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Another "who pays" question

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  • Another "who pays" question

    Our pony is a school horse for a farm during the winter. All is fine, we're not talking big bucks here but what is your opinion here. We do not pay board, they do not pay us for use of the pony.

    Pony is at lesson barn during "spring shot" season. Agreement is that they will take care of "everything" but we pay half - since we have and use the pony for the other half of the year.

    Turns out their "everything" in the shots dept. does not include the Lyme vaccine (no jumping on me, it's part of my program, my vet believes it works).

    A few weeks later, pony gets Lyme disease. Pony is treated. Pony recovers and is now fine.

    Now pony is home and we would like to have the Coggins test b/c we take him places. Oops, they didn't pull a Coggins. Ok, fine. We'll do that (and give him the Lyme vaccine at the same time).

    Oh, and they want us to pay for the month of Doxy.

    Should we? All? Half? None?

  • #2
    IMO if I understand your agreement, you would pay half.
    The coggins would have been split if it had been done on time.
    Lyme treatment would be split as it was during the time he was at that barn.
    Re the Lyme vaccine, it sounds from the post that you did not verify that it was part of the deal.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


    • #3
      If there's no formal agreement (or even casual agreement) I don't think there's much you can reasonably do. I would pay and then either renegotiate the terms on which you allow them to use your pony for lessons, or quit letting them do it, or just go on as you are.... maybe asking more questions about what they mean by "everything"
      United States Cat Dressage Federation


      • #4
        I am with Buttonwillow.

        I am impressed that they willingly pay for any of your spring shots with this arrangement.

        Time to sit down like adults and discuss the ins and outs of your agreement for next year (if you are going to do it again) and just pay what you need to pay for now to get your pony current.

        For the record, even having had the vaccine it does not mean the pony would not have gotten Lyme disease. I think you do owe them half of the treatment since that was your agreement. It was your job to make sure the vaccines you wanted were included.


        • #5
          OP, I see why you are pissed/questioning of the justice of your deal.

          Also, I have gone through similar with the Lyme vaccine. I was pissed that a BO and casual vet didn't do it..... no skin of their nose if the horse gets Lyme and I pay for Doxycycline, right?

          I think you had a communication problem. You didn't tell them what "everything" at the vaccination appointment should have been. So you do have to pay for the stuff you did-- Lyme-related stuff and coggins.

          In your spot, I'd let the BO know I was unhappy and see what they said about "making things right." If that was a big bowl of nothing, I think I simply might not send my pony back for them to use next winter.

          Figure out how much this is worth to you. Perhaps paying no board on your pony (all year?) and getting to use him in the good weather is worth the cost of the vet work you have to do. If, on the other hand, the deal was great for the BO, I think they should have thrown in the Lyme vaccine at least in order to keep the PO happy. After all, being able to use a pony as a school horse when you want it and not have to own it is a *great* deal.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • Original Poster

            I'm not pissed off, just questioning the request of something that happened while in their care.

            They take great care of the pony, it's a great arrangement. We don't use the pony in the winter, they do. We keep him at home in the summer. He could just as easily stay with us all winter (doing nothing) but they need a school pony and he has a job.

            The previous thread about who pays the vet bill on a horse injured at a boarding barn seemed to be split between "accidents happen, horse got hurt, owner pays" and "barn owner had a dangerous set up and therefore at fault". Lyme in NH is a little like this - VERY prevalent where boarding barn is. Not much where I do. That's why we give him the Lyme vaccine, because he goes there. Yes, we should have explicitly asked them to continue.

            I was annoyed about the lack of Coggins test because they said the HAD done it - and they did it the previous time he was with them - precedent set. When we asked for it when the pony came home this year, they couldn't produce a copy and finally admitted it hadn't been done. He goes places, he needs his Coggins test. They required he had one to come to their farm. It's just good practice, so why didn't they?

            I'm sure we'll split the cost of the Lyme treatment - we're talking $125 here. I was just asking.

            Next year, we will be more explicit - you will give him these shots, and pull a Coggins test. And agree on vet care costs.

            FWIW, a have another horse in a college program and they pay for ALL her expenses - shots, wormer, and minor vet care. They only have her for the school year, which is generous, but also gives me a baseline for the pony's arrangement.


            • #7
              I speak as a HO who has lent a horse to a school program. I'm a little biased as I think the people who get a broke, useful horse to borrow rather than own and retire are getting a good deal.

              And if Lyme comes with the territory, I think the BO should consider its prevention/treatment part of the cost of doing business. Weird that they'd skip the Coggins; I'll bet that was just a mistake.

              I guess it depends on how much money there is in their program for school horse care. If it's too little, all you can do is decide if you want your pony to be there, or to subsidize his care because it works for you.

              JMHO as a HO.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • #8
                The therapeutic program I work with has really explicit contracts for exactly this reason. We don't typically pull a coggins for a horse that doesn't leave the property for program activities, but if the owner wants one drawn we're happy to schedule it when the vet is there for something else. If the owner decides to pull the horse out of the program and needs a coggins to take it to its next home, it's their responsibility. We do assume all the vet costs for things that happen while the horse is in our care, so if it got Lyme during its time with us we would pay for it. We don't do the 6 months on/6 months off arrangement you have, but we have had some partial leases. For horses on less than full time with us, we generally pay a percentage of vet bills and board, or just pay a "day rate" for each time the horse is used.


                • #9
                  I'd pay & refine the use contract ie have a written contract in place hereafter.
                  I'd also mention my disappointment that they chose not to vaccinate for a disease that is prevalent in their area, that I'd been vaccinating for that disease for just that reason - while the vaccine may not have prevented pony coming down with an active case of the disease, it does usually diminish the severity.

                  If you consider the winter home as a "free lease" situation of a nice pony, I'd expect the farm to cover all his expenses during that time including feed, supplements, shoes, tack, vaccines etc - obviously a cap may be placed on what they would spend on any given incident requiring vet care (e.g. $1K).

                  Of course, only you can decide what the benefits of this trade are worth to you.


                  • #10
                    Correct me if I am wrong, but there is no Lyme vaccine manufactured for horses. Some people use the canine vaccine on horses, but it is not recommended by the manufacturer, and most vets do not do it.
                    Since this is not an equine vaccine, I would not think it would be included in "routine shots," then I would think you are liable.
                    Coggins is not a vaccine, so I would think you are liable for that as well.


                    • #11
                      If Lyme isn't part of their routine vaccs and you didn't specifically request it, I think you're on your own on this one. I'd be surprised if they agreed to pay half on something they don't normally do. Including the month of treatment. Like you said, you learned to specify for next year. Hopefully your pony will come back 100%. The Coggins, it sounds like they overlooked and I would be annoyed but not ticked. That's a simple fix. What happens if pony colics (or gets some other non vaccinated disease) and needs surgery or treatment? Who pays for something like that?