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Would you drug test?

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  • Would you drug test?

    If you bought a supposedly calm, easygoing horse, who was very quiet under saddle at the seller's, then he turns out to be really hot under saddle? For context, he was very footsore at the sellers (didn't show up until PPE b/c all 4 feet were equally sore and he strode out ok on grass) and then got shoes at buyers.

    Drug testing sounds obvious, BUT what do you do if it does come back positive? It can cost hundreds of dollars, but can you get your money back any easier? I suppose lawyers aren't cheap either.

    ETA: Blood was drawn but not tested at PPE, hotness issues showed up after PPE.
    "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave

  • #2
    test it after the sale?

    That would not show much, would it.

    A girl I know had bought a horse from a dealer, two weeks later it came up lame: the drugs had worn off and the old injury was showing.
    That was the first and last time she bought a horse without a drug test.

    You test now, the seller is just going to say he/she didn't know.


    • #3
      That's tough! If you are unsure what you want to do with the horse, ie keep him or give back to the seller/sell yourself, I would test him to know for sure. Also, it may give you some leverage against the seller as you stated. Depending on the cost of the horse, if the seller will not take him back, you could maybe take the seller to small claims. No lawyers are needed for small claims and it isn't that expensive to file.


      • #4
        I'd make sure horse is on same feed and work schedule as he was before you bought him. Changing feeds can make one act VERY differently. So can changing work/intensity of work/turnout.

        If he is on the same feed and supps, and getting the same work/turnout, then I would test.


        • #5
          Is the PPE blood sample still available? If so, test it. If it's positive you've probably got a fraud case. If it's not then you've bought something else.

          How many days since the horse arrived at the new location? That will determine whether or not testing for drugs is a viable proposition.

          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


          • #6
            Horse's personality likely changed because he was sore before. But not sure how a foot sore horse didn't show a reaction for hoof testers?

            If you test the blood, what will you test for? There are many tranqs out there...or can you just test for "something".

            If you test, and the horse shows he was on something, I would see if the seller will take the horse back, and if not, see if the threat of being exposed as having drugged the horse is enough to make them change their mind.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


            • #7
              The tests they put race horses through cost in the range of $500. Unless you have a contract that states if the horse tests positive, you can return him and get your money back I would not bother. I would instead concentrate on finding a way to make him less hot through diet and turnout.
              McDowell Racing Stables

              Home Away From Home


              • #8
                Can you do hair strand tests on horses? When we have parents that we suspect are falsifying their drug tests we can do a hair strand test that goes back 90 days for head hair and up to a year for body hair. It's kind of pricey though, around $150. Is there anything similar for horses?
                I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.


                • #9
                  I personally don't know the answer to that but imagine you could. In people you are testing for a max of maybe 10 drugs, most likely less. Drug tests for race horses test for over 100.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home


                  • #10
                    How long has the buyer had the horse from seller?

                    There can be many reasons like diet and lack of excersise or it may just feel better.

                    I always encourage my buyers to pull blood at PPE and its on them to run before or store. My gaurentee the horse they bought is the one they take home.
                    If it changes in behavior its on them.

                    Check with your Vet as to what the cost is, I heard like $250. for basic know drugs, tranq's n NSAIDS commonly used.


                    • #11
                      It is also entirely possibly that the horse is just super hot in a new environment. I had a QH/TB who was DEAD calm at home but a total, total nutcase when we left home for anything. If the horse settles down in a few more days I'll bet it just needs to see more of the world.

                      And being foot sore can definitely make a horse quiet and withdrawn. Perhaps he is just feeling better and full of himself. Maybe try some lungeing and see if he calms down.


                      • #12
                        You'd be amazed how many "quiet" horses are actually lame.

                        Then the issues are addressed and suddenly the quiet horse is feeling pretty spicy!

                        Also changes in feed, management, environment, etc. can make a huge difference.
                        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                        • #13
                          Depends on how long I had had the horse and how strong my "gut" was talking to me.

                          I think if my gut was really nagging me I'd probably have the blood tested for my own knowledge. Then mull over my options. In my mind this is two different issues and not one: have the blood tested, then act on any findings.

                          So much would depend on my mind of the actual circumstances of the sale. The sellers, the horse, the price, the contract, the actual drugs found AND the amount in the blood. A $2,500 with some Bute on board is a different circumstance than a $25,000 horse presented on resperine. I couldn't decide what I'd do about any positive tests until I actually HAD a positive test.

                          So first order of business is deciding if it's worth having the sample tested.
                          "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings