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What an equine lawyer can do for you that you can't do on your own

3rd June 2014 Print

Many people who are involved in the horse industry are self-reliant; there is no problem with this especially if they are experienced and knowledgeable in raising, breeding, and caring for horses, and in laws pertaining to horses. However, there are those who only have experience in horse care and not in law. When these horse entrepreneurs carry their self-reliance into legal matters such as making contracts and lease agreements, they may find themselves in a quandary later on for something that they have missed.

If you are working with horses and find yourself dealing with similar matters, it’s best to look for equine legal solutions and seek the counsel of equine lawyers. Believe it or not, there are just some things that lawyers are trained to do that horse business owners can’t do by themselves.

Equine lawyers are no ordinary lawyers. While they have a general understanding of the law, they also have a comprehensive knowledge of issues and matters in the horse industry. They know how the horse business works, what the different kinds of horse facilities are, and the horse-related activities and enterprises that people are involved in. Equine lawyers are instrumental in making, preparing or reviewing legal documents, and settling disputes related to injuries, transactions, and agreements.

Equine lawyers pay attention to detail and understand the fine print.

In any business transaction, getting things in writing is of utmost importance. Written documents are proof that agreements existed. Paying attention to the little details is even more important, as the fine print could be a source of contention if and when a dispute erupts later on. Contracts with trainers or handlers and lease agreements for barn stalls and other boarding facilities should always be drawn up and examined by an experienced equine lawyer.

Equine lawyers can draw up a written contract or lease agreement that can accurately reflect the understanding and the intentions of the parties involved. If one party is unable to fulfill their obligations, the contract can be used as proof to settle the dispute. Lawyers can also help parties understand the legal implications of the agreement and the fine print of the contracts they are signing.

Equine lawyers can prepare proper liability releases.

Liability releases, also known as waivers, should be properly worded and signed. If left unsigned, waivers are worthless. Equine lawyers can write releases of liability for you or advise you how to use the proper terms when coming up with your own waivers. There are liability releases for horse handlers and trainers, and there also are waivers for riders (applicable when you own a horseback riding park or similar business). Before anyone can be allowed to handle or ride a horse, he or she must first fill out and sign the appropriate release form.

It is important to note that a minor’s signature on the waiver is generally not legally binding; a parent or a legal guardian must be the one to sign it. This information is usually included in the liability release form.

By hiring a lawyer who already has a thorough knowledge of the horse industry, you can get down to business right away. You can also be sure that your lawyer will be able to address the important legal matters when it comes to drafting a lease agreement or settling a dispute, something you won’t be able to do on your own.