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

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  • Original Poster

    #41
    Originally posted by fairtheewell View Post
    Go back and get the mare...(she says ducking)
    Hahahaha! Just to make things more complicated and further fry my brain!

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
      I'm with BFNE on this one too.

      I've picked up several horses who were lame behind. My OTTB came off of the track lame on his LH....he didn't drag the toe, but he did take an oddly "stabby" step with that leg. The answer for him was bodywork. His pelvis was sheared to one side and tilted forward. He literally could not use one hind leg the same way as the other. I didn't bother with a lameness exam...we went straight to the bodywork side of things.
      This bears repeating... is it possible that the horse just has a hip/shoulder/SI out, needs different shoeing, etc.? It sounds like a good possibility.

      Have you used the same vet for all the PPE's? Is this a sporthorse vet, someone familiar with OTTB's? I'd specifically enlist the help of a vet that is familiar with OTTB's and/or sporthorses, something isn't adding up when your vet is calling a 3/5 yet you, your trainer, and your farrier didn't see it.

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
        I agree...I expect issues with ANY horse, and I especially expect it with an OTTB. However, do you think it's wise to start with a mystery lameness and go exploring? I'm not opposed to it, hence this thread and the big dilemma I'm going through. I can take what I would have spent on his purchase price and apply it to diagnosis and treatment. However, if I get to the of the that road and find that it is an incurable issue that will prevent a sporthorse career, then I have no money left and a lame horse on my hands. Regarding stifle issues, what are the things in there that it could potentially be? How risky are stifle issues? In your OTTB rehabing experience, do they mostly resolve with treatment or are a good portion of them career ending?

        You are looking at getting a free horse....with a home he can go back too. I would take risk. Stifle issues are extremely common...in OTTBs and sport horses. But without diagnostic work, you don't know whether you are dealing with a strain, joint or bone issue. Some resolve well with time, some take getting them stronger...and I've had one that didn't resolve (she was kicked).

        To me, this is a nice horse worth putting some time and money into him. Yes, you will be spending some on him but I wouldn't go full board into diagnosing him right now given your situation. You have a lot of options, slowly leg him up and see what you have in 6 months. Talk to the vet about things you can do pretty affordably...like Estrone or Adaquan/Pentosan. Do some body work etc.

        If it was me....I tend to like to know what I'm dealing with to a point. So I would probably do xrays and possibly an ultrasound. But that is me. I also do not see any issue with giving him some green time and slowly leg him up. You often end up in the same place.
        ** 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


        • #44
          I really like to know what kind of injury I have because it helps me make decisions regarding turnout, chiropractry, and training.

          When I have my vet come in I want to cut to the chase so I don't waste time and money. So I'd call your vet and ask him to come out to take digitals of his RH stifle. With digitals he can pretty much see what's going on as he takes them and hopefully you can talk therapy right there. He may need to take them back to the office to look at them more carefully before being able to idenfity a problem but more likely he'll pick up something immediately if it's there.

          The next thing I'd ask for would be an ultrasound of the RH stifle to look for strained ligaments or tendons or whatever you have around that joint. You could even ask him to bring the ultrasound with him on the same day he brings the digital. If he's certain there is nothing on the digital he can then move on to the ultrasound the same day.

          If nothing turns up with either of those I'd go no further with diagnostics and turn him out and let him be a horse.

          Quick question: Why has the current owner had him hanging around her breeding farm for two years? Why wasn't he sold two years ago?
          Last edited by SEPowell; Mar. 26, 2013, 03:28 PM.

          Comment


          • #45
            I'm so sorry you are having some troubles and there are some odd things in this story that I don't understand like why finding arthritis and some neuro things cost $800, and how a 3/5 wouldn't show up to experienced horse people, makes me wonder a bit about the vet, but for this horse --

            All horses are a HUGE gamble. But then you know that. He's done nothing but fart around in circles on a eurocizer. So I am not surprised at all that he would be sore on one hind leg and possibly dragging a toe.

            Taking a couple radiographs doesn't have to be "hundreds" of dollars if you pick two or three views -- say a lateral view of hock and stifle and one of lower back. And I say lower back b/c when I bought my OTTB and put him in work, he developed what I and my vet would have guessed as stifle soreness, but (I'd insured him) a bone scan and followup xray showed arthritic changes in his back. Injected that and now he's golden. And worth every second. The relevant part of that is that the inflammation in his back made his hock and stifle light up on the bone scan, so it's all a cascade.

            All I did for a PPE is watch him move, have vet flex him, put my hands all over him and he was a well-built horse with 3 years of racing under his belt. You said the horse also has thrush, which will make him tender in his feet and probably use himself unevenly.

            Obviously only you can make the decision -- and if the owner just wants him off the feed bill, she might be open to a variety of arrangements. But it takes a while to work through the unevenness and soreness of coming back into work -- he has been off the track for a while, but he hasn't been really WORKING evenly for a while, so....

