Participation in horse-related activities can be a risky activity. As discussed in a previous article, most states have adopted equine activity statutes to protect horse professionals and activity sponsors from liability in the event of injury or death of participants resulting from certain horse-related activities. In some states that have not yet passed equine laws, such as New York and California, a legal defense called “risk-taking” offers horse owners and professionals some protection from unavoidable accidents. While these statutes and defences are extremely useful to horse owners and professionals, there are restrictions in both cases and it may be costly to rely exclusively on them. The applicability of a liability authorization depends on its specific conditions and your language – the more concretely, the better. An authorization to place the account should fully inform the participant of the risks associated with equine activities. A general statement such as “riding can be dangerous” does not sufficiently render the risks. The release of responsibility should contain an explanation as to why riding can be dangerous. A good starting point for this language may be the activity status of your state`s equines, which probably defines the inherent risks. An authorization of liability must be consistent with the laws of your state. It is important to remember that each state has different requirements. You should be aware of your state`s activities law, as many of these statutes require certain languages to be included in contracts or exemptions from liability.
Ohio law, for example, requires a valid authorization of liability to be signed in writing, by the participant or legal guardian, and that any risk inherent in an equine activity in the law is indicated. The statutes of many other states have a similar requirement. In addition, an authorization of liability must clearly inform the participant that he intends to absolve the establishment of the installation of horses from liability in the event of negligence. In the absence of a specific language that speaks of negligence, the release of liability does not protect you from liability, that is, the provision of dangerous devices. Many equestrian facilities require their clients to sign warranty forms before participating in horse-related activities. The exemptions of liability, also known as waiver declarations and no-damage agreements, are intended to protect the institution from liability in the event of an accident. However, despite the massive use of the release of responsibility, there is widespread skepticism about their effectiveness.