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View Full Version : Fused Hocks.... affect resale value?



AGRHJRider
Mar. 20, 2011, 10:31 PM
Im looking to purchase a great gelding who has been there done that. This nice gelding has fused hocks.
I simply in all my years of owning horses have never encountered this issue.
We aren't talking big money, but i have a few students in mind and want to make sure that im not going to sell them something that will break or that they won't be able to re-sell in a year or two when they outgrow him.
Would you buy one with fused hocks?
Your thoughts and opinions please :)

Beethoven
Mar. 20, 2011, 10:35 PM
Hock eventually fuse or that the current school of thought. Usually after fusing, hock injections are not necessary because the pain of fusing should be gone. I believe its the lower hock joints that normally fuse, but could be mistaken.

What does your vet say?

AGRHJRider
Mar. 20, 2011, 10:41 PM
Im actually buying sight unseen. Did have a very trustworthy friend go look at the horse for me and she loved him.
I haven't contacted my vet, i have xrays from 6 months ago, and don't think a pre-purchase is neccessary.

mroades
Mar. 20, 2011, 11:12 PM
if they are truly fused, yay! Problems with pain are ususally when they are not fused and then never do. Again,talking about the lower joints..it the upper joint is fused, he aint gonna be walking...lol

ex-racer owner
Mar. 20, 2011, 11:22 PM
Just had my vet out on Friday to inject my horse's hocks. Last time, he was difficult on one site to actually inject into. This time he had two sites that were difficult to get into. She said that its good, because he is further into the fusing process and then once he is fused, he will be better off comfort-wise. I had xrays done this past fall before injecting, so six months later, we are further along.

That being said, I personally would like some xrays for my vet to examine, just to be sure of what's going on. If that's all it is, and my vet said sure, then it wouldn't trouble me. Not sure where horse or OP are located, but for me, I think I had 6 digital images taken last fall at $40 a pop. To me, that money would be well spent in this case.

Hauwse
Mar. 21, 2011, 12:36 PM
I am going on the assumption that both the horses hocks are fully fused already, which would be a good thing.

If you look at the hock it is like a stacked stone fence, and the bones that fuse are the lower tarsal bones. These bones are not involved with hock flexion, so do not impact the horses movement.

There are a number of ways this happens, but basically what has happened is that the crtilage of these lower bones has been worn away over time or through process. It is the period of wearing away that is painful, once the hock has fused, no pain.

The issue with resale however will be perception. Though many, many horses perform with fused hocks, and not trail horses, top GP horses etc. since it can be an intensity injury, many people assume it impacts performance ability and consequently shy away from horses with these changes . Plus, today, we have a "new car" mentality and if a horse cannot pass a PPE with flying colors they are not interested or feel there should be a significant price reduction.

In the end it kind of depends on what type of horseman/woman you are selling to.

Dressagelvr
Mar. 21, 2011, 02:53 PM
I haven't contacted my vet, i have xrays from 6 months ago, and don't think a pre-purchase is neccessary.

You *think* that this horse's lower joints have fused. Ok, so his lower joints won't hurt any more. Great.

What about the rest of the horse?

A horse whose hocks have fused is virtually bound to have advanced arthritis in other places too. Are you not worried about that?

A pre-purchase exam is always necessary, even if you are getting the horse for "free". I put "free" in quotes because when it comes to horses, there is simply no such thing.

As an aside, I would never, ever purchase a horse that I had personally not ridden. You are almost begging for a big problem.

KBEquine
Mar. 21, 2011, 03:57 PM
I personally would have a PPE done to have a snapshot of his current status.

I have had a horse whose hocks when through changes & fused young. It was the lower joint, the one the vet characterized as "it only moves enough to cause pain & once it is fused, you won't notice any negative effect on his movement."

