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How would you feel with this response from a seller?

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  • How would you feel with this response from a seller?

    I inquired about a horse that seems nice enough and sane (OTTB) however the ad said he needed to have a hock injected (the horse is under 10)

    I asked about the hock. Which one it was and why it needed to be injected. I got this response back "he is mildly arthritic in his left hock (from racing). no arthritis shows on radiographs though."

    She also stated that he barely gets worked.

    My thoughts are that the horse is out of shape and stiff as a result and likely doesn't need the injections if he is worked consistently....I feel you can't say a horse has arthritis and there for needs injections but nothing shows up on radiographs. I almost feel like this was the trainers solution to astiff or slightly sore horse....(she did say that her trainer had worked with him some....

    I am not looking to spend a lot of money on this horse.......

  • #2
    I would assume horse does need the injections and just wonder if they will be enough to get the horse sound. One would imagine that if that was all, they would have done it and moved on with their nice sound horse. If you are not looking to spend money on hock issues I would pass.

    They probably stopped working the horse because it was lame. Reading between the lines.

    IME hocks do not get better with work. Stifles maybe yes, hocks no.


    • #3
      Maybe you should spend your money on another horse?

      A barely worked horse that is under 10 shouldn't be stiff or slightly sore.
      Maybe stiff the day after a hard training session but never sore. And nothing that doesn't go away with warming up.
      Or stiff from being inside for a long period of time?! Even then...

      Do a PPE.

      If there is no arthritis on the XRays, its because it might be something else.
      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

      Originally posted by LauraKY
      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
      HORSING mobile training app


      • #4
        I would say that there are plenty of ottb's out there for pretty cheap that dont need hock injections
        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


        • #5
          I would pass unless you got a stellar deal on him.

          There are too many horses out there to make exceptions for one with potential lameness problems.

          BUT I purchased my dwb filly who fractured her sesamoid at 6 months after having the vet take xrays to look how everything healed. The break is not apparent on the xrays anymore, fully calcified and it does not cause her any problems.

          If you really want him, have your own vet take an xray and get his/her opinion.


          • #6
            I would ask for permission to talk to their vet who made the recommendation. The seller may have misunderstood or not be imparting the entire truth. An off the track TB that needs its hock injected wouldn't scare me off if it was the lower joint that was the issue.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


            • #7
              I wouldn't even spend the money on a PPE on this one, I'd pass. I'll forgive a lot for a horse that is currently at a respectable level of work and is sound, whatever the xrays show. I'm a lot less forgiving when a horse of questionable soundness isn't even in work--that's a big unknown.

              And the xrays...who cares? A lame horse with perfect xrays is still lame. The fact that the xrays are fine makes me think that this horse's lameness problem has not actually been diagnosed yet, they've just been throwing hock injections at a mystery lameness.

              A situation like this, I'm guessing you'd have a high likelihood of ending up with a young horse that needs early retirement. Less than 10 years old could mean 20 years or more of retirement care...

              Horses don't typically go lame or have "stiffness" from being out of work. Yes, my 25 year old pony who has been in work her entire life loosens up with a little light exercise, but a horse that is less than 10 years old...nah, there's something wrong. A 10 year old horse that isn't sound while out of work is not at all likely to improve and become sound with work.


              • Original Poster

                I guess my thought was more this.

                I have seen plenty of under muscled OTTBs who move a little stiff or funny in their hind end. Once they are worked consistently they start to move a little more normal. Once those muscles, tendons, and ligaments hold everything in place.

                The reason I question the "truthfulness" (for lack of a better word) of the horse needing the injections is because we all know there are vets and trainers who inject needlessly. With out concrete proof that the horse is arthritic I would assume that there is something else going on such as lack of muscle and an under educated trainer.

                She claims the horse doesn't get worked and is getting sold because she is a full time student and a single mom (been there so I know this road is tough)

                For farther clarification the horse is SUPER cheap.......But I will probably pass. I was just wondering on thoughts of he has arthritis but it doesn't show up....I just thought that was odd...


                • #9
                  I'd walk from any horse that's off the track and showing stiffness/arthritis under "barely getting worked" conditions. Maybe it's soft tissue?

                  It would be very different for me if he was fit, out going/showing and they told you "he needs his hocks done 2x/year for maintenance." I wouldn't blink at that.

                  But I would never buy one out of shape and showing signs of lameness under light work. Let them get him working and maintained-- not you.
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                  • #10
                    You never know. My older jumper is pretty much retired with navicular but he Xrays almost perfectly, a few tiny shadows that are almost undetectable. Occasionally he is sound enough for some light riding. The farrier thinks the vet is insane not to be able to find anything significant on the rads, the vet shrugs his shoulders and points to the horse who is otherwise a wimp and a prima donna that does not tolerate pain well. Sometimes you get the opposite, a horse with horrible rads, should be dead lame that has never been off a day in its life and you get a nasty surprise during the PPE.

