Equine Law is obviously a very specific field of law. However, the areas of applicable law within the field are nearly unlimited. Often, any legal issue that involves a horse, even an ever-so-thin connection, can fall under the umbrella of equine law.
Take for example The Mortgage,
an ever-familiar financing tool.
The Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a rather expensive facility for the average horse owner to build and maintain!
Here is an example how a mortgage relates to the horse world:
Assume that William mortgages his polo horse farm to the First National Bank, who recorded promptly. Six months later, William grants an easement to his neighbor Harry, to use a road across his horse farm, which was recorded promptly. The next year, William took out a second mortgage with the Second National Bank, which was recorded promptly. A few months later, William gives his father a 3 year lease to stable his horses on the farm, which was recorded promptly. Subsequently, William's financial affairs suffered significant setbacks leaving him unable to make payments to Second National Bank, although he was able to make payments on the mortgage to First National Bank. Second National Banks foreclosed on its mortgage.
At the foreclosure sale of William's horse farm, will the purchaser take the property subject to the mortgage held by First National Bank? Yes!
Subject to the easement held by Harry? Yes!
Subject to the lease made with William's father? No!
Why? Because of basic mortgage law: On foreclosure, ALL junior interests (liens, easements, leases, etc) are eliminated in the foreclosure of a senior mortgage.
I know following the chain of interests can be dreary, but it is a significant issue for many horse owners; horses for business or horses for pleasure may call for some kind of financing encumbrance, and it is important to learn how they work (or have an equine attorney help you through the process!)
Of course my example is just the tip of an enormous mortgage iceberg, but I've found in studying for the bar that many of the questions quizzing different legal rights and remedies use the example of a horse ranch!
I know mortgages and encumbrances can be a little dense, so let me leave you with a bit of news that relates to equine law:
No, it isn't your monitor; those horses are truly dyed pink, for the alleged purpose of Selena Gomez's new music video. I'm not really sure who Ms. Gomez is, however, she caused a stir in Hollywood for alleged animal rights violations by submitting the horses to dye.
The Gomez camp claims that "non toxic vegetable based powder paint" was used, and that horse welfare was ensured by both providing proper care and the presence of a supervising Humane Society officer.
This of course presents an opportunity to discuss the divide between animal rights activists and animal welfare activists, but for now I'll leave you with these life-size examples of a My Little Pony!