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Horse Shopping Drama. How would you proceed?

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  • Horse Shopping Drama. How would you proceed?

    So, for all who have been following my shopping journey and those who are new, here's the skinny. I tragically lost my eventing partner/heart horse and am back in the market with a smallish budget of $3500 (due to my guy's vet bills and because I wasn't saving to buy a new horse for many years). I did a rather expensive PPE ($800) on an OTTB that failed, further stretching my budget (and breaking my heart ).

    I unexpectedly was contacted by a friend who does auction/feedlot rescues. She had a 4 y/o OTTB mare she wanted me to check out. I went to see the mare and was surpised to find that I liked the $500 resuce more than most of the $3500 horses I'd been looking at! She has some issues I'm concerned about, including being slightly over at the knee and cribbing mildly, but when I rode her I left with a silly grin on my face. She is an A++ mover (serious suspension, pushes rather than pulls herself forward, huge overstep, etc.).

    When the friend offered me a feed lease trial, I decided it couldn't hurt. I could get to know her before spending the $$ on a PPE. Since she's arrived, she hasn't cribbed once. I've only had her three days, but already I'm super impressed and already feel us bonding.

    So, here's the issue. When she was rescued in October, her feet were so severly over-trimmed she could barely walk. She was barefoot and on concrete (and emaciated). She did not grow hoof for the first three months after rescue because of the shock/trauma to the hooves. Since then she's been in a bedded stall basically putting on weight and growing hoof. Her first shoeing was seven weeks ago (front only) because until that point she didn't have enough hoof to shoe! When my ferrier hoof tested her yesterday, she was pretty sore in both hinds and the left front.

    The big concern for me is that he said he's worried about pedal osteitis because of the ongoing infalamation she must have had to be this sore for this many months (and who knows for how long even before she was rescued). The only way to confirm whether or not permanent canon bone damage has been done is via x-rays. I put her on bute, per his recommendation, and am going to poultic every day (animalintex and magic cushion). I probably won't start riding her for a week, and then only on soft footing.

    Long story short, I am an eventer who needs a sound horse. I went through hell and back emotionally with my previous partner's health and I'm not sure I'm ready to go back there so soon. I know horse's are a gambler's game and anything can happen at any time, but I'd like to at least start with soundness. However, I really like this mare and I'd really like to do a good thing for a rescue. How would you proceed? Should I spend the $$ on a PPE and lots of radiographs to determine if she has pedal osteitis? If I do and she fails, I will probably have to stop searching and recoup financially for at least several months before looking again.

    P.S. here are some vids of her:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=...type=3&theater

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=...type=3&theater

    ***UPDATE ON PAGE 5***
    Last edited by blame_the_champagne; Mar. 12, 2013, 03:39 PM. Reason: UPDATE

  • #2
    She's cute, I can see the front end lameness in the videos.

    What do her feet look like? Can you post a picture? I am interested in the way she grows her foot in order to give you a full opinion. Pedal osteitis isn't always the end of the world, can be managed with proper shoeing and coffin joint injections. Whether you want to deal with that is different question I wouldn't in a young horse.

    My opinion, with out seeing her foot conformation, is to pass. And here's why, briefly.

    Short version of the story, I bought a drop dead fancy big quiet very young lame horse a few years ago. I took a risk, thought I could fix him, I was wrong. Too many issues, one of which was his crappy feet. We could not keep him sound jumping, and I tried everything that was ethical.

    So, one of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten is "buy sound horses". It doesn't matter how fancy they are if they are not sound.

    Now this filly you have on trial might just need 6 months in a field eating good food. Or she might never come sound. Hard to tell without a crystal ball.

    You have made some friends now on COTH, yes? Why not reach out to one of them who is at the tracks? You can stay within your budget most likely for purchase price, shipping and a basic vetting. And your track contact can steer you away from the lame ones.
    Unrepentant carb eater

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      [QUOTE=Judysmom;6877034]She's cute, I can see the front end lameness in the videos.

      What do her feet look like? Can you post a picture? I am interested in the way she grows her foot in order to give you a full opinion. Pedal osteitis isn't always the end of the world, can be managed with proper shoeing and coffin joint injections. Whether you want to deal with that is different question I wouldn't in a young horse.

      My opinion, with out seeing her foot conformation, is to pass. And here's why, briefly.
      QUOTE]

      Wow, good eye. I still can't see anything in the front end, but I believe it's there after seeing the hoof tests. In regards to injections and other maintenance, I agree...not willing to go there in a horse so young and not from day one. I will try to get pics of feet soon and post. My ferrier said we can't know for sure without x-rays. Do you agree or are there other signs? I'm wondering with poulticing and bute if she's come sound or not. I'm also wondering if it will be a temporary soundness that disipates as soon as we start working.

      Are there other problems that could cause hoof soreness or is it pretty much a A or B situation? A = just hoof sore from being barefoot and overtrimmed, will resolve with correct handling or B = pedal osteitis.

