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inquisitive
Jan. 22, 2010, 08:28 AM
I'm planning on going to see two horses next week but I wanted to get some thoughts on those who have vetted CANTER horses (Charlestown specifically).

I was going to call my regular vet and ask if he had any recommendations but would love to hear your recommendations as well.

Also, did you get the vetting the day you looked at the horse or was the process more drawn out?

FairWeather
Jan. 22, 2010, 09:09 AM
There are several vets right across the street from the track, but you need to arrange for vetting ahead of time--they cannot just come over and do a vetting without prior notice.
Both numbers are on the "Resources" page on the CANTER Mid Atlantic site.
Let me know if you need further info.

inquisitive
Jan. 22, 2010, 09:29 AM
Thanks FairWeather. I had seen that but wanted to get recommendations as well.

I was wondering about the day-of vetting because I read something that made it seem there were vets actually on the track all the time, and thought that's what people used.

My vet recommended two vets at Valley so I will give them a call if things look good.

Thanks!

mcorbett
Jan. 22, 2010, 09:41 AM
I used a vet at Valley Equine (don't remember who, sorry!) and was happy. He didn't seem in a hurry when talking to me on the phone, which I appreciated, and gave me a thorough description of the horse's condition. The one thing he botched was his size. He had no idea how big he was!

I had him vetted on a Saturday. The vet pulled him out and had a tech hold the horse since I wasn't there. I would call the office and ask them how it usually works if you are going to be there.

I'd also love to hear what people have done. If you have x-rays taken, what joints? A whole series or just one?

caffeinated
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:13 AM
I've used the vets at Valley for x-rays on my own horse :)

Very reasonable pricing and easy to work with.

I haven't been in a position to get a PPE done at the track, but if I was going to I would call them (and have a general exam done, maybe x rays of feet and ankles. Depending on how much $ I had and how much I was feeling like gambling that day!)

inquisitive
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:15 AM
mcorbett, depending on how the horse looks and flexes with my trainer, I will most definitely xray front feet and hocks. Anything else will depend on how the day goes :)

Catalina
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:17 AM
I have used Valley Vet for X-rays on my horse (I don't remember which vet either :o) and I was very happy with everything.

53
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:59 AM
Harrison Equine

Gry2Yng
Jan. 22, 2010, 07:14 PM
I'd shoot rads of the knees as a matter of course. That is just my experience.

judybigredpony
Jan. 22, 2010, 08:35 PM
Call Carroll and Butler,Ranson WVA ask for Gwen :yes:

She is a good common sense vet, has her own horse and will explain in detail anything you want to know.

I trust her and I know the practice has good referances from other sources sendin clients in for PPE's.

judybigredpony
Jan. 22, 2010, 08:40 PM
Skip the hocks....spend your X-ray $$ on Ankles n knees, feet ?? TB's are not so plagued by navicular and if it doesn't fall down w/ hoof testers skip it.

The knees and ankles get tapped and injected, theres where you want to look for joint narrowing, thin to no catilage, degeneration from steroid use.
And get it scoped as well.

Also pull a tox screen have vet spin down freeze n store for 6 months (should be free) so if it comes back in say 30-60 days dead F** lame you can see if Carbocai or lidocain or bute or banamine etc was in the system masking something.

PM if you have any other questions.

Gry2Yng
Jan. 22, 2010, 09:11 PM
More rock solid advice from Judy. Will copy and print for when my brain goes mush.

inquisitive
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:59 PM
Skip the hocks....spend your X-ray $$ on Ankles n knees, feet ?? TB's are not so plagued by navicular and if it doesn't fall down w/ hoof testers skip it.

The knees and ankles get tapped and injected, theres where you want to look for joint narrowing, thin to no catilage, degeneration from steroid use.
And get it scoped as well.

Also pull a tox screen have vet spin down freeze n store for 6 months (should be free) so if it comes back in say 30-60 days dead F** lame you can see if Carbocai or lidocain or bute or banamine etc was in the system masking something.