            If he is indeed pretty, sweet and quiet and it doesn't work out, it sounds like it wouldn't be hard for him to be a nice pleasure horse, so you're not at a total loss, even though I know that's emotionally hard.
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

            Comment


            • #46
              The horse I vetted (that failed) was a 1 after flexing both the hock and stifle. He had bucked on the canter departs in that direction, so we x-rayed both areas to see what was going on. Turned out he had OCD of the stifle. I stopped the vetting at that point and walked away even though the vet was confident that he could have it surgically corrected. The cost to do one stifle was $2500. It turns out he had it bilaterally.

              He ended up having the surgery and I'm sure he will be fine and will be a great horse for someone, but I could not afford the risk.

              If I were in your shoes, I'd pass on this one and do what someone else suggested: enlist the help of a really knowledgable track buyer to help you look.

              Comment


              • #47
                Jogging 2 1/2 miles on a Eurosizer every day? How big is the Eurosizer? Im not sure I see much good in putting a 3/5 lame horse on a Eurosizer every day. If you like him well enough, Id take him, bring him home, give him time OFF, not jogging 2 1/2 miles every day. Id give him a month off and them start back slowly with him and see how he goes. Maybe something as simple as Equioxx or possibly hock injections will make him sound enough to do what you would like to do. When I bring my horses home from the track for R&R, they never get forced exercise, especially if there is some hind end lameness, which is VERY common on OTTBs.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Do the rads and get a good vet/bodywork person to look at his SI joint as well. If you can manage the problem with injections and are willing to do that and have those funds then I'd look into a bit more investigation. Especially if you really like him

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by halo View Post
                    Jogging 2 1/2 miles on a Eurosizer every day? How big is the Eurosizer? Im not sure I see much good in putting a 3/5 lame horse on a Eurosizer every day. If you like him well enough, Id take him, bring him home, give him time OFF, not jogging 2 1/2 miles every day. Id give him a month off and them start back slowly with him and see how he goes. Maybe something as simple as Equioxx or possibly hock injections will make him sound enough to do what you would like to do. When I bring my horses home from the track for R&R, they never get forced exercise, especially if there is some hind end lameness, which is VERY common on OTTBs.
                    IIRC, she's got him now and away from the Eurosizer. Working 2 1/2 miles per day for years on a Eurosizer going round in small circles in one direction must be hard on any horse's joints.

                    I'm with the give him a chance crew. For free you can afford that.
                    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                    Thread killer Extraordinaire

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      Originally posted by Fergs View Post
                      The horse I vetted (that failed) was a 1 after flexing both the hock and stifle. He had bucked on the canter departs in that direction, so we x-rayed both areas to see what was going on. Turned out he had OCD of the stifle. I stopped the vetting at that point and walked away even though the vet was confident that he could have it surgically corrected. The cost to do one stifle was $2500. It turns out he had it bilaterally.

                      He ended up having the surgery and I'm sure he will be fine and will be a great horse for someone, but I could not afford the risk.

                      If I were in your shoes, I'd pass on this one and do what someone else suggested: enlist the help of a really knowledgable track buyer to help you look.
                      Yes, I'm concerned about an OCD. The seller seemed to think it wasn't likely because the extensive rads he had done as a 2 y/o showed nothing, but I suppose it could have shown up later (although I thought they developed when young)? If the corrective surgery is thousands of dollars (if surgery is even an option, which in many cases it's not), I'm going to be way over budget on a horse with a dubious future. If it's a minor issue that we can diagnose and treat for $1800 or less, then I'll be at budget. If it costs less, I'll be under budget.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
                        Have you used the same vet for all the PPE's? Is this a sporthorse vet, someone familiar with OTTB's? I'd specifically enlist the help of a vet that is familiar with OTTB's and/or sporthorses, something isn't adding up when your vet is calling a 3/5 yet you, your trainer, and your farrier didn't see it.
                        The first vet ($800 exam) was a sporthorse vet. I felt that the cost was excessively high ($400 for the PPE when my normal vet charges $230, plus we did several views of the arthritic fetlocks and several neck views to try and get a handle on the neurological symptoms). My normal vet who has done the last two checks is not a sporthorse specialist, but is competant and conservative. My absolute favorite vet is at an equine hospital about an hour from home. I would almost consider taking this guy there (prices so reasonable that with a haul it usually evens out to what I'd pay at home), but I'm also tempted to have my normal vet pop back out to shoot some quickie rads. Hmmmm.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Will the owner release to you the extensive rads done when he was 2?

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                            Yes, I'm concerned about an OCD. The seller seemed to think it wasn't likely because the extensive rads he had done as a 2 y/o showed nothing, but I suppose it could have shown up later (although I thought they developed when young)? If the corrective surgery is thousands of dollars (if surgery is even an option, which in many cases it's not), I'm going to be way over budget on a horse with a dubious future. If it's a minor issue that we can diagnose and treat for $1800 or less, then I'll be at budget. If it costs less, I'll be under budget.

