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Did he "fail" the vet check???

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  • Did he "fail" the vet check???

    I had a PPE done yesterday on a horse that I really loved and thought was the one. I know that a PPE is more of a risk analysis than a pass/fail situation. I think the vet got as close to "failing" the horse as possible, but I am still struggling because of all the good money I spent and because I really wanted this to work out. So here's the deal:

    - Flexed positive in right front.

    - Radiographs of fetlock revealed moderate arthritis (not unusual for an OTTB, but compared to the radiographs of the left it was significantly worse).

    - Vet said that in his opinion the horse could use injections now (more $$$) and would probably stop responding to treatment within three years, give or take two on either side.

    - He also said that the horse should probably only do low level jumping (2ft was the height he threw out). I weigh only 120lbs, but he even suggested to the rescue owner that they look for a very light junior rider.

    - His back (behind wither and extending back about 8 inches) was very sore when palpated. We didn't even radiograph there because of the red flags on the ankle, so I don't know what's going on but it makes me nervous.

    - When I asked him to do neorological testing (because my last partner passed away tragically due to neurological stuff), he said he didn't think this horse would be neurological but, of course, he would do it. The horse failed the placement tests (it looked exactly like my last horse's tests, which was horrible to relive). He did not move either foot back to the appropriate location. The vet was really surprised but said the results were a red flag but inconclusive. He said he sometimes sees horses with good balance who fail to move one leg back, but usually both legs back is a bad sign.

    - I went ahead and radiographed the neck re. the neurological symptoms. I needed to think about whether or not I could live with the ankle, but I knew that neoro stuff is a deal breaker for me. We didn't find anything conclusive, but the vet said that his cord channel width was borderline (again, a red flag but not a sure thing).

    - When the rescue owner left (suddenly defensive and even a little hostile towards me now, which made things so much worse), the vet said candidly, "If you want to event, I'd probably keep looking."

    Writing this all down makes it seem pretty clear, but at the same time I know many people who have successfully evented OTTBs with arthritis and other ankle jewelry. My last trainer doesn't even PPE her OTTBs because she just doesn't care to know. I'm sure many of hers would looks worse than him.

    He's beautiful and sound right now. Should that be enough? Am I being too picky (as aggressively suggested by the owner)? Or do I need to listen to the vet and keep looking? I'm a young adult ammy who can only afford to board one horse, so my financial risk tolerance is pretty low. I also tend to bond deeply with my equine partner. I'm in a low price range ($900 of which I've now spent on a PPE for a horse that might not work out ), so I wonder if this is the best I'll find or if there's something else out there for me.

    Thoughts?

    As a side note, I know horse shopping should be exciting, but it just feels expensive and heartbreaking. Really down right now.

  • #2
    That's a bummer but to me there are too many red flags there for a rigorous career. He might be perfect for someone with light riding needs. I'd pass unless you are okay with keeping him as a pasture pet. Sorry. Shopping sucks, you have my sympathy.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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    • #3
      If you do not care that you may have a pasture ornament in less than 3 years, then buy him. You know that you will never be able to sell him. If it were me, I would pass. Sorry.
      When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

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      • #4
        Do you trust your vet?
        Those are some significant issues that would make me think twice and yes, I would probably pass on that horse for an Eventing career.
        Go vet the mare and see what you get. Good luck!

        PS: I vetted 4 horses before I got my guy (which I didn't vet Aha )
        "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

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        • #5
          Harden your heart and move on.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LAZ View Post
            Harden your heart and move on.
            I agree with this. You've paid the vet for an expert opinion and you've gotten it.

            When you have your heart set on a horse and it fails the PPE, it almost feels as if YOUR horse died. You grieve and you second guess yourself. You wonder if you did the right thing. But, as LAZ said, you just have to harden your heart and move on. Remember that you, in particular, are looking for a partner who will be able to work with you for years.
            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
            Thread killer Extraordinaire

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by BEARCAT View Post

              PS: I vetted 4 horses before I got my guy (which I didn't vet Aha )
              Wow, 4 is awful! I think I'd give up at two and start collecting cats or something. Ha, that's what I mean. Some of the happiest owners I know are the one's that didn't vet and just enjoy riding their horse while it's sound. I don't think that's my style, but I certainly wish it was right about now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LAZ View Post
                Harden your heart and move on.
                This.

                And, one or two of that horse's issues (this is the 10 yr old?) wouldn't bother me, but all of them together do, especially the back / neck stuff.

                Then again, I had a horse with borderline channel in his neck and never had a problem. And I have a horse with more lumps and bumps than you can imagine, (bought w/o PPE) and he's still sound at 28.

