Pack the right insurance for your pack horse service

As a pack horse operator, you don’t provide horses for riding, you use pack horses or mules to carry supplies for third parties. The resorts, outfitters or parks pay a fee for several wranglers to lead pack horses to deliver supplies to campers, hunters or rescue teams.

As a pack horse operator in Ontario your liability is considered low to moderate. After all, none of your guests are riding horses. That doesn’t mean there’s no chance of a claim being made against you though. You still have to worry about injuring someone along the trails or losing and damaging someone’s property. And as a commercial horse operation, there’s always the chance of being sued.

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • Common claims that people make against pack horse services
  • How you can plan ahead
  • The coverage offered by a Commercial General Liability Policy
  • Other types of insurance you should consider

What are the most common claim incidents?

  • A hiker or cyclist travelling on the same trail as the pack horses is hurt by the horses.
  • The gear and supplies carried by the pack horses is damaged or lost after the pack horses get loose.
  • When trying to handle or even just pet the horses or mules, a trespasser or visitor is injured.

How can I plan ahead?

We know that you care about the horses and the people that use your service. There are steps to take to make sure that an accident never happens in the first place.

1. Enforce barn rules.
Look around and develop rules for your environment for both horses and people. Also write procedures. Then train every staff member to make sure they understand your rules and procedures.

2. Plan for emergencies.
Emergencies happen, but the better prepared you are, the better chance you have of providing the proper care to all the horses. If you’re prepared you can minimize the severity of any accident.

3. Develop semi-annual inspections of your property.
By inspecting your premises for potential hazards, you can take care of them before an incident occurs.

4. Prepare a written waiver and review Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act.
Anyone who participates in any horse activities on your premises needs to complete and sign the waiver. Make sure that you keep the signed forms on file and safely stored. The Occupiers’ Liability Act states that the stable owner/operator owes a duty of care to the people who enter their premises. This assures that any property they bring on your premises with them is also reasonably safe. You are free to restrict, modify or exclude this duty of care through your written waiver.

5. Purchase an Equine Liability Insurance Policy.
Protect you and your business with an insurance company that knows horses and your business. You want to make sure that any legal feels are covered, claim costs and settlements to ensure that in the case of an accident, your business doesn’t suffer a financial loss.

What’s included in the Commercial General Liability Policy?

The policy gives you maximum limits or amounts of liability insurance for:

  • Medical expenses:  You can be sure a claimant’s low cost medical expenses are covered without a lot of questions about liability or responsibility.
  • Legal defense costs: You can save your business the financial burden of court costs if you’re sued, whether the case has merit or not. Claims or settlement costs: Without this policy you could be held responsible for bodily injury and property damage claims.

Are there other coverages I should consider?


  • Property Coverage Endorsement: We can add this endorsement to your General Liability Policy if you’re a stable property renter to insure your tack, equipment and machinery for loss or damage.

At Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., we want to make sure that you’re packed with the right insurance so that your business is protected. Call us today or click on Get a Free Quote to get the right insurance at the right price.