PM if you have any other questions.

Thanks! Do most trainers accept some sort of contract then with a limitation for those 30-60 days?

I'm not too familiar with this but assume my trainer and vet will know...

53
Jan. 22, 2010, 11:46 PM
Are you looking for resale or for yourself?

If you are looking for possible resale, I recommend shots of the major joints so no one is surprised at the next vetting down the road.

Gry2Yng
Jan. 23, 2010, 10:47 AM
Thanks! Do most trainers accept some sort of contract then with a limitation for those 30-60 days?

I'm not too familiar with this but assume my trainer and vet will know...

I would be very curious as to your experience with this Judy. Many years ago, a friend took a horse to her personal vet for vetting. Results were not acceptable. Trainer would not take the horse back. (Obviously there is more detail here, but summarize to say - they agreed to a ppe offsite.)

Meredith Clark
Jan. 23, 2010, 10:53 AM
Just to play devil's advocate..

I haven't vetted any of the OTTBs I've had. I've only had 6 (that i've owned or ridden) but I also don't know many other people that have done x-rays for CANTER horses.

I'm all for it if you want to spend the money but when I've gone to the tracks I'll look at many horses and if I vetted all of them I wouldn't have enough money to buy one!

Just wanted to give you the other side.. that many people don't vet at all and turn out fine. (others don't!)

Good luck!

EquineRacers
Jan. 23, 2010, 03:52 PM
Is the horse on the racetrack now?? If so, you will need to check with the rules first. Many do not allow outside vets to enter track grounds to vet out a horse, therefore you would need to use a vet that has a track license to do it. In my experience with vetting on the track horses, it only takes about 30-40 mins to vet one out and they just do the basics. If they need xrays with the equiptment now days are digit, so you can get the results right then and there on their portable computeres.

I have had a few that were x-rayed that I had listed on canter, most passed, but a couple of them didn't.

Gry2Yng
Jan. 23, 2010, 11:40 PM
Just to play devil's advocate..

I haven't vetted any of the OTTBs I've had. I've only had 6 (that i've owned or ridden) but I also don't know many other people that have done x-rays for CANTER horses.

I'm all for it if you want to spend the money but when I've gone to the tracks I'll look at many horses and if I vetted all of them I wouldn't have enough money to buy one!

Just wanted to give you the other side.. that many people don't vet at all and turn out fine. (others don't!)

Good luck!

Agreed. I have had purchased two that were not vetted and all turned out fine. I have vetted others, good or bad. I think it depends on the price you are paying and what the end game is.

Muleskick
Jan. 23, 2010, 11:44 PM
Just to play devil's advocate..

I haven't vetted any of the OTTBs I've had. I've only had 6 (that i've owned or ridden) but I also don't know many other people that have done x-rays for CANTER horses.

I'm all for it if you want to spend the money but when I've gone to the tracks I'll look at many horses and if I vetted all of them I wouldn't have enough money to buy one!

Just wanted to give you the other side.. that many people don't vet at all and turn out fine. (others don't!)

Good luck!

Ditto!
I'm on the other side of it, I have probably sold 100 plus off the track and only recall one or two being vetted.
I do give full disclosure on all my horses and tell everything I know, some trainers not so much.
The funny thing is the one I remember being vetted was flunked on his hock x-rays but then purchased by the next person that looked at him (and yes I informed them of prior vet) and was sold a year later for mid five figures. So go figure.
And just remember you can't put them thru anything compared to what they have already done.
Good Luck hope you get a good one.

FairWeather
Jan. 24, 2010, 07:16 AM
You can have private vets at Charles Town.

judybigredpony
Jan. 24, 2010, 07:59 AM
Well since you asked, I have bought about 75- 80 horses almost all were on the track.

Some came from training centers like Fair Hill a large % recently from CT.

