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Should I pay all or part of this vet bill?

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  • #21
    It doesn't sound like there was any negligence involved so I'd throw it in the "shit happens" pile. If you want to help her out you can always offer free medicating, bandage changing, etc.

    Sometimes we have to deal with the set-up with have, especially on leased properties. I know a lot of owners don't want leasers putting up and taking down fences. It sounds like they make do with what they have. I've seen horses push through gates with perfectly qualified handlers. It's just something that horses sometimes do.
    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate
    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

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    • #22
      As the barn owner you have care custody and control which may make you legally responsible...something you may have to check on...I don't know.
      Also, if you have a public facility your liability insurance may cover you...if you carry any.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
        You have an unsafe setup, & because of it, a boarder's horse now has an injury resulting in lameness that the severity of which, at this time, is "undetermined". Sorry, but I don't go with the "sh*t happens" excuse. The horse was under your care & your setup. Pay the vet bill. IN TOTAL.
        I wish all BOs felt this way. I'd be due some money.

        But look, the HO inspected the place and put her horse there. And hasn't it lived there for 8 stinkin' years? If so, the HO was complicit in producing the injury. She could have put her horse elsewhere if she objected to the set up.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

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        • #24
          What does your contract say? I had a "hold harmless" clause which is pretty standard verbiage.
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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          • #25
            I boarded at a barn where a horse (more than once) weaseled in from the paddock and ran out through the barn (once escaping out another exit and running onto the road).

            The mare was just a pushy horse that literally would run over the top of someone at the gate while you were trying to close it.

            And yes, she did get hurt during one of her escapes.

            I may be in the minority, but I don't feel that I could have done anything differently to prevented her from the one escape she had while she squashed me. Acting big, blocking her with my horse, etc had no bearing. She came, she went, she ran. (And I actually did help rehab this particular horse after one of her escape injuries...I was there and comfortable handling this horse on the ground, while her owner was not necessarily as capable).

            Now, if an injury occurred because the person didn't latch the gate, maybe I would be offering to help rehab the horse (not paying the bill, just more free labor).
            Semi Feral

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            • #26
              There is legal obligation and then moral obligation. In this case, I don't think you have either.

              It would be wise to have a contract drawn up. Whenever I have half leased my horse, I've had verbiage in the contract such that if the horse is injured due to negligence by the other party or while being used, that person is responsible for 50% of the vetting up to 1k. In a flat out boarding situation, if a problem were caused by another boarder's negligence, depending on the situation, I would honestly consider going to the other person and asking THEM to chip in. But not the BO.

              All of that said, the bottom line is that horses tend to be morons and will find ways to hurt themselves in a padded room. So as a horse owner, I fully expect to have vet bills from time to time.

              When I bought my last horse, I no joke had written the check that morning. They turned her out with a different group of horses and whammo! 3k in vet bills. Which I expected to and did pay. It was an accident.

              I would think that most horse people know that this sort of thing can happen. And does.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Event4Life View Post
                The boarder was free to move whenever she liked had she thought the set up to be unsafe. Horse has been boarded there EIGHT YEARS. He is more than familiar with the routine.
                I think this needs to get singled out so that some posters can simmer down and realize that the HO chose this place eight years ago, knowing exactly how it was set up, and if the HO wanted changes, she had eight years to ask, suggest, demand or move.

                I think that if HOs and BOs/BMs could somehow swap brains for a week, we'd all be a lot happier with a better understand of each side. Lucky me, I've been a BM of a huge facility, a BO of a small one, and back to a HO. So I speak right the hell up when I want something (ask my poor trainer ) but I also know how to be reasonable when it comes to funds, horses, happy customers, and having food on the table at the end of the day, and that nothing can happen immediately. And, more importantly, with horses, shit happens. At my old barn, my WB sliced his lip open. I checked the fencing while waiting on the vet, DH came out and checked the fencing, BO was falling over backwards apologizing and I told her it was NBD, my horse probably stepped on his own damn lip because horses hurt themselves!

                Now, to the original question, I think this sums up MY feelings on the matter

                Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                I guess if I were you and I still needed him as a school horse, I'd probably step up and offer to cover the bill, unless it was something extraordinary. If it's just diagnostics and an injection or two, I'd offer to pay.
                With the caveat that you are not assuming responsibility. I guess we are making an assumption about the HO that she doesn't care that her horse is still off and wouldn't be getting the vet out herself to figure it out. It could certainly be brought up as a joint venture, maybe offer the farm call and she pays for diagnostics, and then hash it out after the vet discusses his findings.
                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by stonzthrow View Post
                  The horse has been boarded here for 8 years.
                  This is a loyal customer...while I don't think that the injury is your fault, offering to assist a little with this since you are benefitting from the horse's use would be a kind gesture. Not out of responsibility, but just to show some courtesy and your own loyalty back.

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                  • #29
                    I think OP should pay the full vet bill and hope that the horse recovers completely. My issue is why did the horse "bolt" into the barn? Just why did that horse come in then, and why did it "bolt?"

