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Leone Equestrian Law LLC provides legal services and consultation for equestrian professionals ranging from riders and trainers to owners and show managers in the FEI disciplines on a wide variety of issues.

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Latest Thinking

Q&A: Letting Your Horse Be Used In Lessons

Q: I have the opportunity to reduce my monthly board payments by allowing my horse to be used in my barn’s lesson program. I love the idea, because I could really use the extra money, and my horse is generally extremely quiet and straightforward. However, I’m also a bit worried about the ‘what ifs.’ What if my horse is somehow injured in a lesson? Or what if someone falls off of him and gets hurt?

A: You’re asking all the right questions, as liability is definitely the biggest concern when entering into this sort of agreement. The farm owner likely has liability insurance and may also utilize a liability waiver designed to protect him or her; however, very rarely does this insurance or liability release protect the individual horse owner or boarder such as yourself. Therefore, you will want to ensure that you have taken the necessary precautions, and considered the options for protecting yourself and your horse.

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Getting Paid as an Equestrian Professional

It’s no secret; if you do not get paid for your horse training, boarding, or professional services, you will not be in business for long.

Horses are expensive to own and keep, and when clients don’t pay bills, those costs still must be paid. Whether it is an expensive horse that competes at the top shows or a more affordable mount for trail rides, when you provide services to a horse owner as a barn owner, trainer, veterinarian, farrier, or shipper, unpaid bills can mount quickly.

Fortunately, the law provides specific protections from clients who don’t pay their bills for most barn owners and veterinarians, and if your boarding, veterinary, training, or farrier service contract has a required security deposit, retainer, or ironclad payment clauses, you may not even need to read this article.

However, most professionals don’t have strong contractual agreements or stringent repayment provisions. Instead, some trainers and boarding farm owners tend to even operate leniently toward late payments, in no way penalizing the client should funds show up a month or two later than due.

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