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Would you buy a horse that had failed the vet on flex tests?

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  • Would you buy a horse that had failed the vet on flex tests?

    I came across a nice horse for sale. Ad says:

    '16.3hh, 8 yrs, homebred gelding by Dexter IV. Evented Novice BE, has BD points and many winnings BS. Wonderful temp., snaffle mouth, no vices. 100% box, clip, shoe, traffic. Failed 5* vetting on flexion test, hence £2, 500. Very sad sale.'

    Would you even consider him?

    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

  • #2
    Doesn't bother me. I bought a horse that didn't flex very well on one hind, and he was super sound. Had evented to Advanced as well with no gaps in his show record. I would probably take x-rays and do a more thorough evaluation though. Flexions don't tell the whole story.


    • #3
      wow only that much for a horse thats done all that? I'd look up his records & have my own vet do x rays & ask their opinion on suitability for what I wanted.
      "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
      "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


      • #4
        Definitely get a second opinion if everything else looks suitable for what you want!


        • #5
          If he is currently doing his job, and has been for years, with no issues- and you don't plan on ramping up his level of work intensely, go for it (with radiographs that don't show anything terrifying).


          • #6
            If I liked the horse, I'd absolutely investigate further. Flexions just don't mean that much to me. I certainly wouldn't pass a flex test.



            • #7
              Didn't Boyd buy Ying Yang Yo, knowing that he didn't pass his vet check 100%??

              I had a horse that passed but was given a 2/5 on his left hock - maybe he was just stiff that day as he was never unsound in the 3 yrs I had him..the vet did tell me, that nowadays (and I do quote what she said) 'that vets will sometimes give a horse an unperfect score etc, so that they are not liable for anything.' Hmmm, kind of a weird saying but in some ways makes sense I guess.
              I agree with Pegasus - could be worth a shot especially depending on what your use is -Novice vs Advanced etc.


              • #8
                Horses don't pass or fail flexions. Vets simply flex the limbs and note if the horse has obvious discomfort, rated on a relatively objective scale, when the horse trots off.

                MOST horses have some discomfort following flexions. Think about if someone cranked your knee/elbow/wrist/ankle as hard as they could for 60-90 seconds. You'd probably hobble off lame, but you're not actually lame! It just signifies that there *could* be some underlying problem that warrants FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

                Flexion tests are simply a tool to localize lameness for further diagnostics, or to identify problems that could potentially pose a problem in the future.


                • #9
                  What Lauren said. In my experience, it's very very rare to have a horse that is actively competing not have at least a 1/5 on at least one leg, and often several. Heck, both of my upper level horses flexed 1/5 or 2/5 on all four legs - and both of them successfully went on to do long format 1* and 2*, plus many many horse trials. Of course, I'd want to know how badly the horse flexed and look at the xrays carefully, but it might not necessarily be a total deal breaker - just part of the total batch of information.


                  • #10
                    I agree that horses do not "pass" or "fail" -- they simply present and then the humans inevitably draw conclusions. I don't put a lot of faith in them other than as possible indicators of something I might want to look into. How the flexions are done can also have dramatic effects on what the horse presents. I seriously doubt a fair number of competing horses at T or higher would flex 100% zero result. I know I sure don't!
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks! I actually agree with you on the flexion tests. (I told the vet not to bother doing them on the baby horse. We shot x-rays instead.)

                      Does it seem strange to anyone else that someone would pass on this horse given that he only failed on

                      (I may be over thinking this. I'm on pills. )
                      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                      • #12
                        Depends on who did the flexions. Not all flexors are created equal.
                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                        • #13
                          Depends. Are we talking 3/5 or 4/5 after flexing? Or 1/5? And what did the radiographs show?

                          My guess is there is something else going on; I would proceed with caution.


                          • Original Poster

                            No idea. I only know what the advert says.
                            Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                            • #15
                              Some horses xray completely clean and are lame (one of our horses, perfect xrays but he has been lame for months now, all diagnostics show nothing) while other horses xray like crap (my most recent purchase) but are sound and flex 100% sound. Like everyone else said, if the horse has been doing it's job just fine with minimal extra care (injections, joint supplement, whatever) and the xrays are congruent with his age then I'd go ahead with it.
                              "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline


                              • #16
                                I'd want the exact results of the flexions (what legs, and what grade lameness -- 1/5, 2/5, etc) and I'd take rads of anything that flexed significantly off before purchase, just to be safe.

                                Also, if it's going to be a personal horse that you will keep for years and years and years, that's different than a horse that you want to resell that won't pass the flexions.

                                That being said, I have a wonderful and sound horse that won't pass a PPE for a variety of reasons. Sound horses don't always mean a perfect PPE.


                                • #17
                                  I bought my horse with failed flexions on th front fetllocks. He was a seasoned competitor. And had done a ton with a junior rider and brought her up the levels. The best perssonality, good head, good orse in general. Bought him on the spot.
                                  I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.


                                  • #18
                                    NO on a young prospect. YES/maybe on a horse that was already doing his job and like the others have said, you weren't planning on ramping up the intensity. Eventing isn't easy on the joints, and I would be frankly surprised if a seasoned competitor didn't have a few issues on the pre purchase. At best, it can give you some wiggle room on the price.


                                    • #19
                                      Mine was pos

                                      That led to xrays...artifacts in 3 joints(each hock and 1 fetlock). Noted vets opinion none of them would ever cause a problem. 6 years later with a working life...never lame. Never could repeat the flexion to be pos either but the pos xrays stopped the customers. So I would say if it is for you go if it is potentially for resale may not want to. PatO


                                      • #20
                                        I did.
                                        Big Idea Eventing