Legal Info for Horseowners

If I let other people ride my horse, should they sign a release form?

It is the best practice to require everyone who rides your horse to sign a release form. Georgia courts have a good record of enforcing the liability waivers and it will protect owners from most riding-related injuries.

Answer provided by Christopher E. Chapman, Attorney at Law and GHC President

 

What are Georgia’s acreage requirements for horses?

We always recommend having 2 to 2.5 acres per horse for pasturing. Of course, if you are not depending on pasture, a minimum of 1/4 of an acre (approximately 11,000 square feet) per horse is recommended for turnout and exercise.

However, some counties in Georgia do have codes concerning minimum land requirements for keeping horses. Contact your county commissioners office  to see what requirements and restrictions are on the books.

Answer provided by Gary Heusner, equine management consultant, GHC board member and retired professor, University of Georgia, extension horse specialist

 

If I have to bury a horse, are their state or county requirements I need to follow?

Every city, town and county can have different ordinances and regulations regarding the disposal of a carcass, whether it is a cow, deer or horse.  The State EPD also has regulations concerning these matters.  The best practice is to check the regulations before you need to bury an animal.  The local extension office and DNR should be able to provide sufficient guidance to avoid any problems with the need to bury an animal.

Answer provided by Christopher E. Chapman, Attorney at Law and GHC President

 

If a friend rides my horse and gets hurts, who’s legally responsible?

It would depend on the facts of the injury. A rider may have some responsibility for the injury, but the owner may also have some liability in allowing the particular rider to ride that specific animal.  A liability waiver is the best practice.

Answer provided by Christopher E. Chapman, Attorney at Law and GHC President

 

Does the Georgia Equine Liability sign protect me from a law suit?

The Georgia Liability statute protects “Equine Professionals” from liability while engaged in an “equine activity”. In addition to the posting requirements that trigger the protection, it is very important to understand what the statute does not cover.  It does not cover property damage caused by a loose horse, horse bites, injuries while not engaged in an equine activity, persons who are not “equine professionals”, injuries sustained due to conditions at the barn or on the property.  An insurance policy to cover the property and the equines are a essential to protect the property and/or equine owner.

Answer provided by Christopher E. Chapman, Attorney at Law and GHC President