|My husband Paul Alvin-Smith is also a Grand Prix trainer|
As a professional dressage competitor/coach/clinician and trainer the wait on the State of New York to enact the Equine Inherent Risk Law has been a long and patient one.
Finally, after a collection of corrupt individuals were removed from the NY Assembly, the bill was finally enacted. What does this mean to horse owners and trainers and folks involved in the horse business? Will everyone enjoy lower insurance premiums for the services they provide and the liability to which they are exposed. Possibly and possibly not.
What is important as a trainer and as an individual or any sort that spends time around horses is still the same, safety first. This law will not protect you from law suits. Anyone can sue anyone at anytime, we are all aware of that. The new law may help the decision that comes down from the bench if a suit is filed, but it is yet untested.
It is still imperative, for moral reasons and also for reasons of due diligence that there is no negligence or release of the reins when it comes to keeping humans and horses safe.
|Don't loose the rein yet!|
By all means post signage that indicates barn rules and make sure they are followed. Include an Inherent Risk sign, ensure everyone mounted on a horse always wears an ASTM certified safety helmet and take all sensible precautions in the barn and on the farm that hopefully you've always taken and that are hopefully rote.
As a professional I am thrilled that this law is enacted and optimistic that in time insurance rates will be tamed. But I am a realist. When have you ever seen your insurance premiums go down!