Protect Yourself And Your Livelihood As A Horse Trainer

Horses are large animals that can behave unpredictably. If you’re training them to do something new, you’re in a new environment or you’re introducing them to someone new to handle them, they may act up. Sometimes, that can result in an injury. And because you’re working with high value animals, that adds risk to what you do. No matter how experienced you are as a trainer, you want to make sure you protect yourself against a claim, or worse a lawsuit in Ontario.

*NOTE. If you don’t train horses out of a facility you own, but as an independent horse trainer you work out of various stables, read Independent Contractor Horse Riding Instructor – Trainer Liability Insurance.

What you’ll discover in this report:

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

Why Is Insuring My Horse Training Services For Liability Important?

Training horses often involves more than just training the horses – often you’re instructing people too. Not all riders will have experience. And sometimes, you may train and show horses exclusively for the owners, or you may teach horse training clinics, seminars or even certification courses. Regardless of the level you train of your trainees, it’s important that you’re protected financially should anything happen to a horse, a rider, bystanders or the surrounding property while the horse is in your care.

What Are The Most Common Claim Incidents Related To Horse Instruction, Coaching And Training?

  • While the horse in the trainer’s custody or control, it becomes injured or dies.
  • A horse gets loose at a show and causes a car accident. Any injuries to passengers and damage to the car can result in a large claim, and the horse must usually be put down.
  • Bystanders or other horses are injured and/or property is damaged while a horse acts unpredictably while in the trainer’s care.

How Can I Plan Ahead?

We know that you care about the horses and the people that come to you for your services. 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. Follow Ontario’s Horse Riding Safety Act
    This legislation states that it’s mandatory that anyone under the age of 18 years of age must wear a helmet that meets ASTM, BSI or European Safety Standards and hard-soled footwear with a heel of no less than 1.5 cm.
  6. 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.
  7. Know everything about the horse in your care
    If you take in a horse to train, you could be held accountable if you don’t know all the requirements of the owner’s insurer. Find out the horse’s value and if it’s insured for life and health. Get the details including the insurer, policy number and an emergency contact number.

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?

  • Equine Professional Liability: If you’re viewed as an expert with training qualifications, it means your professional liability exposures is much higher. We can add this to your general liability policy for a nominal charge.
  • Instruction or Coaching: This is another potential exposure and you should ensure that you’re covered, even if you have a secondary or minor exposure.
  • Worker Compensation Insurance: If you have employees, you need a separate policy.
  • Horse Mortality: If you lease a horse and become its temporary owner, you’re at risk of being liable if the horse dies.
  • Horse Surgical & Major Medical: If you lease a horse and become its temporary owner, you’re at risk of being liable if the horse becomes sick or injured.
  • Care, Custody & Control Liability: This policy protects you from expenditures for loss, illness or injury that could happen to a horse you’re training.
  • Tack, Equipment and Machinery: Protect your tools of the trade and your business by insuring your tack, equipment and machinery against loss or damage.

At Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., we know horses and we understand your business. Let us help protect you and your business. Contact us today to learn more or click on Get a Free Quote for an obligation-free quote.