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Once per month, this blog will share my insights on the facinating world of the horse business.
Although I will not be taking comments on this blog, your feedback is welcome - email link

Past Cases of the Month are available at this link

The current Case of the Month is available at this link


January 2023
NAES Archive Favorites

Blog - Case of the Month from April 2019

Several years ago, I was asked to review an accident case involving a young 13 year old girl injured in an accident while she was being instructed during a riding lesson.

I was giving all the details plus my client had videos of the entire lesson which turned out to be quite helpful. The young girl was very much a beginner and as such, the instructor really was responsible for her safety. In this case, depending on an unprepared instructor was not good.

As I reviewed the video, it became apparent the instructor was very much a beginner herself and was much more concerned with her boyfriend standing outside the arena, rather than the student in the ring. The first thing I noticed, was that the student was not wearing any protective headgear which should have been the first item the youngster put on her head.

Throughout the 50 years I’ve spent teaching children and adults to ride, the protective helmet is the paramount item for safety. I had been chairman of the American Horse Shows Show Standard Committee for over 15 years and had several manufacturers who finally had made helmets for the horse men and women.

Having been made aware of the many head injuries which have been the predominant causes of injuries in the horse world, it took so many years to get the riding public to accept the responsibility of using protective helmets. All this boils down to the parent’s important responsibility to protect their kids. Just because a parent is not a whiz bang expert in horsemanship does not mean common sense gets tossed out the window.

It’s so important that you, as a parent, must at least get somewhat of an idea what your child needs to learn and what the instructor should probably teach. Then if the instructor seems not to be teaching your child what you thought they should, you’ll have a basic idea. At that point, you should express any concerns you have, and if the instructor doesn’t make you feel any better…. then get your child to someone else, because you only have that one child and you must protect them.

If I can help in any other way, please feel free to call me at 623-582-8635 any time, and I’ll give you lots of FREE advice based on my teaching of thousands of children and adults for many years.


February 2023
NAES Archive Favorites

Blog - Case of the Month from March 2013

RICO Statute - Fair Market Values

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men……the Shadow does.” (then the listener hears the deep, all- knowing laugh from the old tube radio)?

In this case, the State of Arizona’s Maricopa County Attorney sure knows evil when his investigators found that horses were owned by the subject drug dealer. The drug dealer’s evil activities had enabled his brother and him to amass a large fortune in cash plus 16 race horses.

NAES was asked to develop Fair Market Values on each horse. Based on each horse’s race record, soundness and conformation, valuations were prepared and supplied to the County Attorney’s office.

Because the criminals were accused of numerous racketeering drug charges, the County Attorney’s office chose to handle the case under the “RICO Statute,” (Organized Crime Control Act of 1970).

Under the RICO statute, racketeering is legal terminology for the “act or threat of murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical,” as in this case.

Under the infamous Rico Statutes, criminals arrested were required to divest themselves of property and in this case, the race horses. The drug dealers were convicted and because of the NAES’ race horse appraisals the drug dealers forfeited more than $1,000,000.00.


March 2023
NAES Archive Favorites

Blog - Case of the Month from February 2017

Boarding & Running Boarding Operations

Since 2003 I’ve tried to explain some of the factors which would be of interest to stable owners. Of course, the amazing thing is the many cases which are not typical of what one would think is the “typical” horse related case.

The fact is that there really never is the “standard” horse case. However, in times of a changing economy there is always the instance where the horse’s owner cannot afford to pay the board bill.

To possibly help out in what may be items of help to you the stable owner, I’ll list things which have almost always been successful in making your “deadbeat” customer case easier on you and your pocketbook:

Always have a written boarding contract and having the help of your family lawyer can help to.

On the contract, make sure the prospective boarder lists stables where their horse was previously stabled. The new boarder needs to put all possible contact information and the name of their veterinarian plus a clause specifically stating they are responsible for all reimbursement for their horse’s health care.

Some stables ask the new client to sign over ownership of the horse in case of large dollar amounts owing would enable the animal could be signed over to the stable owner. (However, I know lots of horse owners who would never allow the stable owner to have the possibility of owning their horse).

Just a piece of advice that’s sure to help is to always be polite and never raise your voice or get visibly upset. The reason is that the errant boarder always knows you’re upset so they will always be somewhat surprised by your peaceful nature. Plus, since you probably won’t get paid anyway, it may help to at least get something.

I always explain to folks running boarding operations that in all likelihood they won’t get paid and to prevent any legal action from the boarder, (who will now claim their prize horse was injured at your barn). Always have your vet come out and perform a health certificate saying the horse is not sick or hurt at all. Such a statement from a licensed vet may go a long way in proving to the horse owner and a court of law that the horse is just fine.

Then, and most important, get the deadbeat boarder to remove the horse. Even if they plead that they’re broke, he name of their veterinarian plus etc, etc. you need to move the horse because the longer the horse is at your place the more likely it is for something bad to happen to the horse….and guess who gets to pay those vet bills.

Make sure all your boarders have mortality insurance on each horse they own. God forbid a horrible accident causes the death of your charges. Naturally, it’s always to get with your insurance broker and get Care, Custody and Control insurance so you’re covered.


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