Equine Liability


A recent claim arose when a horse trainer on the insured’s farm was injured when she fell off her horse. A landowner in such a situation may be very
concerned about any responsibility or liability to the injured party. Do Your Equine Activities Create Immunity?
Many states provide some immunity from liability for those engaging in
“equine activities”.

Equine activities could include:

(a) Equine shows, fairs, competitions, performances or parades that involve
any or all breeds of equines and any of the equine disciplines.
(b) Equine training or teaching activities or both.
(c) Boarding equines.
(d) Riding, inspecting or evaluating an equine belonging to another.
(e) Rides, trips, hunts or other equine activities of any type.
(f ) Placing or replacing horseshoes on an equine.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by your immunity. Remember, immunity doesn’t mean you can’t be sued or that someone can’t try to recover damages from you.

Many states have exceptions to this immunity, such as:
1. Providing faulty tack or equipment.
2. Improperly matching horse and rider.
3. Failing to determine the rider’s ability to safely manage the horse.
4. Failing to post conspicuous warning signs on land or facilities you own, lease or use.
5. Acts or conditions considered intentional wrongdoing or “gross
negligence”. Equine activity sponsors or equine professionals may also be required to post warning signs with specific wording. Failing to comply with signage requirements may result in loss of the immunity protection which may be afforded by statute.