                The fact that the vet was very conclusive about this horse is worrysome. Do you like this vet?

                And... lets talk about the filly again Is she at a feedlot? Can you vet her?
                Unrepentant carb eater

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                • #9
                  I think you know the answer, but nonetheless, this is a toughie. Don't set yourself up for heartbreak- there are tons of nice horses out there and you will find another one! Sucks you had to put money down for the vetting but isn't it better to find out now than midway through the season when you have to pay for a boatload of diagnostics and treatments for poor performance?

                  You will find a great partner, it may just take a bit of time, but it will be worth it in the end

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by LAZ View Post
                    Harden your heart and move on.
                    Sound advice, but hard to follow.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Judysmom View Post
                      This.

                      And... lets talk about the filly again Is she at a feedlot? Can you vet her?
                      She's been rescued from the feedlot and is at a local barn (the barn my parents actually owned my whole childhood, weirdly enough).

                      I texted the girl to set up a ride. Looks like that's going to happen Sunday or Monday. I can vet her (oh boy...).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jhoover View Post
                        Sound advice, but hard to follow.
                        One of my tenants of shopping for OTTB's is that you HAVE to be able to walk away.

                        If you think you are heart broken now, just wait. If you buy this horse the chances of it getting completely stomped on are exponential. We have vet exams for a reason.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Judysmom View Post
                          This.

                          And, one or two of that horse's issues (this is the 10 yr old?) wouldn't bother me, but all of them together do, especially the back / neck stuff.
                          That was my thought too. One red flag, eh? Two or three big ones...different story.

                          However, stories like yours make me doubt myself. War horses like him (long successful racing careers) seem so sturdy, despite what the radiographs say. Ah well...

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by LAZ View Post
                            One of my tenants of shopping for OTTB's is that you HAVE to be able to walk away.

                            We have vet exams for a reason.
                            Good advice LAZ. I know I should be relieved that for the low price of $800 I likely avoided many thousands of dollars of vet bills and, of course, real heartbreak. It's hard to be realistic about it when it's all so fresh, but I know mentally that this is probably a good thing.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jhoover View Post
                              However, stories like yours make me doubt myself. War horses like him (long successful racing careers) seem so sturdy, despite what the radiographs say. Ah well...
                              Except this isn't one of those "sound as the day is long with inexplicable bad films horses." He showed you he's feeling some of what shows on the films. He flexed positive, he palpitated very sore. You can't get too attached during the PPE phase. This isn't your horse you're trying to fix. It's someone else's horse.
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Also, in terms of spending $$$ on PPEs. Now, while we're not talking about a specific horse but just about horses in the abstract-- make a list of dealbreakers. Write it out. Anytime you're doing a PPE and you hit one of those.... STOP. I would have stopped this horse's PPE at back soreness because I don't do backs, necks, or stifles. Your tolerances may be different based on your experiences/needs etc. But the key to not flushing money away on PPEs is making a decision UP FRONT about what you will and won't buy and stopping it right then and there. It'll save you lots of money in the long run.
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                  Except this isn't one of those "sound as the day is long with inexplicable bad films horses." He showed you he's feeling some of what shows on the films. He flexed positive, he palpitated very sore. You can't get too attached during the PPE phase. This isn't your horse you're trying to fix. It's someone else's horse.
                                  Yes. This is the truth. I think my old guy is more of an anomaly than the norm. We just hear about them because they are so exceptional.
                                  Unrepentant carb eater

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree -- too many red flags and you already hit one dealbreaker. Stop and move on. I've been there - fell in love with a charming OTTB who was a lovely mover. His conformation, though, was a trainwreck and even though he was only 3, he was lame all three times I visited him. Sweetness won't get you over fences, sigh. There are a ton of nice, sound ones out there, keep moving.
                                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                      Also, in terms of spending $$$ on PPEs. Now, while we're not talking about a specific horse but just about horses in the abstract-- make a list of dealbreakers. Write it out. Anytime you're doing a PPE and you hit one of those.... STOP. I would have stopped this horse's PPE at back soreness because I don't do backs, necks, or stifles. Your tolerances may be different based on your experiences/needs etc. But the key to not flushing money away on PPEs is making a decision UP FRONT about what you will and won't buy and stopping it right then and there. It'll save you lots of money in the long run.
                                      Probably the best advice so far (bolding is mine).

                                      Keep looking.
                                      Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                                      The Grove at Five Points

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Oh too bad! I was really hoping he would go home with you. But I too would pass.

                                        ETA: I also had a horse with neck arthritis. This would be a deal-breaker for me. The heartache was terrible.

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