Main Menu Back to Page
{ Banner Image }

What is Equine Law?

There really is no set definition.  Basically, it can be defined as the practice of law that involves all types of horses, horse-related activities, horse businesses, horse organizations, and horse facilities.  Many attorneys with equine law practices serve horse owners or professionals by, for example, preparing or reviewing equine-related contracts.  Others handle disputes and litigation arising from an equine transaction.  Some attorneys work exclusively on tax or immigration issues unique to the equine industry.

For those who seek high-caliber legal counsel for their equine-related legal matters, sometimes it can be beneficial to retain a lawyer with extensive Equine Law experience.  Lawyers with this expertise stand a better chance of being familiar with the equine-related issues for which you seek legal assistance.  Or, they have the ability to refer to other lawyers having the right expertise.

Since equine matters sometimes arise on an emergency basis, Equine Law practitioners can be well situated to help with prompt decision-making.  For example:

  • A boarding stable client might have a boarded horse, on which state law usually gives the stable a lien, but the owner may be trying to haul it away;
  • A trainer could be faced with a sick horse whose owner cannot be reached to consent to necessary surgery; or
  • An equine professional may wonder what specific measures are necessary in order to comply with an equine liability law in his state or in other states where he does business.

Often, an experienced Equine Law practitioner will know the applicable law and can quickly provide prompt assistance in these and other demanding situations.

Like many lawyers having special expertise, Equine Law practitioners sometimes charge  a somewhat higher hourly rate than a general practitioner.  But the lawyers' expertise still can translate into cost savings.  That is, lawyers who lack the expertise require time to research the law and learn basic horse-related terminology.  Clients typically pay lawyers to learn.  By comparison, the experienced Equine Law practitioner may have worked on similar matters in the past.  He or she is often able to spot the issues quickly and take less time to get the job done.

Categories: Contracts, Insurance, Liability, Sales/Disputes

Photo of Julie I. Fershtman

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 and, and

View All Posts by Author ›

Type the following characters: five, foxtrot, six, romeo, tango, six

* Indicates a required field.

Subscribe to RSS»
Get Updates By Email:

Our Equine law blog (and its author) in the news!

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.

Julie Fershtman’s Recent and Upcoming Equine Law Speaking Engagements Include:

National Conference on Equine Law in Louisville, Kentucky on April 29, 2020. Topic will be on Waivers/Releases of Liability Involving Minor Participants. 

U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado on December 10, 2019. Topic will be on Equine Liability. 

IRMI Emmett J. Vaughan Agribusiness Conference (“AgriCon”) in Sacramento, CA (April 2019), and Richmond, VA (June 2019) and in Des Moines, IA (September 2019), on topics of “Equine Activity Liability Acts” and “Equine Mortality Insurance Disputes.”

National Conference on Equine Law in May 2019 in Lexington, KY, on the topic of “Equine Activity Liability Act Updates” and liabilities involving hosting of equine clinics. 

Agricultural Claims Conference in Kansas City, MO, in March 2019 on topics of “Loose Livestock Liabilities.”

2018 American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, on “Equine Mortality Coverage and Disputes.”

November 2018, American Horse Council webinar on “Equine Liability.”

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 

What our Equine Law Services can Provide

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. 


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.

Follow Us on Twitter!

Follow us for updates regarding news, cases, disputes, and issues regarding Equine Law. @horselawyers