• Legal Aspects of an Exercise Rider Business
  • November 28, 2014 | Author: Julie I. Fershtman
  • Law Firm: Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. - Farmington Hills Office
  • In an effort to spend time with horses, while also raising cash, some people in the horse industry develop small businesses. We have received calls from people interested in establishing an exercise riding business where they visit people’s stables, saddle up designated horses, and work the horses on tracks, trails, arenas, or fields. In many instances, exercise riders work alone and must groom and saddle each horse. Very often, the exercise rider receives little information about the horses they’re asked to work. If you are considering an exercise riding business, here are a few suggestions:


    Carefully written contracts can explain details of the exercise rider’s work and can help prevent disputes. An exercise rider’s contract can include, at a minimum:

    • A description of the services to be provided

    • Dates and times when services will be provided

    • Rates and charges

    • When payment is due, and a legal interest rate on past due balances

    • Restrictions (if any) on the rider’s visit to the premises and use of the designated horses

    • Disclosures the owner makes about the horses, such as dangerous propensities (if any)

    • Release of liability (where allowed by law)

    • Authorizations, if any, for the exercise rider to seek emergency veterinary services for a horse in the owner’s absence

    • Whether the horse is insured through mortality or other insurance as well as contact information in case the professional must make an emergency notification call to the horse’s equine insurer

    • In case of emergency, people to contact as well as the owner’s preferred veterinarian


    When an exercise rider rides and handles horses belonging to others, liabilities can result. For example, if the horse becomes injured or lame, the horse owner might accuse the rider of being negligent and causing the problem. Or, the exercise rider might fall off of the horse, and the horse could run loose and injure a bystander. Exercise riders would be wise to contact a knowledgeable insurance agent about insurance such as:

    • Commercial Liability Insurance or Equine Professional Liability Insurance

    • Care, Custody, or Control Insurance

    • Medical Insurance. Exercise riders should never assume that their customers will pay their medical bills and compensate them for injuries. Discuss medical insurance and disability insurance with a knowledgeable insurance agent.

    Because of the risks and liabilities involved in the work of an exercise rider, people considering this type of business should consult with a knowledgeable attorney.