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Legal Aspects of an Exercise Rider Business

In an effort to spend time with horses, while also raising cash, some people in the horse industry develop small businesses. We have received calls from people interested in establishing an exercise riding business where they visit people’s stables, saddle up designated horses, and work the horses on tracks, trails, arenas, or fields. In many instances, exercise riders work alone and must groom and saddle each horse. Very often, the exercise rider receives little information about the horses they’re asked to work. If you are considering an exercise riding business, here are a few suggestions:

Contracts

Carefully written contracts can explain details of the exercise rider’s work and can help prevent disputes. An exercise rider’s contract can include, at a minimum:

  • A description of the services to be provided
  • Dates and times when services will be provided
  • Rates and charges
  • When payment is due, and a legal interest rate on past due balances
  • Restrictions (if any) on the rider’s visit to the premises and use of the designated horses
  • Disclosures the owner makes about the horses, such as dangerous propensities (if any)
  • Release of liability (where allowed by law)
  • Authorizations, if any, for the exercise rider to seek emergency veterinary services for a horse in the owner’s absence
  • Whether the horse is insured through mortality or other insurance as well as contact information in case the professional must make an emergency notification call to the horse’s equine insurer
  • In case of emergency, people to contact as well as the owner’s preferred veterinarian

Insurance

When an exercise rider rides and handles horses belonging to others, liabilities can result. For example, if the horse becomes injured or lame, the horse owner might accuse the rider of being negligent and causing the problem. Or, the exercise rider might fall off of the horse, and the horse could run loose and injure a bystander. Exercise riders would be wise to contact a knowledgeable insurance agent about insurance such as:

  • Commercial Liability Insurance or Equine Professional Liability Insurance
  • Care, Custody, or Control Insurance
  • Medical Insurance. Exercise riders should never assume that their customers will pay their medical bills and compensate them for injuries. Discuss medical insurance and disability insurance with a knowledgeable insurance agent.

Because of the risks and liabilities involved in the work of an exercise rider, people considering this type of business should consult with a knowledgeable attorney.

Categories: Contracts, Insurance, Liability

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is considered to be one of the nation's leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 29 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www.fershtmanlaw.com and www.equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw.info.

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Julie Fershtman, author of our popular and prolific Equine Law Blog, was interviewed by the State Bar of Michigan. The interview, which called Fershtman "Lawyer-Blogger," discussed our Equine Law Blog. We truly believe that this blog is the nation's most active blog serving the equine industry on equine law topics, and we thank you for visiting it. Read more here.

Honors & Recognitions

Equine lawyer, Julie Fershtman, has received these prestigious equine industry awards from respected equine organizations:

"Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" - American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Law Section Animal Law Committee

"Distinguished Service Award" - American Youth Horse Council

"Industry Service Award" - Michigan Equine Partnership

"Catalyst Award"- Michigan Horse Council

"Outstanding Achievement Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Partner in Safety Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Associate Service Award" - United Professional Horseman's Association

"National Partnership in Safety" Award" - Certified Horsemanship Association 

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Handling breach of contract, fraud/ misrepresentation, commercial code, and other claims involving equine-related transactions including purchases/sales, leases, mare leases/foal transfers, and partnerships.

Litigating disputes in court or through alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, facilitation).

Defending equine/farm/equestrian industry professionals,  businesses, and associations in personal injury claims and lawsuits.

Drafting and negotiating contracts for boarding, training, sales, waivers/releases, leases, and numerous other equine-related transactions.

Representing and advising insurers on  coverage and policy language as well as litigation;

Advising equine industry clubs and associations regarding management, rules, bylaws, disputes, and regulations.

Representing some of the equine industry's top trainers, competitors, stables, and associations.

Counseling industry professionals, stable managers, and individual horse owners. 

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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.

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