There are kids who really love horses. Merely seeing a beautiful creature excites them; how much more exciting would riding them be? But allowing a youngster to get on a horse needs to be considered greatly, especially by the horse owner. That is because there is a liability of leasing a horse to a kid.
There is always a liability with horses, no matter what owners do in order to protect themselves. It is simply because there are things that a horse may do an owner cannot predict, like spooking and tripping, despite knowing the animal for a decade. Here are a few things that horse owners can do to protect themselves when lending or leasing their horses to others, especially to young riders:
Full Disclosure is a Must
If an owner knows that the animal has the tendency to kick, bite, spook, or the like, he must fully disclose this to the person he is allowing to ride or handle the horse. Giving the individual a complete picture about the horse's dangerous propensities will protect the owner in case the horse injures that person. If the owner fails to disclose such important information, its not only he who is in danger but the other party as well, who is oblivious to the danger.
Written Release of Liability
Even if a person signs a release, he can still bring a lawsuit against the horse owner for injuries to themselves or their child, and this must be fully understood by every horse owner. However, a written release of liability can serve as a good deterrent as well as an excellent legal defense. When the person signs a written release, he is acknowledging that there are dangers in riding and handling the horse, and that he is assuming the risk of those dangers, or on behalf of his the kid. "Assumption of risk" is a horse owner's best defense when it comes to equine legal dispute.
Considering an Insurance Coverage is Essential
Only a few owners have liability insurance on their animals, but if an owner is lending or leasing his horse, then considering insurance coverage is greatly essential. In the event that the animal damages property or injures a third party, the liability insurance provides coverage to pay claims and defense fees. But if the owner is not insured, then an individual is injured and eventually sues him, the owner will pay his legal defense, the other person's medical cost, and other losses out of his own pocket.
In summary, when an owner decides to lease or lend his horse, he should tell no lies and keep no secrets about the animals, let the lessee sign that written release of liability, and consider getting insurance coverage.