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Horse selling advice

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  • Horse selling advice

    I need some advice. We have my mare for sale. She's shown through Second Level dressage and the gal that's interested in buying her, wants to use her for hunters. We let them take her on a trial basis for a couple of weeks. They've decided they like her and made an offer pending a vet check.

    The pre-purchase was today and I dont have all the details but apparently the vet felt that she was very slightly off on the right front. She took xrays and blocked her and the sum of all that was that she felt that they could try injecting her and "seeing how she does". I wish I had more details right now but I just got this from a third party after work so I havent been able to talk to the potential buyer or the vet.

    The buyer has suggested that she would like to try the injections with us paying half the cost for them. Then decide if she wants to purchase the horse. Im not sure if we should agree to this or just bring the horse back home.

    Has anyone had any experience with a horse that has come up off on pre-purchase and who pays for what as far as treatment goes if the potential buyer still wants to keep "trying" the horse and possibly buy?

    I dont know what the right thing to do here is.

    Thanks for any thoughts!

  • #2
    No. No. and um, No.

    "Injections" (into a joint of some sort I am presuming) are NOT risk free, can go wrong, etc. They have had the horse examined. They can take it or leave it. Unless you are so desperate to sell the horse you are wiling to take the risk, but that is a big risk.

    And don't make any decisions without a WRITTEN report from the vet (they paid for the exam, and technically the exam results belong to them. But if you are going to go down this road, then I don't think they expect you to do so blindly.) Have YOUR vet speak with THEIR vet. And until these things are done they are not to perform any medical procedures on the horse unless necessary for emergency or NEW injury.

    Once you leave the parameters of the original trial agreement, things could only continue to get more out of control and murkier. Could wind up with no one happy, and a lot of vet bills SOMEONE is going to have to pay.


    • #3
      If I were in your shoes, I would bring the horse back home. Have a vet that you know and trust decide what to do with the horse.


      • #4
        Originally posted by dwblover View Post
        If I were in your shoes, I would bring the horse back home. Have a vet that you know and trust decide what to do with the horse.
        Roseknoll Sporthorses


        • #5
          Way too many things to go wrong.

          Either they take the risk and buy the horse or bring her home (do you have any x-rays they can compare the new ones to? See if there are any changes?)
          I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


          • #6
            another perspective

            These people must really like the mare if they are willing to pay to see if the problem can be resolved. Not many buyers would do that.
            2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

            A helmet saved my life.


            • #7
              Knee jerk reaction I was all no no no. But after reading the whole thing, the buyers really seam interested. What would be wrong with having the vet send the films to your's and then consider it? Then you will know and everyone will be happy.


              • #8
                I also vote no. If they want the horse they should buy it and do the shots. The likely result of all this is that you'll pay for half the shots and then end up getting the horse back. Tell them to take it or leave it.


                • #9
                  I have to agree with YL on this, it can all go bad in an instant. I know that in the hunter world trials is a typical thing-I have been asked to do it and absolutely will not, ever-for just this kind of thing. My horses can do things to themselves just fine on my own farm, let alone sending them off somewhere else, the last thing I want is a lame horse coming home for life when I sent it off and it wasn't.

                  Sorry, that was my personal rant. In your case, I would have your vet speak to their vet and bring the horse home to have YOUR vet do the injections (if truly necessary). I can tell you that I have had two horses have BAD reactions to joint injections-it is not fun. One of them was on the verge of founder a week later and the other had to have his joint flushed. The injections were done by a very well thought of vet and from what I was told, this can happen to any vet at any time.

                  Also, what if it is just a bruise or an abscess on its way out? I would do further investigations before the injection-that would be my very last step. I am impressed that they want to pay for half but I would be more interested in trying to figure out what caused the lameness.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MelShiloh View Post

                    The pre-purchase was today and I dont have all the details but apparently the vet felt that she was very slightly off on the right front.

