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horse shopping, continued: this is harder than I thought it would be

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  • horse shopping, continued: this is harder than I thought it would be

    It seemed so simple -- I started looking for a horse, fell in love with the second one I sat on, went on to look at several more and then went back to see the one I liked a second time to be sure. He was even cooler than the first time I rode him. Fun to ride, beautiful to look at, the right age, the right price range, STELLAR temperament and coolest personality ever. I was (am) in love with this horse.

    Today was the PPE. He failed. OCD of the left stifle.

    For some reason the idea of getting back out there and looking again is much harder than I thought it would be. I went from "I want a horse" to "I want THIS horse." It seems like none of them will be as cool as this guy is (he is VERY cool). On top of that I am now worried about what will become of this horse, to the extent that I have even considered taking him anyway and having the surgery done, even though I know this is a very stupid idea.

    I guess now I understand why horse shopping sucks sometimes. I am much more upset about this than I thought I would be. Any advice?
    MelanieC * Canis soloensis

  • #2
    I was thinking about you the other day and wondering how the PPE went. I didn't know that the horse was having soundness issues though. Or was the OCD just not causing any issues for him?

    Give it time. My friend who is looking for something similar, but other side of the country, has been to look at a bunch of horses and has yet to find one she really likes. She's actually driving 4 hours tomorrow to look at one that I found, whose sire and dam I know. That's how little of interest she has found closer to home.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hang in there; it took me 2 years of looking to find Mr. Right. Be patient and don't settle.

      Comment


      • #4
        do you loff him?
        is he the pone for you?
        are you willing to sacrifice some of your goals for him?
        then ask for his price to reflect the PPE findings and buy him.
        if he's sound outside of the PPE, and you know the issue is likely fixable, what's the issue?

        (yes yes yes, too many sound horses with stellar performance to settle on one that failed a PPE, yes, I hear you. so what)
        www.destinationconsensusequus.com
        chaque pas est fait ensemble

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
          do you loff him?
          is he the pone for you?
          are you willing to sacrifice some of your goals for him?
          then ask for his price to reflect the PPE findings and buy him.
          if he's sound outside of the PPE, and you know the issue is likely fixable, what's the issue?
          Answers to questions:

          Do I loff him? Yes.

          Is he the pony for me? I thought so!

          Goals? My goals are not ambitious. I am not looking for a Grand Prix mount. I am looking for a maybe second third level mount. But I am looking for a horse to ride dressage with and also plan to keep the horse I buy for the rest of its life. I was planning on riding 4-5 days a week. I do want to do a lot of cross training but the odds that I'll give up dressage to pick up trail riding are slim to none. If I could have more than one horse or had acreage of my own I'd be totally into taking the chance, but I can only have one and I'll be boarding.

          He is totally sound outside of the PPE at 8yo. I am half inclined to take my chances, but the vet (who is of very excellent repute) was not optimistic about his potential as a dressage horse and recommended that he be a pleasure/trail horse even with surgery.

          Has anyone here ever had a horse with OCD that (a) never bothered it, even without treatment or (b) was cured with treatment? I know that OCD is eminently fixable in dogs, but am reading conflicting info regarding OCD in horses.
          MelanieC * Canis soloensis

          Comment


          • #6
            I bought a young horse with an OCD in the RF fetlock. Had it removed before I even brought him home. He was sound before the surgery and sound after. Never an issue. DOn't know anything about stifle OCD's BUT, would err on the side of taking the vets advice if he desn't think the horse can do the work he probably can't. My vet said the OCD could come out and would cause no problems so I went ahead.

            Comment


            • #7
              I understand how you feel but I would follow the vets advice unless you hange your goals to trail rider with a little dressage. I have a horse with stifle issues and it is a never ending battle. To much work makes him sore, to little makes him sore. Now, I adore my horse and will never sell him, but, never again will I buy a horse with stifle issues. It is a lot of work and trouble to keep them comfortable. I do not ride dressage but am training him in ranch versitility and I am not sure how competitive he will be.

              The results of the PPE may be a sign that your dream horse is still out there.

              Comment


              • #8
                I know a horse that had OCD in both stifles, had surgery and is now competing at PSG.

                There is OCD and then there is OCD. The surgery to remove OCD is done arthroscopically, which means there is very little trauma. So if the horse was sound before the surgery, chances are he will be sound afterwards.