NO I can not afford to x-ray n vet horses. I have to trust my eye and all the information I have on the horse. Plus good contacts w/ trainers, owners and vets on the inside.
Most of theh time trainers want to do right,since I am a good repeat buyer, no fuss, dead easy, show-up w/ trailer n cash. And its a Yes or No, not a maybe or call you back BS.

I try to look at as many as possible make my choice load up n go.

BUT I do have the names, pedigrees, and past race performances looked up BEFORE I go. Cash in hand, halter and trailer in tow. I also try to show up as close to my appointed time as possible and truthfully say, hey I gotta see a few more give me your cell will call you back in 60 minutes w/ a yes or no. Once its a yes I pay up load up and go.

I have bought horses who I was told had poor flexion and were ouchy, and after time off, feet trimmed angles of toe adjusted properly and time off to re-model,with 99.9% resold and passed PPE's.

But you just never know, the prettiest mover, w/lovely round feet good angles, best of care, never joint tapped/injected, carefully raced, well feed, fat shiny, clean tight cold ankles, one owner and trainer well breed expensive horses....well x-rays showed narrowing of joint, severe degeneration in one area w/ NO cartalidge and a future of pain ahead. And there was no way of just looking at this horse to give any indicarion that was going to be found, he totally shocked more than 1 vet when the rads were taken...........

And to answer your next question, I did not sell him, give him away or send him back. He was put down to relieve him of a 100% certain one way life of pain and suffering.@ 4......

And I don't know but maybe 1-2 trainers who would say bring the horse back if after maybe 7 days you find something wrong....99%-100% of all sales FINAL. The owence is on YOU to have your diagnostics done BEFORE you write the check.

And by the way Muleskick it one trainer you do want to buy from:yes:

inquisitive
Jan. 24, 2010, 08:57 AM
Thanks all, I really appreciate the insight. I guess I've never bought a horse where the process was so fast. I'll talk to my trainer about everything and make sure we are prepared and feel comfortable doing this before we go.

I've had a ton of issues with my gelding, but none of them showed up on x-rays during his pre-purchase so it obviously didn't help anyway. Just scared of a repeat :sigh: Always a gamble but want to start off as best as possible.

inquisitive
Jan. 24, 2010, 08:58 AM
Are you looking for resale or for yourself?

If you are looking for possible resale, I recommend shots of the major joints so no one is surprised at the next vetting down the road.

I guess I should answer this as well: I'm looking for me. I always end up getting attached and keeping them forever :lol: It's not a business for me.

Gry2Yng
Jan. 24, 2010, 09:43 AM
So Judy, are you suggesting spinning down the blood just for your own knowledge when a horse comes up sore later? As in, do I have a new problem or an old one?

FairWeather
Jan. 24, 2010, 10:04 AM
Judy gives some great info--read, learn, live.

If you are unprepared to take a risk, and have not purchased from the racetrack before, please bring someone who has experience with you. At the very least, Racehorses move differently than what you are expecting and someone knowledgeable with knowing what you are looking at and what you will have will be handy.

The other option is to go through groups who have already done the transitioning for you (CANTER/ Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue/ ReRun, Etc). that way you have time to make a selection without the hurry.

judybigredpony
Jan. 24, 2010, 06:06 PM
Look any time you are going and I am in the neighborhood

PM me I am happy to walk anyone thru the process...BUT its not for the faint hearted.
For the price of gas I will make a special trip and meet you at the gate. Make up your mind BEFORE you go you ARE going to buy a horse if you like it....since if you wait to long it will be back racing, hurt or sold.

This is the T.J. Maxx of horse shopping, some dirty marks a few sewing flaws but great opportunity @ affordable $$ take a Chance shopping.

Its a Bungee jump, sometimes you wet your pants and sometimes you end up w/ a smile:yes:

inquisitive
Jan. 24, 2010, 07:35 PM
Judy gives some great info--read, learn, live.

If you are unprepared to take a risk, and have not purchased from the racetrack before, please bring someone who has experience with you. At the very least, Racehorses move differently than what you are expecting and someone knowledgeable with knowing what you are looking at and what you will have will be handy.