                    I've boarded at 2 barns where horses were "run" into the barns by lazy ******* BOs who didn't want to put a halter on a horse and walk it to its stall. One BO used a longe whip, and caused one boarder's horse to run into a tree right outside the barn. She laughed and told me that one time that same horse fell on the concrete aisle when she was running him in. Of course the boarder never was told about either incident and fortunately her horse was only scraped up both times.

                    At my last barn, the BO did the same thing, and she also allowed her help to do the same thing. Except one BW "forgot" to remove a longe line that was strung across the aisle and tied to a plastic chair. Cloudy has his only blemish on one hind leg from trying to jump a dark longe line in a dark aisle and getting it wrapped around his leg. Took months for me to get that wound healed. And once when the vet and the farrier were sitting in the aisle looking at a computer and ex-rays and my horse and I were standing there with them, same BW opened the gate and ran horses in on the concrete aisle.

                    Lazy and negligent people cause horses to "bolt" into aisle and barns and stalls. I think there is another part to this story, perhaps involving the person who was there spooking the horse. If boarders knew the crap that happens at barns when they aren't there, they'd be shocked.

                    The horse has been boarded there 8 yrs? Pay the bill and hope the horse is not permanently injured.

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                    • #30
                      Several thoughts come to mind
                      One the HO has been a loyal client for 8 years and trusts you to allow you to use her horse in lessons. This also indicates, to me, the HO is unable to come to the barn regularly and is now dependent on the BM/trainer to oversee the health and well being of the horse.
                      Two the horse's routine has changed, dramatically. Instead of a single rider, the horse now has multiple riders and may or may not be adjusting well. Many horses prefer one or maybe two riders, multiple riders of varying ability and personality tend to frustrate, confuse or irritate the horse.
                      Three not saying the BM/trainer has done the horse wrong, just noting the change in the horses's routine might be enough to cause the horse to have a mind fart. A mind fart that resulted in the horses's actions noted by the OP.
                      Lastly you are responsible for lingering injuries. You chose not to call the vet immediately, even though you were originally concerned about a major hip injury. Instead you treated the horse as if it your own, not someone else's. the horse belongs to your boarder and you should have contacted the boarder immediately after the initial assessment and then set a course of action. Either call the vet immediately or take a wait and see approach. Since you took on the responsibility that day, IMO, any vet bills are your responsibility.

                      FYI I worked a large boarding, breeding, lesson barn and their response with boarding horses was to contact the owner as quickly as possible so everyone stayed on the same page.
                      "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                      Courtesy my cousin Tim

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                      • #31
                        Good Lord - for some reason I completely missed the part where the BO took it upon herself to make the decision not to call the vet immediately when the injury first happened; deciding to "wait a few days". Is that true? If so, - what the h*ll was the BO thinking? Did she even bother to inform the owner of the injury as soon as it happened? Just because an owner may be absentee doesn't make her less of a legal owner. If this scenario is true, sounds like the BO was trying to hide something.

                        Sorry folks, but this just bolsters my vote for NEGLIGENCE in spades. Barn Owner pays in full. You want to make medical decisions for a horse you don't own? You take the consequences. (Oh & yes, OP - you DO sound like a "cheap ass", as you asked.)

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                          And sorry, but I will have to agree to disagree with everyone here who thinks this is a "sh*t happens" issue. A setup like this should have much better precautions in place to prevent horses from bolting into the barn when a horse is brought in. If the business has been in place for as long as the OP says, there's been plenty of time to develop & implement safety procedures.
                          You would have boarded there to begin with, then. I'm simply arguing that there are many imperfections in every setup, and ways a horse can get hurt despite what seems to be the most perfect design. And horses can get away from even the most attentive and careful barn employee - it's just life. If we put the barn and their employees on the hook for every possible accident, no barn owners would be willing to take on boarders.

                          I think that if the owner was really angry, she could try to argue negligence, but I doubt it would be proven.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                            Good Lord - for some reason I completely missed the part where the BO took it upon herself to make the decision not to call the vet immediatly when the injury first happened; deciding to "wait a few days". Is that true? If so, - what the h*ll was the BO thinking?? Did she even bother to inform the owner of the injury as soon as it happened? Just because an owner may be absentee doesn't make her less of a legal owner.
                            The OP does not say that the owner wasn't notified immediately. I don't think we should assume that the owner didn't call the owner asap.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                              The OP does not say that the owner wasn't notified immediately. I don't think we should assume that the owner didn't call the owner asap.
                              I was thinking the same thing. If the owner was notified and appraised of the situation immediately, consequently making the decision not to call the vet, then the OP is not at fault. If OP failed to notify the owner immediately OR the vet, then there is certainly blame there and OP should pay vet bills caused by her delay in contacting owner/vet. We also do not know if there is a prior agreement between OP and Owner such that OP will care for horse as if he were her own, including making decisions about vet visits when necessary.

                              Regardless of the outcome of this situation I really hope you draw up a contract OP.
                              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                To address a few issues mentioned:

                                1. The barn does have sliding doors on both ends. They stay closed unless you are entering or exiting the barn.

                                2. Bacardi - aka Breezymeadow under which name you were banned and now hiding under a new alias, we all know what a whackjob you are. I'm not even going to consider your comments. Stick to freaking out over your caviar and bitching at FedEx and leave the horse care to people whose barn is cleaner than your house...

