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WWYD OTTB you sold turned up unknown lameness issues?

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  • WWYD OTTB you sold turned up unknown lameness issues?

    I bought an OTTB off the track last year with no PPE as he trotted out sound and really just stole my heart...and I wanted to give him a better life. I gave him a month off from track life, then re-trained him myself as a pleasure/dressage horse. He didn't seem to really like dressage to me...had some strange quirks that I chalked up to being track habits...sticking his tongue out of his mouth with ANY bit in, etc...and as I have decently high aspirations for dressage, I decided to find him a new home and buy myself a warmblood. Advertised him for $1000 and told all who looked at him that I had not had a PPE done on him nor had i ever had a lameness evaluation as he was never lame when I owned him...he just had some weird quirks which I demonstrated for perspective buyers. Horse sells, woman who buys him did not have a PPE done on the horse (i have a bill of sale with the buyer's initials on the line stating she refused a veterinary exam). 5 months after sale, i get an email that horse has a suspensory tear and the surgery is going to cost a ton of money...email seemed accusatory and threatened to send horse to auction. I cut contact with buyer. Now they have attempted to contact me via facebook, and when looking at buyer's profile, i see a whole thing about how the horse has kissing spine and is being reitred. I do not believe the horse had this issue while with me, but never had a vet out to look into it either way (he never gave me any problems). I don't really know what to do or say to this woman. I feel terrible that this horse turned out to have problems...but I genuinely didn't know of any problems with him if they were present when I owned him...i never had a PPE...but neither did she! I can't afford to support him and my own horse or i would take him back and retire him myself. I don't know what to do or what to say.

  • #2
    It is hard not to worry about the horse but....she could have done a PPE. She bought the horse knowing you hadn't had one done. Her choice. And it is 5 months down the road. She shouldn't be contacting you. Not your horse anymore. Don't worry about it.


    • #3
      You don't need to DO anything. It is a shame it happened but its not your fault. Any horse can develop problems at any time. She tried the horse, bought him CHEAP, declined a PPE. You can offer condolences that the nice horse you both love has developed problems, but you did nothing wrong and have no responsibility to her or the horse at this point.
      Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan



      • #4
        I agree with the other posters, it was her responsibility to do a PPE and she declined. All of my horses are sold with a bill of sale that states the buyer has examined the horse to their satisfaction and buys the horse as-is. This sort of things happens, none of us has a crystal ball to know the future, nor do we have xray vision to know what is going on inside the horse.


        • #5
          If the horse came up lane within a few weeks of being purchased from me, I would do what I can to make sure it was not something that I should have known about, that occurred while the horse was under my care.

          We are talking about 5 months after the fact and a suspensory injury is likely a pasture accident. Kissing Spine is also something some vets diagnose readily. Similar to a vet in my area that diagnosed almost everything as EPM....the issue of choice for her vet may be Kissing Spine.


          • Original Poster

            Yeah, I know you guys are right. How was I supposed to know any of these things were wrong with him? I feel like when you buy anything you must do your "due diligence" in making sure the thing you are buying is going to be appropriate for whatever it is you'll be doing with it. I just bought a used truck and had it inspected by the dealership before buying it...so i know exactly what i'm getting into. It is still heartbreaking to hear that this horse I loved has got so many problems but I really am helpless at this point to do anything for either him or the women (there are 2 of them) that bought him...and they keep trying to contact me about the situation although now the sale occurred 9 months ago.


            • Original Poster

              Aljerene...that's exactly what I thought!! This horse did not display ANY symptoms of kissing spine when I owned him. I was absolutely dumbfounded when I saw this whole story about how he was being retired due to kissing spine. I have also read that kissing spine (if he even has it) can be treatable with injectables and the horse can go on to at least still be ridden. The women who own him are in their 40's, both have good jobs at a hospital and should be able to readily afford any treatment for him. i'm in my 20's, don't own my horse with anyone else, and i don't have money coming out of my butt...i don't understand why they think i'm going to give them money for any of this or take him back!


              • #8
                I personally will take back any horse that I am connected with whether the horse was originally mine or an owners that I trained for. If I didn't have the money to fix them so they could be rehomed I would put them down rather than risk them getting sent to slaughter. Obviously I don't have to do any of that just like you don't have to do anything regarding this horse but it makes me feel better to be their last line of defense.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home


                • Original Poster

                  I can't say it would make me feel any better to take him back and kill him when he's only 6 years old. I am sure there is someone out there willing to take him for free knowing that he will need to have his spine injected for riding purposes....i hope


                  • #10
                    Well if they send him to the auction he will be killed in an awful manner, better he die in a peaceful manner in my opinion. But killing him isn't the only option obviously, just the last line of defense from the meat men if it comes to that.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home


                    • #11
                      Sorry this happened to you!

                      Have to agree with Laurie on this one. You don't owe the buyers anything since they declined a PPE and had the horse for 5 months, BUT if you care about what happens to the horse, you should take him back. Otherwise, you have no control over what happens to him down the line. People are giving away young sound OTTBs left and right now; a horse with issues could easily fall into the wrong hands.

