Advice about horse injury and lease agreement.
I need some advice about what to do reguarding the horse I am leasing.
I have been leasing Lucas since September. He is 19 and in pretty good shape. He has some soundness issues having to do with his stifles (according to my trainer) but nothing that puts him out of work. At this point I am supposed to be signing a new 6 months agreement for leasing him. Long story short, we discovered some heat and swelling in his front right leg. It appears to be a tendon injury. His legs are wrapped and he is on stall rest for the time being. The vet will be out on Monday to look at him.
I told my friend and her mom (Lucas' owners) that I wouldn't be signing the lease until I heard what the vet had to say. I do not want to commit myself to paying to lease a horse that I'm not going to be riding for an extended period of time. I told them that if the vet said it wasn't anything to serious and he would be fine in a week or so, I would sign the lease.
Now I am thinking this is not such a good idea. A few months back, Lucas came up lame and I didn't know why. He was at a different barn at the time, so I didn't know anyone to ask for help. My friend was off at school and just said he was probably stiff or had pulled something, no big deal. After about a week he was ok, but I wonder if maybe it was the same thing as this.
So my problem is this: do I want to commit myself to a 6 month lease, with no way out if this happens again? There is nothing written in to the contract saying what would happen if he becomes unridable during that time. If the vet says he will be fine soon should I just sign the lease? Ask them to rewrite it so that if this, or something worse happens, I don't have to keep paying for a horse I can't ride? Should I shorten the agreement and just do it month by month? I know that I no longer feel comfortable signing the lease as-is, even if the vet says he's ok this time but I'm not sure what to do at this point.