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Would you buy a young horse with Navicular?

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    Would you buy a young horse with Navicular?

    I've seen this nice quiet young large pony/small horse (can't remember the size) advertised for sale... I love his look and from the descriptions, he's dead quiet.. actually know people who know him and verified that as well. I'm older, really just want a nice quiet mount to play around with some low level dressage and trail riding... but its disclosed that he's got navicular. I have not seen the xrays... he seems to be sound though but he's under 6 years old. I had a quarter horse / paint years ago that had navicular and I was able to keep him sound with good front shoes and lots of dressage to keep him off his forehand.

    But this horse is considerably younger and I don't want a pasture pony. Pretty sure the answer is don't do it, but thought I'd throw it out there.. I'm kind of shocked at his sales price advertised for a known issue so makes me think it might not be that bad?


    Navicular is a progressive, degenerative disease. You can't "fix it", ever. You may be able to make horse usable, comfortable with various shoes, trims, for a while. Consider every day of use a gift.

    Myself? I would not buy a navicular horse. I am unwilling to promote or participate in using a horse with this diagnosis, then decide when his shortened time has come to put him down. Bad enough choosing the end time with a horse who has lived a long and useful life.

    They keep breeding navicular horses because people keep buying and using them. This is a bad thing, no reason to quit making more of them!


      Yea... I know he's really not the right horse for me, but he's got such a great brain. I had hoped things with navicular might have given new options or hope since my past horse, but I guess not... thanks..


        Osphos, of which I am decidedly NOT a fan, has been a game changer for those horses. If you really like him and recognize the long term potential problems and have a vet you have confidence in, he might be worth a look. You don’t mention how old you are, but you might be able to grow old comfortably together. I hope this perspective might be helpful. Poor pony.


          I think in your situation, I’d have to see xrays and discuss with a vet and farrier I trust.

          I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts on hoof care and there seems to be an increasing belief for vets and farriers that navicular bone damage is preceded by soft tissue damage in the hoof. That would be of more concern to me I think.


            No. As noted this is a degenerative disease that can, at best, be slowed with a combination of medication, careful shoeing, and careful husbandry.

            The first horse we ever bought was a Walker with low level navicular (not discovered on the PPE; this horse was a real learning experience). We actually kept her sound for light saddle work for 5-6 years and she proved to be a good brood mare.

            If you want a pet and if you've got the money for proper management then you might take the chance. If you want a horse to actually do some work then pass it by.

            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


              No !
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "







                    No hoof. No horse.
                    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                      Yea based on these responses I'm surprised they are still asking a sizeable amount of money for him.. its not current market, but still quite a bit for a long term issue like this...thanks. I will pass.


                        Depends on who diagnosed the horse with "navicular". Is it actually undiagnosed hoof pain/lameness and the owners are calling it navicular? Or is it visible on an xray with a respected lameness vet calling it navicular?

                        In the first case, it could be a horse that has a bad farrier and/or simply needs maybe. In the 2nd


                          I'm not saying buy or not buy this horse, but I've had a horse with horrible navicular x-rays (described as swiss cheese holes) and was never lame a day in his life and I had another horse with perfect x-rays who was dead lame. Of course, both were quite a few years ago and medicine has improved significantly since then. If this horse is all that, I would consult your veterinarian as everyone's definition of "navicular" is different before passing up, but I would be prepared to walk away.


                            It’s sad, but if you want one horse for work, why buy one with a known issue from the start? There will be another great brained horse out there, minus navicular.


                              My heart was broken once already.

                              RIP Phoenix. Trail horse, show horse, endurance horse, and therapy horse for the VA.


                                My question is does he have true navicular syndrome or navicular changes.

                                I've had 2 horses that when I PPE xrayed them had "changes" from prior xrays I was given. My vet said the changes were minor. Farrier worked on their angles. One died sound and the other is still going (with shoes and maintenance and a good farrier).
                                Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                                  Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                  Navicular is a progressive, degenerative disease. You can't "fix it", ever. You may be able to make horse usable, comfortable with various shoes, trims, for a while. Consider every day of use a gift.

