Bad Lease Situation
I apologize if this is in the wrong place, but I felt as though it was appropriate. Also this is about to be a novel, but I wanted to explain the situation as best as I can.
I recently leased my horse for a minimal amount of money while I am away at college. It seemed like a great opportunity for both him and I. They were willing to work on a horse with a few issues under saddle, the girl that was riding him was very sweet and loved him. The trainer to my knowledge seemed reputable. They had him for a little over two weeks and things seemed to be going great. They were jumping him higher than I've ever been able to (or wanted to). I went down to visit him the Thursday before I returned for my summer class and we went on a trail ride and I took pictures and spent a little time with him. He seemed a little sad, but I thought maybe it was just in my head, that I missed him, and maybe he was a little homesick. He was pretty covered in dried sweat when I saw him, but it was 90+ degrees and his stall was clean, he had a fan, hay and clean water, and he only had one little knick on his neck (from not being able to get him on a trailer that they ended giving up on).
The two weeks was a trial period and they agreed that he was a good match so I cashed the first check. Fast forward a few weeks and I went two days without being able to reach anyone. I even message the girl and her trainer on fb, SAW that they were online (mobile) and still ignored my messages. Now I know, I know, that Facebook isn't the most reliable way of proving someone is ignoring you so I really can't hold that against anyone. Eventually I got a text saying that he had been sore from doing collection work and had a scratch on his leg and that he might not work out for what they wanted to do with him. They were going to give him a break and see if it got better.
Another week and a half later I get a text saying that he wasn't going to work out. That he was accident prone in the field (he was turned out alone btw) and impossible to medicate. He had been treated with antibiotics for a puncture wound (HELLOOOO?? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN AND I NOT KNOW??) The "impossible to medicate" is probably the fact that he does not touch his grain with any meds in it so I give them that much.
My mom went out yesterday to do an impromptu check up on him and he was turned out with no fly mask (we gave them one to use), subsequently covered in flies, caked in dried sweat, with multiple skin wounds including the puncture wound that has closed up with a large pocket of something (hopefully scar tissue) underneath it. He's lost a decent amount of weight. His ribs were not visible before he left and they are now, though not as bad as I've seen on some show horses. His legs are covered in rain rot (which I pointed out when I had visited him, but clearly went untreated). I had my barn owner and a fellow boarder go pick him up today and he has now returned home where he will heal, mentally and physically. He is very depressed, but hopefully returning to normalcy will help him.
Maybe I am just being an overbearing horse mommy, but I feel like this should not have happened to a show hunter with intentions to show on the A circuit with him. Once they stopped using him, they just seemed to not tend to him anymore. The other horses at the barn are all in good condition. My biggest question at this point is what should I do? I'm not sure that they are going to want to pay me for this month since they haven't been using him. The check is due the 25th. The contract said they were to deliver him to me since they terminated the lease, but the family and trainer just left on vacation and I did not want to have a stranger taking care of him for a week so they reimbursed us for gas money. Should I just be happy to have him back without further damage and cut my losses? If he requires veterinary care in the near future that seems to be a direct result of their negligence (infection from the puncture wound) are they responsible for the bill? I am honestly not super concerned with confronting them, but I am pretty peeved.
I have some pictures of his wounds if anyone cares to see them. They're just your average cuts and knicks, but he was pasture boarded 24/7 at my facility and only got one every 2 months or so. I just feel like this many in such a short time is excessive. Ugh Idk, hopefully someone else can help comfort me. I hope he doesn't hate me :(