The Liability of Leasing a Horse to a Kid

When you lend or lease your horses to others, the key points to protect yourself are full disclosure, a written release of liability, and insurance coverage.

Q: I have a talented and kind 15-year-old dressage horse that is no longer physically able to train and compete at the sport’s upper levels. I’d like to share him with a committed and talented 11-year-old girl who rides with my trainer, preferably via a lease. He has a lot he could teach her, and I believe the pair would be a good fit. However, I’m concerned about the liability associated with having a child ride my horse. How can I best protect myself while also providing my horse with a second career and help this girl continue her dressage education?

A: Unfortunately, for all of us horse owners, liability will always be associated with our horses, regardless of what we do to protect ourselves. There are just some things that we cannot predict a horse will do (i.e., tripping and falling, spooking, etc.) even when we’ve known the animal for 15 years