                            OCD is not likely if he didn't have it as a two year old. But he could have other issues. I would think you are more likely dealing with a soft tissue issue.

                            He really could just be fine with time and correct work. If he is free....and you like him so much. Pay the vet to come do a lameness exam. Or at least talk to your vet and see if it is worth it to just turn him out and them look at him later.

                            Honestly...given your budget focus....do you really want a horse? They have a tendancy to blow your budget pretty darn fast.

                            If you decide against keeping him. Post it here. I suspect we have others who will pay for his trailer trip and take the gamble on him. That might help you not feel too guilty walking away.

                            Me...if he is quiet. He sounds sound enough to be a nice trail horse. I can typically find a home for a pleasure horse so that is enough for me to take a risk on him. It is the neurotic hot heads that are only an advanced level rider's ride that are difficult to place.
                            ** 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

                            • Original Poster

                              #54
                              Originally posted by SEPowell View Post
                              Quick question: Why has the current owner had him hanging around her breeding farm for two years? Why wasn't he sold two years ago?
                              I asked the same question. She claims to have given him to a trainer friend who later returned him when she lost her business. I don't know how long he was there or what she did with him. I don't know if she's been actively campaigning him for sale, but a fellow COTHer said he's been posted for a "while." Weeks? Months? Years? I was hoping no one snatched him up because there was no where to ride him and he was being marketed as a sporthorse with "re-training." I think not being able to test ride would be a pretty big turn off for the average shopper, but maybe not? Or maybe it's because he's lame. She did seem shocked at the vet check results and offered to take him home immediately so I don't think she's trying to do anything "shady." She seems genuinely concerned for his re-homing welfare and honest about her not being able to give him the home he needs/deserves.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                Honestly...given your budget focus....do you really want a horse? They have a tendancy to blow your budget pretty darn fast.
                                I thought I did, but all my experiences lately have been so negative that it's all turning a little sour. I am okay spending money on a horse I own (budgets be damned when your baby needs something), but I want to stay within budget when shopping, you know? I have friends who started out with a budget and found their "dream horse" way out of their price range and made huge financial compromises that cost them in the long run. My rule is not to try on the $10,000 wedding dress when you can afford the $1000 wedding dress. I am trying to be conscientious and realistic about what I can spend at the outset so I have breathing room once I own.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  I would probably keep him since she said she's willing to take him back at any time. Not much risk there.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    If he raced in Cali then he probably raced over an artificial surface and these were criticized for producing soft tissue injuries. Maybe that's the case.

                                    Also, on his listing it said that someone restarted him under saddle and over some fences. See if you can get the phone number of that person and have a chat with them. If they stopped because he was unsound then that's another thing to work with.

                                    Free horse with an open return clause that you really like? I'd play with him a little while longer at least.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Well, I bought (one was free) two OTTBS that were lame at the time of purchase. One was foot sore and just needed shoes, the other had horrible feet and has now had 6 months to just recover from the track and allow his feet to grow out. They are both sound now, the first has been eventing for 3 years with no issues.

                                      I think a lot of this depends how long ago the horse was on the track, and whether or not you can allow for some rest time to recover from the track and to see if the injury heals.

                                      You can always take him, wait it out, and re home or return him if it does not work out.
                                      Boss Mare Eventing Blog
                                      https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Everyone has a different needs and accepts different levels of risk. Figure out what your are and you will know your answer.

                                        If it was me I'd pass. I'll PM you.

                                        I board; going rate in my hood is $600. many of the people on this thread saying that they would take him and put time and $$ into him have farms and can house a second or third horse.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                                          I don't know if she's been actively campaigning him for sale, but a fellow COTHer said he's been posted for a "while." Weeks? Months? Years?
                                          That was me. I ran across him for the first time a few months ago, and did post a link here, although I can't recall exactly what thread. Not years, for sure, but longer than a few weeks, at least a couple months. But he's also a gelding, in N. CA, is older than the "prime" OTTB age a lot of people shop in and isn't the bargain basement <$1500 price. I don't know how quickly those horses are really expected to move in the first place.

                                          Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                          If you decide against keeping him. Post it here. I suspect we have others who will pay for his trailer trip and take the gamble on him. That might help you not feel too guilty walking away.
                                          I really, really liked this guy, which is why I posted him for the OP to check out. I'm just north in OR and I love most of the Pleasant Colony-bred horses I've seen - they all seem to have this happy-go-lucky temperament and are nice, athletic but calm and generally good movers. Even if whatever is going on precludes him from serious jumping/eventing, I bet he would make a fantastic dressage horse. I'd seriously take him if I didn't think my husband would have a meltdown at the mere suggestion of yet another horse.

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