                    The pain and the Xrays deviate in a surprisingly high number of cases. Even when you block it and know where the pain is coming from.

                    I do get what you mean, sometimes you are right and the stiff OTTB lets down into something else. But this one sounds like it has been off the track for a long time so that weighs against that hypothesis -- plus, if you don't (1) have a slush fund to invest in vet bills if you're wrong, or (2) have a problem with sending the horse to your local equivalent of New Holland or otherwise rehome it/euth it if it doesn't work out, not the way to go. On the positive side, the single mom story is certainly a plausible reason to be out of work.


                    • #11
                      If it were me I wouldn't bother with a horse under 10 y/o with mild arthritis. I know there are other OTTBs and other breeds that there that aren't showing mild arthritis at that age.
                      "There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humor and the other is patience."


                      • #12
                        In my experience with buying and selling - EVERYONE THINKS DIFFERENTLY!

                        If you are fairly interested in the horse, go look at it. Get a PPE. See what a third party vet has to say. Assuming things and guessing what it could be really does nothing for anyone.


                        • #13
                          I don't think it's unreasonable for a 10 year old horse to need maintenance. It wouldn't completely deter me...Ten is middle aged, after all. If you look at the horse, it rides sound and you like him, why not do a PPE?


                          • #14
                            FWIW- I would go look. The horse could be very sound and just have an overly protective/concerned owner. She didn't say he was lame!

                            I also believe that Tb's tend to get pretty darn funky behind when they aren't worked and a few months of good flatwork can produce a totally different horse in terms of what you are seeing in the hind end.

                            I have injected before without seeing something on an x-ray if I think it will help get a horse comfortable enough to work through some aches and pains.

                            One other thing..sometimes vets think hocks when it really is weak stifles which can be very common in a horse not in work.


                            • #15
                              First be happy that the owner told you up front that the horse needs maintenance.

                              Secondly I had a 4 year old that had no arthritic changes but thin joint space that required maintenance i.e. hock injections, adequan from then on. Passed a PPE as a 3 yo with flying colors.

                              I have also had an 8yo who flexed fine, not clinically "lame" but we knew he needed extra help when his canter wasn't as fluid.

                              So for me a 10 OTTB who needs hock injections if he was nice enough otherwise wouldn't bother me.

                              No I do not inject every joint but I do believe in doing what ever I can to keep my horses comfortable. I.E. Magnawave, Iceboots, Supplements, Chiro/Accupuncture, Ledgends, injections as needed on the advice of vets I trust.
                              Discover the Delgrange Difference


                              • #16
                                I would have your vet take a VERY close look if you are interested, but arthritis is degenerative by nature and will most like end up getting worse and result in early retirement. I just retired my 14 y/o OTTB because of arthritis in his fetlock.


                                • #17
                                  As the owner of one cripped OTTB that came off the track with hind end issues that "should improve with work" but NEVER REALLY DID... I might be more risk adverse than some. Course, I've been carrying his expenses since he was 4 (he's 12 now) and I have years and years of the same for a horse who was never really sound enough for me to ride and enjoy... but we all come from things from different perspectives. I do not buy horses with issues unless they are doing the job NOW. All prospects, for me, must be clean. I am just not comfortable with out of work horses showing issues.
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by showidaho View Post
                                    I don't think it's unreasonable for a 10 year old horse to need maintenance. It wouldn't completely deter me...Ten is middle aged, after all. If you look at the horse, it rides sound and you like him, why not do a PPE?
                                    Horse is under ten, according to the OP. Not clear if that means 3 or 9. Would make a bit of difference to the analysis.
                                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                                    • #19
                                      is this horse by any chance in Michigan? If its the same one 17hh TB i went and looked. Really sweet horse but i did not believe the owner. That young with hock issues and no work i was very skeptical. Better be safe than sorry, i passed.


                                      • #20
                                        my home bred tb mare never saw the track, and her hock rads were clean,
                                        but she was getting sticky and marish about her swaps (wringing tail and acting like it hurt) we injected her and she was right as rain.
                                        THese were digital rads too which are much better than traditional film rads. and there was nothing there.
                                        she was 10 and had really no other reason to complain about swaping. the injections solved it.

                                        If it were me 'shopping' on the other hand, and she had clean rads but was till sticky with her swaps I might pass. BUt if the PPE is going to cost more than the horse, you should consider spending more money on a horse who is 'right' by all means and less on the PPE. - IMO