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View Full Version : When is it time to say goodbye?



eventingismylife
Jan. 9, 2011, 06:49 PM
As some of you know I bought a nice ISH mare last Feb., and she was awesome. We knew she may have mild arthritis in her right hock, but was told that by riding her correctly that she would be fine (and if she needed injections no biggie). After the PPE we had the local vet/chiro/equine dentist extraordinaire give her an adjustment, and he found that it wasnt her hock that made her flex lame it was b/c her hip was REALLY out. Only b/c of these things and her awesome attitdute I bought her, but I should never have :no:*head-desk*.
So after having her for almost a year, and doing everything in my power to keep her sound, she never has been competly sound. She has also turned into a competly different horse, she is a nightmare on the ground and so very pissy undersaddle. It doesnt help that I am scared to take her xc after her bolting incident last summer *sigh*.
I have been thinking for some time that I just need to sell her, we are both frustrated and I am not going to get anywhere with her :cry:.
My dilemma is that I dont know who would buy her, and would get enough to get a horse that I could do what I wanted with. So should I keep her or sell her and try to find the right horse with a very limited budget?:confused:

*Trinity*
Jan. 9, 2011, 07:21 PM
Have you gotten a second opinion? I don't generally have a high opinion of chiropractors - they always seem to have THE answer, which requires X number of more adjustments. "The hip is out" seems to be a common answer they give, in my experience. I think chiro's have their place and time, but I don't let them diagnose my horses when there is a lameness problem and I don't put my heart into believing what they say. Anyway, my point is, the horse was sounder before the chiro got involved and that makes me suspicious that the hocks really are the problem. Have you tried injections or Adequan/Legend? If you've only had the chiro's opinion, it's not time to give up yet, IMO. The market for a horse like her is pretty bleak. You may lose more money selling her for pennies and buying another horse than if you invested more in her.

If it makes you feel any better, I was having problems with a horse last year taking off down the longside in the canter. Flat out bolting. For the record, he was a lovely, quality horse with a great temperament and correct dressage. This was VERY uncharacteristic of him, so I got worried, had the vet out.. "he's sound, no health issues." Got the chiro out next... "He's very tense around such and such area, needs X number of treatments." When I inquired about massage, the chiro stammered with, "combining with massage helps, but chiro is more effective in this case." Yeah, sure. I paid for four treatments before I gave up. There was no effect on him whatsoever. Tried everything training-wise with coach. It finally clicked with my pea brain that I'd changed his feed around. Turns out it was his hay - I'd been giving him 2nd cut timothy/alfalfa to get some weight on him and he was trying to behave under saddle, but was so hyped up that he would end up 'snapping' in the canter and off he'd go. A week of detoxing off the hay and he was good as gold. Apparenty just VERY sensitive to hay choice!

Anyway, point is: explore your options more.

eventingismylife
Jan. 9, 2011, 10:37 PM
Have you gotten a second opinion? I don't generally have a high opinion of chiropractors - they always seem to have THE answer, which requires X number of more adjustments. "The hip is out" seems to be a common answer they give, in my experience. I think chiro's have their place and time, but I don't let them diagnose my horses when there is a lameness problem and I don't put my heart into believing what they say. Anyway, my point is, the horse was sounder before the chiro got involved and that makes me suspicious that the hocks really are the problem. Have you tried injections or Adequan/Legend? If you've only had the chiro's opinion, it's not time to give up yet, IMO. The market for a horse like her is pretty bleak. You may lose more money selling her for pennies and buying another horse than if you invested more in her.

If it makes you feel any better, I was having problems with a horse last year taking off down the longside in the canter. Flat out bolting. For the record, he was a lovely, quality horse with a great temperament and correct dressage. This was VERY uncharacteristic of him, so I got worried, had the vet out.. "he's sound, no health issues." Got the chiro out next... "He's very tense around such and such area, needs X number of treatments." When I inquired about massage, the chiro stammered with, "combining with massage helps, but chiro is more effective in this case." Yeah, sure. I paid for four treatments before I gave up. There was no effect on him whatsoever. Tried everything training-wise with coach. It finally clicked with my pea brain that I'd changed his feed around. Turns out it was his hay - I'd been giving him 2nd cut timothy/alfalfa to get some weight on him and he was trying to behave under saddle, but was so hyped up that he would end up 'snapping' in the canter and off he'd go. A week of detoxing off the hay and he was good as gold. Apparenty just VERY sensitive to hay choice!

Anyway, point is: explore your options more.

Thanks *Trinity*.
My chiro is also a very well known and reputable vet, and he doesn't beat around the bush about keeping horses sound. With that being said, I know where your coming from b/c I also don't buy into the "your horses needs this, this and this and she will be as good as new". My horse was also sounder after the chiro helped, sorry if I miss worded that in my first post. Yes my mare has been injected twice, a few months before I bought her, and once after I purchased her, but it didnt show any improvement with her soundness. I have also have had 2 other vets look at her, so I feel like I am kinda running out of options.:(

Lone
Jan. 10, 2011, 12:26 AM
Ugh, I'm sorry she isn't working out. It seems like you've been struggling with her for a while, it might be time to move on. Have you talked to Meggan about selling? She might have some ideas for you.

As far as if you'll be able to sell for enough to buy a nicer new horse... that is a reasonable concern, but you're only going to get further behind if you keep putting money into the wrong horse.

TBKate
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:32 AM
No really earthshattering advice, just sympathy--I was in your boat a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, my guy was in chronic, unfixable pain and due to his temperment not a safe choice for "re-homing" as a pasture puff. I ended up making the safest choice for him, which was euthanasia. IT SUCKED.:( It was godawful for me, but looking back I should have done it much sooner. Get as many vet opinions as you can, but don't let yourself be trapped if she's not safe for what you want to do. If her problems aren't genetic, maybe placement as a broodie? <<<Hugs to you and your mare>>> and hoping you can find a placement that's more suitable for both of you.

LLDM
Jan. 10, 2011, 12:26 PM
Have you tried letting her down for an extended period of time? Sometimes the best vet is Dr. Green.

SCFarm

longrun
Jan. 10, 2011, 01:37 PM
I agree with Kate and LLDM - I would try one of the two. I know Kate's post sounds drastic but I have known other horses that were in pain and got dangerous on the ground and their owners decided the kindest thing for everyone was to put them out of their distress. The other option for me would be to throw her out in a paddock for 6 months to a year. I would personally send her somewhere I didn't have to see him every day so I wouldn't kill myself with what ifs or want to pull him out and check.

Other areas, I don't know what the prevalence of Lyme Disease is in your area but I would check that.

I also have known horses that have had drastic temperament changes because they had PPSM or EPSM. What does she eat? You could try taking her off of all carbs and feeding either a very low starch grain or alfalfa pellets and oil. Riverbend Pol might chime in here, but she had a horse that was difficult and he improved drastically with diet. Lameness isn't a sign but it could be something muscular that looks like a lameness. Just a thought.

You know yourself and you know your horse and how much more you can take. I know that when I'm asking the question if it's time to move on, it usually is. You will make the right decision. Try not to beat yourself up in the process.

ADM7040
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:11 PM
Something you may want to consider is arthritis in her neck vertebrae. I was convinced that my horse's problems were stemming from his hind end and had chiros and different local type vets agree with hind end (stifle, hock, hip were all addressed) and treat accordingly with no real improvement. I thought it FELT like the hind end as well when he was under saddle. I took him to Dr. Kevin Keane in PA who almost immediately said he thought the neck was the problem after taking history and watching the horse on lunge and under saddle. I thought he was WHACKED and that I had just wasted my time and money coming to him.

