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  1. #1

    Default Bad/Shocking PPE

    Oh where to begin...?

    About a month ago I finally found a horse that suits me. I get in contact with the owner, we interview each other and everything looks good. I don't think she (the seller/owner) remembered me. She seems to really care and put a lot of thought into her horses, and really wanted to put the filly into a good home.

    The one weird thing was that she hadn't updated her photos since 6 months prior, but kept updating the listing to add details or up the price. I thought that was a little weird but given the fact that the video (also 6+ month old) looked like it was taken by a realllly low quality cell phone the seller probably just didn't have a camera to do it with.

    I ask a lot of questions, I'm told she's had tons of ground work and is read to be started. She was supposedly already accustomed to the saddle and bridle, just not backed. I schedule a PPE with a vet and confirm the date with the seller. It's looking good. But when I ask for the address, the seller disappears. The vet gets her number and tries to get in contact with her. Apparently that week the seller's father died. The seller had completely forgotten about the appointment and gave the helper/worker of the farm's number to the vet to reschedule over the holidays.

    I get impatient. A week had past and nothing had been scheduled. Finally the vet is able to get in contact and have it done yesterday (after 3 weeks of waiting). I did a full exam with x-rays on all four legs and stifle. I was excited to just see where this filly would go. No grand prix expectations but 3' fences would have been good enough for me.

    The vet calls after the appointment and says she won't make any official statements until she gets to look at the larger x-rays but it would appear that everything is great, flexions passed, perfectly sound, except for three things...

    1. The horse was very green and clearly had not been handled much over the past couple of months. She followed on the lead willingly but was fidgety when asked to stand.
    2. The horse's feet were a little flat and sensitive. Good shape but needed shoes. The vet expressed surprise that the owner hadn't noticed how sensitive the feet were and put shoes on there.
    3. It would be hard to say but based on the tiny versions of the x-rays the vet things there is mild arthritis in the rear right hock. There was not swelling and it was undetectable without x-rays. There was also a cold splint.

    I got to #3 and sat there in shock. I've seen long 3-year-olds have this happen, but never once a two-year-old. I'm waiting until I get the full report back, and the full x-rays, and then I'll send the x-rays to another vet for a second opinion. Maybe by some mistake, there was no arthritis? I don't know. The vet shouldn't have said anything if there might not be. Can't make a diagnosis from a tiny preview screen.

    The owner/seller is not yet aware of the arthritis. I have priority purchase, but another buyer is interested. There are so many red flags here. I requested a contract pending vet check twice but the seller wouldn't allow it. Which, fine, some sellers want to keep their options open.

    So to summarize that, the list of red flags:
    1. No updated pictures.
    2. Seller was allegedly misleading about filly's handling.
    3. Whenever I talked about the PPE the seller kept repeating that she didn't think any issues would be found and seemed a little off put by my thorough exam.
    4. Seller disappears when a PPE is scheduled.
    5. Despite being unable to respond to emails, over the two weeks I was out of contact with the seller the sale listing was updated 3x... one of them with a price increase.
    6. The vet's rather early diagnosis regarding a problem that is exceptionally rare on young horses, especially ones bred this well.

    I'm still waiting on the full report but I need someone to logic me through this right now. I just don't get it. It would appear to me, at least, that the seller has not been completely honest and has been misleading about the filly's training. I sent a request in yesterday for the filly's vet records and all I got was a brief description from the owner about how the filly never had any problems except for a sore foot.

    So I'm not really sure where to go from here. I really don't know... I am trying to keep an open mind and entertain the idea that the seller is telling the truth, or that maybe the vet made a mistake, because I truly do love the filly. But at such a young age, I don't know what to think.

    Normally I'd stomp off in the opposite direction of a horse with arthritis but part of me also feels like the filly is the one who is most affected by whether or not I purchase her. I don't know. Does ANYBODY have any insight here?



  2. #2
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    You don't even have the full size xray yet.

    Postpone freakout until then.


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  3. #3
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    1) You are taking the vets account as bible as to how much work the filly has had? How has she behaved with you lately ? I have horses that revert to feral beasts when the vet is around but are perfectly well behaved trained animals all other times. If you want to see how the filly has progressed or not training wise that should be something you asses in person..not second hand.

    Arthritis or OCD or an OCD lesion. Was there a spur or a hook ? Have you spoken to the vet since he/she was able to look at larger radiograph trying to diagnose something off a tiny photo is just bad veterinary medicine and jumping the gun. I'd be waiting to hear a full report before I made any choices.
    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    however....

    the vet is putting his reputation on the line by stating that there is something, just from looking on the small pictures....

