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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I returned my lease horse earlier this week, due to lameness. I've been trying to rehabilitate it for months, but the vet said he'll probably always be a bit lame. I was absolutely heartbroken because I loved him to pieces and am still crying on and off now.

The owner has him back and has accepted that the lameness was caused by an old injury and is taking steps to get him better. But she's also accusing me of causing the horse other problems which I swear I haven't.

He's got a lump on his back. The lump was there when I took him on, it's like his lumbar region is inflamed, but it didn't seem to cause him any pain. My RI pointed it out on my first lesson with her and said it didn't seem to be bothering him. I'd seen it before, when the horse was still in the owner's care part time, so I assumed she knew all about it. Now she's saying she's never seen it before, despite having visited the horse on numerous occasions and even ridden it. The vet even had a feel of it when he came out to have a look at his legs but didn't say anything.
The owner did know the horse had a dipped back when I took him on. and had been concerned about it but chose not to have anyone look at it. I would have liked to have someone look at it, but it was never bad enough to become a priority, (if I, or anyone else thought it was hurting, I would have immediatey) and then he went lame. He was happy to work on the bridle until a week or two before he went lame. (although I was just learning to get him to do that - and he'd been allowed to go round with his head in the air for a long time - but that was before I arrived)

She's also saying he's very foot-sore. Again, the vet didn't comment on this when he came out to look at his lameness. The owner had been concerned about the footiness before, but when I asked the farrier, he said he's not foot sore, he's just avoiding the stones.

I just don't know what to do or say. We never got round to sorting a contract out and now I'm worried sick, thinking I've done something wrong. My RI will say I've done everything right, but.... you know.

I don't know what I want to achieve from posting this. i guess I just want some understanding from people who know horses. Please don't post a reaction if you can't understand what I've written, just ask me to clarify. I'm not good with words at the best of times and don't have the strength to handle another argument today. :(
 

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You stated you did nothing wrong, you didn't abuse the horse, beat him, starve him or anything like that. The owner knew about his problems beforehand and still leased him to you, she wasn't concerned about heavier saddle time for him. Simple fact is, he couldn't hold up to the work, you ended the lease as no one wants to lease a lame horse, and the owner is ticked because now she has to take care of the horse. Tough titty for her, ignore her.
 

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OP if these problems were there before, she is just looking for someone to blame. Some horse owners do that because they can't come to grips that this is happening to their precious pony..so they try and find an excuse as to why.

Poor handling, poor diet, poorly ridden, etc.

Don't fall for the guilt trip. By the sounds of it you did nothing wrong. The owner should have had her horse thoroughly examined for lameness issues prior to even considering leasing him out.
 

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Stuff like that happens all the time. You just need to take some quiet time, sift through things and see what you've learned through this experience so that it won't happen again. I'm thinking it would be a good idea for next time to take some fairly detailed pictures of your new lease horse as soon as you get it so it can be used for reference later if required. And, welcome to the forum, by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reassurance, everyone.
I've spoken to my vet, my farrier, my RI, my YM, and my mates on the yard. They all aggree that the horse was cared for prefecly adequately while it was with me and that no one had any concerns about her back. My RI and YM aggreed that the lump had been there for years and they took it to be incorrect muscling.

I guess I'm just hurt that she would think I'd allow the horse to continue working while it's in pain. As soon as I realized it wasn't happy to be worked, I stopped working it.
I think I have to close my eyes and accept that there's nothing I can do.
 

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I go with others here. Based upon your description the horse is elderly or was simply unable to handle the work due to issues already present. You have plenty of folks vouching for your care and the horse's condition when you took him on.

If and when you go for another lease, and why this woman didn't insist on te same thing, I hate to use the comparison but check the horse over like people would when leasing a car. Note every scratch, difference in hair color from scrapes, dips, bulges etc. on the horse prior to removing the horse from the owner's property. Keep at least two copies for yourself, one at the barn and the other in a safe place at home, as well as giving the owner a copy. Take pictures all around. You want to document everything so that if the situation comes back up, you have photo and documented proof of the horse's condition prior to the start of the lease. Call me paranoid but steps like this have gotten me out of a few hairy situations (not necessarily horse related).
 

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If you don't even have a contract, there's nothing she or you can do about it. You're making a big mistake not signing anything in the first place. What if the horse had hurt someone while in your possession? The injured party could sue either of you.
Regardless, if there's no paperwork stating the horse's condition prior to your lease, the owner has no way to prove anything.
 
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