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RC: Private property/Vermont Laws

Barb Peck
Barb Peck

In Vermont, the town clerks can tell you who owns
a particular piece of property.

Also, by law, if someone is on private un-posted land, with or
without permission, and has an accident:

1) The landowner is NOT responsible if the accident occurs
   because of the NATURAL lay of the land.. i.e. a ridden
   horse gets spooked by a mosse, steps in a woodchuck hole,
   or falls off the trail into the river.
2) The land owner CAN be responsible (sued) if someone get's
   hurt on a man-made obstacle...i.e. horse get's spooked
   and falls off a bridge into the river, or falls into
   a hole in the ground, made by machinery.

This is why we have *designated* trails across private land,
with permission.
We cross quite a few bridges without sides (one is on our

A few years ago, 2 people were riding without permission, crossed
my neighbor's bridge (that they'd been told NOT to.). One horse went thru,
hung by his head & 1 front hoof then plunged 10 feet below into the river.
Rider was OK.. horse was not mentally OK after that for months.

The landowner posted his property and closed it completely off
to everyone, fearing a law-suit (he was not sued).

Very few people ride across private land in Westford without permission.
If they we, my riding buddies and I track them down, and
nicely tell them they musy obtain permission.

Our motto is "treat someone else's property better than you
treat your own".


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