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Third bad pre-purchase exam. Should I give up or keep going???

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  • Originally posted by blame_the_champagne
    Did a comprehensive lameness exam at our equine hospital and found "severe/chronic sacroiliac pain." It has lead to muscle atrophy and attendant dropped hip. Vet said this was an "unacceptable risk" in a potential purchase and that the likelihood of recovery when caught in the acute phase is good, but that his injury has been left untreated for so long that he thinks there is now less a 25% chance of future soundness and that we wouldn't even know that until six months from now (I pay board) and injections, which may or may not work. Awesome.
    Wow, I'm so sorry and surprised too! I didn't see pain that high up. I had a mare with torn ligaments in her SI (diagnosed by ultrasound through her rectum). It did not effect soundness in the rest of that hind leg but she wasn't put on a eurocizer for two years following the injury either. She did have a dropped hip and it limited her jumping, even after she was carefully rehabbed.

    Anyway, I'm so sorry to hear this and wish you the very best luck as you continue your search.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by ldaziens View Post
      I wonder how much a good chiro, body worker, and injections could do for him??? Poor OP. I wish you did not have to pay board - that really makes a difference.
      Truly. I was SO tempted to just go ahead with injections right then and there, but I am just so tired and frustrated. I don't think I have the emotional or financial stamina to spend six months paying full board waiting for a horse that may or may not even be sound. That doesn't seem financially smart, it seems desperate. If I had my own facility, I would do it in a heartbeat. It's like someone is handing me the keys to a Lexus, but the engine doesn't start. I don't know if I have the resources to treat him when the probability of recovery seems so low. If the vet had said 50/50 chance of recovery, I might even have done it then, but he made it sound so bleak that I just couldn't bring myself to keep hoping and hoping and hoping and getting hurt again and again. I'm so emotionally worn out from all the hope and optimism that goes into horse shopping and then all the heartbreak when it all goes awry. I'm just so incredibly down. I have no idea how other people find sound horses in my price range??? Why am I having such awful luck? Is this a sign that I'm not supposed to have a horse again? I just don't know anymore.

      Comment


      • OP definitely seems like a person deserving of a good break at this point. I have to think that COTH powers could find OP a good horse to ride. God only knows she's more than proven that she has good vet references

        Come on, people. I know how well connected the COTH club is, so surely those powers can be used to find OP a comfortable ride, no??? And, surely there is somebody willing to provide this nice guy a pasture, some injections, and maybe even a little bodywork / chiro to make him comfortable. I hate to think of him going back to the eurocizer, whatever that is. He seems so smart and willing.

        I am sending you & sweet SI guy hugs.
        Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by baxtersmom View Post
          Well, I wouldn't blame you if you gave up, but I wonder if a course of Legend and some chiro would be worth your time and money? My guy had SI pain that took a while to diagnose (18 months or more) so it had reached the "chronic" stage, but chiro and an SI injection have him doing really, really well.
          Yeah, I'm definitely tempted, but I kind of told myself that if this lameness exam didn't turn up something reasonable I'd stop all this for a while. There is absolutely a ***chance*** that he could be fine, but the vet said he thinks he would be prone to reinjury. He's so green, too, that I worry that won't help either. It's not like I can put him back to work in a nice frame encouraging himself to use his body correctly. I would be starting with unbalanced baby greenness, which makes me nervous. I have spent $3k of my $4k original budget on horses that have all lead to some level of hearbreak. I don't know if I have it in me to spend thousands more in board and treatment, not to mention time (out of the saddle) and emotional connection, to find out that he isn't sound or that he's sound for a little while and then breaks down as we're progressing together. I know it's all a risk, but I think I'm risked out.

          Comment


          • OP, I am really sorry you're having such unyielding rotten luck. All I can say is instead of blaming the champagne, maybe drink more of it. I would if I were you.
            http://www.lucysquest.blogspot.com

            Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              I have been frantically researching, and I find stuff like this that makes me think I should keep him:

              "The truth of the matter is that most horses with sacroiliac-area injuries, even fractures, can return to full use if given enough time to heal. Ligaments heal the slowest of all tissues, and nothing can change that.

              The oldest effective treatment is turnout for nine months to a year. When you see the horse is sound again at all gaits at pasture, it's time to gradually resume formal work to bring him back.