                If you have the digital x-ray then take them to a vet school/university for a second opinion. Show them to somebody who reads x-rays for a living and knows what he's looking at.

                I recently vetted out a horse and there were "changes" in the hock that were immediately labeled OCD. In the vet's defense, she insisted on showing them to a doctor at a nearby teaching hospital. The result?
                No problem, just a little deformity in the cartilage that will never cause any problems.

                There's OCD and then there's OCD.
                Siegi Belz
                www.stalleuropa.com
                2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think the advice given about about getting a second opinion is an excellent one. A vet clinic or hospital with an in house radiologist that specializes in reading radiographs is absolutely your best bet. And perhaps best to take the horse to the clinic and use the most up do date equipment available (not the regular mobile units) that your usual farm vet's use. Then make your final decision.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I feel for you. I owned my gelding for five years - did have a PPE done and he was totally sound, but did not take baseline x-rays. In hindsight, I should have, but I don't regret not doing them. We were a team and he was an excellent and patient teacher for me - at the time I bought him, I knew absolutely nothing about dressage and he was more of an all-around horse. But he certainly taught me a lot about horsemanship and how patient and forgiving these animals are.

                    We did eventually find our way to dressage and combined training. We were going very well together and finally making progress, and my goal was to compete him at beginner novice and debut at first level. We'd been having some issues prior to our last show together and at the last show, he was so resistant bending right, I was nearly in tears before my test. I spent many weeks waffling back and forth between whether this was a physical issue or a training issue - it was just something insidious that appeared to creep up and manifest itself in the form of resistance. He was not off, and I remember he kicked ass around the jumper ring that day. But after the show the resistance continued and x-rays did reveal OCD - the OCD had been there for maybe years but one thing or another (nothing the vet could pinpoint) had caused the bone fragments to begin to irritate him and become inflamed and painful.

                    If I hadn't known my horse so well, I would have probably continued thinking it was a training issue - but something just wasn't right. That's the main risk I feel that you'd be facing. It's a gamble - my horse and I made it a few years without any issues and suddenly were facing an iffy prognosis for his future soundness. He is now with his new owner, fat and semi retired as a trail horse.

                    If you have clearly defined goals and would not be happy restructuring them to accommodate the horse should problems with the OCD flare up, then I would personally keep searching. There is absolutely nothing wrong with adhering to your goals - hopefully the seller will take into account the results from this PPE and market the horse accordingly.

                    If, though, you have fallen in love with the horse and are willing to work with the OCD issues should they ever occur - and they might not - then go for it. Reason is a vital human quality but when we really love something, we're able to adjust our own needs/desires to accommodate it.
                    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

                    A Voice Halted

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The trick is to remove the "chip(s)" before they cause problems....

                      So yes, I'm always for x-rays but OCD doesn't necessarily scare me away.
                      Siegi Belz
                      www.stalleuropa.com
                      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MelanieC View Post
                        He is totally sound outside of the PPE at 8yo. I am half inclined to take my chances, but the vet (who is of very excellent repute) was not optimistic about his potential as a dressage horse and recommended that he be a pleasure/trail horse even with surgery.
                        I would get clarification on his/her interpretation of "Dressage Horse" and I'd get a second opinion. If they are really good digital rads, you can probably email them to a few vets who will be happy to give an opinion for a small fee.
                        www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                        chaque pas est fait ensemble

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          First, I am so sorry! I have looked at 25++ horses over the last 5 months. I hate it. I am driving 2 hours each way today to look at more horses, have one on trial, and am going to see a pony for a second time tomorrow. Hate, hate, hate horse shopping.

                          I have A LOT of experience with stifle OCD unfortunately. After my experiences stifle OCD would not scare me in a horse that is sound with xrays that show 1) the OCD chip is on a non-weight baring surface and 2) There is no current damage to the joint. My mare had a very large chip in her stifle, on the medial trochlear ridge. She had the surgery for it when she was 7 years old and I have 100% faith that had she not also had neurological issues we would be schooling 2nd level right now. She had the surgery at UC Davis and even with her weird complications she was wonderful to ride within 8 months of her surgery, the joint looked great. Her problem was the fact that she continues to drag her foot on that leg because of the neuro problem

                          Anyway, I agree with the posters who recommend if you really love this horse have the xrays evaluated by a radiologist and a good surgeon. Do not take any "local vets" word for it when it comes to OCD. Once I dealt with OCD I met so many people that have dealt with it, more than 80% of horses go back to full work and many reach the top of the sport.