They ultrasounded and x-rayed his neck and showed me the arthritis which corresponded to where he had two lumpish areas on his neck that I thought was simply poor musculature development due to his undersaddle issues. Had 2 of his neck vertebrae injected on each side and the problems went away quickly. The sore neck caused his entire topline to hurt from sore muscles from compensating. Now he is being maintained on Adequan to try to stretch the time between neck injections. According to Dr. Keane, he believes that neck vertebrae arthritis is way under-diagnosed and many cases of poor performance/attitude are actually untreated arthritis in the neck vertebrae.

I am not sure if this is the problem in your horse but it is certainly worth an xray or an ultrasound to see if this is the problem. When on top of your horse, do you see any parts of the musculature of her neck that looks different than what you expect the average horse's neck to look like? That can be one of the tell tale signs, although I am sure this differs for each case it is at least something that you can look at before you have the vet out. Personally, I felt like I had a totally different horse after the injections.

Good luck, I hope you can find what is wrong with the mare!

P.S. Now I understand why Dr. Keane has such a great reputation!

Fillabeana
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:12 PM
I'd second the lots of turnout, Dr Green idea if it is possible for you.

I've also had horses that were so sensitive to alfalfa in their diet, that it would give them the screaming heebie jeebies and have them bucking and rearing in their corral.
I have a hottish OTTB right now that is perfectly delightful when he has alfalfa, but my former horse, TB/Perchy, would go literally nuts with a bit of alfalfa.

Since you don't want to ride out, and the horse is hard to handle on the ground (presumably due to pain), I would say it is absolutely time to find a different horse to put your efforts into.

If your skills are up to an OTTB, they can be had for a song. We'll all help you look at the photos!!

TBKate
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:22 PM
I agree with Kate and LLDM - I would try one of the two. I know Kate's post sounds drastic but I have known other horses that were in pain and got dangerous on the ground and their owners decided the kindest thing for everyone was to put them out of their distress. The other option for me would be to throw her out in a paddock for 6 months to a year...

You know yourself and you know your horse and how much more you can take. I know that when I'm asking the question if it's time to move on, it usually is. You will make the right decision. Try not to beat yourself up in the process.

Thank you, Longrun, for stating this far more eloquently than I was able to! Agree that turnout time could be a great option, if you can swing it. OP, can you catch ride something for a while if you turned your mare out? Also, I know a horse who had almost exactly the same thing as ADM7040--totally different animal after the arthritis in the neck was found and addressed. Another thing to check!

RiverBendPol
Jan. 10, 2011, 04:44 PM
Dr. Green is a lovely idea UNLESS your horse actually DOES have EPSM. If she does, fields of endless grass will be the living end. As Long Run mentioned, if you turn your mare out at home, you will stare at her till your eyes water and your brain explodes, deciding if she looks a little better today or should you maybe just hop on and take her for a walk, it is such a pretty day, she might like the change of scene, maybe just a day of beauty will make her feel better, isn't she a little more sound than the last time you looked at her, Honey? OMG, you will GO INSANE. If you sell her, to whom?? Then won't you freak out about whether they care for her well enough or, flip side, is she breaking their bones? OR are they beating her into submission?

I have to say, having lived through your misery, I would put her down. There are FAR WORSE options for a horse than a dignified, fear-free, pain-free death among friends. I put my EPSMer down when he blew his S-I for the second time. He was a danger to all around him. Last week, I put a dear old friend down for a massive corneal ulcer that was not (would not) healing. Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel and let them cross The Bridge to romp around with their old friends in peace. It is THE WORST decision to have to make but boy o boy, sure beats the options. Once you decide, you can sleep again. So sorry you're going through this, it is not easy to have to be the grownup, that's for damn sure.

jn4jenny
Jan. 10, 2011, 05:45 PM
So what exactly IS the lameness problem? And what exactly causes this mare's bitchyness? You have mentioned in past threads that she used to be a sweetheart and has gradually turned girthy and generally rotten, which makes me think ulcers. You might get more qualified, educated answers if you share what your vets have determined about this horse's attitude and lameness issue. Even if the answer is "the vets don't know."

PuraVidaEventing
Jan. 10, 2011, 05:47 PM
I had a lot of similar struggles with my horse before Dawkins (taz) last year and the year before. He went from being a generally good boy to absolutely psychotic. He was rearing, he would freak out and throw a fit if I touched him the wrong way, in his stall he would kick at me when I touched him so it would take me forever to get tacked up. He traveled haunches in right all.the.time. And we had absolutely no idea what happened. (You can ask Olivia about my issues with Taz haha she had to deal with most of it with me). We had the vet out again and again. We tried injections, switched his feed, did blocks, x rays, ultrasounds and found nothing. Finally, we found out it was his suspensory. He would never recover. He has been turned out since September 2009 and he's still not sound. However, his tempermant (ahhh I can't spell this word!) has improved a LOT and we might now be able to give him away as a pasture pony. We have wondered more than once whether we should just put him down, because he's just costing us a LOT of money. But, he's happy now so we're going to spend the money.
Soooo my long novel leads to this-
Try turning her out. And like everyone else has said, turn her out somewhere away from you. When Taz was nearby, I was constantly looking at him, wondering what was going on, wondering if he was any better, I tried lunging him multiple times. But then we moved him and now he can just be left alone to hang out without me interfering with him.
Now, I don't have the attachment to Taz like you do to Addie. I have another horse now, which has also helped me a lot. If you could maybe find somewhere super cheap to turn Addie out and lease something? That helped me a lot.
Sorry this was so long and not that helpful :P I would say that you should definitely talk to Olivia (although I'm sure you have) about what she thinks, and before even considering putting her down, WAIT and see if she improves with turnout, feed change, etc.
I'm so sorry about this, and I hope you get her figured out.

ADM7040
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:58 PM
Girthiness was a HUGE part of my horse's problems as well as being cold backed, too. The sorer he became the crankier he was and he would sometimes balk under saddle, traveled crooked, could not hold a canter OR would canter in a huge unbalanced 15 foot stride with his head going everywhere. He started with a super temperament and great attitude under saddle, but would get cranky when asked to work harder. It DID seem like he was weak or hurting somewhere in the back end, but it was the neck. If the neck has never been investigated, it may be worth the money to have it examined by a qualified vet.

BTW, after his neck vertebrae injections and a few weeks off to allow sore muscles to heal, my horse has NEVER again displayed either girthiness or cold back issues. Before the injections, I was ready to sell him/give him away/anything just so that I did not have to get back on him and fail yet again to have a decent ride on him, so I understand your feelings completely.

bambam
Jan. 11, 2011, 02:24 PM
My dilemma is that I dont know who would buy her, and would get enough to get a horse that I could do what I wanted with. So should I keep her or sell her and try to find the right horse with a very limited budget?:confused:
While I think it is more than reasonable to give up on her as your event horse, I am not sure if selling her is a viable option even if it is for little money. Who is going to want a horse that is bad on the ground and bad under saddle and not sound?
I suspect that is why you are getting lots of suggestions for what the cause of this change in behavior could be. The only way I see selling being a realistically viable option is if you figure out what the heck the problem is.
Since this is a change in behavior, it seems like it could very well be a physical issue. Now figuring out what the issue is and how to treat it is of course another issue.
I just think, based on what you have said, the idea that you can sell her as she is now is unrealistic. Of course, I could be wrong- would not the first time and sure as heck won't be the last.
Unless you are willing to consider euthanasia, I think your most realistic options are to either (1) continue to address her issues on a physical level (and that could simply be trying Dr. Green) or (2) resign yourself to paying for her upkeep for the foreseeable future whether you ride her or not.
I realize these options suck and I say this with lots of sympathy (I feel your pain as Bill Clinton would say ;):lol:). 8 years ago I bought what was supposed to be my first serious event horse- he was unsound within a month of purchase from DJD and has had one physical issue after another since. 8 years later he has been sound enough to do 1 elementary unrecognized HT and he is again unsound and the vets have no idea why this time, let alone what to do about it. My situation is a bit different in that my guy is a sweetheart and good on the ground (unless he is past month 2 of stall rest for whatever the injury of the moment is :rolleyes:) and I love him to pieces (in spite of himself :)) but he is not sellable in any way and he is quite the financial drain. Tough position to be in.