                                  Myself? I would not buy a navicular horse. I am unwilling to promote or participate in using a horse with this diagnosis, then decide when his shortened time has come to put him down. Bad enough choosing the end time with a horse who has lived a long and useful life.

                                  They keep breeding navicular horses because people keep buying and using them. This is a bad thing, no reason to quit making more of them!
                                  So many years ago I bought a 10 year old QH with navicular changes. We had him on isox and had his shoes on backwards (poor man's bar shoes). I had him for 8 years. I jumped him, trail rode with him, he was used in jumping lessons.
                                  Sold him to a teenager. She had him for a few years. Sold him to her trainer as lesson horse. He was still teaching lessons in his mid twenties as a w/t horse. They had stopping jumping and cantering a few years before due to hock issues. Never actually had navicular issues just ugly xrays.

                                  Now a friend looked at a 5 year old QH. He wasn't sound in the PPE trotting in a circle on hard ground. Xrays showed navicular. Since he also had symptoms she walked away and so would I.

                                  It is not a hard NO for me. Digital x-rays show so much more than old film x-rays.
                                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                                    I think if we are still calling it "navicular" the opportunity for a good discussion on caudal heel pain or podotrochleitis may be lost. Unfortunately "navicular" is a dated term with a dated understanding of a series of different conditions that impact the heel. It's like saying a horse has colic. That tells you something about the general area of the problem and very little about the appropriate treatment and expected outcome!

                                    Here's an article that helps explain a lot about our updated understanding of the problem:

                                    That said, years ago I had bought a young (giant) horse who had impressive lollipops on his radiographs. The PPE vet who was more familiar with QHs was freaking out about them. I sent the radiographs to my vet who was a lot more familiar with PPEs in Europe and he was utterly unphased by the lollipops, that as long as the horse was sound today, that was pretty standard for most large horse x-rays. This particular horse was a 17'3 hand TB just of the track, had platters for feet and was jogging sound without shoes on a gravel road. I had zero problems with his feet, lollipops notwithstanding! So it's a big picture kind of thing for me.

                                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                      Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post

                                      It is not a hard NO for me. Digital x-rays show so much more than old film x-rays.
                                      I am presuming here, that because the advertising mentions horse has navicular, that present owners have a firm diagnosis for navicular. My belief is that any X-rays will absolutely show degeneration. No guessing about the problem. If the horse could pass a PPE they never would have brought the navicular issue up!! Owners may already have horse in a maintenance program, new buyer would need to follow their program.

                                      Diagnosing now is a lot better than years ago. And that is why I would rule this horse off as a purchase. I would not even have called because the advertisement says horse has navicular! I am pretty hard minded about not looking at or contemplating a horse with navicular. I have seen too much heartbreak, tears, medical, Farrier costs, in trying to keep YOUNG, nice minded horses comfortable with this problem. Far better to go shop elsewhere.


                                        The best competitive dressage horse I ever had was an alleged TB (out of the West, by Truck) who had navicular changes, and hind end issues, as well. And, by the way, I've NEVER found one without the other. He was seven years old, and had qualified his rider for the Medal/MacClay finals for the prior two years. My Vet radiographed him, and told me to buy him. I didn't see those pictures. Today, you would sue her ass, and she is still practicing...

                                        I put the tricks on him through GP, although his trot was always pretty average. He had a nine walk and canter, however. I took him to NBC after I got him, and Dr. God, and the then blacksmith arranged a great shoeing program for him. We used Isoxsuprine, and Bute, ad Dr. God said that they had a synergistic effect, and I believed him.

                                        I also put the horse in a pool three days a week when I was competing him.

                                        After I retired him, I researched a drug that you could use to do a chemical neurotomy on a horses feet. It gave this horse a whole new life. He walked on his feet as he should have, which opened up his heels even more, and got his hind end going. THAT was a revelation in addressing issues with horses with complimetary lamenesses.

                                        If you like the horse, give it a shot. It's all about learning, anyway.
                                        When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou