When an individual finds out than someone else keeps horses, they’re bound to ask if they can take a ride on one at some point in time. While such a request may seem innocent enough, there are so many things that can go wrong. A prudent horse owner may deny your request as it exposes him or her to being sued.
There are countless cases out there in which a horse may have become distracted by a plastic bag blowing in the wind, startled by a rider’s sneeze and gallops off briskly, bites a child or kicks someone upon becoming startled. Then there are cases in which staff at the facility you visit may neglect to tighten the saddle’s cinch, causing it to turn on its side and you to fall.
These types of events are, unfortunately, not uncommon. In fact, researchers working on a recent Cambridge University study found that a single injury occurs once every five hours of amateur jumping or racing and one time per 100 hours of leisurely riding. As far as three-day cross country events are concerned, injuries happen once every hour.
To minimize your risk of injury, it’s important for all riders to follow all posted rules of engagement and to practice safe horsemanship. It’s also important to make sure that you’re properly matched with the horse appropriate for you. Safety experts also emphasize that all equestrians, whether beginners or professionals, should wear safety gear, including helmets, at all times.
If you suffer an injury in any of these instances, then you can file a claim with either the horse owner’s homeowner’s or commercial insurance policy for damages. If the injuries are severe, then you may decide to sue them for any remaining monies owed that their insurance does not cover.
Whether you’re entitled to file a lawsuit depends greatly as to the nature of your visit to the premises, such as whether you trespassed or were invited. If signs were posted warning you of inherent dangers associated with riding horses or you were asked to sign a liability waiver, then you may be limited in terms of legal remedies that you can pursue.
If you’ve been injured in a horse riding incident, then a Louisville attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit to recover medical costs and other damages in your case.