      Thanks again for the feedback : )

      Comment


      • #4
        What JudysMom said.... If your budget is already tight, don't start off with a horse that is lame. A horse that can't do the job is worse than no horse at all!
        The rebel in the grey shirt

        Comment


        • #5
          If you really want to know the condition of her coffin bone, then pick the most lame hoof, and x-ray that one. Its not like it is a complicated thing to spot needing many angles.

          I agree with passing, but if you really like her that much, you may find it worth the risk.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
            Wow, good eye. I still can't see anything in the front end, but I believe it's there after seeing the hoof tests. In regards to injections and other maintenance, I agree...not willing to go there in a horse so young and not from day one. I will try to get pics of feet soon and post. My ferrier said we can't know for sure without x-rays. Do you agree or are there other signs? I'm wondering with poulticing and bute if she's come sound or not. I'm also wondering if it will be a temporary soundness that disipates as soon as we start working.

            Are there other problems that could cause hoof soreness or is it pretty much a A or B situation? A = just hoof sore from being barefoot and overtrimmed, will resolve with correct handling or B = pedal osteitis.

            Thanks again for the feedback : )
            It's because I spent 2 years staring at my subtley foot sore horse. Yes lots of other things can cause them to be foot sore. Some are easyish like abcesses and stone bruises. Other causes, not so easy.

            Yes she may come sound based on what you are doing and then go lame when put into work. She's just a bit off now in that nice footing. Or she could just have some bruising that will get better in a few months. Xray as far as I know is the way to diagnose pedal osteitis.

            I still think you should buy a horse who is presently sound and in work though. And get it vetted.
            Unrepentant carb eater

            Comment


            • #7
              If you really like her ... and since she is a free lease, can you give her some time to see how she responds to the suggested treatment?
              Also, I don't think I'd rely totally on my farrier's opinion (and I love my farrier and listen very closely to him!) without getting a veterinarian opinion, too. CHT has a good suggestion to x-ray one hoof.
              Figure out how much you can spend to give her a chance (for keeping her and some vet exams) without it hurting if it doesn't work out and decide whether it's worth giving you two that chance or it's better to let her go now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                Should I spend the $$ on a PPE and lots of radiographs to determine if she has pedal osteitis? If I do and she fails, I will probably have to stop searching and recoup financially for at least several months before looking again.
                First, I would not assume that your farrier is right, but I also would not be buting her just because he told me to. I'd get the opinion of a qualified vet.

                Second, whether it's this horse or another one, you're going to incur PPE expenses. If you really like this mare, vet her. Even if you pass and find another horse you like, it may end up failing a PPE too. And as someone else said, pick the lamest foot and look there for your answers IF you really like her. If you're not in love with her, keep looking.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can't watch videos on Facebook, but from your descriptions it sounds like you should pass on this mare too. When a horse has been starved it takes months before any integrity to the hoof develops. In the meantime the walls are weak and rotation is likely. Listen to your farrier and if you can spare the money do as CHT has suggested and xray the worst foot.

                  She sounds like an incredibly good, honest mare, but from what you've said about yourself, at this time in your life you need a low maintenance horse. It sounds like someone really screwed this mare up. Maybe she'll come sound with special shoes, but they're expensive and I'm sure you can find an inexpensive and sound ottb if you're patient.

                  In what state do you live? I know that between the CANTER tracks and Finger Lakes there's a good horse out there for you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If it was me and I really liked the horse I'd xray the 2 fronts. Really it shouldn't cost more than 250 to xray both feet and then you will know. I really don't see getting more attached to her by keeping her there and hoping she gets better. I would rather do the xrays and part ways if I must as soon as possible. Truthfully I'd rather pay the money then get attached and be heartbroken again. There are many reasons for sore soles and it may not be what the farrier thinks and could be something very simple that just needs time. Or it could be what he says and you need to part ASAP.
                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How long is the free lease?

                      I agree that xraying the worst foot would give you enough to decide to continue the free lease or not. Surely one hoof wouldn't be that expensive. If you wait until a regular vet visit to schedule the xray, here it would not cost much over $50. If she hasn't seen a vet for a while, she probably ought to anyway. But the suggestion in the previous post of both fronts is even better.

                      If the xrays show that it is worth continuing, then I would put her on a good hoof supplement. My personal experience is that they really can work. I'd suggest the Select NuHoof Maximizer or this one:
                      http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.h...2-7311b21cda64

                      I used the NuHoof Maximizer on an old TB with years long hoof problems before I bought him. I started him on this at the recommendation of a certified Master Farrier and past president of the AFA. It worked for my guy, and I never had hoof problems again.

                      If you have a free lease for six months, the supplement would definitely be able to do what it's going to do, if anything.

                      I know that you are in California where boarding is expensive, so you may not have the luxury of time.

                      Originally posted by SEPowell View Post
                      I can't watch videos on Facebook, but from your descriptions it sounds like you should pass on this mare too. When a horse has been starved it takes months before any integrity to the hoof develops. In the meantime the walls are weak and rotation is likely. Listen to your farrier and if you can spare the money do as CHT has suggested and xray the worst foot.

