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CANTER OTTB- "War Horse" w/ 62 Starts. Has old Osselets- Longevity for event/hunt?

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  • CANTER OTTB- "War Horse" w/ 62 Starts. Has old Osselets- Longevity for event/hunt?

    Finally, I'm ready to start my own OTTB search for and hoping the great COTH knowledge can give me some good advice. I plan to use my OTTB as a foxhunter and lower-level eventer (I think my aspirations these days don't go beyond T3D).

    I keep coming back to this guy.
    Pedigree here.

    He is an old tough guy- 62 starts, including 3 this year already. The listing mentions he has osselets but they are old and hard, and he is sound on them (and I'd like ot hope this is the case if he's raced three times already this year).

    His shoulder is a little straighter than I'd like, and I really can't tell much about his ankles from the pics. the video he looks maybe just a teensy hesitant to me on the concrete, but it's a 15 second snapshot and he's barely moving.

    Pedigree & conformation insight, and especially thoughts around those osselets for future longevity would be much appreciated! I can't help but think if he's raced that much and for that long, he is used to hard work and will hold up fine.

    Also if anyone has any good OTTB leads in the greater SoCal area, mare or gelding fine, send 'em my way
    ~Living the life I imagined~

  • #2
    The osselets are not your problem. 2005 Thoroughbred Gelding 16.1 1/2hh

    Beautiful war horse of a guy! No longer interested in racing. Has old osselets that he apparently moves sound on. We're told he has no flexion in ankles. Located at Los Alamitos.

    Bolded area is a problem.

    No flexion in ankles is bad and not a great idea for any "future" jumping or xc horse.

    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


    • #3
      What does 'No flexion in ankles' mean?
      Watching the video, he trots, and his front hooves obviously range from flat on the ground, to flexed so you can see the frog/sole of his foot. So his ankles do move...
      Perhaps they mean that he does not 'flex positive' in his ankles? Or 'No flexion issues in ankles'? They do say that he is sound on old osselets.

      I like his expression. It seems like somebody's home, happy to interact with his handler and not greatly upset or excited about life...but interested.

      I'd clarify what they meant about the ankles. If he was sound in his last race on March 22, 2013 he's probably still sound.


      • #4
        I just don't think his ankles look that bad...I've seen FAR worse.


        • #5
          I just bought this horse- http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8099/8...7ef9e470fc.jpg(sight unseen) from CANTER PA mainly because he was the right size, color, height and sex and the farm said he was quiet and sweet. I had an interested buyer who got cold feet when I told her he had rounding of the ankles. He had just raced but was sound even on a small circle. His ankles matched and he had soft pockets at the front of each ankle. Most people would call them osselets. They had full flexion but looked like this (note filling at front)

          She didn't want to risk them so no biggie. While the vet was out I went ahead and xrayed them and the ankles are quite good. There wasn't even calcification there so in his case his "ankles" are fine. However, it is something that you just wouldn't know until you xrayed.

          My personal horse raced 58 times and has what I would call "ankles" but he is sound, they flex sound and they xray clean. Clean meaning there was some calcification but no chips, spurs or major arthritis. http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6109/6...2f2e0ef6d6.jpg

          His feel harder and more lumpy so I would have expected some arthritis but they looked really good for a horse coming off the track at 8yrs old.

          This horse was sound but had an ankle that looked like this..only one ankle- http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4104/5...ffd060214c.jpg Before we got ready to adopt him out we decided to take a xray. Um, bomb went off in there. Horse was sound but very limited use only.

          This horse was 5yrs old and it looked like a bomb went off in his ankle- http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6137/5...4c0cfb2f5b.jpg

          Basically, you just don't know unless you xray. That horse looks to have a nice conformation which is probably why he has held up well to racing. I just paid less than $300 to have both ankles xrayed so not crazy expensive to see what you may be dealing with.


          • #6
            How high are you planning to go with him?

            I *do* see very reduced ROM in the ankles when he trots, but then I've owned several of these in my lifetime so I'm quick to spot it. The ankles flex but they don't flex *much*.

            FWIW: my Big Eq. horse as a kid had ankles about in this same range of limited flexion. He did the 3'6" with me for 4 years and goofed around with Pony Club D/C level eventing. He retired sound. In the end it wasn't the legs that got him, it was kidney failure from too much bute at the track.

            BUT: I was extremely careful that he did not do much work on cement-solid ground. Pretty much routinely laid him off every August and then brought him back for indoors. And there were lots of shows where I checked the footing on arrival, turned around and went home.

            So, you might want to think about whether you loff him enough to nurse him along like that and restrict yourself to lower levels.

            If I were looking for a Prelim & higher horse, it would probably be fairer on the horse to take a pass.
            "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Fillabeana View Post
              What does 'No flexion in ankles' mean?
              Watching the video, he trots, and his front hooves obviously range from flat on the ground, to flexed so you can see the frog/sole of his foot. So his ankles do move...
              Perhaps they mean that he does not 'flex positive' in his ankles? Or 'No flexion issues in ankles'? They do say that he is sound on old osselets.

              I assumed the same as Fillabeana that it was "does not flex positive", but I will clarify with the seller. Some pics of the ankles are a good idea and cheap at the price for the future. any further thoughts appreciated!

