Horse Share My Experience
Im writing because I have walked away from a horse share today. I saw the horse on Saturday and watched the owner ride then I rode and we agreed that the share would go ahead. I rode him on Monday and did a very low x pole at trot 6 times each way after properly warming up and cooling down. All was well. Unknown to me he was lunged Tuesday morning but was sound. I arrived in the evening tacked up and he was fine in walk but as soon as we started to trot he was lame. I immediately notified the owner and he was trotted up and yes he was lame. He was trotted up the next morning and was still lame the owner was to get the vet that afternoon. No vet. I arrived today and found that the vet was not called even though the owner said she would. The owners daughter said this happened after competing X-Country but after a couple of days rest he was fine. The horse is 12 and used for x country at an intermediate level. I also found out today (Thursday) that he has 'had' bone spavin and has had periods of lameness in the past (I was not told at the trial ride on Saturday). I was assured that the work plan I had for him was fine basically 30min exercise 10min warm up/ cooldown with a variety of work, flat, jump or hack. I have walked away from the share with a heavy heart as he was lovely but after 1 day of low level work he has gone lame. I am also concerned that although he was going to get a vet check him over nothing has happened. I have heard from other people on the yard that he is wheeled out of his field, competed then not worked for weeks. This may be untrue and certainly was not what I was told by the owner. I think this has been a wake up call to me. Basically have a share agreement in place from the word go agreeing what level fitness the horse is at, agreed activities and who has responsibility if something goes wrong. The other reasons for walking away are the terms of the very generous verbal agreement (Saturday) changed a lot over a few days. Trying to get the owner to discuss how often he was worked, what he does and how fit he is was very difficult. I was asking as I did not want to overdo an unfit horse. Get it in writing. I feel sad it hasn't worked out but think that lameness after 1 low level ride is a warning sign. I recognise that horses go lame or get ill and you can't ride I'm not adverse to that but for this to happen so soon seems not right to me. I will walk into my next share a bit more prepared. I think the saying 'if its too good to be true then it probably is' has some validity in this case.
What do people think? Have I been reasonable in walking away? I have been at the yard every day doing jobs and grooming the horse while he has been unrideable.