                      She sounds like an incredibly good, honest mare, but from what you've said about yourself, at this time in your life you need a low maintenance horse. It sounds like someone really screwed this mare up. Maybe she'll come sound with special shoes, but they're expensive and I'm sure you can find an inexpensive and sound ottb if you're patient.

                      In what state do you live? I know that between the CANTER tracks and Finger Lakes there's a good horse out there for you.
                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                      Thread killer Extraordinaire

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        [QUOTE=rabicon;6877111]If it was me and I really liked the horse I'd xray the 2 fronts. Really it shouldn't cost more than 250 to xray both feet and then you will know. I really don't see getting more attached to her by keeping her there and hoping she gets better. QUOTE]

                        That's what I'm worried about too. I'd rather pull off the band-aid quickly. Logistically, though, does it make sense to pay a call fee for a vet to come out just to x-ray. If there's no obvious issues, would I then call the vet out a second time for a normal PPE? It doens't really make sense to do a PPE now, since she's sore, since it will just turn into a lameness exam, right?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As the owner of a 20 year old OTTB with Pedal Osteitis who has been a pasture pet since he was 8 that I bought when he was about to turn 5, get the x-rays. My OTTB didn't start showing any signs of lameness until he was 7 or 8, and then it went in waves. We didn't x-ray right away because he also had underrun heels on his right front, and we thought he was just showing some soreness and tried a variety of farriers and corrective shoeing techniques first.

                          So... get the x-rays and then you will know for sure.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by SEPowell View Post
                            In what state do you live? I know that between the CANTER tracks and Finger Lakes there's a good horse out there for you.
                            I'm in Souther California. I followed up on one COTH lead but the seller never got back to my email and I didn't have a phone number. The other one looked promising (but out of state), but when I took the mare on trial I put it on hold. After seeing so many in person that are unsound but didn't appear so in vids, I'm really hesistant to buy sight unseen. I'm just getting overhwelmed at this point.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by vineyridge
                              How long is the free lease?

                              .
                              The lease can be as long as I want it to be. No time limit.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Get a knowledgeable , by that I mean a foot and leg, sports medicine type, vet. A quick radiograph can tell you so much and save so much time. That along with the time he has spent dealing with similar situations. Don't wait til you have gotten attached, or have spent a fortune on feed, etc.
                                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.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I would lease her, see how she does for a month or two. If she is lame to start with, would not purchase without rads and a thorough PPE.

                                  I've been through the wringer of lame horses-- In the last 8 years I've taken on 3 lame horses. Two of the 3 came pretty sound, enough to have jobs and be useful. I got a little cocky thinking I was good at fixing them, and last spring I took on a TB mare that was lame in the left hind and it seemed it'd be easy to address. She is now a very kind, sweet, beautiful pasture pet, at the age of 8.

                                  I will never buy or take on another horse if there is even so much as a question of soundness being an issue. Yeah they can all go lame, but why chance it with one that is unsound to start with.
                                  We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Yes...it makes sense to have a vet out now and shoot some xrays of her feet. You need more information to make an informed decision. Honestly...I had one that I did pass on with Pedal Osteitis. She was to be a re-sale prospect and not cheap. I knew with it she would not pass a PPE. She was not lame but was in shoes with pads so I had concerns as to why she was in pads.

                                    Long story short, with time, that horse is fine and running training level (after being given away and that person taking over a year to get her right). But it does take time and good shoeing.

                                    Before you either invest more time in her...or give up on her.....if it was me, I would have the vet out now and do some xrays of her feet. If he doesn't totally nix her on those and advises this is something that with a little time and work shouldn't be a problem....I would go ahead right then with a more general PPE--perhaps taking xrays of anything else that I have concerns about...stopping the PPE if there is something you can't live with.

                                    You have her on trial....to me, that is the time to see how trainable she is and if she is what you want....not a delay in the PPE. I would want to know BEFORE you vest much time and get more attached what you are dealing with from a physical prospective.

                                    Yes...it is always better to buy a sound horse...but I have bought a lame one or two that has worked out as well...but you need to have more information to make a decision.
                                    ** 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


                                    • #19
                                      Well, think about this. If you get those feet xrayed now, when you do have the PPE, if you do, they won't need to be redone.

                                      How about working out a "limited" PPE for her with your vet? Do the feet first, and then if they pass, go on to more. Because it sounds like she is a very nice mare with the kind of mind that you like. If you want to wait a few weeks so you can have the experience of riding her with Magic Cushion, you can make your first decision point how she is under saddle after treatment; the xrays your second; and the rest of the PPE your 3rd.
                                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                      Thread killer Extraordinaire

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JWB View Post
                                        What JudysMom said.... If your budget is already tight, don't start off with a horse that is lame. A horse that can't do the job is worse than no horse at all!
                                        Due to the horses. Situation if it were a year later and she was healthy but you have a long way yet to go,before you know what permanent damage her struggles caused

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