Horse law deals with all legal issues and relationships relating to horses, such as purchasing horses, breeding horses or equestrian sports.

Horse law is not an independently regulated area of law. Rather, it includes those regulations that affect legal relationships in connection with horses and can be found in various legal texts. The legal basis for horse law is, in particular, the Civil Code.

An important topic in horse law is the purchase contracts for horses and the special features that need to be taken into account. From a civil law perspective, a horse is not a thing, but the rules regarding things are applied accordingly to animals, cf. § 90a BGB. A horse can therefore be bought and sold like a car; just like a car, it can be defective (e.g. in the event of illness) and the buyer has warranty rights against the seller under horse law. The rules on the purchase of consumer goods in accordance with §§ 474 ff. BGB are generally applicable to horse law.

Another major issue in horse law is animal owner liability for damage caused by horses (e.g. personal injury or property damage). Liability in horse law can arise in particular from Section 833 of the German Civil Code (BGB), which norms no-fault liability for luxury animals and presumed fault-based liability for farm animals.

Weitere zentrale Themen im Bereich Pferderecht sind unter anderem:

  • Special horse legal forms of contract (horse shoeing, riding contract, riding facility lease, ..)
  • Legal aspects of horse breeding
  • Veterinary liability
  • Legal peculiarities in equestrian sports
  • Horse law and animal protection law
  • Horse liability insurance


On the following pages we will try to provide you with as much information as possible about the basics of horse law.

We also recommend the following pages on the subject of horse law: