My gelding has been on lease for the last several years. As of the end of June, I decided to terminate the lease (it was up for renewal) and attempted to notify the leasee.
The leasee, apparently sensing what I was going to do (I'd been warning her during the last several discussions that I was leaning towards taking my horse back for my own use), opted not to return my phone calls, facebook messages, etc. Mind you - up until now, she has always returned my calls and messages within 24 hours. I finally tracked her down and informed her of my decision. She was not happy about it - which I understand.
The leasee then informed me she simply couldn't do without the horse until the end of August. I told her that was fine, I understood he was part of their lesson program and she would need time to replace him. I told her to take as much time as she needed and once she had her situation settled, I would come and get him. She said okay and promised to call me back within the next day or two. She did not call back. She did not return my calls again.
Last week, she facebooks me out of the blue and says I can come get him sunday (tomorrow). I was a bit startled but told her sunday would not work for me, as my friend who is picking him up for me is on vacay out of town until monday. We arrange a pick-up for weds - she is only open to having him picked up during very specific time frames and dates.
At 12:30-12:45 tonight (last night? Idk- sometime after midnight) she facebooks me again. This time it says the following:
(a) for the first time in several years and 3 days before I'm supposed to be taking him back - my horse is mysteriously ill.
(b) she wants to be reimbursed - IN CASH - for services she had done to him during the last month - during the time when she was not returning my calls or messages to her.
I'm seriously concerned right now - freaking out a bit to be honest. My 14 year old, never colicked a day in his life gelding, is suddenly not eating or drinking and running a fever - just before its time for me to come get him? Really???
Furthermore - she doesn't see fit to call me about it - she facebooks at midnight when it is too late to call her and question her about it - she also encloses her bid for money in the message (a first, and not part of our lease agreement - also it was an optional procedure - she very easily could have passed on it or called me to see if I was willing to pay for it - before having it done.)
She mentions in the message that she left the "sick" horse with a bran mash tonight - but wasn't clear on whether or not it was actually consumed - only saying that he seemed interested in it when she left him??
So that's the situation - up to the minute. Sigh.
I'm freaking out. Things have gone from a good lease situation to an increasingly odd and strange one in the course of a single month. I need advice on two fronts, please:
(1) do I wait until the agreed upon pick up time on Wednesday - or do I borrow a trailer from someone and do whatever it takes to go get my horse, ASAP?
(2) Do I pay the bill? - Mind you, the bill was not mentioned when we scheduled the pick up or when I told her I'd be taking him back. If she had returned any of my calls or consulted me, the bill would not be an issue (I would not have had it done).
Thanks for reading this - looking forward to hearing some rational, not freaking out opinions.