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

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  • Original Poster

    #61
    So many things could be wrong in there...

    http://www.horsemagazine.com/thm/201...ess-in-horses/

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #62
      Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
      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.
      At this point, I'm actually okay with a dressage only horse. I just want ANY horse. If we can't jump, whatever. I'll watch videos, take an occasional jump lesson on a different horse, groom for my friends at events, and just be satisfied. It looks like so many stifle issues can cause lifelong problems, even on the flat.

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      • #63
        I am sorry for you. I know how this feels.

        I recommend you keep looking. It is a bummer to OWN a horse with soundness issues. As of yet, that's not your problem. Don't make it your problem.

        There is a horse out there, be patient.

        I don't know your budget, but why not contact threeplainbays.com
        Last edited by pheasantknoll; Mar. 26, 2013, 05:24 PM. Reason: add info

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        • #64
          Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
          At this point, I'm actually okay with a dressage only horse. I just want ANY horse.
          Sigh I know that feeling. Horse shopping is really frustrating for sure, and can be hard on the pocket.

          Are you in a horsey area? I know right now in my area, there are tons of horses available for free lease/PB (whose owners don't ride at all) bc they would be sale horses that aren't getting sold. That way you could keep riding something and still build your budget back up.

          Lastly, I think the right horse will fall in your lap when you stop looking. That's what happened to me (literally, someone called me out of the blue and told me I was going to love this horse!) and he was the best thing since sliced bread (and priced awesome).
          A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing

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          • Original Poster

            #65
            Originally posted by WW_Queen View Post
            Are you in a horsey area? I know right now in my area, there are tons of horses available for free lease/PB (whose owners don't ride at all) bc they would be sale horses that aren't getting sold. That way you could keep riding something and still build your budget back up.
            I'm in a fairly horsey area, but an $$$ one! I'm near a couple of major tracks, so no shortage of affordable OTTBs, but this is the third one I've tried with a major issue that was reportedly "sound." I'm getting a little gun shy at this point.

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            • Original Poster

              #66
              In your guys' experience, what is the likelihood of an issue like this being a career ending, permanent thing vs. a minor fixable thing? Is it like a 50/50 chance? I know no one can whip out their crystal ball, but generally is this sort of thing treatable or too scary to get near?

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              • #67
                I bought a horse that didn't vet for subk, and then subk bought a horse that didn't vet for my client.

                I think both of us are quite happy with our purchases. If you like him, and have a good feeling about him, I'd buy him. You could buy something with a perfect PPE and it could die tomorrow.

                You can spread out what is left of your $1800 out (if you're good with self-diagnostic stuff- aka, I can call my vet out and say "I'm pretty sure it's a left ankle" and usually be right) and try to get him comfortable while you're hacking lightly in straight lines and being happy just having a horse you enjoy. MHO.
                Big Idea Eventing

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                • #68
                  I might take a chance on him ***IF*** the seller is serious about taking him back at any time. I watched a good friend of mine make this exact decision, take a risk on the free horse with issues because the seller said they would take the horse back at any time. Well, the horse's issues ended up not being fixable. when my friend contacted the previous owner about taking the horse back the previous owner declined and my friend was stuck with said lame horse. So if you do take a gamble I would do what you can to make sure the owner actually means she will take the horse back and is not just doing her best to unload the horse somewhere and making empty promises to make that happen.
                  www.retiredhorses.com
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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                    At this point, I'm actually okay with a dressage only horse. I just want ANY horse. ...
                    Well, if that is truly the case, if the owner really will take him back at any time, and since you already enjoy working with him -- why not take him and try bringing him slowly into condition, get him some bodywork, etc. and see where the horse is then. Or if you really want to know a bit more first, do some focused diagnostics like SEPowell (post 44), wildlifer (post 45), and others suggested.

                    It is a gamble but you might learn a lot and you would at least have a horse while you were doing it.
                    If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                      In your guys' experience, what is the likelihood of an issue like this being a career ending, permanent thing vs. a minor fixable thing? Is it like a 50/50 chance? I know no one can whip out their crystal ball, but generally is this sort of thing treatable or too scary to get near?
                      Well, unless I've missed something, you don't have a diagnosis, so I don't think you can even appeal to the crystal ball!