We did the injections, etc., and he went on to get to 2nd/3rd level dressage & also did open jumpers. BUT by the time he was 10, there were other issues - high & low ringbone & as bad luck would have it, a bone spur in one stifle, the point of which aimed directly into the joint. I don't actually know if all those things were related to the hocks, but might have occurred due to compensation in how he moved. (Edited to add: The hock issues on this horse were probably entirely my fault, for relying on the wrong blacksmith in his early years.)

That was a decade & a half ago. The same horse was still doing beginner lessons last year at age 24 because he liked the attention (small light riders - he's 16.2).

So in my opinion, you need to know what's going on with him now, understand that you will probably still have maintenance issues, going forward. But you may still have a serviceably sound & useful horse for a long time. Or maybe not. Which is why a PPE to evaluate the horse's likely future maintenace needs is so important.

Good luck!

Hauwse
Mar. 22, 2011, 04:24 AM
You *think* that this horse's lower joints have fused. Ok, so his lower joints won't hurt any more. Great.

What about the rest of the horse?

A horse whose hocks have fused is virtually bound to have advanced arthritis in other places too. Are you not worried about that?

A pre-purchase exam is always necessary, even if you are getting the horse for "free". I put "free" in quotes because when it comes to horses, there is simply no such thing.

As an aside, I would never, ever purchase a horse that I had personally not ridden. You are almost begging for a big problem.

I don't know that the logic of subsequent arthritic issues follows through in this scenario. Fused hocks are not always the result of DJD, and DJD does not always result in fused hocks.

While I would not sdvocate by-passing a PPE, I believe there are times when a PPE discloses no subsequent information.

I don't know that the poster is going to have this opportunity, but sometimes I beleive it is much more revealing to evaluate a horse with the regular rider in the saddle, and having purchased many, many a horse without backing them first it can be an entirely sound practice to purchase a horse without riding it.

findeight
Mar. 22, 2011, 12:10 PM
Does it effect value for resale? The fact that you are thinking about it and asking about it on here says yes, it can effect resale compared to an otherwise equal horse with no fusing or other hock issues.

Personally, no way I'd skip at least a basic PPE on this sight unseen and unknown horse with 6 month old x rays with intent to resell it to a client-you really can't afford to make a mistake with all these assumptions about the what's and whys here. You bet there will be issues with an older horse but at least you can be sure what they are.

Once the hocks fuse, they may cause no further problems but they may also restrict the mobility in that joint depending on what and where they fused and what else is going on. It is really not that simple and it does not always all go away once they fuse.

If I knew the horse and was familiar with the owners/trainer and he had been back in regular work doing what my client would want him to do? Heck, yeah, I'd buy him. AFTER some new pictures.

horselesswonder
Mar. 23, 2011, 12:31 AM
Once the hocks fuse, they may cause no further problems but they may also restrict the mobility in that joint depending on what and where they fused and what else is going on. It is really not that simple and it does not always all go away once they fuse.



I agree, those hocks may not be as flexible as they were previously. And I would say yes, absolutely, fused hocks are likely to affect resale. As another poster mentioned, even with inexpensive or older horses, many purchasers want a clean PPE, especially when it comes to hocks (even though those are pretty easy to treat). I'm not saying that's a reasonable or even realistic expectation, but nonetheless, that's what a lot of buyers are looking for. I think this is especially true in the lower price brackets.

H/J Anonymous
Mar. 23, 2011, 04:13 PM
As stated in other posts: You need to get a PPE done to compare to x-rays from 6 months ago. You want your vet pulling their own x-rays and making their own conclusions.

I would buy a horse with fused hocks if he was a winning or safe horse in the division I wanted to show in. You can certainly think about resale, but in my case I would be buying the horse more for the experience than the resale prospect.

All horses have something if you dig far enough into a PPE. I am not saying to do that, but you owe it to your clients to get a PPE done that includes x-rays.

If you do buy him and he does come up lame, you will want x-rays to compare to (inlcuding the x-rays the sellers are offering).

Oh, and make sure they release all vet records for the horse...then you can see any issues he had with the hocks fusing and how much it affected his performance. No horse is perfect -- it is just about making a decision about what you are willing to deal with at this specific point in time.