Nov. 10, 2011, 07:20 AM
Would you be concerned about long term soundness in a horse jumping 1.30+ that does not have absolutely straight movement?
The horse in question is close enough behind to brush occasionally and dishes with one front leg. Otherwise, movement is loose and level.
Nov. 10, 2011, 08:37 AM
Of course I would be worried about the long term with a horse that is not correct, but I am also concerned about longevity and soundness with one that is correct.
I received, and by "received" mean bought two horses from the track and the trainer brought an extra one, who was terribly incorrect. His front left pointed out significantly and he compensated for it in his movement. However he was sound, and his movement from the side gave no indication of his conformation problem.
After a year or more of sitting in the pasture, and trying to correct him a little with the ferrier(which helped only minimally) we started to work him just to keep him busy, thinking perhaps he might make a decent school horse.
Long story short he had hops like you would not believe. First time he free jumped he decided it was just as easy to jump the standard as the fence, and he jumped it like he had been doing fences his whole life. He was a easy 4'6" horse, and for all I know he probably could have done much more, but it was never asked of him. That was 7 years ago, and I saw him this summer and he is still out showing at the same level. He has never complained, gets checked by the vet frequently and there has been no sign of deterioration of the ankle or knee joints.
My best guess is that he learned to work around his issue, and take care of himself. At this point he has more than payed his way and if he got sore tomorrow he would owe no one anything, and would be more than deserving of a nice cushy retirement plan, but as long as he is happy and healthy, why stop.
Point being, this is all we can ask of any horse, correct or not. I am not advocating ignoring conformation issue's, there is a huge risk assessment involved , but if we passed on every horse that has a conformation issue initially, or that developed a soundness issue down the road resulting from the issue or not, we would be short about 50% of the top horses out there showing right now.
Would I be concerned....absolutely, there are a zillion chronic soundness issue's that could result from the conformation issue's you describe, but at the same time chronic soundness issue's are part of the sport, regardless of the starting point.
Nov. 10, 2011, 09:14 AM
Nope. My horse HAS to wear hind boots because she whacks herself otherwise. Always has, always will. She wears Eskies behind and they are carved up by the time I replace them! It hasn't slowed her down at all, though, in terms of progress (she's 15 and jumping in the 1.45s - 1.50s).