The other option is to go through groups who have already done the transitioning for you (CANTER/ Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue/ ReRun, Etc). that way you have time to make a selection without the hurry.

My two prior horses have come off the track, just through trainers. I am taking my trainer :)

Moesha
Jan. 25, 2010, 02:20 PM
Always vet a horse you are going to buy, unless you have the resources to deal with a potential issue, it is not fair to you or the horse if you end up in a bad situation. Race horses are high power athletes that are in vigorous programs that can cause wear and tear, most things can be dealt with but some things might not seem obvious but can end up having a major impact of your goals and if you do not have the resources to keep pasture pet horses you end up in a difficult, emotionally draining situation. If you look at sites that promote OTTBS vet checks are always recommended there are vets right there as was pointed out have them do at least a basic check,

vineyridge
Jan. 25, 2010, 03:16 PM
I used Valley Equine about six years ago. There was a mare I wanted. I sent them money to do lots of xrays as well as the PPE. Told them exactly what I hoped to use her for. What happened was the initial exam said Grade 1 lame, so vet did xrays on the leg that was lame. Then he called and said she had serious sacroiliac issues as well as arthritic degeneration, and would probably not be sound for my use. Did I want to continue with the xrays of the other joints? I said "no" and felt as if someone had just died. :(

I tried to get them to do a vetting on another mare the next year, but they didn't have time for a week. Got her anyway, and wished I had waited and done the PPE. She's no longer alive.

LuvMyTB
Jan. 25, 2010, 04:50 PM
I got an OTTB this past summer, not directly from the track but had only been OTT for about 2 months before I looked at him.

This horse raced for almost 8 years, had 72 starts and won over $200,000.

I assumed he would have arthritic changes in ankles, hocks, knees. His adoption fee was low so I only had the most basic PPE done--flexion tests, check teeth, eyes, breathing etc. The only way I was going to x-ray was if he flexed poorly--but if he had flexed that bad, I probably would not have taken him.

He flexed great in the hocks, ankles had lost some range of motion but again--that's to be expected. Vet said he was remarkably sound/clean-legged for as much time as he spent on the track.

With OTTBs, you have to expect wear and tear. Amount depends on how hard they were raced and how young they started. I wouldn't bother with a full PPE unless the purchase price was high. JMHO.

Moesha
Jan. 25, 2010, 05:49 PM
You don't have to go to great expense on the PPE, certainly, but you need to know what to expect, what is going on if anything, and what you can realistically hope to do with the horse, for their sake as well as yours.

Starting from zero gets you know where, you can't fix certain problems, no matter how amazing the horse is, and sadly for many urban riders, who board horses you have to try to start with the best potential, and while OTTB's are definitely high on the list choices IMO, unless you can deal with emmotionally or financially or have a back up of things not working out ( and if you had PPED woudl have known that ) getting a horse almost blind without knowing a potential serious issue sets you up a big fall.

SaddleFitterVA
Jan. 25, 2010, 06:32 PM
Or you go in, eyes wide open, knowing that the horse that "needs to go NOW", is an at risk horse.

You accept that you might have to put him down, if it doesn't work out.

Or, most of the time, you have a horse who after time to build new muscles is a great riding horse ready for his new career.

I like to have a OTTB project in the barn. Keeps me sharp and learning, and I am pretty good at finding what the horse likes to do, and producing a calm and solid citizen.

I do resell my project OTTBs, but I'm low volume. I figure about 12-18 months to let down, reschool, market and sell.

Since I won the digital xrays on the CANTER auction, I took my most recent acquisition, and he is the first horse I've ever had xrayed....and he has clean xrays! Lucky boy. He was just too slow for racing. He is fantastic and he might even be ready for marketing early. I'll probably start writing an ad for him in early April after he is solid over fences and has more dressage under his belt.

