View Full Version : Would you buy a horse with an old soft tissue injury?

Jan. 30, 2012, 11:37 AM
And if so, under what circumstances? Would you tolerate an old bow in an OTTB? What about a suspensory injury in a sport horse? Has anybody had a "healed" horse re-injure in the same spot? I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts and experiences, as it seems nearly impossible to find a "perfect" horse anywhere!

Jan. 30, 2012, 11:49 AM
Personally, some things are more tolerable than others. An old bow? Probably not a big deal and I'd take that risk. A sport horse with a suspensory? Depends, how long ago was the injury, has the horse been back in work doing what you want it to do and for how long? Front or hind?

As for re-injury, the injured spot will never be as strong as the original whole structure. Scar tissue is just not as strong as normal, healthy tendon/ligament fibers. However, if the horse in question had a suspensory injury 5 years ago and is now being ridden and competed at the level you would want to do without any trouble? I might take that on if the horse was perfect otherwise.


Beam Me Up
Jan. 30, 2012, 11:53 AM
If the horse were fully healed and had been competing at the level I wanted to for a couple of seasons on the rehabbed injury I would consider.

I would not take the risk with something coming OTT. Too many sound horses out there to take that risk with a project.

Jan. 30, 2012, 03:53 PM
Funny I just had this conversation w/ the Vet this AM really....TB injured @ 3? has had 2 years off no racing since. Superficial Tendon low in leg under 50% tear. No major disfiguration but a mildly noticable bump. Completely healed w/ scar tissue. Horse is sound...but prognosis for any major type of hard core eventing not wise. Intro BN w/ proper shoeing attention to leg and footing, low level anything in moderation but to go on in a big way not promising.

You also have to look @ the horses overall conformation way of going and foot. An up hill lighter boned, soft step w/ good short toe and proper length of heel is way better canidate than a heavey boned down hill heavy front horse w/ a longish toe and run under heels.

Then there are those that totally defy the law of physics..they are after all horses..:)

Jan. 30, 2012, 04:07 PM
The old bows have not worried me as much. But now after having my one TB have a torn suspensory and then later diagnosed with DSLD, I would not consider a suspensory injury. Maybe if it had been years and the horse ad been in solid work, it might be worth looking.

Jan. 30, 2012, 04:18 PM
Probably not for resale, as (like someone else said) there are too many other unblemished horses at there that will make yours tougher and cheaper to resell, no matter how nice it is.
For a personal horse, I've only ever owned two of them and both came to me with bowed tendons and had long UL eventing careers where those injuries were never a problem. So, for a personal horse, apparently that's the only kind of horse I DO get!:D

Lori B
Jan. 30, 2012, 05:13 PM
No suspensories ever ever ever again. Front. Hind. Don't care, nope.

I have heard of many horses who are fine with an old bow, however.

Jan. 30, 2012, 05:23 PM
Sure, as long as they were sound and the ultrasounds looked good.

Jan. 30, 2012, 06:15 PM
I would not gamble on a suspensory. I've heard too many unsuccessful outcomes with suspensory injuries.

I would not take on a bow either. Maybe in a special circumstance like a lease I might. I know some people that have taken OTTB's with bows and they ended up becoming nice competitive horses. I think it's a different scenario when you are taking that chance on a horse for no money for yourself vs. something you might want to resell later on.

A seller was trying to talk me into looking at a made horse with an old bow after they finally told me about it, but they were trying to sell the horse for the kind of money you'd get for one with a pristine vetting. No thanks.

Hawks Nest
Jan. 30, 2012, 06:39 PM
Having recently purchased a horse with some serious soft tissue scarring I would only do it for a horse you don't intend to resell and one you are willing to take your time with. In my case said horse was basically a rescue but flexed sound enough and we don't plan to push her.

One small blemish probably won't hurt at all, especially if they have been sound on it for some time since while in full work. Would I purchase a horse that had soft tissue damage on three out of four legs again? No.

(Yes, the mare is still happy and sound even with her thickened tendons on three legs. No, we don't plan on turning her into a top competition horse, but we are giving her a home and she needs that)

Jan. 30, 2012, 06:45 PM
for lower level eventer looking for a mount, there may be those that have done more, but aren't to return to that level due to these types of injuries. I know several who have/are having long happy careers at prelim and below with various old injuries and often the lower price points allow a less experienced rider a better mount than would otherwise be available to them

Jan. 30, 2012, 07:12 PM
I've owned, bought and sold ones who had soft tissue injuries: in all of those cases, the horses had been properly rehabbed and had come back to successfully compete at the level they had been at before. In none of the cases did it bother me - for these horses, they were pretty clearly one-off kinds of injuries, and the type of thing we could point to other causal issues, rather than a way-of-going that made them prone to re-injury. One of those horses went back to successfully running Advanced, another Intermediate and CCI* long format, and the third Preliminary.

I honestly believe that with the advent of ultrasounds and better technologies, we are now able to "see" soft tissue injuries that in the past we might never have noticed, and that might never have caused an issue for the horse. I also think we are able to catch minor changes earlier and get them treated and properly rehabbed before something bad happens and thus "doing a tendon" may mean less than a gigantic bow or career ending issue.

Jan. 30, 2012, 10:24 PM
I worked for a while for a couple who are very successful at buying TBs off the steeplechase track and retraining them to foxhunt and/or event. As a whole, their horses always stayed really sound. Their rule when purchasing was high or mid level bow is fine, suspensory or low bow is a no-go.

Jan. 30, 2012, 10:39 PM
If I was looking at one, probably not. But, I have heard of a few horses now that had "career ending" soft tissue injuries on the track that went on the UL jumping competitions, one a junior jumper mare and the other a 3* gelding. In neither case was this injury known until after the horses already proved themselves in sport.

And then, here is my own story with soft tissue injuries.

I had an UL jumper (4'3" with me) that gained an upper suspensory injury with me when he was 9. Tried to resell him at 13 before college, still as a 4'+ jumper. I couldn't since the dealer said he was worth very little with that injury. Oh well. He then went on to do multiple 1*'s with me. Ended up with a suspensory ligament injury in the other leg at 18 years old, though no soundness issues. (Only knew he was injured because of VERY slight persistent swelling over 2 days combined with a gut feeling.) Now, he is 19 years and still sound and in full flat work. Against odds, he was approved for 3' jumping again starting February 1st. We'll take it from there, but the vet has yet to rule out UL eventing yet.