I'm having a neighbour come over and back my horse for the first time.  My husband is worried about the legal ramifications if our neighbour falls off and gets hurt.  Should I have him sign a waiver or what should I do?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated !!

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Hi,
I think your husband is right and I suggest that you ask a professional, such as your insurance company or a lawyer.
Ciao
Bernd
Hi, Wendy:

Waivers can be and have been successfully challenged in Canadian courts. My advice to you is to use a professional, and sign a contract. The situation in Canada is a little different from the States, particularly in that most people have provincial health care, and those institutions are less likely to start lawsuits in this type of situation than are the private health care providers in the US.

However, I think you're opening the door to the possibility of tremendous liability. Additionally, why would you use a neighbour instead of a professional. Would you use a neighbour to train your children?
Actually my neighbour may not be a "professional" but he has trained thoroughbreds for years, I have seen how he has communicated with my horse and have a great deal of faith in him, so no worries in that regard. Unfortunately, not everyone has the financial resources necessary to hire professionals and we sometimes have to work with what we can afford. Thanks for your input.
Yayyy to great neighbours !!
Wendy, I would like to offer some information on this.. First, I must tell you that I am NOT a lawyer... but I am an insurance broker and we deal with this type of question regularily.

I think we all agree that you do have a liabiity exposure that arises from the fact that you (a) own a horse and (b) let someone else ride the horse.

Having them sign an acknowledgement of risk form is certainly a good idea. As others have pointed out though, you need to realize that signing a risk form is not necessarily going to stop a legal action being launched against you and because of that possibility, you need to make sure that you have liability insurance in place that recognizes the ownership of horse so you have protection - this type of equine liability insurance is easiily obtained in most jursidictions and a good place to start looking for it is through a local or Provincial equine association (like the Ontario Equestrian Federation if you live in Ontario)

Hope this helps...

Mike King, Intercity Insurance Services inc. Aurora, O
I do already have liability insurance on my horse as well, I have had my neighbour sign a waiver... however, he has ridden my horse (one time only), and hasn't been back since.... sigh... I'm NEVER going to get this horse rideable...
Hi, Wendy:

Is there a professional in your area (whom you would trust) for whom you can perform some necessary service(s) in exchange for having your horse started?

I've had people do amazing things for me: weeding my gardens and putting in my bedding plants, mowing the lawns, taking my daughter to school/back, grooming my dogs/running my dogs, cleaning my house, updating my financial spreadsheets....all in exchange for lessons and/or training. Lots of us who make our living in the horse industry pray for a neightbourhood angel who will swoop in and cover those things for us, and in exchange we're able to do something for them. It takes a big load off my shoulders (all those little things which drive me nuts but have to somehow get done), and it helps out on the other side as well.

The professional you choose to start your horse doesn't have to be discipline specific - the guy I use to back our youngsters is a race track trainer, and he does a lovely job of getting them started in the round pen, backing them, taking them down the road and up the trails, etc. Then I bring them home and take over. A month usually gets things well started, and I've hauled Bob's horses, groomed for him at the track, made him breakfast at 4 a.m. for a month when he had horses racing in my hometown, etc. Now I'm in a position to pay cash, but I wasn't always!
What a fabulous idea. Thanks so much. Now I'll do some thinking.....
Hi Wendy, I became a member of the Ontario Equestion Federation so I would have some insurance protection
for the horse I co-board. If anything goes wrong while I am working with the horse I know I am protected.
It's a very low yearly fee ... and you can apply for membership online ...not complicated at all. Good luck with your horse :)

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