              Would love to have some pedigree insight. I guess I'm not so interested for a gelding (although I love learning about TB pedigees), but if I end up with a mare I will be more interested as I'd have thoughts of breeding her down the road if her mind and sport horse athleticism prove to be great.
              ~Living the life I imagined~


              • #8
                I liked his look still lively

                But.. and I've seen an awful lot of OTTBs trot on hard ground, he looked a little "light' in front.

                Good or bad xrays are no guarantee of soundness. But here's what you have

                An attractive grey horse with admitted ankles, for only $1000. If you look, dollar for dollar, on canter sites where they are trying to rehome OTTBs, equal horses, one is grey and doesn't have a chain over his nose, they're always at least $2K, because somewhere along the line, the race track guys figured the h/j people would pay a little more for a pretty grey horse.

                If you had zero aspirations for him other than giving him a good home, MAYBE seeing if he'd hunt, and not caring if he was ever your competition horse, I'd say give it a try.

                If this is your competition horse budget.... I'd xray and get a vet who is very, very familiar with On the track TBs and ask if there is a reason he is not sound for racing. That is, truly, usually why they quit with the geldings.

                I bought a 12 yr old gelding off the track. He'd had 152 starts, and legs like champagne bottles, never took a lame step.

                Bought a fabulous clean legged 3 yr old with a case of the slows. never took a sound step.

                Luck of the draw.

                I like his attitude though, and that's 75% of these guys.

                It's the other 25% that makes you broke.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by War Admiral View Post
                  If I were looking for a Prelim & higher horse, it would probably be fairer on the horse to take a pass.
                  I think Prelim would be a very outside goal for me these days. T3D is about it. What I *am* interested in is a horse I can foxhunt first-field and possibly even whip off of. The footing here at the hunt fixtures in SoCal is pretty sandy, but of course it's ungroomed and lots of stop-gallop-turn hard-sliding stop-180 and gallop off.
                  Now having said that, I have a great foxhunter right now, so if this guy can only do eventing on a groomed track, that's ok-I have a first-field horse already. I do want to breed my foxhunter though, which is why I'm looking for an OTTB project while she's busy having babies
                  ~Living the life I imagined~


                  • Original Poster

                    So the seller already got back to me, and she really did mean he can't flex his ankles at all. but, apparently someone just looked at him and might take him, so this guy probably won't work out for me either from availabilty or my future intended use.

                    I do appreciate the thoughts on soundness/ osselets etc as I'm sure I'll see a few more prospects with ankle jewelry as I continue my search!
                    ~Living the life I imagined~


                    • #11
                      The no flexion at all is not a good sign because that likely means that the joints have fused (not a vet so don't take my word for it) and there is severe arthritis and limited mobility. The horses that I have seen that are extremely sore on the ankles often have bad arthritis and are sometimes in the process of fusing. Once they fuse they become comfortable on the ankles enough for light use.


                      • #12
                        Being a whippers-in horse has to be one of the hardest jobs there is in the horse universe--at least it is down here. Need the stamina of a TB and the cattiness of a QH, plus able to go over all kinds of surface from asphalt to mud to grass at speed, all of which is going to be unlevel and very hard on the joints. The horse will be off by him/herself most of the time and must go at max speed to get to the right positions to contain the hounds. These hunt horses tend to have relatively short working lives, compared to field horses. My experience is that they come back very often lame. They may have long work lives, but they often only really work on Saturday and have the rest of the week to "get over it."

                        They have to do a lot of the same things as polo ponies, which are used up fairly quickly.
                        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                        Thread killer Extraordinaire


                        • #13
                          I think he looks ouchy in front.


                          • #14
                            Too bad this guy won't work out for you - but there are many other worthy horses out there.

                            I know an OTTB with huge ankles who was a hunter/jumper for a while, then a working horse on a cattle ranch (that's some terrain, daily!), then evented through Training. He's now something like 23 or 24, sound, and babysitting a woman who has health problems greatly affecting her balance.

                            I definitely wouldn't rule one out for your purposes, but agree about x-rays - the guy I know didn't have any indications there would be soundness problems in x-rays despite some limits on range of motion, but for some of them it is a really big deal depending on how it develops.
                            If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hey101 View Post
                              So the seller already got back to me, and she really did mean he can't flex his ankles at all. but, apparently someone just looked at him and might take him, so this guy probably won't work out for me either from availabilty or my future intended use.

                              I do appreciate the thoughts on soundness/ osselets etc as I'm sure I'll see a few more prospects with ankle jewelry as I continue my search!
                              Well that's that then

                              But for future reference- looking at that horse's pic & video - the LOOK (visual) of the ankles isn't that bad, but he's lame on the left front and he has no heels.

                              I know many people get by and do well with no heeled horses, but that hasn't been my experience. And yes, shoeing can help some, but you have to work with the present foot genetics. No magikal new foot pill alas.

                              Ankles are, I think, an "it depends." I have had 2 very sound, useful horses with ankles, both of which I didn't vet. My 28 yr olds ankles are just starting to bother him now.

                              Nowadays, I try to buy horses with out ankles. (and with heels )
                              Unrepentant carb eater


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Judysmom View Post
                                No magikal new foot pill alas.
                                Ah, but what a shame. You could make a mint with such a pill