                      I've been reading your threads, and these are my two cents...

                      ...if you really will only have $1800 left after this vet check, I think you need to resign yourself to taking 6 months away from horse shopping to get ready for the next go round. With that in mind, if you really like this horse, why not put a little bit more effort/money into diagnosing the issue. If the seller will agree, put him on a trailer to the vet clinic you mentioned, and spend some money figuring out what the actual lay of the land is, so to speak. Then make a decision.

                      If the owner is willing to take him back within a few months, you could get a neat horse for a really great price with relatively low risk. So, you need to get a proper lameness workup so you know what you are dealing with.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by fairtheewell View Post
                        FWIW...a horse can show "lameness" long after an injury has healed, because the proprioceptors (sp) in the feet have to be reset sometimes, i.e., by re-educating the nerves that tell the brain there is a soreness. Re-hab consists of walking and working on uneven ground amongst other things.
                        I just wanted to second this. This is EXACTLY how my horse is. He looks sound when ridden into a contact, but if you trot him in hand away from you or on the buckle undersaddle, he will drop his left hip. This is because he doesn't push off fully on the RH. Also causes his hips to need adjustments periodically. When his pelvis is out, then he shows as having hock and stifle pain, particularly on the right side.

                        Do you have access to a good chiropractor or body worker? Both should be FAR cheaper than a lameness exam and will let you know if something is misaligned enough to cause him unevenness.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                          In your guys' experience, what is the likelihood of an issue like this being a career ending, permanent thing vs. a minor fixable thing? Is it like a 50/50 chance? I know no one can whip out their crystal ball, but generally is this sort of thing treatable or too scary to get near?
                          Given that you don't have a diagnosis how can anyone give you an honest appraisal? I have re-read through all your posts and it seems to me you are looking for permission to pass on this horse, so do it.

                          And the next pre-purchase you do? Get better help. I am still a bit floored that your vet would call a 3/5 lameness when no one else saw it.
                          www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                          www.pegasusridge.com

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                          • #73
                            I'm just going to throw this out there- If you look hard enough, at almost ANY horse, you will find something, somewhere, that is wrong with it.

                            I had a terrible riding accident in 2003. In my full-body CT Scans, a small mass was found on my adrenal gland. It poses very little risk and had no symptoms, but now I have to get it CT/MRI'd every 3 years, just to make sure it's not growing.

                            My OTTB vetted great, with a need for some corrective shoeing. Right... permanently retired (with pedal oestitis) at 9. My most recent horse was free. I did not vet him. I've had him for 8 (holy cow!) years and he's hardly ever been lame.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              If it was me, I'd get the mare and breed her to a Connemara or Irish (tough legs, feet, and can jump) with the leftover money, ride her until the foal grows up, and then either rebreed or sell the mare...unless she ends up doing really well herself...Just a thought. It drives me nuts that the money is all going down the drain on these PPEs...I feel for you.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Thinking back on my horse purchases over the years, all the ones I vetted passed their vetting. Within a year they were unsound. The horses I didn't vet have stayed sound.

                                I purchased a horse last summer and did my own "pre-purchase" exam with flexions, resp rate, etc. And so for so good with him. (knock on wood!).


                                In your case I would do a free lease on him for a certain amount of time, say 3 months and if he's good at that point you can decide to keep him, send him back or extend the free lease another 3 months and see if the horse is sound.

                                To be honest, the combination of your price point and looking at OTTB's there's a good chance something will come up on a prepurchase with the majority of horses you will look at. It's just hard to say what will cause permanent unsoundness and what won't.

                                A pre-purchase will not guarntee you a sound horse. Nothing will. A horse could vet 100% sound and A-OK and in one year or less it could be lame or dead. It's happend to me on numerous occassions and with other people too. That's just horses for you.

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Question for you, OP.

                                  Are you going to kick yourself if you pass and later find out that it was something as simple as needing a chiro adjustment or a few bodywork sessions? Think about that.

