What to know about equine law if you want to own a horse in FL

Equine law legal agreements are at the heart and soul of horse ownership, from the purchase or lease agreement that brings the animal into your life to the boarding agreement that governs the day-to-day care of an equine. Having a Florida Equine Attorney draft or review documents is a smart decision. The best way to protect your most prized possessions is to ensure that the legal documents and agreements associated with your horse, or horses in your care, comply with Florida Law. This helps protect your interests and keep your horse provided for and safe.

Christine King specializews in equine law and is seen here riding and jumping with her horse Buddy.

Equine Law & Boarding Contracts

​The vast majority of horse owners will have a boarding agreement, either verbally or written, that governs the day-to-day care of their horse. It is arguably the most important agreement that will impact you and your horse over the long term. A basic boarding agreement should define exactly what type of board; Full Board, Partial Board, Pasture Board, Dry Stall, etc. is being offered. It will also state what those services include and don’t include and what entity is responsible for providing them. It’s common for these agreements to have provisions for what happens in the event of non-payment of board, what happens in the event of a medical emergency, and often contain provisions for breach of contract. These provisions will impact the boarder and the boarding facility in different ways. Having a Florida Equine Attorney review and/or draft these documents is the best way to understand the legalese of these agreements.

DID YOU KNOW? There are specific Florida statutes in place that govern what legal recourse is available for non-payment of board. Suppose your boarding agreement, whether you are the boarding facility or the boarder, is not compliant with the Florida statute. In that case, your ownership rights and/or rights to recover money owed may be compromised in the event of a legal dispute over non-payment. A Florida-based Equine Law Attorney is best suited to review your agreements to ensure they are legally binding, compliant with Florida Statutes, and worded to protect your prized possessions. Contact our firm today to learn more about these kinds of contracts.

Purchase and Lease Agreements

Florida Law has specific requirements regarding what must be included in an Equine Bill of Sale for it to be a legally binding document. If your Bill of Sale does not contain specific information and language, you may not have a legally enforceable Bill of Sale. A good Bill of Sale will disclose the parties to the transaction, the “condition” of the horse, and handle how the money will be transferred. An excellent Bill of Sale will have provisions to protect both buyer and seller in the event of an ownership dispute, undisclosed liens, overpromised use of the animal, and other potential pitfalls.

Lease Agreements in the horse world, especially in Florida, are quite common. These agreements can last anywhere from a show weekend to six months to a year. Lease-to-Own agreements need to have specific provisions to make the transition from lease to ownership seamless. Whether you are leasing the horse or leasing out your horse, the same “what-if” scenarios impact both the lessee and lessor almost equally. What happens in the event the lessee fails to pay board? Who pays for unexpected major medical expenses? What if the lessee returns the horse early? The answers to what can happen in these circumstances, and countless others, may surprise you. One of our Equine Law Attorneys can help answer these questions, explain the necessity of having them provided for in your agreements, and draft documents that protect your interest and best protect your horse.

​Boarding, Lease, and Sale Agreements are the most common documents associated with the horse world. Do you own or lease an equine facility? Are you an equine professional?

Our office can help you review and draft all of the legal documents that impact your day-to-day operations, including:

  • Riding & Equine Waivers [and statutory requirements that go with them]
  • Employment Contracts
  • Training Agreements
  • Care Custody & Control Disputes
  • Lease of Equine Facility
  • Vendor Contracts
  • Horse Transportation Agreements
  • Sales Commission Disclosures

WHO WE ARE: CKing Justice Law is a horse-friendly law firm, and the majority of our staff are horse owners and avid equestrians. Our legal expertise, in combination with our cumulative years of Hunter/Jumper Equestrian experiences and love of horses, makes our office uniquely suited to advise you on the legalities of the horse world. We are more than just a law office … we are riders!