magnolia73
Jan. 11, 2011, 03:03 PM
I'd at least give her the benefit of a second opinion before putting her to sleep. You had one vet look at her. While vets can be fantastic, they are not God. What if it is something simple like a joint needing injected or something catastrophic that allows you to feel better about letting her go?

The worst that can happen is the second opinion costs you some money for no new information. The best that can happen is the second vet finds and resolves the issue and you get your horse back sound and working.

Perfect Pony
Jan. 11, 2011, 03:46 PM
I'd at least give her the benefit of a second opinion before putting her to sleep. You had one vet look at her. While vets can be fantastic, they are not God. What if it is something simple like a joint needing injected or something catastrophic that allows you to feel better about letting her go?

No kidding, wow. I am all for euthanasia for a horse that needs it, but it sound to me like the OP has done very little in terms of diagnostics. I cannot imagine euthanasia for a horse that is clearly uncomfortable but has yet to have a thorough and proper work up. Not a 6 year old that was happy and ride-able less than a year ago! But then again, that's just me.

It has taken me 4 years to get to the bottom of what is wrong with my mare. I can tell you that all the "local vets" in my area told me I was crazy for even thinking there was a problem, and the best of them could not figure out a damn thing. I would highly recommend taking her to a good clinic that has multiple well-respected vets, or to your nearest University Vet Hospital, and do a thorough evaluation to pinpoint the actual location(s) of the problem. There are a million things that could cause what you are explaining. Anything like problems in the neck like one poster mentioned, to ulcers, to SI problems, to diet. Have you xrayed the hock again to see if it may have changed and be fusing (which can be really painful)?

Anyway, I would certainly give any horse the benefit of a complete and thorough work-up with multiple vets attending before I considered putting the horse down.

VicariousRider
Jan. 11, 2011, 03:48 PM
My parents bought me a "fancy" packer ($10K) after years of naughty, sour and essentially feral ponies. We bought him from a girl at our barn who had owned him since she bought him off of the track about 6 years earlier. We used the same vet who knew the horse's medical history from top to bottom. Nevertheless, we did a full PPE with x-rays, flexions, etc. One month after we bought him he was lame on his left hind with no evidence from the PPE.

With no diagnostic evidence except the lameness, we took him all over New England to have chiropractic and massage work done to no avail. He then started falling down in the trailer so we tested for every neurological disease under the sun with no answer. We even enlisted the help of an animal psychic.

In a last-ditch effort to diagnose the issue before turning him out indefinitely, we shipped him down to New Bolton Center (in PA) where he stayed at my Aunt and Uncle's farm 5 minutes down the road while the horse had test run. Within 1 day New Bolton diagnosed him as having a bone chip in his hind fetlock that had migrated and was at such an angle that the films taken initially had missed it.

After removing the chip, he was back in work 6 months later and sound as a rock. Unfortunately, I had outgrown him in my ability and we offered him for sale. Within months we sold him for $35K to a very cushy hunter show barn, recouping all of the costs of his surgery and other treatments plus some. The trainer whose client bought him loved him so much that she vowed e would never leave the barn and she called my trainer annually for several years to ask if we had any more like him. I am so glad that we had the resources to figure out what the problem was and fix it. We certainly sleep better at night and he ended up with the fairytale life.

