Former client. Works out of town. Keeps her two horses with her parents’ neighbour who is an elderly lady with an elderly horse who needed a friend. Just a recreational rider.
Farrier came out to trim horses when horse owner was out of town (working). Property Owner (PO) and Mom (not a horse person) were there. Horse was being naughty, farrier “got after her” and the result was horse backed into hoof stand. Farrier turned horse back out. PO noticed and commented “that looks like it is bleeding a lot” so farrier said something along the lines of “a vet would probably say to wrap it” and got wraps from his truck and wrapped the leg. Told Mom to tell HO to check the wrap in a day or two. Neither mom nor PO took a close look at the injury.
HO gets back to town, and goes look at her horse about 30 hours later. Sends me pictures asking if a vet should be called. Pictures show about a 3 inch square section where all layers of skin missing (not even a flap), a lot of inflammation, and part of a tendon just sort of sticking on to the exposed tissue, but not attached at the top. I told her to call the vet. Vet came/treated (after hours call).
I went out the next day to help with medication and treatment (HO back at work), and the wound is deep…like tip of flushing syringe goes all the way. Gaping hole with the leg moves. Since then, HO then took time off work to be able to care for her horse (she works 24 hour shifts out of town) - she is a young adult struggling to pay bills and missing shifts and a big emergency vet bill are a hardship. Bill would have been much smaller if vet called at time of injury.
I doubt the horse will be sound, but hopefully saveable.
Should the farrier be liable for vet costs? If so, how should HO proceed?
If it matters, farrier is an “expert” in the industry in that he is also a horse trainer and barn owner.