November / December 2022 • OklahomaHorses 29 ing, leasing, or transporting a horse for similar reasons. For professional horsemen and women, the assessment of risk should be an ongoing business practice occurring at least once a year and resulting in the deployment of new mitigation practices or tools when and where they are appropriate. At minimum, liability insurance specifi- cally covering injuries or damages that oc- cur as a result of your business operations is necessary. This means you should assess the type of activities your business operations involve at least once a year and be sure that you have all of the appropriate riders necessary to cover the injuries or losses that occur as a result of those activities under your insurance policy. Written Contracts Minimize Risk Horseman and women should also be sure to use written contracts each time they transact business with a new client. As a horse trainer, farrier, breeder, trader, boarding-facility operator, or otherwise, written contracts are the first and last line of defense to mitigate risk. Without a written contract, you rely on the default remedies provided by law in the event of a dispute, which can impose significantly more liability on you and your business than is necessary or tolerable. But that is not the only reason to use contracts in your dealings. A properly drafted contract serves several purposes when transacting business. It sets your client’s expectations by defining each party’s respective role and obligation. This means describing the method and timing of payments, together with the goods or services that will be transferred in exchange. It defines a mechanism for resolving disputes, which at minimum should be the selection of a venue and choice of law but often will include an agreement to mediate or arbitrate, thereby saving litigation costs. Certain contracts might provide disclo- sures, caveats, warranties, guarantees, or disclaimers. When appropriate, a contract should also contain an agreement for parties to waive certain claims, particularly those for liability in the event of injury to person or property. Working with horses is fun and reward- ing. For some people, it is even a way to make a living. Regardless, by its very nature, it is a risky business. If you are involved in the equine industry, assess your risk and protect yourself where you can. If you need help assessing the risks or devel- oping mitigation practices and tools specific to your needs, a licensed attorney familiar with the equestrian field can help. Adam M. Trenk, Esq. (licensed in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kentucky), is a partner at Rose Law Group pc ( www.RoseLawGroup. com) . He advises clients on matters of strategic development, contracts, real estate and land use matters, conflict resolution, regulatory compliance, and government relations. As an avid horseman, he is active in the equine community. Trenk served as an elected coun- cilman and vice mayor of Cave Creek, Arizo- na, and currently sits on the advisory board for the Scottsdale Community College Equine Science Program. He is also the president of Billy Cook Harness & Saddle Mfg., Inc., in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Adam Trenk can be contacted by e-mail at ATrenk@RoseLaw- Group.com or by phone at (602) 402-3335. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ EquineAttorneys. Follow him on Instagram @theLawHorse and @GenuineBillyCook. www.xyloshavings.com | 40 5.469.4516 Pine Shavings | Burning & Bedding Pellets | Animal Feed Bagged Shavings • Bagged Burning or Bedding Pellets Call us for Bulk Shavings Ask us about our new storage service on your site! CONTACT US TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION! IN BUSINESS OVER 40 YEARS!