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Would you buy a young horse with Navicular?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by altermetoday View Post
    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?

    Thoughts?
    Sounds like you might already pass, but ‘navicular’ encompasses a lot of different issues under the same diagnosis.
    Soft tissue injuries, coffin bone issues, actual navicular bone issues, even more, all can get diagnosed as navicular.
    My 20 year old jumper gelding was diagnosed with navicular at 8. He is still sound and competing. He does best barefoot or in glue on shoes. In the past year he has started equioxx but that was for his hocks, not his feet.

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    • #22
      goodhors because they used an outdated term I call the whole thing into question. It could be exactly as you say, it could also be something far more subtle and manageable. That said, it's all a question of price v. talent and there are a lot of horses for sale so three has to be a compelling reason to buy THIS one!
      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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      • #23
        DMK, I agree with your wanting to get a specific area of foot pain pinpointed. However we don't have those details here, just that all-pupose "navicular" diagnosis. And it may truly be navicular, not some other problem.

        I keep seeing here on COTH, the many CONSTANT posts about horse upkeep to allow use of them. These involve money, time, mental anguish, in trying to keep horses afflicted with problems, useful or even "kind of" less lame. He may have been ridable at purchase, but often quits being usable soon after. People keep paying, do not allow these horses be put down until way past "their time". I see these lame horses, hear the sad stories a lot! With husband working as a Farrier, maybe we hear more about all the ways navicular diagnosed horses can get worse. Obviously not all are lame with just navicular changes, so there are MANY things to try to aid him, but in the end he is NEVER cured. Just fixed for a time, until nothing works to aid him.

        I myself, want horses who are sound to use, without much extra work in care. I certainly am willing to do extra work, try some new ideas, on my older, used hard horses. Just not for a horse who never really worked, before starting to breakdown! So many of these navicular (have hoof pain) were broke in young, have navicular parents, then have MANY miles on them to reach the calm, quiet responses, smoothness, people like to ride.

        Not looking at horses who are heading down the breakdown route, saves lots of grief. I advise friends who ask, not to buy with their heart, the look in his eye, pretty faces. Start with the feet and work up, emphasizing soundness, in looking at potential purchases. Then decide if you like his gaits, training, manners to enjoy using him. This is not a fiction story, you have to live with what you buy.

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        • #24
          My first horse developed/was first diagnosed with navicular when he was just 6 yrs old. It ended out showing career and since I love my horses, I have them from the day they are born until the day they die. So,,,I had a lovely young seemingly healthy horse (who lived until 20 yrs old) who I could only ride lightly and he needed drugs to make him comfortable for those rides. So, my friends went out on lovely long rides and my boy and I stayed home.

          I understand that there is hope for these guys now, as this was 25 yrs ago. But I would warn you that you would be putting your heart (let alone you pocket book) in a very hard and sad place. I would not CHOOSE to have a horse with a life-long medical issue when there are so many who also need a great home and can fill your heart just as easily as this poor horse.

          I honor your choice and wish you and this horse only the best.

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          • #25
            It COULD be okay, but the odds are not in your favor. Horses are already such a risky purchase, I think going down this road is just a huge liability for you -- both financially and emotionally. Take it from someone who has been there. Keep looking.

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            • #26
              If you can afford additional diagnostics on a PPE including new rays and a look at the previous images to see if it has progressed. If you have the budget for specialized farrier work and meds. If you have an inexpensive place to keep him during flare ups or retire him for light work? Then maybe you could take a chance. But only if it really checks every box and the price is right.

              If you are on a budget, board out and an only afford one horse. NO.

              And ask me how I know that....twice. Don’t do it.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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              • #27
                Navicular, to me, doesn’t carry much meaning. I would want to know more specifically, what structures are affected which usually involves an MRI. Since you don’t have that, I would pass unless you want to pay for that post purchase which doesn’t seem to be the right sequence.