    I hope you did not fall in love with the beast.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnwood View Post
    1) You are taking the vets account as bible as to how much work the filly has had? How has she behaved with you lately ? I have horses that revert to feral beasts when the vet is around but are perfectly well behaved trained animals all other times. If you want to see how the filly has progressed or not training wise that should be something you asses in person..not second hand.
    I'm too far away to tell, I visit the filly next week. I've seen horses make 180 changes in personality/soundness over the course of a year before so I always go based on my most recent experiences. That itself wouldn't be a sale killer for me because I wasn't buying her based on her experience or training. It's that it makes me wary of the honesty of the owner. When I had a trainer look at her she was well behaved.

    Arthritis or OCD or an OCD lesion. Was there a spur or a hook ? Have you spoken to the vet since he/she was able to look at larger radiograph trying to diagnose something off a tiny photo is just bad veterinary medicine and jumping the gun. I'd be waiting to hear a full report before I made any choices.
    Thanks for calming me down. I guess I'm just super stressed out and easily freaked out right now (lot of other stuff is going on too) and being dragged back down to reality is a good thing. I agree with the vet making a bad move--I'm disgruntled about that because she had been recommended to me by several people. So I am definitely sending those x-rays over to another vet.

    I am supposed to have the full x-rays and diagnosis by tonight (unless the vet has an emergency of course). I spoke to the vet last night and she had been standing by the arthritis but I don't know if she has the full x-rays yet. I did send an email asking those exact questions (including where in the hock it was) but I sent it a little late (okay, midnight) and she hasn't gotten back to me yet.



  6. #6
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    If you really want the filly, I would make an appointment at the local vet school to have them give a second opinion and review the x-rays and draw blood to be sure the filly wasn't full of bute for her pre-purchase exam. If the seller objects, I would run.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    I agree with the above posters - don't freak out yet. I think the handling thing is a tough one for the vet to judge unless it was reeeaaally atrocious. My coming 2 year old has good days and less good days. Sometimes he's a total angel, sometimes he is a fidgety, mouthy, irritating little baby. It's just the nature of being a baby with a limited attention span. In fact, I would be a little worried if the horse stood there like a dead broke old nag, they should be curious and energetic at that age! Second - definitely wait on the full report. My vet thought she might see a little something in the stifle but when she got back to the office and looked at the full sized pics they were absolutely clean. If that vet does see something in the full sized x-rays definitely get a second opinion. When my vet mentioned the stifle she made a huge deal about not stressing until we see the full pics. The size plus the lighting make it really difficult to tell so I too would be irritated with a vet that's insistent about something like that after only a preliminary look at them.

    I totally understand how stressful it is, I went through it with my baby in September. Just remember to breathe and keep in mind that there are a ton of really nice youngsters out there right now. If this one isn't meant it will absolutely be disappointing but you'll find the one that is


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  8. #8
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    When there are questions and those keep adding to more questions, sorry, why go there, especially in today's buyer's market?
    Add to that a seller that is not on the ball or at least seems to want to really sell the horse.

    Unless the filly is special and you don't care, will take whatever chances may come, even if she ends up a pasture ornament.

    With a very young horse, I would say I would want to have more going for it than you have there.


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  9. #9
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    FOBFO - Find Out Before Freaking Out.

    One bit of fresh 2y/o behavior doesn't automatically mean she hasn't been handled much. It's not like you can expect a filly to be a "made" horse, she's going to need lots and lots of training, including consistent refreshing on ground manners.

    Horses fail PPE's all the time. I *really* don't get why you are suspicious that the owner may be deliberately concealing a lameness. Even your vet says the horse flexed fine and appeared perfectly sound, and it would be very rare for a 2y/o to have arthritic changes. So what reasonable owner would have xrayed her just to check for arthritis, before a sale. Now, if your vet comes back and finds she'd been drugged to mask lameness, then yes, I'd be saying "shocking" too. Until then, "Hmph- surprising" is about all I can muster.

    If you don't buy her, she's not doomed. A 3-footer jumping career is probably not the right home if she does have hock problems at such a young age. There are already other people interested and I bet they're really nice folks, too.

    The seller's father passes away, her family has to get through the holidays during this very difficult time, and you're pissed that it was a little difficult to schedule a vetting? Have a heart.

    I can tell you are just very excited about this filly's potential, but really, you need to FOBFO. (and if the PPE news is bad, I still don't think it warrants ANYTHING but disappointment that she wasn't the right horse for you. This is not something the owner did to you.)


    16 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Don't freak out yet - sounds like the owner has a lot going on at the moment and sales ads...good Lord, I've seen crap look stellar in the ad but suck in person and vice versa. See for yourself. I doubt the owner is trying to conceal anything...just circumstances.

