By Christina DiSalvo
We talked about insurance for the horse, your tack, barn, the trainer and the trailer, what’s left?! Well, it’s that quarter size black widow lingering in the dark corner of the tack room we know is there but if we ignore it it might just leave us alone. We’re afraid if we even whisper it something bad will happen.
DISABILITY & LONG TERM CARE
That’s right! I said it, I shouted it out! It’s time the Equine World faces the facts. This is the most important insurance we need (after we insure the horse, tack, farm and trailer).
We’ve all been at a barn, a show or out on a trail where someone gets injured; a broken arm, cracked ribs, dislocated shoulder or torn muscle, need I go on? We accept injury as a part of the package. We can’t be around horses without some blood spilling or a bone cracking. But we shake it off, check to make sure our horse is alright and tell everyone around us “I can still ride, rope, jump, etc.” Riding horses is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
You think you are protected because you have medical insurance or you can nurse that wound without seeing a doctor? Medical insurance is for the immediate injury, it does not pick up the care needed after the bone is set and cast.
What happens when you can’t go to work to pay for your horse lifestyle? What if your job is working with horses but you can’t work due to an injury from riding? What if you are laid up for more than a day or two? Do you have a plan at home for who will take care of you because you can’t take care of yourself?
Trainers, farriers, vets and grooms should listen up. Disability insurance should be the top of the list when you review your insurance with your agent. Your hands on work with horses could leave you laid up for some time. Do you have money saved to handle being out of work for months? Losing all those clients while you are recovering from an injury? Or a back-up plan if you can’t go back to work because your injury has now made it impossible for you to continue riding, shoeing, grooming, etc.?
It’s human to believe ourselves invincible and Horse People are the most hubris of all. We have to be honest with ourselves and to do so we must admit that something bad can happen whether or not we acknowledge it. Our horses get all the care and attention we sacrifice for ourselves.
I have disability insurance and long term care insurance (lucky enough to get it through my job). I am 37 years old. I spend most of my time and money on my horses, so I know how important it will be if I am injured and can’t work to support my horse lifestyle. I have 31 years of riding experience and in those 31 years I have broken bones, dislocated and sprained body parts I didn’t know could be injured. I have been lucky each time to be able to get up, dust myself and walk away or get back on my horse. However, I know I am pushing my luck every time I put my foot in the stirrup. I don’t want insurance when I need and find I don’t have the coverage.
Talk to us or your insurance agent about your options. Stop gambling with your luck because one day it may not be there, as if someone left the barn door open and it just walked out.