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[RC] Equine liability and kids - Sharon Hahn

There's a lot of ground to cover legally and insurance-wise, but the most effective thing you can do is invite the parent over and give them a barn tour.  This way, you get to make sure the kid has permission, make sure the parents understand YOUR rules (like no going in the pasture without you) so they can help you enforce them, and you get to give the parents an understanding of how horses behave and the inherent risks involved.  Most non-horsey people have no idea of the risks involved (even if their horsey kids do) - I'm always amazed that parents that hover and triple-check their child's safety in every other way have no problem plunking their precious tot on a wild-eyed pony wearing broken tack.  I've also noticed that many people think of animals as either "safe, tame ones" or"mean, dangerous ones" and don't understand that even the nicest old horse could hurt you by accident.  So if you have a chat and they understand what to expect at the outset, you greatly reduce your chances of getting sued should the neighbor girl come home with a horse-related injury one day.

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