How Would You Handle This?

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FurstPlaceMiniatures

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I board my two boys. I am the only boarder and I am extremely happy with everything about the place and care.

I have a friend with 2 small children. They love animals and to get them to try something new, they asked if they could ride my mini (biggest is maybe 40lbs). All was well, kids loving it, building confidence, my boy was loving it, board owner remarked over and over again how cute they were. They were coming maybe once a week?

After 5 or 6 visits my board owner asked if I could not bring them anymore because of 'liability.' He said other guests were fine, just not the kids until they could talk with their insurance. It's been a month now and no mention of the insurance talk. My mother might come out 4x a year and I have a boyfriend that will go with me about once a month, he said they are fine just not my friends. They own a big farm and know the risks of livestock.

Am I out of line to be kinda crabby? I don't want to move my horses, but a 'no guest' policy is annoying. I live alone. On the odd occasion people are around, they usually want to see the ponies. How would you handle this?
 

chandab

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I'm going to guess that it's the riding that's an issue, since kids riding is a more dangerous equine activity compared adults stopping to visit and see the horses. I could be wrong, but I'm going to guess this is why they have a problem with the kids visiting. No suggestions on how you should handle it.
 

FurstPlaceMiniatures

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The thing is though both my mother and boyfriend (experienced-ish) horse people have driven my green baby. No issues with that. Kids are only ever on a leadline. They are far from school age.

Just not sure what his deal is!
 

shorthorsemom

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If I were the only boarder and I loved the place I would stay and skip the pony rides and respect their nervousness over the liability issue.

I would not bug them about asking their insurance company. Something has made them wary and it might not have anything to do with you..

If you are pleased with them I would respect their wishes or go elsewhere.

Good boarding stables are worth their weight in gold.

You can always get a trailer, haul the minis somewhere else for visits and bring them home.

Nobody enjoys being bugged or questioned about their decisions no matter how nice the kids are, it is the persons wishes and you are at their home and it is what it is.

best wishes... don't fry me, but if I made that sort of decision and somebody kept asking me to explain or defend myself, I would invite them to look elsewhere. If they got crabby with me, I would insist they look elsewhere.

The insurance company can and will sue the owner of the property for "allowing" something to happen by invited guests. I had a friend visiting another friend and that persons dog accidently wrenched her knee. She had no choice but to sue the property owner because if not, the insurance company would not have covered her medical expenses. The insurance company actually calls all people and finds out who is liable. There is a huge difference between allowing adults to pet the ponies and let kids ride the ponies. Do they even wear helmets? If I saw a bareheaded kid sitting on a pony here I would not be happy. I do not board horses because I don't want the liability and kids are very different scenario all together than an adult boarding a horse.

best wishes.. this is my opinion... I am not frying you, please do not think I am.
 
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Ryan Johnson

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Its a hard one....................

I can understand your frustration that after 5-6 rides the owner of the property has now made it clear that he would prefer that the children do not come out. But i can understand his reasoning .....................

For many of the same reasons Shorthorsemom has mentioned. I too will not allow boarders and for many reasons. Mainly Insurance is the biggest reason. After insuring my property for the first time 2009 (no horses on the property at this stage all boarded) my insurance premium was respectable I thought it was reasonable and had no problems in paying it.

2010 Fences completed, Trees planted and boxes built for protection from the weather.

Later that year time to renew and adjust the insurance premium - Just having Horses on my property increased the insurance by nearly $2000 a year.

To insure my property for children to ride horses and be able to board them - I would have just about had to sell the property to pay the Insurance....................It was something like an extra $8000 a year.....

Hence the reason I do not board.

Good Boarding Stables are really hard to find and in Australia are becoming a thing of the past. The amount of money it costs these stables to allow boarders far out weighs the money they would make from boarders.

I think you need to give it a little time for the owners to have a think with no pressure..........

As I said its a hard situation, You really enjoy where you are, But at the same time you must take into consideration the wishes of the owners.

Hoping you can come to some kind of agreement and that all works out for you.

Just my opinion
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Ryan
 

AngC

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I can understand the "board owner" being nervous regarding liability issues.

uhhhmmm... not to be a wet rag...

What about yourself? Do you have liability coverage for this? Sure it's a friend, but when something happens, sometimes "friends" sue everyone in sight? ...just a thought.
 
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susanne

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Most likely it is not your boarding stable owners calling the shots on this issue, but their insurance company. We just finished running the insurance gauntlet, and I can tell you it isn't pretty.

We are building a house on the property we've owned for ten years. We currently live in a "tin cabin" and have our three horses on our 3.7 acres. A requirement for our construction loan is course of construction insurance. Our current homeowner's insurance company doesn't cover this, so they contract it out with anothe company. This company outright refused to cover us because of the horses. It didn't matter that they are miniatures or that our current homeowner's policy covered them, their answer was ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Thus began the run-around. Companies that would insure the horses wouldn't insure the existing mobile home or let us exclude it. Those who would insure the mobile home wouldn't accept our proximity to the forest. It took over a week and three separate independent agents to finally find a solution. We ended up with two separate policies with two separate companies to cover all of the issues...which of course means more money.

Even then, I had to swear that we don't give pony rides or let children in the corral with them. They are okay with people petting them over the fence, but that is it. They also had to approve our dogs (Pyrenees and Maltese are fortunately considered low risk), and we even had to get a rider to COVER OUR CHICKENS, even though we assured them we don't sell eggs.

The fact is, insurance companies are going to extremes these days to limit their risk, and horses are a risk many agencies refuse to cover. Boarding stables have enormous difficulty getting coverage as there is so little control over who will be boarding, how safe they are, and who they will bring with them. Your barn owners have likely gone through the song and dance to get the insurance they have now and may even have been dropped by previous companies who changed their policies or decided they disliked something about their setup.

