My yard owner hit my horse. What can I do?

horse-in-stable

Concerned that your yard owner has been hitting your horse when you're not there? Solicitor, Rebecca Stojak, explains where you stand legally. 

Q: I've recently discovered that the owner of my yard has been hitting the horses when the others aren't there. Do we stand anywhere legally?

A: If you feel unable to talk with the yard owner, you can report any neglect, cruelty or harm to organisations such as World Horse Welfare or the British Horse Society, who have a dedicated network of volunteers who can offer you initial advice and possibly visit the yard.

Regardless of whether you have a written or implied contact with the yard, certain things are implied into your contract, one such thing is that the service provided by the livery must be done with 'skill and care'. 

You could argue there has been a breach of this if the owner has been hitting your horse. 

If your horse has been injured by the yard owner, you may have a civil claim. As your horse is in their care at the yard, the owner will more than likely owe you a duty of care not to hit and injure your horse. 

This duty may have been breached when the yard owner hit your horse and as a result, your horse has been injured (i.e. you have suffered a loss). 

Your claim could include any vet fees and possibly any time you have to take off work as a result of your horse's injury. 

Legally, the loss must be a result of the breach, for example you probably couldn't recover for a new rug, unless the old rug was damaged as a result of the owner hitting your horse.