Do any of you take or give riding lessons at your home?

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Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2005
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If you give lessons at your house do you have the people sign something for safty/ injury? Do you use your own horses or do they bring theirs to you? If you take them at someone elses home have they made you sign something for safty/ injury purposes? I have never taken lessons at a stable/barn so I don't know if they make you sign something or not!

I'm asking because I take lessons at my home, with my horse, and the trainer comes to me. So if I get injured it's all my problem not anyone elses. But now I have a very good friend who would like to take lessons also, at my home, with my horse, with my trainer lady. I'd like to say ok but I'm worried about the legal part if she ever got hurt. Not that she would, but better safe then sorry. She has taken lessons before for years at a stable so she is horse savy but it's been a few years( and kids) ago. My horse is a great, lazy, laid back type of guy but we all know to expect the unexpected!!!!
So I'm thinking in advance and would love to see what I need to do to do this right, safe and legal before I say yes. I do have a sign posted about the equine liability law stating I'm not responsable if someone gets injured on my property. But I'd like some other info from people who do this!!!

Thank you in advance!
I would definitely have a rider release form signed by anyone that is going to ride on your property.
release forms aren't worth the paper they're written on. if somebody gets hurt on your property and decides to sue you, you're toast. at least that's what my ex-husband always told me. he was a circuit judge for 13 years so i paid attention! :DOH!

something else i thought about doing at one time, because my horses were boarded at a private farm and i wasn't there 24/7, was putting a sign on the fence, something to the effect "please do not feed fingers to the horses". ron said nope, not a good thing. by putting such a sign up, it gives the impression that you KNOW there is a danger and possibility of someone being bitten. the sign won't protect you in the event somebody is stupid enough to put their fingers in your horse's mouth and could, ultimately, be your demise should that person decide to sue.

in our society, taking the chance is just an individual thing. i don't mind giving "pony rides" on my big gelding as long as a parent is right by his side, with one hand on their child at all times. even then, i do one pass around the dry lot and that's IT.
A few years ago I was running my own riding school here on the farm, where I gave lessons to young and old, beginners and intermediate riders. (Western, Eng. Dressage) I mostly used my horses, but my boarder would use hers as well. I also had other trainers come onto my property to give me lessons as well. The trainers who came onto my property carried their own insurance. For myself and riding lessons that I would give, be it on my horse or theirs, I had coverage thru a company (I believe called Blue Bridle in NY). I had each of my students sign a release form which covered pretty much everything.

I am giving lessons to a little girl across the way on her own horse as of last year. We were riding on her property. We are now considering taking it back here on my farm, and before we have done that I have contacted my insurance company. We are zoned and listed as a horse farm, and according to "my" specific insurance coverage, I am allowed to do so. I carry liability under the horse laws here in NJ, which would cover any accidents should they occur. I also have a laminated statute that I need to post up close to the barn. That being said, there is never a "for sure" "written in stone" situation where if something happened someone may decide to sue you, there are loopholes as you may know with any law. But cover your grounds first, get with your insurance company, don't leave any stone unturned and do everything you can to protect yourself. I would begin with your insurance company....and take it from there. It can be a very fun and social thing to have people riding with you, on your property. ALways first and foremost cover yourself so that you don't have any doubts and can enjoy your horses, friends and riding to the max! Good luck! (I am speaking from experience from here in the state of NJ....different states may have different laws, so best to be sure and find out all you can before hand.)
I took lessons at a couple different farms for a few years on my own horse. Any riding lessons always required a signed "release" before lessons (or for that matter just riding on their property was allowed). It may not be a guarantee that you couldn't be sued, or found liable for injury, but why risk it? Get a good one from an established facility and keep signed copies on file. Better safe than sorry. Also a lot of states have a law that owners/operators of an equine facility cannot be held liable for injury (or words to that affect). I understand that doesn't guarantee that there would never be a lawsuit filed but you should check State Statute where you are and find out about it.

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