Legal Agreements Protect Horses and the Owners

Onlookers are in awe of the beauty and majesty of horses in general. With thousands of licensed horse events and more than 58 million horses globally, it’s no wonder that complex legal agreements protect owners who seek to provide equines with the best possible care. From breeding to syndication, contracts create the framework for ensuring each party Precisely understands the parameters of the agreement. Here are four common contracts, which horse owners sign while conducting business.


Horse maintenance requires skilled professionals provide the proper care. Owners may contract a number of workers to ensure horses are in tip-top shape, including groomers, veterinarians, and trainers. Groomers clean the stalls, prepare feed, provide water, bathe, and groom the animals. They may also give basic first-aid care or bandage a horse’s leg. However, veterinarians are in charge of overseeing the overall health, including vaccinations, medical emergencies, and disease prevention. A trainer gets to know the horse on a deeper level, so he or she may develop a training plan for the animal to remain submissive, stay calm, and successfully compete. Each of these roles require a separate contract to ensure that the owner and the employees are clear about expectations.


For facilities providing horse lessons, the organization’s contract terms will spell out the date and time of the lesson, require a liability waiver, and outline the stable rules. Understanding the rules are important for protecting the riders and the owner. Owners charge a specific amount for each lesson and may use the contract to inform potential students about cancellation policies and other important issues. For example, some states do not hold equine professionals or event sponsors liable in the event of a participant’s injury or death because riding is a high-risk activity. An owner may require a rider’s acknowledgment of important statutory warnings in the contract agreement.


Horse owners often breed the equine, especially purebred horses to ensure the offspring have certain characteristics. This selective breeding is fraught with complex legal issues and parties must come to an agreement on several factors in the process. The horse shall be identified by its unique AQHA registration number. After properly identifying the horse, the parties will agree on the location, time of breeding, and fees required, as well as any guarantees.

Horse Syndication

Quality horses are expensive and sometimes groups of people join forces to purchase a horse together. These co-owners each own shares of the horse, called syndication. Racing clubs and trainers often offer horse shares to alleviate some of the expenses involved with owning a top-notch horse. Such horse-sharing agreements are complex and require rock-solid contracts. While syndication increases purchasing power, it also may have unexpected legal consequences as such investment often require ongoing financial contributions.

Watching a horse run is a sight to behold, and onlookers may not understand the complex contracts owners must sign to ensure the proper care and maintenance for each horse. A legal framework ensures that each horse and horse owner has protection.