              Although severe injuries certainly could limit a horse's future career, especially in demanding sports, many horses that reportedly fail to return to their original work do so simply because they aren't given enough time."

              However, my vet strongly urged me not to buy him. I really love and trust my vet. He is INCREDIBLE at diagnosing and treating issues and he did not feel good about this situation. He kept apologizing, but basically begged me not to waste my time and money on this issue. Ugh, why is this so complicated and difficult (please excuse the pity party...this has been a terrible day)??? I just don't know if I should pay board on a horse for 6-12 mos when it's all a question mark. Any thoughts?

              Comment


              • So sorry and i understand your pain in horse shopping for sure. I truthfully wouldn't do it if it was me and had to pay board. Just not worth it IMO.

                Now that said, I found an amazing and I mean amazing 15.2H paint with little markings and buckskin, which I love lol, for 3k and the only reason he wasn't a cheap as the others in the 2500 and less range is because he wasn't for sale. Have you thought about other breeds. My guy was 7 when I got him , been broke about 6months and was doing trail rides. Of course I've had to put training into him but at least he is sound and sane. The university vet that knows me well from other horses actually told me quietly at the ppe I better buy this horse lol. They are out there but have you thought of different breeds, just trail horses etc. Also would you be willing to buy one off video and have a vet check done there (meaning horse is far from you) from a vet that maybe someone on coth could recommend for you? I know of some nice ones in your price range here they just need some training.
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                  So sorry and i understand your pain in horse shopping for sure. I truthfully wouldn't do it if it was me and had to pay board. Just not worth it IMO.

                  Now that said, I found an amazing and I mean amazing 15.2H paint with little markings and buckskin, which I love lol, for 3k and the only reason he wasn't a cheap as the others in the 2500 and less range is because he wasn't for sale. Have you thought about other breeds. My guy was 7 when I got him , been broke about 6months and was doing trail rides. Of course I've had to put training into him but at least he is sound and sane. The university vet that knows me well from other horses actually told me quietly at the ppe I better buy this horse lol. They are out there but have you thought of different breeds, just trail horses etc. Also would you be willing to buy one off video and have a vet check done there (meaning horse is far from you) from a vet that maybe someone on coth could recommend for you? I know of some nice ones in your price range here they just need some training.
                  I am open to ALL breeds, ages, levels of training, etc. I have looked at literally everything in my area. My last horse was a 14.3 palomino paint/quarter horse who I retrained from a western pleasure horse through Novice/Training eventing. I've only vet checked OTTBs because I'm near several major tracks and there are a lot of them in my price range. Yes, I'd be open to buying from video, a distance vet check, and a recommendation from a COTHer. I'm not going to actively look any more, because I'm just maxed out, but if something falls into my lap (like my last horse) then I would be very grateful/excited.

                  Comment


                  • I'm bummed for you. What a sucky situation! Even so, try to keep in mind that things tend to happen for a reason. I'm sure the right horse will come along and everything will work out. My fingers are crossed for you!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      I am still in shock. I truly can't believe this is happening.

                      Sorry for the pity party, I'm just so disappointed. I'm sad for him, sad for me, missing my last horse, sad to lose my stall at the barn (prime real estate goes quick), sad to lose most of my carefully saved budget, sad for all the lame and misrepresented horses I've looked at that I haven't even bothered to pre-purchase. Horses were such a source of positivity and joy in my life. The last three months have been nothing but heartbreak and financial ridiculousness. If this is the new normal, then I don't want to do this anymore.

                      Comment


                      • OP, I so wish I were in a position to help. Not all that long ago, I played the odds on a horse with a sesamoidean ligament tear. I'd fallen in love with him when he was a sale horse. I'd been legging him up for his owner, which served both of our needs at the time. He went to a big hunter show and took a funny step. After several months of rehab, his owner wanted to cut and run, and there I was, in love with the horse. We did shockwave, we did stall rest, we hand walked, and, at a year, we began the longest, slowest, most careful return to work ever. I'd just get him going, and he'd be off again. Back to square one. Repeat the sequence of events, same result. Always, eternally, NQR. It was heartbreaking. I loved him, I'd poured everything I had (both emotionally and financially) into him, and I couldn't make him right. I never got to enjoy him.

