my daughter fell of her horse, taking horseback riding lessons.

the horse that they gave her to ride that day was just coming off of being injured, she never rode this horse before. she is not even cantering yet. My daughter was pulling on the reins as hard as she could and the horse just started trotting fast. Can I sue the stable?

Asked on July 6, 2009 under Personal Injury, New York


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Can you? Yes.  Not sure you will be successful, though.  I would imagine that when you signed up for lessons, you signed a waiver acknowledging the possiblility of injury (or even death) from accidents which are inherent in any sport, but with horseback riding in particular due to the size and strength and often unpredicitable behavior of horses.  Go back and read your copy of the waiver to see what it said.  You may have waived the right to sue, or agreed to go to arbitration in lieu of taking legal action.  I'm not saying you shouldn't sue, just be sure of the rights you waived first.  The second thing is that when you sue for damages, you must prove there were some.  You don't indicate whether or not your daughter was injured when she fell.  In order to sue, you must prove there was an injury and that she sought treatment for that injury.

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