                Eons ago before fancy diagnostic equipment, I had a young (7 y.o.) Arab gelding diagnosed “navicular” on a PPE via x-rays. I had no baseline x-rays so what do you do? He had had some times of not quite rightness but I had him to the vet twice and they saw nothing...so I had tried before I put him up for sale. Brought him home and ended up rehoming him with a friend with the deal that if he worsened, he would be euthanized. If he stabilized, he was hers. He stabilized with shoeing. People that had possession of him for the PPE pulled his shoes for x-rays and threw him back in a rocky pen barefoot. This was a horse that lived on irrigated pasture...of course he was lame. Anyway, I brought him home and got shoes back on him...I really don’t know why they didn’t put them back on. Within a couple weeks he was fine but the new caretaker had family issues come up over the winter and when she brought him out in the spring, he was off again but it seemed to be in the rear. She had him re-examined and lo and behold, he had early onset hock arthritis. So he never had ‘navicular’. However, I don’t think you would want to take on hock arthritis either. My friend judiciously worked him on trails. Buted him when she needed to and within a couple years, he was fused and was a wonderful mountain pony until he was in his mid 20’s when she retired him.

                I would probably pass. The unknown’s (structures affected and severity) would cause me to pass.

                Susan

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                • #28
                  While I've been known to take on a free horse with some issues, I sure won't buy a known problem.

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                  • #29
                    With the type of horse you want, I dont think you need the gamble. I am also curious, though, about the "navicular" label. I would want to know if he is a sound horse who simply has radiographs that were analyzed as "navicular". Or is he a horse that has had classic symptoms. Perhaps he is only quiet for his age because he hurts!

                    That said, I currently own a "navicular" horse. I didnt buy him that way, but when he was suddenly lame, radiographs suggested possible navicular changes. An MRI showed some disruption in the DDFT as well as some inflammation consistent with navicular syndrome. He was laid up, received corrective showing (previously barefoot!) and slowly rehabbed. A second MRI ($$) showed "profound improvement". Through it all he was only observably lame for maybe seven days! So I am hoping he will stay on the "with good management not impacted for many years" side of things.

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                    • #30
                      Who knows what is actually wrong with the horse. Could be so very many things.

                      That said, there is a big difference between making the best out of what you've got, and buying a problem. We have options for horses that used to be labeled as navicular - diagnostics like MRIs to find soft tissue injuries in the hoof, and stem cells to heal those injuries, drugs like Osphos and Tildren, etc. That is all great, but no reason to buy a problem.

                      I have a policy of not doing any diagnostics on horses I don't own, outside of the ones I do as a standard part of a PPE. If the PPE finds a problem, it's up to the seller to diagnose it, fix it, and call me back.

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                      • #31
                        I did, although I didn't know it at the time. The horse passed a PPE, although I wish at the time I had known what I know now about toe first landings.

                        So many people IRL and online claim it is manageable, and maybe it is for some, but thousands of dollars spent on MRIs, osphos, injections, Equioxx, rads, special shoes of all kinds, bare foot trims...all I have is a halter and a tail, and a broken heart.

                        If he is showing signs of heel pain....nope nope nope.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I would not buy a horse known to have navicular changes at the age of six. I would suggest to you that one reason he may seem dead quiet is that he is too sore to misbehave. Agree with others that navicular syndrome is progressive. You have to consider that if he has navicular syndrome he may become unstable I. His feet or sore enough that you cannot rude him safely, which I am assuming is a disappointment you don’t want. There are many nice, quiet, safe horses out there that are also serviceable sound without a progressive disabling issue like navicular syndrome. I would keep looking.

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                          • #33
                            Would I buy a horse who was dx with navicular? No, BTDT, too much money and heartache.
                            Not my monkeys, not my circus.

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                            • #34
                              For me, it's a hard no. Regardless of the ad means by navicular, any horse I get is going be spending many miles traveling over hard ground at a decent pace. A horse with foot pain is not going to be a good candidate
                              Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by NaturallyHappy View Post
                                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.
                                FWIW I used Osphos 2x and it was a MIRACLE DRUG for my horse. And then the 3rd and 4th time it did not work AT ALL. Now he's not young and he has various issues beyond bony changes. But I have talked with other people and I've heard from others too that Osphos may work for a period of time and then lose some/all efficacy. Just food for thought if you're considering a young horse with a degenerative condition and planning to maintain on Ospos.
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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