I know that not everyone has the resources to figure these things out, and you may find the problem to be unsolvable. In that case, I understand the decision to euthanize the horse: there are many things far worse that death for horses, namely an unforeseeable end to pain and suffering. However, I would NOT advise putting a potentially pasture-sound horse to sleep based on the opinion of one vet. Vets can be wrong or make mistakes and, until you know what the problem is, you will not know if it is something that can be resolved or managed.

IMO, when we purchase any animal we assume the responsibility to care for them as best we can, including by giving them the benefit of moving on to the best life possible even if they no longer serve our needs. Even if it means that you have less or little money to spend on your next horse, I would suggest that you do right by your current one and do a bit more to explore the underlying issues (and perhaps you have) before putting her down or giving her away as a miserable mare. Of course, this is just based on my own ethical beliefs and experiences. Best of luck with your decision.

AKB
Jan. 11, 2011, 11:38 PM
A good basic work up by a vet school lameness vet surgeon should not be extremely expensive. You may find something that is easily correctable.

If a good work up doesn't show anything, I would put her with a top level eventing trainer for a month of training. Something very simple (e.g., poor saddle fit, not enough training routine, diet that doesn't suit her, not enough turnout, or poor rider compatibility) could be the real issue.

We owned an ISH for years who was a reject from a fox hunting barn. They couldn't wait to get rid of him, and said all kinds of things about his awful behavior. He loved to trail ride and loved to event. My daughter evented him very successfully through Training. The other daughter did polocrosse with him. He was also a lovely guest horse for timid riders. He was my trusted trail horse. The former owner kept telling us she couldn't believe he worked out for us. He hated foxhunting and was not happy in a big barn, but loved our little back yard situation.

SomethingChronic
Jan. 12, 2011, 12:00 AM
I think you have a few options. Jump to euthanasia is a bit drastic considering he symptoms the OP has described.

IMO the horse sounds like a give away in her current state. Unsound, and no idea why is not the best opening line for an ad. My advice would be have another vet look at her. Like someone has already said, vets are not God. If possible get a specialist, they see the outside of normal cases. Which it sounds like your mare is.

If not Dr.Green is a great idea. Sometimes a horse just needs time to let something heal. You can still give her adequan or legend if that makes you feel more comfortable. She would probably benefit since she has arthritis. Time to be a horse would also be good for her brain.

eventingismylife
Jan. 15, 2011, 10:57 PM
Thank you all for your advice, its really appreciated.
As of now she is pretty evident that it is her hocks, and will be having xrays done this coming week to compare to those from a year ago, then we'll go from there as far as what kind of home she could potentially go to.
At this rate she would probably be able to do hunter flat classes (occasionally) and trail riding, and would probably be happy as a broodmare. Attitude wise she is pretty much her old self when she is not anticipating to be ridden. I am going to play around with it and see how she goes, but I am guessing that she will be happier with easier work.
As for Dr Green, I don't have a place that I could turn her out for a few months to a year, or the funds to do so. If I did I would most definetly would, but its not in the cards :(.
This last year has been the first, true time she has been put to work, before I had her she ponied the previous owners kids around while they worked cattle, and did a few dressage lessons with the owner. That's it.

gottagrey
Jan. 16, 2011, 11:49 AM
I feel your pain - sounds very nearly like I found my situation in a several years ago. Bought a horse - funny looking xrays... vet cautiously passed him - I just "had to have him" This was just not the horse for me - as most often when it came to jumping he would refuse for no apparent reason other to just refuse... then he jumped spectacularly... didn't matter because 5 months later cast himself in stall, tore up his stifle. Did the usual stuff - stall rest, Dr. Green to no avail. He then started getting pretty cranky. Had I known better at that time I probably would have euthanized him but didn't even explore that option. I ended up donating him to a Vet school (which probably euthanized him anyway). As far as finances go, yes I might have been much better off had I euthanized him because he was insured but I wasn't/couldn' t make that emotional decision. I think I got a $150 write off my taxes .. but I did save several thousands because of not having to pay board, farrier vet until I could afford a new horse.

