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Horse purchase saga - would you trial lease or walk?

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    Some definite red flags go up for me - whether it's true ignorance with no ill intent or something shadier - on hearing the trainer's approach to this. Sure, one white foot will draw the eye, but the horse is lame up front as well, and overall uncomfortable. If that's after 15 mins of warm up, this is not something the horse "warms up out of."

    So sorry to hear of your cat - and I would also struggle to knowingly take on a vet $$ sink with another animal already having trouble.

    I hope this sweet guy gets a nice soft landing somewhere.

    Comment


      Originally posted by jcc813 View Post

      On a separate note, we found out last night that our senior cat likely has mid-stage kidney disease. We were treating another cat who passed away from cancer a few months ago, so now the thought of treating multiple animals for ailments at the same time is not something I relish.
      I personally wouldn't buy someone else's problem. I can see why you liked the horse -- nice looking and appears to have a very good brain. I also thought he looked lame in the February video and was a bit surprised they would have your husband jump him. If that video was shot at the end of an hour's lesson, I don't think they can say that he "works out of it."

      I'm really sorry to hear about your cat. We dealt with kidney disease for almost three years with our senior cat (who finally died of an unrelated cancer in January). I will pass along to you the advice my veterinarian friend gave me, and which helped our cat. Please keep in mind that I am not a vet. My friend has a more holistic practice than our regular vet and I wanted to give this cat every chance so I worked with her on this.

      She told me the most current thinking is not to feed the prescription kidney food as it's very low in protein, making it unsuitable for our other cats and causing CKD cats to lose more weight. The real problem with kidney-compromised cats is phosphorous. You can feed quality protein that is low in phosphorous. There are several websites that help you identify the best food (all canned, not dry, which increases dehydration).

      In our case, we tried a raw food diet, which all cats rejected and then moved to freeze-dried raw, (Stella & Chewy, chicken -- to which you add water) which actually helped our CKD cat gain back the weight he'd lost and improved his bloodwork. My regular vet was stunned by his improvement. He went from mid-stage three to stage 2. She said we had changed her thinking on how to treat kidney disease. We also bought a cat fountain to encourage him to drink more. Luckily he took to it right away.

      Good luck with whatever you choose to do with the horse.

      https://www.healthypawspetinsurance....kidney-disease
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

      Comment


        I'm very sorry about your cat. Kidney disease is an exhausting thing to deal with. You absolutely do no need another problem on top of it.

        When I say my horse is stiff and slow to warm up? I don't mean he's lame. I've written and deleted a dozen replies after learning that video dates back to February and it was considered "sound enough" by multiple professionals. It was not. Which means that horse has either been lame for 4-5 months or it has had intermittent lamenesses for 4-5 months. I would not pay to vet that again. I would not take that if it was given to me for free unless I had 20 acres to retire him to when he never went sound. Horses should be fun. Lame horses are not fun. They are expensive and heart breaking and buying something that is expensive and heartbreaking, even if it manages to pass the very low hurdle of being sound on one out of three PPEs, is a very, very bad idea.

        Comment


          If I were you, I'd listen to all this free advice.

          This guy has a lot of muscular issues that tell me that he has traveled incorrectly for a long time. It is not recent. There are a ton of horses fresh off-the-track that look better than he does.

          It's hard--I know. I got the questionable x-rays and known previous injury OTTB based on his personality. It has worked out tremendously for me for the last 5 years--I love the dude and his maintenance is extremely minimal. But I made changes to our lifestyle to accommodate him. (Examples--no jumping ever and 24/7 turnout). I'm also fine to retire him as a companion/trail horse as we have our own farm so it's "cheap". I also only paid $500.

          These are real questions you have to ask yourself. And you're not a bad person if you want a horse who can do more than be a companion/trail horse. If he's sweet, he can find a soft landing with someone who does want exactly that.

          Comment


            OP, glad to read that you are looking at this with some new context and perspective, sounds like you've got a good approach moving forward.

            Must say, the recent posts are one of the best things about the CoTH forum. A goldmine of deep experience, some context, on-point anecdotes, and very practical advice. There are few sources of help of that breadth and quality.