Keep in mind that while your friends may promise to never file a claim against the owners insurance, THEIR insurance company absolutely will. Not might, but WILL. Your friends would have no choice in the matter. If the barn owners were to get hit with a claim that isn't covered by their agency, they could lose their home and everything they own.

To summarize a long post, your barn owners are not being irrational. They are doing what they must to protect their business and property.
 
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Riverrose28

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We just went through an insurance nightmare last year when the homeowners that we have had since 1976 saw we had a web site advertising horses. They dropped us like a hot potato. We had to get a policy with a different company and had to jump through hoops to get that. WWE do not board horses even though I have empty stalls and the space, it'd not going to pay me enough money to coaver the extra liability and all the county fees and the inspections would drive me nuts. I would advise you to take Shorthorse's advice.
 

FurstPlaceMiniatures

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Thanks everyone!

Everyone I've asked has said one of three things - A) he probably doesn't have ANY insurance to even cover you or B) you pay to enjoy your horses there, it's not like you're doing extreme stunts, or C) suck it up and deal. Can't find another good stable.

Kids have always worn helmets. Always been in an enclosed space.

We boarded a little when I lived with my parents. Rule was no one went in the barn without a fairly tight release created by an attorney signed, and witnessed by their 'boarder.' I've just never heard of a 'no guest' boarding policy. It's not like I being everyone under the sun there, I go 3-4x a week for 2-3 hrs, kids were coming for maybe a half hour once a week.

But then I also understand the 'dear god do t do that' that an come w boarders. My friend ran a stable. A group of people were thrown out of another farm because they refused to wear helmets. The one guy could barely ride, and had awful arena manners. Would run you over and run around like idiots. He wanted try cowboy shooting and was over the moon she had a track out back. He did not get a spot there.
 
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shorthorsemom

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Just a little insurance guy light humor here....

I went to get homeowners insurance and the guy asked if I had dogs. I said yes and he asked what breed. At the time I had a big 90 lb male Doberman. I told him a Doberman and he said "uh oh" they are on my "list".

I assured him my dog was obedience trained. I am a endorsed NADOI dog instructor. He made me bring my NADOI card and my dog to his office to meet the underwriters of the insurance.

I demonstrated that my dog knew commands and was people friendly. I got the insurance and the insurance guy asked me for a business card for the place where I was training so he could take his golden retriever there because he was so impressed with my dog.

The HILARIOUS moment was when my dog farted in this guys office. It was a deadly gas moment. The insurance guy kept saying "OH MAN" over and over again... as he had nowhere to escape in the closed office. It even made my eyes water.

His parting comment as I left was " You should be able to be sued for that stink" and we really laughed and laughed.
 

shorthorsemom

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Another story... a few years ago in Delaware some folks had a horse get out. Horse was running around and crossing roads. Horse was wearing blanket with reflectors and had several people with flashlights out on the road directing traffic to slow down.

Along comes drunk driver.. goes around waving people and hits horse and kills it. He was also injured. He sued the folks... HE WON the lawsuit. My insurance folks said it shocked them, but it also set a standard for law suits in this area. It was a new low. My insurance was raised so I could have additional coverage if my horses wandered out to the road.

Anyway, I hope you can find a decision that works for all. I don't give pony rides here and I don't board horses. I don't let people ride 4 wheelers either although they try frequently. If you let someone do an activity on your property and you are paid.. Property owner can be liable for damages. If I were that farm owner I would be taking my payment in cash.

best wishes.

PS, sorry about the helmet rant... Kids are head heavy and tend to fall like darts to the ground. Pet peeve of mine is to see "pony rides" without helmets. I had a friend put her niece on her horse for just a "sit". Kid didn't even have hold of reins, it was just a sit on pony leading ride. Her niece kicked the horse and said "giddyup". Horse freaked and took off like a shot. No reins... running with child. Niece fell off, was not hurt. It could have ended badly... It was a long time ago, but remembered forever.
 
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Ashley

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In this case I would side with the person you are boarding with. It isn't just liability of the kids riding. However, there is the risk the kids will wander off and get her in other ways and parents will sue. As an adult this usually isn't any issue. Personally, if it were me I would leave this alone and stop the riding. If you push the issue you could very well be looking for a new place to board. Riding is a huge liability and I wouldn't blame the site owner not wanting to throw the extra insurance cost in for this as it can be very expensive.
 

Jill

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I'd go with the barn rules, or move my horses. I can see where the property owner is coming from, very easily, but also understand your desires.
 

Bess Kelly

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Horses are considered an "attractive nuisance" by underwriters and therefore a huge liability.......even for those who trespass to pet the "pretty horse". YEP, liability. as others have said, if the child just happens to innocently wander to another animal or object, gets hurt.........................insurance companies do not want to have the chance of suit.

I have a farm policy, a rider for horses -- could have 3 bulls and no rider -- not horses, even minis. In my state you cannot sell raw milk BUT, can have owners share an animal that you board for them and they can get all the milk without issue. This past Spring the insurance company sent a notice with ALL farm policies that they would not cover anything resulting from such animal shares. It is just a liability issue and can cause a "non-insure" situation.

If these friends own a farm, they will understand the situation. Sadly, children won't understand.

Realize it seems so simple and innocent, trivial even but, the board farm is the person holding the liability issues.
 

MiniNHF

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when i gave riding lessons at the barn I boarded at I had to be under their insurance and pay x amount a year, which wasnt extremely expensive since we split it. But that is probably why they said not to do the riding any more because they probably have to purchase more insurance to cover that part. Driving may just fall under the insurance they have so they have no problem with that.
 

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