And I love the Hail To Reason, much closer up than we generally see these days.
Lastly, a horse is always sound until the check is cashed.
Racing sound means that structurally the horse is put together well. No horse races well for that many races if they are not structurally well made and use themselves well. This IS important for our sport as well as no amount of dressage or xc puts the level of stress on a horse as racing. So if this horse's sire was that well structurally made, then it is a positive factor for his offspring.
Have you seen him move? That would be the next thing to check IMHO. Obviously you are going to vet him and radiograph ankles; but if he moves like a pogo stick it's probably not worth the $$.
FWIW, my new OTTB mare has two big ankles - both flex fine, palpate fine and she trots very sound. I didn't x-ray because she was free (and flexed fine). But - I'm not sure I would've paid $1500 for her.
Sometimes people get a little too hung up on Past Generations...look up close to determine what you have. True, certain lines may be known for unsoundness; but the more you dilute it, the less influence that ancestor has.
I wouldn't let the pedigree bother you -- there is so much more to soundness than that. Mine has Seattle Slew on both sides 3 gens back, and Mr. P (who produced his grandsire, who in turn produced lovely jumpers) as well -- and he has great legs, great build, BEAUTIFUL tough amazing feet and fantastic bone. I always look at the horse as an individual. His record is far more important than that of a horse who sired a gabazillion babies.
Mine's got an ankle with a couple osselets too, old and set, along with an impressive set of pinfire scars down his front legs; he raced for 3 years; I did xray them (after I bought him, rofl, oh well) and they do not interfere with joint space, nor have they caused him any problems schooling up to about 3'3" so far. But you have to investigate each on a case-by-case basis.
Has mine had soundness issues that needed to be addressed? Absolutely (he IS a horse) but they had nothing to do with his lineage nor were they unique to OTTB-land. So I think perspective is really important. Oh heck, just go get a horse from jlee, hers are the best anyway. Not that I'm biased or anything... >.>
THANK YOU guys, I feel a LOT better about pursuing this guy. I think the osslet thing freaked me out a little bit about his soundness, but I'm not going to condemn him now because of his pedigree. He just has the sweetest face and his exercise rider says he's very uphill and naturally athletic with a springy trot, and she think he's make a wonderful eventer.
What do you guys think of how he's put together? I've already got some feedback about that from some of you guys.
I wouldn't worry about the pedigree at all.
As for the ankles, you can't really tell joint involvement or lack thereof from seeing pics of them. I have a horse with 30 starts whose ankle rounding looks about the same as your pics on the outside and has been sound for 3 yrs OTT eventing. But I agree with everyone else, if you meet and like him, vet him and x-ray the ankles so you know for sure, as a lot of different ankle issues can look the same from the outside.
Could I ask what level your horse has been eventing at? I definitely would like a horse SOUND enough to do at least prelim (other suitability factors aside). Do you think a horse could be racing on that ankle if there was actually joint involvement? His equibase says he raced yesterday (??) and was fourth, so he's definitely still chugging along.
Okay guys, his right front looks a little crooked in this pic--this is the leg with the old, small osslet. Am I seeing this right? (keep in mind he's just moseying along on a hot-walker).
Sound and racing are good signs, but yes horses can run on some ugly issues. Sometimes that is because of medication, other times they might not be in pain yet but they are still doing themselves damage by continuing, so I'd definitely vet/x-ray if you are interested.
Mr P is not so up close and personal to be of super concern he like Storm Cat were zealously "over Used" for years...Woodman though I have had experiances w/..Good and Bad... Tough mined opioneated VERY talented Jumpers lovely movers made of Granite but can have attitude's to match..
Racing Sound is a much more a forgiving term and does not translate to Sports Horse "pass a Vetting/jog" sound...
Unless he is a stunning mover and/or Passes a non-track et PPE there are alot of fish in the sea....and JLG is right 1 occelot is more of a concern than 2 that match..
They don't nit pick soundness at the track (like Judy said). He could be slightly off and still get in the starting gate. Not to mention, they could be injecting the ankle often, especially if he's making money. So, I wouldn't use the fact that he is still racing as an indicator of anything.
If you like him - go look! Flex and jog him. Bring a friend to help. Watch him train in the mornings, ask the trainer when he's going out for a gallop. Video it! Staring at these pictures of his legs isn't going to help you.
Again...if you like him, go meet him in person and vet him. Pay for an expert opinion. You really can't tell from the photos whether or not he will be sound for what you want. A PPE will tell you a ton more...and even that will not tell you whether he has the mind you will want. You have to buy these guys with the mindset of picking ones you want to work with....and the put some time into them and then see what you have.
And remember...very few that are actively racing will be "sound" by sport horse standards. Some yes...but most will have some soreness. That is where you need a good PPE to help decide if the soreness is just the type that will resolve with time and maybe a little body work or if it is an indication of a more serious issue. Some injuries they will come back fine from...some will just be body sore...and some will have chornic issues that will prevent them from doing much more. Most of these things you absolutely CAN NOT tell by looking at pictures alone.
Wow, I love your guy, he's such a lovely jumper! I love the successful OTTB stories.
Thank you guys, I definitely agree that it's important to check out the horse in person. It's just a tricky situation because this track is 5 1/2 hours away from me, so trailering down here with my trainer for a vet check is a big financial commitment, I can't just nip down there and take a look casually. My trainer wants me to look at horses locally since we have a track here too, but for whatever reason I'm so drawn to this horse and feel better dealing with a reputable person who has worked with him and knows personally he's a very athletic horse, as opposed to dealing with unknown sellers/trainers and rescuers who have ottbs in their backyards but don't necessarily know much about the horse as working athlete. If that makes any sense. I'll have to think on it...
I agree with Fairweather. A true osselet is not IN the joint. It is on the FRONT of the joint.
So if you have a bulge or bump or knot anywhere else....it isn't an osselet.
They wouldn't flex sore with a set osselet, but they would with a green one.
If you have mild "ankle rounding" you could still have a chip or something else going on.
OR....maybe nothing but some pressure from training or even training
on bad foot angles.