                                3. The horse owner was notified and we both agreed that he was ouchy because of his road rash and probably a little sore from his acrobatic stunt. We both agreed that at the time a vet visit was not in order. We decided that we'd give him some time (1-2 weeks) to recover and re-evaluate since older horses take a bit longer. The horse owner lives 75 miles away so she doesn't come out often, but always says how wonderful her horse looks and what wonderful care we're taking of him. He looks 10 even though he's twice that age.

                                4. Being used in lessons is not a new thing. I've been using him for 3 years. Prior to that he did nothing. His owner asked me to use him so he wouldn't just rot in a field. It was my choice to compensate her for that use; she would have been satisfied with no comp just to see him have a job. If you were to ask her, I'm doing her the favor, not the other way around.

                                5. Cloudy... He's an older gelding but has always been a bit pushy to go in the barn and will lurk around the corner and try to sneak in when you're not paying attention. 99% of the time, he is stopped and chased away; this was the 1% where he succeeded in his mission. He's a butthead, plain and simple. He will drag you into his stall when you're bridling him if you're not paying attention.
                                He doesn't like to come OUT of the barn. You could leave his door open all day long (of course we do close it!), as once he's in he will.not.leave. That alone tells you the horse knew what he did was wrong. I went into the stall with a halter to lead him back out and he ran out the door nearly knocking me over in the process. Normally you have to drag him out of the stall. And no, he's not picked on by anyone or trying to escape from another horse.

                                6. I do have a Hold Harmless agreement in the boarding contract along with CC&C insurance.

                                7. My concern is that if I pay vet bills on this horse because he was being a retard that other boarders might ask me to do the same when their horse does something stupid. I am also concerned that I would be admitting to some negligence when there was none.

                                8. The horse owner has not made any requests for me to pay the vet bill. We simply discussed that we should schedule a vet visit for Monday since his recovery is not what we would have expected 2 weeks after doing a belly flop in the aisle. It was a 3rd party who suggested I should pay. I'm just seeking feedback.

                                9. I would have no problem with doing the rehab work on the horse. I've been doing it so far; wrapping his legs while they healed to keep flies out, etc.
                                Last edited by stonzthrow; Jun. 15, 2013, 11:25 PM.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Ticker View Post
                                  As the barn owner you have care custody and control which may make you legally responsible...something you may have to check on...I don't know.
                                  Also, if you have a public facility your liability insurance may cover you...if you carry any.
                                  Point of order: this is not at all what CCC or liability insurance covers. Carry on

                                  I'll elaborate: Care Custody and Control does not cover every injury to a horse, only those caused by the BO. (If it covered every injury, then none of us would ever have to pay another vet bill again). CCC only comes into play when a horse is injured due to a BO's negligence/fault. It is absolutely not clear that the barn was negligent in this case.

                                  Liability insurance covers *damage done BY the horse* -- not TO the horse.

                                  OK, now carry on
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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                                    Point of order: this is not at all what CCC or liability insurance covers. Carry on

                                    I'll elaborate: Care Custody and Control does not cover every injury to a horse, only those caused by the BO. (If it covered every injury, then none of us would ever have to pay another vet bill again). CCC only comes into play when a horse is injured due to a BO's negligence/fault. It is absolutely not clear that the barn was negligent in this case.

                                    Liability insurance covers *damage done BY the horse* -- not TO the horse.

                                    OK, now carry on
                                    When I host an inspection I purchase care custody and control liability insurance for the event. I have to declare an amount maximum that each horse is covered for, in the event of injury or death of the animal. This is the same type of insurance I would have if my facility was open to boarders. This is the same insurance that the large boarding facility (in my area) that also hold several show a year has.
                                    This link may explain what I was attempting to say.

                                    http://equinelaw.alisonrowe.com/2010...stody-control/

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                                    • #38
                                      My opinion is that you shouldn't have to pay any of the vet bill. It benefits her to have her horse ridden and she's compensated on top of that. I think your deal is very fair.

                                      This kind of injury is the owner's responsibility.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Maybe not pay the vet fees, but maybe give the boarder one month free. You were using the horse for lessons as she has not had time to use the horse. Now the horse is off and no one can use the horse. So give her one month free for board and apologize for the accident and go about your business.
                                        Chambermaid to....
                                        Lilly
                                        Reggie

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by KSquared View Post
                                          Maybe not pay the vet fees, but maybe give the boarder one month free. You were using the horse for lessons as she has not had time to use the horse. Now the horse is off and no one can use the horse. So give her one month free for board and apologize for the accident and go about your business.
                                          Only if you would do that for every boarder who had a horse that got injured while being turned in/out or in a stall or turnout accident. Personally, I think it is a bad precedent.

                                          The fact that the horse is being used in lessons and/or not at all is not relevant to the issue. If the horse was hurt *during* a lesson, then I would reconsider whether the barn owner ought to take more responsibility for the vet costs and/or rehab, etc.

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