                      Yes, it would be sad to put a 6 year old horse down, but in the end we have to think of what is best for the horse and not how it makes us (as sellers) feel. If a suitable home could not be found, euthanasia is a better option than the unknown.


                      • #12
                        It's not your fault. You have no responsibility.

                        If you want to assume responsibility then that's your personal choice. You get to assume whatever emotional and financial burdens you want.

                        But I'd leave the cord cut and go on about my life.

                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                        • #13
                          I don't think blaming the original owner because they aren't in a position to take back a sold horse is fair.

                          Selling and buying horses come with risks and after a horse leaves your hands it is out of your hands. Not everyone can take back every single horse they ever owned and not everyone should. Some people seem to think they are responsible for any horse that comes through their barn for the rest of that horse's life and that is fine for them. However, these can lead people down the road of never selling a single horse they own or bred and this isn't doable for many.

                          As buyers we can't simply give back a horse when we don't want it and the seller shouldn't be guilted or responsible. It's great to be sympathetic and a caring horse person but you have to draw the line somewhere.

                          I think the OP can do one of two things, take the horse back and hope a vet will put it down and if not sell her current horse and not ride until that horse dies; or tell the owner it's their problem now. Neither choice makes you a bad owner.


                          • #14
                            You don't owe the buyer anything. She chose not to have a PPE. WHY do people not have PPEs, especially on horses that have come off the track???

                            Okay, now you know my stand on PPEs .

                            What you do depends on how you feel about this horse.

                            I've dealt with the problem in two ways.

                            First, owned a horse (Bogie) for 4-5 years that I really loved. I sold him when he was about 18 to a family whose daughter had leased him for 4 months from me and moved out of state.

                            Two months after I sold him he was lame (I kept in touch with the BO). They had his hocks injected and he stayed lame. I offered to take him back because I loved this horse. They gave him to me (no money exchanged hands). I didn't want to bring him to my new home (much more expensive to board) so I had my trainer put him back to work slowly and carefully. He was sound within a month and I found him another home on a permanent free lease where he lived out his life in comfort. I can speculate as to why he was lame for her but stayed sound for the new owner but mostly I was glad he found an appropriate home.

                            On the flip side, I had an OTTB who had real stifle issues -- no arthritis but the stifle did cause lameness. I knew about it when I took him, had discussed it with his vet and thought he might have a chance as he grew up if his stifles were strengthened. I had the top vet in the area evaluate him, tried all the strengthening exercises, etc. I had him for almost a year and came to the conclusion that he would never hold up under the type of job I wanted him to perform.

                            I sold him for a pittance but I required a stream of references. I released all his medical records and encouraged prospective buyers to talk to my vet. I found someone who fit the bill, sold him and never looked back. I felt like I had done my best for him.

                            Good luck!
                            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                            • Original Poster

                              If I had the money to take this horse back and sit on him until an appropriate home was found...I would take on the burden. For me ... another $500 a month would bury me and I wouldn't be able to pay my bills. I can't do that to my boyfriend who already helps me out enough to support my horse. These women who own this horse are in a much better position to do the right thing for him than I am. I just can't see risking losing my home and my boyfriend for an animal


                              • #16
                                5 months later? your purchaser is an asshat. Ignore it completely and take the high road unless you see something from a lawyer, then pay the $200 to have another lawyer answer. If it ever got to court, you would win. You have done nothing wrong if it is all as you state here.

                                The actions of the buyer will be clear to anyone else who is in the wrong here. But good on you for being worried and caring.
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                                • #17
                                  There is no need for you to take a horse back after 5 months.

                                  Originally posted by luvmydutch View Post
                                  If I had the money to take this horse back and sit on him until an appropriate home was found...I would take on the burden. For me ... another $500 a month would bury me and I wouldn't be able to pay my bills. I can't do that to my boyfriend who already helps me out enough to support my horse. These women who own this horse are in a much better position to do the right thing for him than I am. I just can't see risking losing my home and my boyfriend for an animal
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    It has actually now been 9 MONTHS!! And she has been riding him and having fun with him since she bought him according to her facebook page. I would welcome her to take me to court and would invite her to subpoena veterinary records in my name from every veterinarian in New England. She will not find a single veterinary record for this horse relating to any of these injuries (or any injuries for that matter). I released all of his veterinary records to her when she bought him...the only event to note he had while with me was a nasty hot-nailing incident and I gave her the write up from the vet along with the cd of the x-rays taken of all 4 of his feet. I honestly did the best I could by this woman. I don't think i'll ever allow someone to buy a horse from me without a PPE again...it's not worth the hassle down the line if the horse has an unknown issue...and i'm not the kind of person who would want to keep these things from someone. The horse world is small and the last thing i want people to think about me is that i am dishonest. I wish I had known these conditions existed (if they did) when I sold him...i didn't exactly sell him for alot of money...i just sold him for what i paid for him straight off the track!!


                                    • #19
                                      Perhaps you could contact them and explain that he never showed the signs of any of these issues while you owner him, but your understanding is that they are very treatable, and you can reccomend a vet if they need.
                                      Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                                      • #20
                                        Why don't you ask the woman why she would send him to auction rather than put him down if he is unusable? And let her "friends" on Facebook know about her decision to ship him off to auction and probably slaughter.