Horse riding waiver templates (Australia)

Protect your horse riding operation with a legally-sound waiver.

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No matter how many safety precautions you and your business take, there is still a level of risk associated with horse riding. As a business offering horse riding, accidents or injuries can happen. Get yourself and your business covered by creating a horse riding waiver.

Read on to learn the key points about horse riding waivers, including how to craft one and where to get helpful templates online.

What is a horse riding waiver?

A horse riding waiver is a legally-binding agreement between a customer and a horse riding provider. The aim of this waiver is essentially to ensure the client protects themselves against potential damages, injuries or losses. The waiver will outline all the risks associated with horse riding and have the rider acknowledge these risks before they undertake this activity.

horse riding waiver from Lawpath

Download this template at Lawpath

When should I use a horse riding waiver?

You should use a horse riding waiver if you want to protect your business from liability and lawsuits. This document should also be used when you want your customers to understand all the risks of horse riding. Horse riding waiver forms are also commonly used between competitors and horse riding shows.

What does a horse riding waiver include?

A few things that typically need to be included in a horse riding waiver are as follows:

  • Acknowledgement that a horse may attack a rider without warning or apparent cause
  • Explain the horse may make an unpredictable movement that causes the rider to fall or be jolted
  • Acknowledgement that horse riding involves risk that may lead to injury and death
  • Have the customer agree to not to sue the business, any owners, employees or agents for any loss, damages or liability
  • Have the rider state that they have injuries and is not pregnant
  • Have the rider acknowledge they are responsible on the house
  • Outline any protective gear that is to be used.

How effective is a horse riding waiver?

A well-written horse riding waiver can minimise or effectively cut out risks to your company. To ensure the waiver is effective, you might:

  • Have the waiver signed well in advanced
  • Give the person signing the waiver adequate time to read through the document
  • Ask if the signing party has any questions and if everything is understood
  • Have the waiver signed in front of you and witness the signature
  • Ensure both parties have a copy of the waiver form
  • Store signed waivers in a safe place and keep them for at least two years.

Do I need a lawyer to write my horse riding waiver?

It is not mandatory to have a lawyer write your horse riding waiver. Every waiver is unique and if it's not written correctly it can cost your company money and its reputation. So, you may want to have a lawyer thoroughly examine a draft of the waiver before it is finalised.

Keep in mind that only a court can determine if a waiver is valid or not. To see examples on how to write an effective horse riding waiver, check out one of the numerous customisable templates that can be found online.

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How do I write a horse riding waiver?

Here are some tips on how to write an effective horse riding waiver:

  • Use simple language, avoid small print and try not to use legal jargon where possible. Everybody should fully be able to understand what the document means and what they are signing.
  • Always be specific with the possible risks and don't use generalised terms that could be misread.
  • Consider who should be included in the waiver. Is it a specific trainer, does it cover volunteers or is the whole stable incorporated?
  • Describe details like level of fitness, riding experience and the activities involved.
  • Clearly warn of the risks that may occur, for example bodily injury or death.
  • Specify the duration of the release.
  • Add a statement showing that the participant has read and understood the release and is signing it voluntarily.
  • A declaration that the participant is over 18 years of age is also useful.
  • Check all the laws in your state and make sure anything that's relevant is reflected in your document.

There are plenty of free legal templates online that are great for giving you a helping hand with composing legal documents, including horse riding waivers. The best part is most of these websites have free templates to download. Here are a couple to consider:

  • Lawpath. Lawpath is an online legal resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Users can browse through a catalogue of free samples on the website but must sign-up to a monthly plan to customise any documents.
  • Law Depot. Law Depot offers a wide range of free online documents to download and customise, including a range of waivers.

Frequently asked questions

When can a horse riding waiver be unenforceable?

A waiver can be unenforceable for reasons including:

  • If the party who signed the waiver can prove that they were duped into signing something different to what they were expecting.
  • There has been a misrepresentation by either party.
  • The party presenting the waiver knows that the party signing the waiver doesn't intend to be bound by the form.
  • The wording of the waiver is inadequate.

Do I still need insurance if I have a horse riding waiver?

Yes. Don't assume that because visitors and customers sign a waiver, you don't need insurance for you and your company. Waivers may help prevent lawsuits and provide a legal defense, but they won't help pay any legal fees.

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