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Selling a sound horse - only to turn up with multiple lamenesses in a short period?

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  • Selling a sound horse - only to turn up with multiple lamenesses in a short period?

    I sold a mare about three months ago that had zero history of lameness, had good solid hard (and bare) feet and no glaring conformation defects or health issues that would predispose her to lameness. Easy keeper, low man on the totem pole, good bone and an efficient mover with years of full time riding and/or training under her belt, so not unaccustomed to a full workload.

    The mare has turned up lame THREE times since they took her home. New owner doesn't appear to be blaming me, but I do feel bad that this is happening. First lameness was suspected to be caused by a kick in the pasture and lasted 2-3 weeks, but no vet was called (despite my advising her that it sounded necessary, multiple times, when asked). Second lameness was observed in the pasture but only lasted a day, and now the third lameness is also of "unknown" causes.

    I can't help but think that there is obviously something going on with the way the horse is being ridden, handled, or kept that is causing these issues? Owner says she's getting along with the other horses now and hasn't been doing anything out of the ordinary. I know the farrier they use trims pretty short, that could be a possible cause as well.

    Has this ever happened to anyone else? I don't bubble wrap my horses, but neither do I run them into the ground. I'm concerned about this damaging my reputation if she leads people to believe that I sold her a lame horse - and aside from that, I don't like seeing horses ruined.

  • #2
    Where was the kick? If at a joint, I would be suspicious of a chip floating in and out of the joint, causing the on again, off again repeat lamenesses.

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    • #3
      It's happened to me. When the horse went lame, the new owners didn't listen to my advice to have a vet look at the horse. They decided on their own to not treat, to continue turn-out, to continue riding. At that point, there is nothing I, as the previous owner, could do, except keep in touch in case they decided to get rid of the horse.

      Of course, they did not want to keep in touch and got rid of him without telling me. I found out about it from the person I'd bought him from. She saw him out in a pasture one day and recognized him. He was quite old by then, and being trail ridden - so not the worst ending.
      Blugal

      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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      • #4
        If they aren't treating the horse properly and your truly worried about her and that they may disparage your reputation, you can always offer a buy back....

        Other than that you've done what you could, advised vet care which they have declined.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Remington410 View Post
          If they aren't treating the horse properly and your truly worried about her and that they may disparage your reputation, you can always offer a buy back....

          Other than that you've done what you could, advised vet care which they have declined.
          Oh, I have offered multiple times and we do have a first right of refusal in the contract, for whatever (not much) that is worth, but they want to keep her. They have also had some training issues with her that I never saw, either - problems with basic things like loading and mounting, and spooking at everyday objects. I offered some suggestions and they, too, were ignored and/or poo-poo'd that she's just really green (she's not. She's taking advantage of you).

          The kick was supposedly to the shoulder, Simkie. It's entirely possible that there was some damage done to the muscle or even to the shoulder blade or elbow, but since they determined that seeing a vet wasn't necessary, there is no way to know for sure.

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          • #6
            I know this sounds nuts, but maybe the horse doesn't like her situation. I swear I had a mare that I sent to a trainer years ago. The trainer said she couldn't work her, because she was constantly lame. I went up there to get her and sure enough she was gimping around. We loaded her up and took her home, and from the moment she stepped off the trailer, she never took another lame step in her life. You never know...

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            • #7
              It happens. Sounds like some major adjustment issues, both in the field and under saddle.

              Not a sale horse, but a new home story. I had a friend's young horse with me over the summer while she recovered from surgery. He did great here, other than a couple of hooligan inspired bangs and scrapes. He went out with Toby, who has been his BFF from the time he stepped off the van from Cali last summer, and Toby's companion, who the young horse quickly put in his place (with Toby's help! Toby looks out for his own ).

              Once the youngun's mom was back on the road, he returned to his side of the river, and to a new home. He kept coming in lame, from various suspected kicks and god knows what. No one ever SAW anything happen, and from all appearances he and his new pals were getting along great. Eventually, the dust settled, he stopped coming in looking like he'd been in a bar brawl, and stopped limping.

              Moral of the story? Some times horses need to time to adjust.
              Amanda

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              • #8
                Have they changed her shoeing? I have a friend who sold a horse that vetted well, and then was chronically lame for a few months. She took the horse back and realized that the new farrier had been trimming the horse entirely wrong, causing stress on front joints (horse was sligthly pigeon-toed and he trimmed to get rid of that, despite horse being 8 years old). Ulcers can cause the spookiness etc., and any change in environment can bring those on pretty quickly.

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