As a boarder my husband and I were asked, by most facilities, to sign a release for injury on the property. We were also asked to have any visitors sign a release exempting the facility for any liability of injury that might occur while on the property--horse related or otherwise. When anyone was interacting with our horses we, too, had our own release of liability signed and dated by the individuals or individuals. Also, suits can also be filed when a horse is injured, as well--not just people. "The principle behind a liability release is 'assumption of the risk,' so a liability release is more likely to be enforced if the situation that caused the injury is specifically mentioned in the liability release."
It is important to understand that this release of liability does not stop an injured party from suing both you and the facility. A release is just a first line of defense. No release is full proof. There are many factors that enter into any suit in a court case. Below are some of the items considered:
In the horse world, in my opinion, it is imperative to have insurance for horse related activities. Umbrella insurance policies are offered by many insurance companies. Those policies will cover you up to a certain amount in case you are sued. In the case of horse related risks you must make sure the policy will cover that specific activity. As an individual with a boarding facility it would be ludicrous to be without insurance coverage against suit. Anyone who interacted with our horses signed and dated a release. I gave them a copy and I kept a copy on file. I would always apologize but would explain the necessity for a release and make it clear that most people in the equine world had releases signed. I would also say, "All horse related activities can be dangerous."
For More Information:The Enforceability of a Liability Release