            Re your experience, OP, to some of the remarks that were made to you about this horse, I call BS on. Like, "the white pastern draws the eye". What??? It should draw the eye to a lovely balanced movement. "He's sore, not lame." It's the same damn thing, that's one of the definitions of lame. OP, please please please carefully tune your hearing to filter the BS that inevitably surrounds all things horse. Some of your advisors may need to be switched out for better ones.

            When it comes to PPE's, x-rays do not show muscles, tendons or ligaments. Serious problems will not show up that way, and the horse may not always tell you about them.

            Bottom line, as has been already said, this is likely to be a riding horse full of frustration. Some days on, some days off. Don't even know if you should keep going with him, with vets saying "treat this and he may come out of it in a month or two" and then he doesn't, and you're treating something else. Or, riding a horse that wobbles like a broken carousel, that makes you feel guilty to ride, while a trainer and others are saying "oh he's ok, he's fine, he'll warm up out of it ... " etc. Or, taking your turn to try to sell this lame horse to a "good home", which is a tiny market and not always switched on. Or, budgeting to put this one out to pasture while you go horse shopping again.

            Horse shopping includes seeing through all the pressure to solve someone else's problem by buying their horse. That is good for them, but not for you. Even pressure from advisors who will get a cut of the sale.

            Sounds like you are on the right track now. Keep your ears carefully cautious to all evaluations and advice while going forward.

            I hope you will be back at some point, with news and photos of a wonderful horse that has joined your family and is making you and your husband very happy.

            (Oh, filtering advice re horses. Currently I'm being told that I need to spend $200 on herbal supplements to treat a problem with my horse that I've already resolved. He doesn't have it any more. But I need to buy him those herbs - according to someone. Plus shipping. From Australia. )

            Comment


              Omg OverandOnward I am laughing out loud about the herbs. Been there, done that (resisted the pressure!). Too funny.

              Comment


                Great post, OverandOnward.

                You just reminded me I have a relevant anecdote to share.

                A few months ago, I retired a *beloved* 20 year old that I have owned for 12 years and have had a blast riding. He was free to me as an 8 year old, because he wasn't a horse for everyone, but he did everything I've wanted and then some - with a little attitude, but still, everything I wanted.

                I sent him away to a friend/trainer to put back in work after a lay off (mine, not his) and subsequently discovered *two* low level chronic problems - one in the stifle, one in the knee. When the vet found the second problem, he stopped the work up and called me. The vet wanted my approval before proceeding with more diagnostics and treatment because (my paraphrase) "You can spend a lot of time and money chasing these problems and still not have a horse you can ride at the end of it. If it was one issue, that would be one thing. And who knows, we might fix these two things and then find something else. You might be better of taking that money and putting it towards your next horse; because a lot of nice horses are going to be up for sale cheap soon." (This was at the beginning of the lockdown.)

                I keep my horses at home, I had always planned on retiring this horse here, so it wasn't much of a decision. He is now a beloved pasture ornament.

                Digest the statements of that wonderful vet carefully. And remember, this was a horse I already *owned*, that I adored, that I knew worked for me. That I didn't have a lot of money tied up in. Imagine what a vet who could speak freely (they have to be diplomatic at a PPE) would say about investing time and money in this horse.
                The plural of anecdote is not data.

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                  OP, glad to read that you are looking at this with some new context and perspective, sounds like you've got a good approach moving forward.

                  Must say, the recent posts are one of the best things about the CoTH forum. A goldmine of deep experience, some context, on-point anecdotes, and very practical advice. There are few sources of help of that breadth and quality.
                  Yes, I'm very grateful for all the advice! I decided to post the question here because CoTHers gave us great pointers in the past, steering us toward leasing a couple experienced horses vs taking on a green project when we were making the move to eventing.

                  We gave the owner notice yesterday that we've decided to move in a different direction. Husband was quite sad after but agrees it's the right decision. We really do hope the horse finds a good home.