                        Just by luck, someone on COTH stepped forward to give him a forever home as a pasture pet. I couldn't have asked for a better situation for him, but the entire experience just about wrecked me. Even now, as my husband (who didn't witness this debacle) and I contemplate horses in our future, I am too crippled by fear of unsoundness to move forward confidently.

                        You are making the right decision-- the one I wish I'd made when I was ten years younger (and much more naive).
                        Last edited by lmlacross; Apr. 2, 2013, 08:53 PM.
                        "With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come" (Shakespeare).

                        Comment


                        • Wow, you really have had some bad luck. I went through a similar thing with a horse that never got better and it broke my heart to re-home him into a job he could do. I don't think I would want to invest more emotionally into a horse with that prognosis. Sure, he could be fine. He could also leave you horseless and heartbroken later. I would get out while you aren't too attached

                          Comment


                          • OP, Did you say you're in SoCal? If so, I've got some thoughts for you re possible horse(s).

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                              I am open to ALL breeds, ages, levels of training, etc. I have looked at literally everything in my area. My last horse was a 14.3 palomino paint/quarter horse who I retrained from a western pleasure horse through Novice/Training eventing. I've only vet checked OTTBs because I'm near several major tracks and there are a lot of them in my price range. Yes, I'd be open to buying from video, a distance vet check, and a recommendation from a COTHer. I'm not going to actively look any more, because I'm just maxed out, but if something falls into my lap (like my last horse) then I would be very grateful/excited.
                              There are a LOT of horses up this way for sale, many of which appear to be sound and sane and not all that expensive.

                              I still wonder about finding a lease or something to ride in the mean time while you build your budget back up, though. There has to be something you can have some FUN on for a while.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                                Any thoughts?
                                Yes. Unless you will be 200% happy simply owning, grooming, medically managing, and trail riding this charming and handsome lame horse, return him at once and resume your search. Although he MIGHT recover fully, he probably will not. Your trusted veterinarian is trying to save you from further frustration and heartbreak. When you find the right sound horse to ride and/or own, you will never regret that decision!
                                Last edited by visorvet; Apr. 3, 2013, 12:08 AM.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by cindywilson View Post
                                  OP, Did you say you're in SoCal? If so, I've got some thoughts for you re possible horse(s).
                                  Yep, I'm in So Cal about 30 miles north of L.A.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
                                    I still wonder about finding a lease or something to ride in the mean time while you build your budget back up, though. There has to be something you can have some FUN on for a while.
                                    I've thought about leasing, but with boarding even the cost of a feed lease winds up eating up most of what I could squirrel away in a month. As we all know, buying the horse isn't the expensive part. It's the day-to-day maintenance that's the big financial commitment, so I'd hate to get into a lease and be in the same position six months or a year from now. There's a woman at my barn who has a difficult mare that scares her who has made some noises about letting take over until I find something. I'm a confident, quiet rider, but obviously that's no one's favorite situation. I've leased before, but never loved the experience like I loved owning. However, at this point I'm truly open to whatever comes my way.

                                    Comment


                                    • OK, so why not give Leigh Gray a call at 626-824-7455. She's the president of the Thoroughbred Rehab Center, a 501(c)(3) located in Bradbury near Santa Anita. (Disclaimer: I'm on her board.) She frequently has a selection of nice, sound OTTB's. I've gotten several of mine from her. A big advantage is that she's a vet tech and the TBRC is located at a vet clinic the owner of which is a professor of veterinary medicine. So the horses she gets are pretty thoroughly checked out and, if they need some treatment (PRP or whatever) or rest, they get it before they are offered for adoption. At this point, I think Jil Walton had four of hers down at Galway Downs.

                                      Shameless blurb: On April 20-21 is the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show in Orange County. She's taking a few down there and I'll be taking Lenny (We All Love Aleyna) as well. Should be fun. I'll report back after the show.

                                      Comment


                                      • Props to Cindy Wilson. A lifetime ago, I knew her when I rode at Mill Creek in Topanga. She is kind and honest, so I would take her advice and run with it. Good luck!

                                        Comment


                                        • I'm so sorry he didn't work out. I've been following along and was hoping you would get good news today. I don't think it's worth your time and heartache to continue with him.
                                          http://pony3express.blogspot.com

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