Moesha
Jan. 25, 2010, 06:52 PM
If you are going in to rescue a horse of course it makes no difference or if you have the resources to deal with taking that chance, not everyone wants to do that or can do that. For a person who has a goal and wants to take the rewarding journey of a horse off the track they have to start with a horse that can at least physically do what they want. There is no gurantee of course not but you wouldn't go sailing across the sea with a boat with a hole in it so you wouldn't start off on a goal to make a show jumper out off a horse with established physical issues that simply could not hold up to that program.
Everything really depends on what you want.

FairWeather
Jan. 25, 2010, 07:38 PM
Isn't this thread about setting up a vetting? Or am I missing something?

Moesha
Jan. 25, 2010, 09:43 PM
Totally agree I think it is great people have been lucky without a vetting or have been able to deal with consequences but this ia about vetting and it all comes down to the issues that may or may not be present and the intentions of the buyer. If the OP wants an A rated hunter the soundess issues she cannot maintain might be nothing for a rider who rides a few times a week and does one event a few shows etc. Also for the horse how many horses are ruined because of doing more than they can? Tbs have huge heart and of course a horse needs vets throughout their career but do everyone a favor vet the horse and know what you have then make a decision that you have to take responsibility for and can't blame anyone last thing OtTBs need is bad press.

DMK
Jan. 26, 2010, 11:10 AM
I dunno, if you are going to buy a horse and do anything from not vet or see it at all prior to purchase all the way to MRI every damn inch of the animal, you better be prepared to deal with an animal that does not have the soundness or potential to do the job for which you intended it.

That's just part and parcel of buying a horse, I don't care how much you do or don't spend. PPEs are just a point in time, and we've all seen how inadequate they are in the real world (says the person with the freebie unvetted A show winning hunter who has pristine x-rays and has been failing flexions since he was 3 and probably before that)

fancyfooted
Jan. 26, 2010, 11:55 AM
It is wise to remember that regardless of what the vet says, the horse may not end up staying sound for what you're wanting to do. Pay close attention to the vet, and if they bring up anything that sounds doubtful, or they give you a clear "Yes, X should be fine, but don't have Y expectation," then you know what you're working with. You can, of course, take that opinion with a grain of salt because one vet's opinion may not be anothers. However, they are professionals and they see a lot of these horses on the regular. You are paying for their opinion, so it is important to listen with open ears!

caffeinated
Jan. 26, 2010, 01:29 PM
Another thing to consider is sometimes trainers/owners will have current or recent x-rays that they may be willing to share with you. It's not often, but worth it to ask :)

SaddleFitterVA
Jan. 26, 2010, 01:53 PM
Vetting the horse also is good for the local economy. It gives the buyer the peace of mind that they did their due-diligence and it also helps the vet practices stay in business.

As a seller, I've been through vet checks that both sealed the deal and killed the deal. <shrug>. As a buyer, I have not chosen to get a PPE.

I would not hesitate to use the vets at Valley Equine or Harrison Equine (in Berryville) at the Charles Town track. I have used both practices.

To be honest, I don't think that someone wanting their next "A" hunter should be going directly to the track unless they understand that they might have to retrain a few horses to find one that wants Hunters as his next job.

Part of the fun of a CANTER/OTTB horse, is figuring out what each one likes to do best, then directing the horse to that market. It seems to me that if you want a horse for a specific job, with little to no risk (which the vetting is to mitigate), you'd be best getting one already doing that job.

I'm not sure I consider what I do "rescuing", because while a horse might be "at risk", that doesn't mean he is in the New Holland feed lot when I get him.

Moesha
Jan. 26, 2010, 05:29 PM
I dunno, if you are going to buy a horse and do anything from not vet or see it at all prior to purchase all the way to MRI every damn inch of the animal, you better be prepared to deal with an animal that does not have the soundness or potential to do the job for which you intended it.