                  We looked at a few prospects over the weekend and he surprisingly ended up liking a 4yo OTTB best. It's been in work for the past few months and seems to have a good, calm mind and can take a joke quite well for its age. Was not phased at all when dog, squirrel and bird came flying out of nowhere (not all at the same time). We realize it's a different direction and definitely has different challenges but could be an interesting path. Couple more lined up this weekend as well.




                  Comment


                    Great to hear, jcc813! Hopefully the excitement of getting out there and sitting on a few cool prospects lessens the disappointment about passing up on this guy.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by jcc813 View Post

                      Thanks for sharing your experience. Definitely can relate on how hard it is to let go, even though you tell yourself you will be objective going into it!

                      Did you end up paying for a second exam after the filly was shod and that's how you discovered the OCD? Did you ever find out what happened to the horse after you passed?
                      Sorry, just seeing this! Yes, we took the filly back in and had her looked at again. I was lucky on the second exam as the vet said she wouldn't charge me for the flexions (don't remember the exact reason, I was so surprised she wasn't going to charge so I didn't ask too many questions! haha). I did pay for the xrays of the stifle, and turned them over to the seller after I passed. Seller paid for shoes. I'm not sure what happened to her, but I think about her occasionally. I would definitely take her if I had my own property. She was such a sweetie.

                      Glad to hear you're passing on the horse. I can see why you liked him. He seems like a good natured fellow, and he's very handsome. But that undiagnosed lameness is not something you want to take on, especially at that price. I think you definitely made the right choice. Like I said before, I cried when I had to pass on the filly. But the horse I ended up with is even more amazing than she was. The right horse is out there!

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        Another question for the group! How much would you agree to as a deposit for a short-term trial?

                        A few people mentioned up thread that they would not put down the full purchase price--but not sure if that was specifically in reference to the lame horse?

                        The trainer/owner of the 4yo has offered to let us do a 1-week trial w/ refundable deposit of full purchase price (6K) since we're having scheduling issues getting back there for a second viewing with our trainer.

                        She seems more legit than the 12yo's owner--sales are part of her business--but we don't know anyone who knows her personally so I suppose that means we should be cautious.

                        I see the argument for and against from the seller's and buyer's perspectives, respectively. So I don't really know what the right answer is. It sounds like full purchase deposit is her standard ask so not sure she'd budge on that.

                        Comment


                          Full purchase price sounds about right to me. Just make sure you and the seller iron out very clearly (and on paper!) the specifics of the agreement.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by jcc813 View Post
                            Another question for the group! How much would you agree to as a deposit for a short-term trial?

                            A few people mentioned up thread that they would not put down the full purchase price--but not sure if that was specifically in reference to the lame horse?

                            The trainer/owner of the 4yo has offered to let us do a 1-week trial w/ refundable deposit of full purchase price (6K) since we're having scheduling issues getting back there for a second viewing with our trainer.

                            She seems more legit than the 12yo's owner--sales are part of her business--but we don't know anyone who knows her personally so I suppose that means we should be cautious.

                            I see the argument for and against from the seller's and buyer's perspectives, respectively. So I don't really know what the right answer is. It sounds like full purchase deposit is her standard ask so not sure she'd budge on that.
                            I think my hunter trainer puts down a deposit that is a percentage of the purchase price. The horse is insured for full purchase price major med and mortality. If the client purchases the horse then the insurance is converted to a year long term. If they keep the horse they pay the balance. There is a signed contract.
                            Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                            Comment


                              For a 6K horse....what that owner is asking for is fairly normal. Most wouldn’t allow a trial. Usually...people require the PPE first, assuming that is all clear....there is typically a sale contract with a full refund of the price within the week....and the contract should be clear that you will only get the full price back if the horse is returned in the same condition as you took it in (hence why the PPE is required first). Some sellers may require you also insure the horse.

                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                For a 6K horse....what that owner is asking for is fairly normal. Most wouldn’t allow a trial. Usually...people require the PPE first, assuming that is all clear....there is typically a sale contract with a full refund of the price within the week....and the contract should be clear that you will only get the full price back if the horse is returned in the same condition as you took it in (hence why the PPE is required first). Some sellers may require you also insure the horse.
                                When you say "people require the PPE first" is that the seller? I am still waiting for the trial terms to review but she didn't mention needing a PPE. It does make sense, but not necessarily helpful for our case since we can't find a reliable vet in that area.

