A Mystery Lameness for a very clear Reason: Cookies!

Hello!  I hope you've all had fantastic half-month of February so far.  The weather has been outstanding in California, and I have been trail riding as much as possible.   Our weather has been in rather stark contrast to the Nemo survivors on the east coast!

I find that the more I am engaged and immersed in horses, the more equine legal topics I find to blog about! I have started riding a little mare more often, and thought I would introduce to you my latest equine muse, Tobiana (I know, not a very original name; Tobiana is Spanish for a tobiano (paint) colored horse).



"She now gets a thickly-bedded stall at night and lots of cookies- I think she is pleased with her choice"

She is a retired polo pony, though only retired because she has a mystery lameness whenever she plays field polo.  We can't find any concrete physical reason why she goes lame, but she is perfectly sound as a hack horse, so voila! she has a new job.

Her mystery lameness made me think of lawsuits over lame horses.
Typically these lawsuits are by the buyers against the sellers and/or vet, alleging fraud and collusion in the sale.  One lawsuit I worked on was for a horse that the buyer claimed could no longer perform at the level it was alleged to be able to perform at the time of sale.  This would be a breach of implied or express warranty, plus, the buyer claims the vet and the sellers conspired to hide the horse's lameness issues.

So what about this little mare Tobiana and her mystery lameness?  She has been in our family for a longtime, has been an excellent mare, and will forever be our pet.  However, if I had purchased her with the expressed intent to play field polo with her, whether I would have a valid case or not would depend in part on: what the seller warranted the mare could do, the cause and timing of the lameness (whether the seller had knowledge of the mare's mystery lameness when she played field polo), and of course expert testimony regarding the existence of the mare's lameness.

I'm just glad that Tobiana is happy in her new job- after the relatively non-cushy life of polo pony, she now gets a thickly-bedded stall at night and lots of cookies- I think she is pleased with her choice.  Plan on seeing a lot more of her on the blog!

Have you ever had a horse that had a mystery lameness?  Perhaps he or she lightly brushes a jump pole, then feigns lameness?  Such funny, and clever, creatures!