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Equine Health Maintenance Programs at the Boarding Stable – What’s Best?

Veterinarian Giving Horse a VaccineTeenagers, when they learn to drive, are sometimes cautioned that they’re actually driving five cars at once – cars in front of them, behind them, and on either side in addition to the car in which they’re seated – and must watch all of them to protect their safety. In a roughly comparable way, those who board their horses at other peoples’ stables have every incentive to be watchful of the other horses on the property. Knowing that all the horses are current on their de-wormings and vaccinations can be just as important as making sure that your own horse stays on schedule. All it takes is one horse with a contagious illness, such as strangles, to cause disastrous problems throughout the whole barn. 

Should boarding stables impose equine health requirements for all horses on the property? Should horse owners demand this? This article discusses a few options as well as problems to consider. Which one is best? You decide.

Option: Stable Handles All Vaccination and De-Worming Arrangements

In one arrangement, boarding stable management will schedule all vaccinations, de-wormings, and sometimes even farrier attention for each boarded horse. The stable’s preferred veterinarian vaccinates all horses (such as tetanus, rabies, EEE/WEE, and West Nile) during the same visit, and horse owners are billed afterwards. These arrangements are more common with training stables as trainers develop their own individualized “program” based on their preferences and experience. 

Option: Stable’s Preferred Veterinarian Recommends Schedule, and Owners Handle Arrangements on Their Own

In other arrangements, the stable’s preferred veterinarian posts a recommended list and schedule for de-wormings and vaccinations.  Afterwards, boarders must make their own arrangements within the timeline provided. To ensure the owners’ compliance, stable management might request proof such as receipts for products purchased or veterinary arrangements the owner made.

Option: Owners Determine What’s Best and Make Own Arrangements

Some stables allow boarders total discretion to make decisions on when, how (or even if) to vaccinate and de-worm their horses.    

Take Caution

Depending on how stable health programs are administered, problems can occur. For example:

  • Insured horses. For horses insured with equine insurance, some policies require that only a licensed veterinarian or qualified person under veterinary supervision can administer injections to the horse. Consequently, if the boarding stable owner or manager (who is not a veterinarian) injects a boarded horse without sufficient veterinary oversight, coverage could potentially be denied if complications develop from those injections.
  • Billing issues. When stables arrange veterinary and farrier attention, some pass along the actual invoices so that the boarders can pay each professional directly, with shared farm call charges. Other stables pay the professionals first then bill their boarders for reimbursement. Over the years, some stables and equine professionals have been known to impose surcharges on each bill for routine veterinary attention (with surcharges that may or may not be disclosed to their customers). Boarding contracts can address the issue and specify how the boarder will be billed.

Conclusion

All parties to horse boarding arrangements can benefit greatly from contracts that explain how equine health maintenance will be handled. If these issues are important to you, insist on getting it in writing. Plan ahead and protect yourself.

This article does not constitute legal advice. When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable attorney.

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

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is considered to be one of the nation's leading attorneys in the field of equine law. She has successfully tried equine cases before juries in four states. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, four 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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Fershtman’s Book Wins National Award

Julie Fershtman’s latest book, Equine Law and Horse Sense, won its fourth national award on May 31, 2021. It was selected to receive a "Finalist" Medal in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. 

The 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards are presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group (www.IBPPG.com), which is the largest International awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. Here’s a link for the complete list of 2021 winners and finalists: https://www.indiebookawards.com/winners.php?year=2021 

Fershtman’s Book Receives Award

Julie Fershtman’s book, Equine Law & Horse Sense, published by the American Bar Association, has been selected to receive a 2020 NYC Big Book Award in the category of “Reference” books.

The NYC Big Book Awards draws nominations world-wide. This is the third award for Fershtman’s book since its publication last year. Here is a link for more information, and to see the list of winners: https://www.nycbigbookaward.com/2020winners

Information on the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/164105493X/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0

Fershtman’s Book Receives Award

Julie Fershtman’s book, Equine La & Horse Sense, published by the American Bar Association, has been selected to receive a 2020 NYC Big Book Award in the category of “Reference” books.

The NYC Big Book Awards draws nominations world-wide. This is the third award for Fershtman’s book since its publication last year. Here is a link for more information, and to see the list of winners: https://www.nycbigbookaward.com/2020winners

Information on the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/164105493X/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0

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. 

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.

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