                                This does make me consider though...if we end up not keeping him, I was originally thinking we'd pay our trainer to haul him back for us but it might be better to just pay her to come back and get him so we don't have that extra liability risk in case something were to happen en route. Her fee is probably close to what our trainer might charge.

                                Comment


                                  I think the idea of having the seller come to get the horse if he doesn't work out is a great idea. It does lessen your liability, and you can figure out the paperwork, funds being returned, etc., *before* the horse steps onto the trailer.

                                  I don't have a ton of experience buying horses, but when I bought my current horse, the seller trailered the horse to the boarding barn, I paid with a cashier's check, and we had a contract that stated that the horse had to "pass" a PPE, or else I could return the horse within two weeks. If the horse didn't vet clean, then the seller would come back and pick up the horse and refund my money. I ended up keeping the horse, so I didn't have to test the various provisions of the contract (and truthfully, I'm not sure how easy it would have been to get that particular seller to adhere to the terms). But I did this because I couldn't find a vet local to the horse that had not been used by the seller previously.
                                  "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                                  Comment


                                    Originally posted by jcc813 View Post

                                    When you say "people require the PPE first" is that the seller? I am still waiting for the trial terms to review but she didn't mention needing a PPE. It does make sense, but not necessarily helpful for our case since we can't find a reliable vet in that area.

                                    This does make me consider though...if we end up not keeping him, I was originally thinking we'd pay our trainer to haul him back for us but it might be better to just pay her to come back and get him so we don't have that extra liability risk in case something were to happen en route. Her fee is probably close to what our trainer might charge.
                                    Yes, usually the seller. But not all require it. I personally would want my own vet doing the PPE so if the seller will let you just take the horse for the week....I’d just try and get your vet out soon for the PPE. And since he is young....don’t go too nuts with the trial. Treat him like he is already yours. And yes...I would pay her to come and get him. Just best....but I’m going to be thinking positive thoughts that he will work out for your guys!!!
                                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                    Comment


                                      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                      All horses should go fine barefoot in an arena, on pasture, and on asphalt.

                                      i know you post on this forum a lot and are well respected. But....this is such a sweeping, blanket (and false) statement. Not all horses are fine barefoot. Ive worked with many OTTBs. Sound OTTBs. And they aren’t ALL comfortable on hard ground without shoes. Or sometimes not comfortable even on soft ground without shoes. Not all horses are comfortable barefoot on all terrain. My mare Is sound and is not comfortable without hinds. For someone to say shes injured or not right or even go so far to say she’s lame bc she needs hind shoes is just not accurate.
                                      Last edited by Rnichols; Jul. 21, 2020, 03:34 PM.
                                      Another Adult Amature and her OTTB: https://eventingottb.wordpress.com

                                      Repurposed Racehorses
                                      https://repurposedracehorses.weebly.com/

                                      Comment


                                        Rnichols, I agree with you. I have known lovely horses that weren't sound barefoot. But the unsoundness manifested itself as shortness of stride, not a pronounced assymetry of movement.

                                        The horse being discussed in this thread is unsound, but my observation, as well as others, is that the unsoundness is not related to shoeing - the video clip that I watched looked like stifle or higher, and there was definite asymmetry.
                                        The plural of anecdote is not data.

                                        Comment

                                          Original Poster

                                          Looks like we got luckier on our second go around: We took the 4yo on trial and he passed the PPE today! Got x-rays of feet, fetlock and hocks and everything was clean. Jogging and flexions were good. Only thing pointed out was that his feet really needed to be done but fortunately our farrier was there at the same time so we got that taken care of as well.

                                          It was so nerve wracking but such a relief to know we're starting with a clean slate. Our vet was very happy.

                                          Thanks again for everyone's valuable input. It did take a little convincing but we're really glad with where we've ended up!

                                          Comment

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