That's just part and parcel of buying a horse, I don't care how much you do or don't spend. PPEs are just a point in time, and we've all seen how inadequate they are in the real world (says the person with the freebie unvetted A show winning hunter who has pristine x-rays and has been failing flexions since he was 3 and probably before that)

No one said that wasn't the case? and frankly a good prevetting most times leads to a good match physically of course things happen no one said they don't....and I actually made the same point about the Needing vets throughout a horse's career but you should vet a horse or otherwise you have no idea of any issues that might be things you can't work with. Frankly people can do whatever they want it is up to them, but I think when you talk about horses that are in need encouraging people to know exactly what they are getting and be responsible leads to better press for those horses, right?

Moesha
Jan. 26, 2010, 05:36 PM
Vetting the horse also is good for the local economy. It gives the buyer the peace of mind that they did their due-diligence and it also helps the vet practices stay in business.

As a seller, I've been through vet checks that both sealed the deal and killed the deal. <shrug>. As a buyer, I have not chosen to get a PPE.

I would not hesitate to use the vets at Valley Equine or Harrison Equine (in Berryville) at the Charles Town track. I have used both practices.

To be honest, I don't think that someone wanting their next "A" hunter should be going directly to the track unless they understand that they might have to retrain a few horses to find one that wants Hunters as his next job.

Part of the fun of a CANTER/OTTB horse, is figuring out what each one likes to do best, then directing the horse to that market. It seems to me that if you want a horse for a specific job, with little to no risk (which the vetting is to mitigate), you'd be best getting one already doing that job.

I'm not sure I consider what I do "rescuing", because while a horse might be "at risk", that doesn't mean he is in the New Holland feed lot when I get him.


Actually quite a few people have found lovely horses off the track that have won in some of the best company and being a member of a committe that gives out awards to OTTBS at the A shows in the mid atlantic, I can say the pool is getting bigger to choose from then it was a few years ago, TB's are great horses to work with, no one said there was not a risk but isn't it better to know right away if a horse simply can't do or hold up to something?

Some of you are mixing apples and oranges, no one is talking about the risk of training a horse off the track and yes with the fun and amazing experience does come a lot of risk and unkown, but vetting a horse for physical issues is not the same thing, they are completey seperate issues.

SaddleFitterVA
Jan. 26, 2010, 06:32 PM
I don't know see that anyone is comparing apples to oranges.

Poster asked question, a few vets were recommended, the topic drifted to the pros/cons of vetting horses, fairweather tried to bring it back to original topic of logistics of vetting, and the other conversation continued.

I think we both are fans of OTTBs. I think we both see great successes with OTTBs.

You are the PPE sort of buyer for all the reasons you've stated. Largely purpose based.

I'm not a PPE sort of buyer. I don't have a preconceived purpose for the horse. I might have hopes that the horse will jump, but my OTTB project is never my only horse. I consider retraining them a way to keep them out of harm's way down the road, and if they end up being the next super-star in the show ring, bonus!

No biggie, this topic is a regular one here, just like "do you insure your horse" topics.

Beam Me Up
Jan. 27, 2010, 01:17 AM
I've always tried to vet horses coming off the track, just for my peace of mind, but have usually had to settle for a track vet 15 min look over because the sport horse vets were not available for a week + or didn't come to the track.

Every horse has passed, because it's pretty much just a quick soundness check, and if the horse were lame I probably would have noticed myself.

It would take a more extensive and expensive vetting (x-rays) to learn things you didn't know. And it's hard to know how far to go on a 1K horse. I guess x-ray anything that looks funny or you have questions about?

Suppose it depends on your goals, risk tolerance, and back-up plans. It's heartbreaking to put years into something that won't hold up. At the same time, most of the long-term soundness issues I've dealt with wouldn't have come up on a "normal" PPE--they were quite a challenge to diagnose even with clinical signs.

inquisitive
Jan. 28, 2010, 06:55 PM
Well this thread got a little crazy but I wanted to thank everyone for their help.

I especially want to thank judybigredpony for all her advice and caffeinated for her awesome info and map ;)

Unfortunately I must have kept missing muleskick and did not get to see any of her horses.

But... I did bring one home :winkgrin:

Will post pics/video on its own thread.

Thanks all!