Important Information for Trainers and Riding Instructors
Monday, January 13, 2020
Trainers and Instructors are an important part of the horse world but seem to be the first to blame when a student is injured, a horse sale goes badly, or there is an injury to a client's horse in their care, custody, and control. The better you document what you are doing and what the student’s understanding is of your services, the better you protect yourself and your business.
Do you have a liability policy covering you/your business?
If someone is injured while you are instructing them, you could be liable. Are you protected? Do you have the financial means to hire a lawyer if someone sues you? When people fall off horses or are injured while riding, many times they are reluctant to accept responsibility or acknowledge that there are certain risks inherent in the sport. Even if the allegations are groundless, they can make a claim against you or sue you. You will then have to respond appropriately.
Do you do a preliminary assessment of your student before the initial lesson?
It is important for you to document what you know about their abilities, particularly what they tell you. Keep that record and if you want to be extra cautious, periodically document your student’s progress. If they are injured and decide to look to you for compensation, records go a long way in showing their capabilities and the progression of their training. Medical bills from horse-related injuries can be substantial. It is important for you to be able to show that you were aware of the rider’s abilities and have kept on a proper course of training. At regular intervals, you may want to have a discussion with your student to cover where they are in their training, what their goals are and how you plan to achieve them. Make sure goals are realistic on both sides.
It is worth the time and effort to have a discussion with your insurance agent to be certain you are fully protected. Horses Daily's Mary Phelps is a Markel Equine, Farm and Liability Specialist. Working with her CSR Tracey Scharf they are available to help guide you through this process. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 1-800-572-3286. many of the needed forms and information can be found on our website equineinsurancedaily.com.