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Limiting your horse liability under Minnesota law

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Quick facts

  • Use written contracts for any horse-related agreement.

  • Make sure written agreements are specific and address each applicable risk.

  • Work with an attorney to make sure your agreement language can be enforced under Minnesota law.

  • Having the proper insurance can protect you and your assets if someone files a lawsuit against you.

This article is for informational purposes only and doesn’t provide legal advice.

Using written agreements to limit your liability

One of the best ways to limit your liability is to use written agreements for

  • Releases of liability

  • Sales and leases

  • Boarding

  • Employment

  • Training

Make sure your written agreements match your aim and can be enforced under law.    

Under Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 604.055, Subd. 1.):

  • An agreement that aims to release, limit or waive a party’s liability resulting from behavior that amounts to “greater than ordinary negligence” is against public policy, void and not enforceable.

  • A party can agree to release, limit or waive liability for damage, injury or death resulting from “ordinary negligence or for risks that are inherent to a particular activity.” Those involved in horse-related activities are legally allowed and thus should always use releases to protect themselves from these risks.


NOT LEGAL ADVICE: This information has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state to state, so that some information may not be correct for your jurisdiction. The information can’t replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your state.

Suzanne Jones and Yvonne Ocrant, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Reviewed in 2018

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