                    What does "very slightly" mean? Call the PPE vet and get the real story. You don't know what the PPE Vet and buyer discussed at the exam. Totally agree TheHorseProblem . . . you have a potential sale with a buyer who is willing to work with you. If you decide to walk away from the sale, you will always have to disclose the details of the PPE (if you are an honest seller). Call the vet and then the buyer. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
                    "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MelShiloh View Post
                      Has anyone had any experience with a horse that has come up off on pre-purchase and who pays for what as far as treatment goes if the potential buyer still wants to keep "trying" the horse and possibly buy?

                      I dont know what the right thing to do here is.

                      Thanks for any thoughts!
                      I would take the horse home, have my own vet examine her and make the decision on how to treat her based on the information you receive.

                      You can always tell the folks that you would like to manage her care until she's sound and that you will give them first rights of refusal when she's ready to go.

                      It does not sound like there was a definitive diagnosis of what's wrong with your horse and injections are not to be taken lightly (and should be done by a vet YOU trust).

                      I did once show a horse that came up lame to a buyer. I took her home, called the woman once the horse was sound and it worked out fine.

                      FYI, when I've had a horse go out on trial I generally have my vet come and do a basic soundness exam on the horse before it leaves my property. I'm not talking about x-rays, but I want a baseline of data that shows the horse was sound before it went on trial. That way there is a lot less confusion about when the horse came up lame. You don't know if your mare is lame now because of something that happened at the barn where she's on trial.

                      It sounds as if these folks like the horse and I'm sure they would understand if you want to take her home and treat her.
                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                      • #12
                        I had one mare at sellers for sale - she came up slightly lame. I thought it might be Chiro needing to be done - everyone else was sure it was she needed injections - obviously since she was 12 she would need them.

                        After injections which did nothing except hit my pocket book I did Chiro - Viola it worked! My mare is VERY sensitive through the back and since they didn't listen and placed saddle up on her shoulders she got out of alignment and needed adjusting.

                        So look to basic care first before injecting. Even the well known vet I used was sure it was her hocks and not her back. I'm betting it's something simple like that or an abcess (although hoof pincers should ID an abcess problem).
                        Now in Kentucky


                        • #13
                          I don't know about anyone else, but I'd be damned if I'd inject a horse that was "very slightly off" on one foreleg! And I'd have a lot more questions (for the examining vet, not the buyers!) before I did anything.

                          You mentioned that they blocked her. What joint do they want to inject? And why? Did they take x-rays of that foreleg? If so, what did they show? One doesn't just randomly inject a foreleg after blocking, so as the seller, I'd want to know exactly what the findings were, before I let them near my horse with another needle.

                          And that's another thing - did they have your permission to even block the horse? As as seller, I'd be royally pissed if someone blocked my horse without my permission, and then wanted to inject her on top of it! And I'd be even more leery of a vet that supposedly recommended that they do this.

                          It sounds very much to me like the buyers are hedging. If it were my horse, I'd tell them to either buy her, or bring her home. Way, way too much room for fuckery, here.
                          In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                          A life lived by example, done too soon.


                          • #14
                            Never, ever, never would I agree to this without my vet's involvement. A good friend had almost the exact situation and the horse ended up being up for 2 months, lost muscle, lost the sale, etc. etc.

                            Personally I would ask your vet to consult with the PPE vet and get the story in terms you understand and keep your vet involved. Short of that I'd bring the mare home and have her examined by your vet if she's too far for your vet to travel to to examine.

                            There's certainly no way to tell if something happened to her while on trial, but like others have mentioned, way too many things can go wrong on injections.

                            Hope everything works out well for you and your mare!


                            • #15
                              Take her home, have your vet check her out and decide then. They probably jumped the gazeebees out of her and she wasn't used to it, since she's been a dressage horse.
                              I'd never let someone take a horse for a couple of weeks for use of a discipline that the horse is not used to or trained for.
                              "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman


                              • Original Poster


                                The plot has thickened and is turning to pea soup...Before I go on, thank you everyone for your thoughts and opinions. I really really appreciate the input.

