Horse Fair, Equitana USA, US Dressage Federation Annual Meeting, North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International) Annual Meeting, American Morgan Horse Association Annual Meeting, American Paint Horse Association Annual Meeting, US Pony Clubs, Inc.'s Annual Meeting, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, American Youth Horse Council Annual Meeting, American Riding Instructors Association Annual Meeting, CHA Annual Meeting, and numerous others? Consider signing her up for your convention. Contact Julie.

Showing 28 posts in Boarding.

Children, Horses, and Liability: The Law Might Surprise You

  • A boarder brings her curious and rambunctious 4 year-old son, Henry, to the stable, but he slips away when she enters the tack room, despite her command to stay put, and wanders over to a nearby stall. He opens the stall door, allowing a yearling inside to run loose. The yearling gallops into the road, collides with a car, and motorists are injured. They sue the stable.
  • Before Sarah, 15 years old, takes a riding lesson, the instructor requires her parent to sign a liability release. Minutes later, Sarah falls off during the lesson and is injured. She sues the instructor.

Misunderstandings and myths abound when it comes to liabilities involving children. Make sure to separate fact from fiction.  Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Insurance, Liability

Nickels Here, Dimes There – Should Your Boarding Stable Impose Side Charges?

For boarding stables, making a profit can be very difficult. Stables face increasing costs each year such as the cost of hay and employment expenses. Raising rates can be especially difficult, but some stable managers have found ways to avoid increasing their standard boarding fees. How do they do it? They require their boarders to pay extra for specific services or amenities. Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

Stable Rules: What’s On Your Wall?

Boarding, lesson, and training stables have one thing in common – they all have clients and visitors on the property. For the general safety of the facility, stable managers sometimes develop and post stable rules that everyone should follow

Benefits of Stable Rules

The greatest benefit of stable rules is that they promote safety and cleanliness. Stables have every reason to expect each person who enters the facility to follow them as a condition for being allowed on the property. Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

Collecting Past-Due Board Without The Song And Dance

Boarding stable owners sometimes feel pressured by ever-increasing costs of hay, shavings, and feed, while their clients resist rate increases and sometimes fail to pay. What can a stable do? Many stable owners believe that non-paying boarders are a reality of the business, but boarding contracts can help the stable in these situations. For example:

  • The contract can allow the stable the option of raising rates by giving each customer notice of an upcoming raise, such as thirty days or more. The contract can also allow boarders the option of giving the stable notice of termination within that time so that a boarder unhappy with the increase can plan to move out before it takes effect.

Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

Julie Fershtman Scores Another Equine Law Victory

Julie Fershtman, a shareholder at Foster Swift, secured summary judgment in favor of her client, an equine boarding and riding stable, on April 2, 2014.

The plaintiff accompanied his granddaughter to her riding lesson at a private stable and watched her ride from the observation room. When the lesson ended, he entered the barn aisle to ask the riding instructor questions about saddles. The plaintiff claimed that while standing in the barn aisle, with his back to the aisle, an unknown person led a horse too close behind him that brushed against his back, causing him to lose his balance and fall down. He claimed that he sustained significant injuries as a result. Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Liability

Is a Horse Really "Abandoned"?

When a horse facility takes in a horse for care and keeping, but the horse's owner fails to pay boarding fees and is nowhere to be found, is the horse "abandoned"? Surprisingly, many stables simply draw their own conclusions and then take drastic action, such as give away horses, lease them out, use them in lessons, or sell them off. Is that legal? Probably not. Read More ›

Categories: Boarding

“Free Leases” Are Not Free

In these challenging financial times, more and more horse owners have entered into arrangements they call “free leases.” No legal dictionary, to our knowledge, recognizes the term “free lease,” but in the horse industry it has come to mean a horse that is leased to another with no lease payment to the owner (the lessor) as long as the lessee provides the horse care and attention.

In our experience, lessors (horse owners) usually enter into these arrangements to avoid costly horse care. In an effort to save money, lessors rarely insist on contracts. Not surprisingly, disputes arise. For example: Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

Should a Boarding Contract Stipulate to a Horse’s Value?

Some boarding contracts specify that the boarded horse has a stated value. For example, the contract might state: “The parties agree that the horse boarded under this agreement is worth $15,000.” Is this a good idea? ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

Can the Government be Held Responsible for a Breeding Farm’s CEM Outbreak?

A few years ago, some valuable breeding stallions contracted Contagious Equine Metritis (“CEM”), an equine venereal disease, while boarded at a breeding farm in Kentucky. The stallion owners sued the breeding farm, alleging that it was negligent in allowing the CEM to spread to their stallions from an incoming stallion, who had been brought to the farm from a Wisconsin quarantine facility where it contracted the CEM. [CEM is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), in part through its importation guidelines for horses that arrive from foreign countries and are quarantined. These guidelines also prohibit horses with CEM from being imported into the United States.] Read more about the case ›

Categories: Boarding, Breeding, Liability, Regulatory

Should the Boarding Stable Require Owners to Disclose Behavioral Problems?

In January 2013, I was the speaker at a national teleconference on Equine Law and also spoke at continuing legal education programs on Equine Law for the Washington State Bar Association and New York State Bar Association.  Attendees raised several questions, and some of them are shared on this blog.

Question:

Should the boarding stable specifically ask the owner to disclose a horse’s known “aggressive behavior” (which may, of course, be manifested in biting and kicking)? Read More ›

Categories: Boarding