So I think you also need to look in terms of not only the $ you would get from selling her which might not be much at this point vs $ saved from not having to pay board. Since she is ISH, you might see if you can go on one of the Irish Sport horse websites...or the Irish Draught Horse Society of North America - they have a pretty good network of breeders/owners.. there is a chat group also - and they might have some really great ideas /suggestions for your horse or a home/breeding situation. None of which is probably going to get what you paid for her but might find her a nice home nad some $ in return - who knows maybe they will swap you a youngster for a broodmare?? you never know

basically, at this point unless you can keep 2 horses - the situation doesn't sound like it is affording you what you want to do w/ your riding so it might be time to find another situation for the both of you - as heartbreaking as that is. I lost about 3 years w/ my horse and have not really gotten back into the swing of things - even though now I have a great horse... job keeps me away from riding too much..

at any rate - all the best to you and let us know what happens.

I agree about the neck thing too - we've had 2 horses at the barn that showed neck/spinal problems both doing great now

ZiggyStardust
Jan. 16, 2011, 01:33 PM
Based on the original hock x-rays, should the injections have caused improvement? She could have changes in her hocks but still have some completely different underlying problem.

I would have a good vet who specializes in lameness do a full diagnostic of lower limb soundness, not a vet who specializes in chiro and dentistry. Hocks and hips may just be secondary symptoms. She may have a soft tissue problem somewhere that hasn't had a chance to heal.

Instead of focusing on the hocks because it seems like the most likely answer, it would be prudent to make sure you know the root cause before you try to sell her. A horse with undetermined soundness problems may not meet a very good end down the road.

alto
Jan. 16, 2011, 02:04 PM
mild arthritis in her right hock

her hip was REALLY out

So after having her for almost a year, and doing everything in my power to keep her sound, she never has been competly sound. She has also turned into a competly different horse, she is a nightmare on the ground and so very pissy undersaddle. It doesnt help that I am scared to take her xc after her bolting incident last summer

my mare has been injected twice, a few months before I bought her, and once after I purchased her, but it didnt show any improvement with her soundness


Not trying to be rude but this is not a mare I'd choose to breed - unless you know that her soundness issues are injury related (they certainly do not sound over-work induced) I'd assume the possibility of a genetic component for both her lack of soundness & temperament: breeding is an expensive & risky venture even when stacking the deck in your favor.
If you decide she has enough positives to breed anyway & you have the time & money, I'd do a very thorough vetting first so you know the extent of her issues.

Altitude Rider
Jan. 16, 2011, 02:22 PM
just wanted to say I feel your pain only mine was with ringbone. Like gottagrey, I bought a horse with questionable x-rays because I fell in love and had to have him. It turned into constant issues. great one day or week then totally lame, out of sorts the next day or week.

Tried months off, multiple vets, acupuncture, massage, chiro. It was the hocks, the sciatic, hamstrings, back, neck, everyone had a different diagnosis but ultimately the ringbone was the issue, which likely lead to all the other pain in his body.

I tried everything within and well beyond my financial means to just have a sound trail horse (clearly no more eventing) and then tried to just have a sound pasture horse. Nothing helped and I could no longer watch him suffer or afford to try to keep him semi-comfortable. I had to put him down. It was devastating. I constantly questioned, is he sound today? is he really in pain? should I try something else? I seriously went temporarily insane. It took a long time to recover and luckily I had lots of support, on this board and in real life.

Do your best to explore the options but trust your gut too. YOU know the horse and yourself better than anyone. Only you can decide what is right.

I wish you the best of luck. So many of us have been down that road. I miss my boy Ready every single day and I am out tens of thousands of dollars over that horse and cannot afford another one b/c I tried to save him. But I loved him and am grateful he was in my life, in spite of the painful lessons he taught me. Luckily I still have my two old boys, 22 and 25 years old, I just don't ride like I used to.