Horse Stables/Riding Academy Liability Insurance Program
Affordable General Liability Insurance for your Stable/Riding Academy to protect against risk of serious injuries and resulting lawsuits
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Industry Overview and Risk Profile Characteristics for Horse Stables/Riding Academies
Riding horses is a great way to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, learn responsibility, and develop balance and coordination. While many clients own and board their horses at a stable, offering horses for lease, giving riding lessons and/or training horses, and teaching horseback riding skills are other ways that stables/academies capitalize their incomes. Some stables/academies also offer therapeutic riding in addition to their other services.
There are stables in all parts of the country, with the most concentration in areas where horse breeding is also prevalent. Stables vary in size, depending upon the variety of services offered— breeding, lessons, competitions, and showing. While most stables’ business comes from its regular patrons, some tourist areas (especially upscale resorts) offer riding for vacationers to provide extra income.
Stables employ trainers, riding instructors, grooms, and stable managers. Other part-time and full-time employees include veterinarians (and/or a veterinarian assistant), farriers, wranglers, and riders for the horses. Buildings are usually single wooden, brick, or prefabricated constructions. Most businesses include horse barns, feed storage areas, offices, tack rooms, and outside riding rings (with larger businesses including indoor rings as well). Lockers are usually provided, and some stables offer clothing for sale. For those stables that offer competitions, some type of seating (temporary or permanent) is in place for spectators and for riders who are not showing.
Risk Management Precautions Required by General Liability Insurance Carriers for Horse Stables and Riding Academies
General Liability insurance risk management precautions at horse stables/riding academies includes: proper training of instructors, wranglers, grooms, and horses; excellent care and maintenance of horses; clothing requirements for riders and instructors (i.e., helmets, appropriate footwear, etc.); proper selection of horses that are relevant to riders’ skills levels(including correct horse instructors-to-rider ratios); posting of signs for “keep out” areas and “ride at your own risk” (where applicable); regular inspection and maintenance of equipment (including saddle blankets and saddle bags); regular maintenance and inspection of trails, rings, spectator seating and barns; proper storage and disposal of all chemicals and veterinary supplies (including, but not limited to, drugs, used needles, feed additives); proper manure disposal procedures; access to drinking water for horses, trainers, employees, and patrons; having evacuation procedures in place for lightning or other evacuations; and safe storage of all grooming supplies.
Accidents happen at stables. Riders fall off horses; riders get on horses that are more advanced than the rider’s skill level and are thrown off; horses become “spooked” and throw even the most experienced rider; patrons and employees can slip and fall on unmarked wet surfaces or over equipment, hay bales, and other obstructions; and employees can become over-exposed to heat and chemicals. The best protection for your horse stable/riding academy business is to require signed waivers for all riders (including parent/legal guardian signed waivers for minors) and to have adequate Accident and General Liability insurance policies in place with sufficient limits.