    But remember that unusable horses tend to eat just as much as the usable ones. There are a lot of horses out there. You remarked that the filly would be the one most affected if you don't buy her...hard to say. She might end up in a home where she's used more accordingly to her soundness and skill set. That wouldn't be my concern unless she was in an abusive situation. If I was buying something to be my 3' horse, though, and it wasn't even broke yet, I'd be a little worried about the sore foot issue. I owned a mare with horrible feet. Stellar in the ring but a million dollars to keep shod and had to be shod whether being used or not. That's the nature of the beast.

    From the perspective of a seller...I've had prospective buyers do their best to drive me insane - tire kickers, nit pickers, nose pickers (lol - jk) - not saying you are doing that but just that it may be that this seller has dealt with that before and with her father's death, etc. she'd prefer to not tie the filly up for additional time. It may be the other interested party has given the thumbs up if you don't...you never know.

    Good luck with whatever you do.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    When there are questions and those keep adding to more questions, sorry, why go there, especially in today's buyer's market?
    Add to that a seller that is not on the ball or at least seems to want to really sell the horse.

    Unless the filly is special and you don't care, will take whatever chances may come, even if she ends up a pasture ornament.

    With a very young horse, I would say I would want to have more going for it than you have there.
    I think this is bit harsh. Nothing the OP has encountered seems ridiculous to me. I think OP is excited and nervous, as we all are during the purchase process. It’s even more nerve-wracking with a baby. When I was buying mine from the other side of the country you better believe I was micro-analyzing absolutely every word the seller said and every move she made. She was a perfectly reputable person and an honest seller but I found red flags anyway, purely due to my apprehension. I’m certainly not saying OP should just go in blindly trusting, we all know that’s never a good thing in the horse world, but just look at things rationally. In the end OP has to go with her gut but so far nothing here stands out as super shady to me. If I were dealing with my father’s death I would be hard to reach as well and selling my horse would likely be fairly low on my list. I don’t know why the pics haven’t been updated but frankly the horse might be fugly right now. I know mine sure is. He was in a particularly handsome phase when I bought him in Sept but I would be hard pressed to take a flattering ad photo right now so were I selling I would probably use my older pics until he gets to another pretty stage. It’s also middle of winter and they look like furry beasts right now, not exactly photo friendly either. Personally I would make zero judgments based on the preliminary x-ray results, especially since the horse checked out fine otherwise. Babies are a risk regardless of how the PPE’s turn out but I certainly wouldn’t freak over the info OP has currently. I'm actually more concerned by the vet. I find it odd that she's so insistent based on small pics reviewed in the field and I also think it's odd that she thinks an unbroken 2 year old should have shoes on.... I don't even see what the purpose would be before they are under saddle.

    From the info we have here it sounds like the filly is well bred and OP is clearly excited about her, that sounds worth pursuing to me.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finzean View Post
    If I was buying something to be my 3' horse, though, and it wasn't even broke yet, I'd be a little worried about the sore foot issue. I owned a mare with horrible feet. Stellar in the ring but a million dollars to keep shod and had to be shod whether being used or not.
    That's where I would be on the situation, to be honest. I've had the high maintenance horse. Right now I have a barefoot, living rough gelding who is sound as a dollar (as a euro? yen? whatever is good currency these days), and he will probably be a 3' horse if I can ever be a 3' rider again. They are out there. Keep looking.
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

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    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  13. #13
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    I Can't begin to tell you how many times we have done pre sale radiographs on our yearlings or 2yos and found so something that shocked us. If the filly does indeed have issues I would not immediately assume seller dishonesty. We had a filly this year that we checked in March and sometime between then and sept she ended up with a large chip in her knee. Never any heat, swelling, lameness, nothing

    I can't believe that the vet was so unprofessional as to give you findings before taking the time to look at the radiographs thoroughly.


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  14. #14
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    If I were you I'd be getting the radiographs to another vet before freaking out. Good luck, and try not to get more attached than you already are....
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  15. #15
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    I would get the opinion on the pictures from a vet that you trusted and had experience with. I bought a horse (2yo) once who you would have thought was the poster child for lameness, if you listened to the seller and her vet. I took the pics to my vet of 25 years whom I trusted completely and was a very good leg man. His first comment; "Man they're good." The horse has never had a problem.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohnoapirate View Post
    Oh where to begin...?

    About a month ago I finally found a horse that suits me. I get in contact with the owner, we interview each other and everything looks good. I don't think she (the seller/owner) remembered me. She seems to really care and put a lot of thought into her horses, and really wanted to put the filly into a good home.

    The one weird thing was that she hadn't updated her photos since 6 months prior, but kept updating the listing to add details or up the price. I thought that was a little weird but given the fact that the video (also 6+ month old) looked like it was taken by a realllly low quality cell phone the seller probably just didn't have a camera to do it with.

