I have been horse shopping for ages now and I was just sent a handsome TB that fits all my qualifications- except that he is a mild roarer. He was unraced- I wonder if it was due to his breathing issues? He has NOT had any surgery. I haven't met this fellow in person yet- just video.
I am trying my best to be realistic. I will probably never event over training level (it will be a miracle if I do training!) but I do love fox hunting. I am an adult amateur but I really don't want an lameness/health issues.
He's so handsome... I don't want to be blinded by beauty, again! I also don't want my hunt field to want to kill me!
Does anyone have experience or opinions on this? I really need to learn more about this!!
Nobody cares in the hunt field if your horse roars or not. I rode one who was a brilliant hunter beyond being slightly noisy during the gallops. That stopped when I switched to an arched mullen mouth bit and dropped noiseband to keep his mouth closed and his tongue in place. One of our whips rode a roarer that could, and did, go all day long.
The only reason you should care is if the roaring will negatively affect his ability to breathe while on sustained gallops.
Depending upon what exactly is causing the roaring, mechanical or otherwise, you may be able to adequately control it through different bitting, or tying the mouth closed with a dropped noseband.
I would suggest it be checked out by a vet first to help you make the best informed decision.
I have a roarer. When he is fit, the noise lessens a great deal. When he is out of shape, it is much more noticable. First thing I would do is ride the horse and see if the noise bothers you or not. My vets have told me that at lower levels (up to training level eventing), the horse still gets enough air for the work load. So while it is probable that your horse did not race because of his condition, he may be fine for your intended use as long as you keep up his fitness level.
I would definitely have the horse scoped before you buy. They can tell you what Grade he is and if the flap is partially or totally paralyzed. One other thing you might want to consider is a dynamic scope, where the horse is scoped as he is working. There are several different conditions that can cause noise while working and the dynamic scope will give you a better idea of what is going on. Many clinics now have portable units that can be taken out in the field and used in the horse's regular environment.
I hunted with someone w a mild roarer and hardly noticed him so - doubt anyone would be annoyed if that was something you were thinking. She had surgery done on him and I think it made him keener in the field, probably because he could breath better. If you do buy and decide later to do surgery you may want to consider potential effects, like him becoming a stronger ride.
Thank you all for your thoughts and opinions. I have never dealt with a roarer and I haven't had a chance to speak with my vet yet. When I began this search I really wanted that one super nice, eye catching horse that everyone notices when he comes off the trailer (just once in my life that was what I wanted.. Yes, it was totally vain)... Now I will settle for "doesn't limp when he gets off a trailer"
Time will tell if this guy is the 'one' and if not then I will keep looking.
Besides the obvious concerns about the horse not physically able to do the job I'm asking of him, I was concerned that he might make too much noise to be able to adequately hear the hounds... I would be mortified if my field master had to ask me to move to the back of the field because she couldn't hear where the hounds were.