                                So the vet that did the PPE is also my vet. The whole arrangement for the PPE was done by the potential buyer who has the horse right now and I guess when they called the vet, neither they, nor we, nor the vet realized that it was also our vet...(they didnt say WHO they were going to use when they told us they were going to have the PPE done, just that they were going to do it).

                                Anyway, I talked to her (the vet) today. I guess the mare is, as she puts it, "very slightly off" on the right front on hard pack. She took xrays and blocked her and felt that the block improved her ~ 85%. So... (im abbreviating the story some here) she suggested that they inject the coffin joint and give her 2-4 weeks with work to see if there's any improvement that way. They didnt do this yesterday b/c they wanted to discuss it with us first.

                                The gal that wants the mare only wants her for low hunters. They really like her and have had a hard time finding a suitable horse. Im worried about the idea of having her injected (even if it is by my own vet) and then leaving her with them for 2-4 weeks mostly b/c of the liability of who pays for what should anything else go wrong during that time... Im thinking of offering to the buyer $200 less than my asking price to sell her rather than splitting the injection cost and waiting. Do you all think that sounds reasonable? The injection would cost me $150 if I were to pay half of it. That's why the $200 less than the asking price.

                                I hope that makes sense. Wish this wasnt such a mess!:


                                • #17
                                  Absolutely not. Bring her home yesterday. There is way too much potential for your mare getting hurt.

                                  And, no offense, but the vet sounds like an idiot. Starting with the conflict of interest which your vet should have addressed before doing the PPE (or didn't s/he recognize your horse?), but what decent veterinarian would suggest to inject a horse that's already not totally sound, and then work it for 2-4 weeks, to "see how it does"?!?!? Are you kidding me? Double Does the word "rest" not exist in this vet's vocabulary?

                                  I think I'd be both bringing my mare home, and finding a new vet.
                                  In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                  A life lived by example, done too soon.


                                  • #18
                                    Interesting to say the least... its a hard call as you don't want to lose the sale I know BUT if this has nothing to do with injecting joints and you do it will be something you will always need to disclose and its potentially off putting to another buyer if these fall through.

                                    Personally if she's 'off' enough to notice I would say rest her and then bring her back into work to rule out something temporary (ie bruise/soreness etc).
                                    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      I agree with the majority here.


                                      First, do you know the methods of the vet who did the prepurchase? I know a vet who will trot a horse for 15 min on concrete in a 10 m circle...many horses look "off" to him. I've seen his exams and I've been unable to visually see what he says he sees.

                                      Second, interventions are done by the *owners*, not the prospective buyers. The prepurchase tells the buyers the state of the horse at the moment. Depending on the age and experience of the horse, most horses are not perfect. If this buyer has question about the horse's soundness, they can either chose additional diagnostics or a second opinion. Period.

                                      Third, you do not legally have access to the prepurchase exam findings. But if the prospective owner is nice, she may release the findings to you. Ask her if she will release the findings to you. She might ask you to pay for half of the exam, and if you chose to do this you can have your own vet review the findings and give you advice. Sometimes, prospective owners will do this for free. See what she's willing to do. If she's not willing to release the findings, be wary and perhaps have your own vet repeat the exam. Some vets, in my experience, are a bit unrealistic about horse prepurchase exams and maybe this vet is one of them. Some prospective buyers really utilize these kinds of vets to talk down a price as much as possible (I know people who have done this). Alternatively, maybe he/she found something you should know about. Proceed with caution and with an open mind about your horse! But don't feel pressured to sell unless you feel it is right.

                                      My two cents,
                                      Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by dwblover View Post
                                        If I were in your shoes, I would bring the horse back home. Have a vet that you know and trust decide what to do with the horse.
                                        ditto-- mate fancy letting a horse go off your property once you do that you lost all control and whos to say what they do to the horse
                                        get her back asap they have ahd enough trial and if they want a ppe then do it on your own property

                                        never let a horse of your property when for sale if they interested then they cna come back and re try again and agian agian if no deposit then the horse is still up for sale until sold