    I ask a lot of questions, I'm told she's had tons of ground work and is read to be started. She was supposedly already accustomed to the saddle and bridle, just not backed. I schedule a PPE with a vet and confirm the date with the seller. It's looking good. But when I ask for the address, the seller disappears. The vet gets her number and tries to get in contact with her. Apparently that week the seller's father died. The seller had completely forgotten about the appointment and gave the helper/worker of the farm's number to the vet to reschedule over the holidays.

    I get impatient. A week had past and nothing had been scheduled. Finally the vet is able to get in contact and have it done yesterday (after 3 weeks of waiting). I did a full exam with x-rays on all four legs and stifle. I was excited to just see where this filly would go. No grand prix expectations but 3' fences would have been good enough for me.

    The vet calls after the appointment and says she won't make any official statements until she gets to look at the larger x-rays but it would appear that everything is great, flexions passed, perfectly sound, except for three things...

    1. The horse was very green and clearly had not been handled much over the past couple of months. She followed on the lead willingly but was fidgety when asked to stand.
    2. The horse's feet were a little flat and sensitive. Good shape but needed shoes. The vet expressed surprise that the owner hadn't noticed how sensitive the feet were and put shoes on there.
    3. It would be hard to say but based on the tiny versions of the x-rays the vet things there is mild arthritis in the rear right hock. There was not swelling and it was undetectable without x-rays. There was also a cold splint.

    I got to #3 and sat there in shock. I've seen long 3-year-olds have this happen, but never once a two-year-old. I'm waiting until I get the full report back, and the full x-rays, and then I'll send the x-rays to another vet for a second opinion. Maybe by some mistake, there was no arthritis? I don't know. The vet shouldn't have said anything if there might not be. Can't make a diagnosis from a tiny preview screen.

    The owner/seller is not yet aware of the arthritis. I have priority purchase, but another buyer is interested. There are so many red flags here. I requested a contract pending vet check twice but the seller wouldn't allow it. Which, fine, some sellers want to keep their options open.

    So to summarize that, the list of red flags:
    1. No updated pictures.
    2. Seller was allegedly misleading about filly's handling.
    3. Whenever I talked about the PPE the seller kept repeating that she didn't think any issues would be found and seemed a little off put by my thorough exam.
    4. Seller disappears when a PPE is scheduled.
    5. Despite being unable to respond to emails, over the two weeks I was out of contact with the seller the sale listing was updated 3x... one of them with a price increase.
    6. The vet's rather early diagnosis regarding a problem that is exceptionally rare on young horses, especially ones bred this well.

    I'm still waiting on the full report but I need someone to logic me through this right now. I just don't get it. It would appear to me, at least, that the seller has not been completely honest and has been misleading about the filly's training. I sent a request in yesterday for the filly's vet records and all I got was a brief description from the owner about how the filly never had any problems except for a sore foot.

    So I'm not really sure where to go from here. I really don't know... I am trying to keep an open mind and entertain the idea that the seller is telling the truth, or that maybe the vet made a mistake, because I truly do love the filly. But at such a young age, I don't know what to think.

    Normally I'd stomp off in the opposite direction of a horse with arthritis but part of me also feels like the filly is the one who is most affected by whether or not I purchase her. I don't know. Does ANYBODY have any insight here?
    While I will be the first to agree most sellers are a bit loco, calling this person "misleading " because her 2 year old was a bit fidgety for the vet might be a bit of a reach.
    Take a breath and keep your fingers crossed xrays check out. If not, walk away. Plenty more horses out there.
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.



  17. #17
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    Sounds like my horse. Keep looking! It's a buyer's market.
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

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  18. #18
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    I'd wait until the final verdict from the vet, and if the report's good then consider the horse. Don't let fidgeting worry you, because some animals act up for the vet, especially since this vet was a stranger to the horse. However, if there are problems that are deal breakers for you, then keep looking. You know you make this decision with your heart, and your head, not just because you're worried about who will buy her if you don't. If she has problems that will end her career early, then you walk away unless you want a pasture puff within a few years. Hopefully, the vet report will be good and you'll go forward with a clean report.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


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  19. #19
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    The 2 year old likely never had to stand that long, or be focused on that long before in its life.

    I just bought a 7 year old that was rearing for the vet. horse is fine, but just wasn't handled much lately, and got nervous when another horse left the barn...horse is fine in normal situations and the seller was suprised by how obnoxious her horse was!

    When my dad died, the last thing I would have cared about was selling a horse.

    Not everyone has a good camera, or ready access to friends to help with video/photos, or high speed internet to upload photos.

    In short: I think you are reading too much into things.

    BUT>I have found that the horses that take a lot of effort to buy aren't usually worth buying.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


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  20. #20
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    I also would not assume the horse had less handling than the owner claimed based on what the vet said. My very broke and normally quiet 6 year old will act the fool when asked to stand if he has not been asked to work for more than a week or 10 days. I would hold off worrying about the hock until the vet gets back to you. No point worrying twice if it does turn out to be something.



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