                          If the radiologist/surgeon feel like this is operable, will the owners reduce his price significantly enough to make it worth your while?
                          On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                            I would get clarification on his/her interpretation of "Dressage Horse" and I'd get a second opinion. If they are really good digital rads, you can probably email them to a few vets who will be happy to give an opinion for a small fee.
                            The vet is sending the images to a surgeon for a second opinion of his own volition, so I am a little bit hopeful. But, the vet who conducted the PPE specializes in sports medicine and diagnosing/treating lameness so I am afraid his opinion may still hold. The exam was very thorough and was conducted at the hospital. The horse passed the physical exam, flexions, gait observations with flying colors, not a hint of lameness.

                            The vet spent a lot of time getting extra images of the stifle from multiple angles (which he did not charge me for), hoping to be able to give me better news because this is such a nice horse and he liked the horse a lot. But in the end he sadly told me in exactly as many words not to buy the horse.

                            My husband, surprisingly (because he is not a horse person -- at all), is actually open to the idea of taking the horse on and getting him fixed, if it is possible, if the owners will give him to us. The surgery is not as expensive as I thought, but from what I understand the recovery can be quite long.

                            If I knew the horse would be all right if I don't get him I would be less worried, but the owners just really want to get rid of him at this point and I doubt they'll put any resources into fixing him. And then what? There are an awful lot of "pleasure/trail" horses for sale (or free) out there right now and people aren't buying.
                            MelanieC * Canis soloensis

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I sympathize with your situation. I vetted a horse last March, same gut feeling that he was the one for me. Flex test on the last of the 4 legs - moved off a little uneven. Vet felt "squishiness" - a new medical term! - in that stifle. Did xrays. Saw OCD lesion in stifle. At another vet look at it - confirmed OCD lesion.
                              Two things they told me - actually 3.
                              Its not a question of IF it will be a problem, the question is WHEN. (now its true that "when" could be 10 years from now...)
                              If you go through w/ this do surgery sooner rather than later.
                              Stifle surgery does not have as high a success rate as other areas.
                              In my case I opted to walk away, though could have negotiated price. Couple months later, found a beautiful mare that is probably more talented, a bit older and further along. Done deal.
                              We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                horses don't read xrays.
                                just saying. . .
                                A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  A friend and I bought a horse that he turned out to have OCD in one hock. Did the surgery , which was $1,200 and he was good to go. He was never lame on that leg, was just a little bogy. The vets said he was good to go for any sport as it was a small lesion and he had never been lame on it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There is OCD and then there is OCD. The surgery to remove OCD is done arthroscopically, which means there is very little trauma. So if the horse was sound before the surgery, chances are he will be sound afterwards.

                                    If you have the digital x-ray then take them to a vet school/university for a second opinion. Show them to somebody who reads x-rays for a living and knows what he's looking at.


                                    I agree totally. If the horse is 8 years old and in full work and totally sound then I would explore have the OCD removed. Clearly it hasn't hindered him so far. Especially if we are talking about a horse that you have no FEI ambitions for.

                                    And believe me, it is really hard to find a completely, perfectly sound horse with 100 percent perfect xrays. So many people see something small and run far, far away even if the horse is totally sound in it's work. I am not sure that is always the most logical thing to do. Especially if this horse is awesome in every other way.

                                    Good luck!

                                    ps..you could take 10 of the worlds best vets and I would bet you will get more than one answer/opinion.
                                    www.svhanoverians.com

                                    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Quote by 2tempe ... "Its not a question of IF it will be a problem, the question is WHEN. (now its true that "when" could be 10 years from now...)

                                      The above is only true IF the OCD occurs within a joint - lots of irregularities that are now labeled OCD aren't anywhere near a joint.
                                      Siegi Belz
                                      www.stalleuropa.com
                                      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                                      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks for all the advice. You guys are awesome.

                                        Unfortunately the major OCD lesion is pretty large and on the lateral condylar ridge. The horse was being ridden regularly all summer (hacking, schooling in basic equitation type stuff) but it has been a while since he was regularly in training for anything so I don't know that I would say he was in full work.

                                        I'm waiting on the second opinion and also to find out what the owners are planning to do with him now. I'll keep everyone posted.
                                        MelanieC * Canis soloensis

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