                                  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Your vet called a 3/5 and all you know is that it's not in the foot and that you got a minor reaction to flexions. I don't think having "only $1800" to spend on a PPE is a death sentence - you should be able to get a firm grasp on whether or not it's something serious and you should pass, or something minor that you can live with and/or fix without ever getting remotely near that number. Or you can roll the dice, have him adjusted and in regular turnout and wait to see if he comes sound before doing xrays or more intensive diagnostics.

                                  I will tell you, I have never done a PPE. I have a Pleasant Colony gelding myself, he's 15 this year and I would not trade him for the world. He was free, too, and has a home here for life. He's got the same floaty gaits and easy personality. (ETA: and, with the exception of a recent abscess and stone bruise, has been very sound!)

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                                    I'm just debating on spending hundreds more on x-rays when I already know he's off. I think it might be worth it, but I'm just not convinced. I wish he were fresh off the track so I could connect the lameness to strenuous work, but since he's been relaxing for so long I'm more concerned. He's so young, though, and has had such a light career that I'd be suprised if he's not fixable.
                                    I would be infinitely more forgiving of this lameness if the horse was fresh off the track. It is the very fact of his light career that makes me more suspicious of an unfixable problem. Your starting point for a new horse should not be identification and treatment of a disease process. What you are seeing may be the very reason the horse only raced twice. The most I would consider in this situation would be the free lease arrangement. I would NOT pay to do a lameness exam on the horse. I WOULD consider keeping and training the horse for a month or two to see if the lameness resolves, but only on the condition that I can send the horse back to the owner if it does not. If he dinged something during transport (or the day prior to the PPE!) this will be plenty of time to come right. If he doesn't, it's a big enough problem that you don't want him.

                                    I am a risk-taker and have rolled these very dice many times. I have won big on a few occasions, but probably lost more often and had to find a place for the horse when the lameness did not resolve. So if you do decide to buy the horse I recommend that you do so with the rose-colored glasses in your pocket rather than on your face!

                                    Beware - lots of sellers that are willing to dump a horse for free/cheap say they will take a lame horse back, but then refuse to do so when the time comes (no stalls, out of work right now, short of hay/feed, etc. etc.). I have one of these horses right now! If you decide to buy the horse or take it on a free lease based on this understanding, ask the seller to sign a written contract to this effect in advance. Then you will be within your rights to simply drop the horse off at her property if he does not come sound.

                                    One final word of wisdom that others may have mentioned. Lots of sellers attest to all the clean rads a horse has had previously. If you intend to make any decisions based on that comment, I recommend that you have those x-rays released to your veterinarian for an independent review.
                                    Last edited by visorvet; Mar. 26, 2013, 07:48 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      I'm so sorry. I was really hoping this one would work out for you.

                                      That gelding is just stunning in his photo and he sounded so promising.

                                      If the owner really would take him back I'd be tempted to keep him for awhile and see how he was when his thrush cleared up maybe he had some bodywork. BUT, it really depends on how much it would cost to keep him.

                                      If you're paying full board it may be impractical but if you have a low cost option it might be worth giving the horse a bit more time to see what develops.
                                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                                      • #79
                                        My gut feeling says send him back and be patient. You've only looked at 3 horses. You have a limited budget and if you keep him and he's lame, then what? I think I looked at about 15 horses before I found the one I bought (Who had some iffy PPE issues but was functionally sound for a long time)


                                        As for "what could it be?" I don't know what to tell you - I had a mare who passed her PPE just fine and I ended up having to put her down because her hind legs were different lengths and when she was in full work it made things hurt a lot. Who the hell measures the horse's hind legs!?? Then there's my gelding with the front fetlock with very little motion (I think my vet said it was like flexing a 2x4) but it didn't hurt him.

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                                          At this point, I'm actually okay with a dressage only horse. I just want ANY horse. If we can't jump, whatever. I'll watch videos, take an occasional jump lesson on a different horse, groom for my friends at events, and just be satisfied. It looks like so many stifle issues can cause lifelong problems, even on the flat.
                                          You will not be able to do proper dressage with a lame horse. It drives me crazy when lame horses are marketed as dressage horses. Pleasure/trail would be more appropriate. If you are a serious rider and trainer then you want a sound horse to ride, whether or not you intend to jump.

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