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Club footed horse - to lease or not to lease

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  • Club footed horse - to lease or not to lease

    I found a very nice eq horse, WB, 12 years old, broke and happy to do the job. Yeah! But he has a wicked club foot. It is so bad it makes his gaits abnormal. I can hear it when he walks and he feels off at the WTC but I am sure it is just the unevenness of his gaits. The owner wants a 12 months lease that is moderately expensive. I have written a few exclusions in to the contract but now that I see the club foot I want to go month to month.

    Anyone else had experience with a club foot. Is it possible for it not to make the horse lame if it is quite extreme.

    He has had one injury two years ago the regular foot and that is excluded in the lease...

  • #2
    Not sure about the exclusions but if something shows up later with soundness can you opt out? So it has an extreme club foot and you didn't notice it for some time?
    I would not like the abnormal gait part. I assume you are going to show? If gait is abnormal I wouldn't think you would place.
    I think you should ask your vet about the club foot and soundness.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I noticed the club foot immediately. He is on trial - the trainer mentioned one foot was different and more upright than the other but nothing about it causing a gail abnormality.

      Originally posted by China Doll View Post
      Not sure about the exclusions but if something shows up later with soundness can you opt out? So it has an extreme club foot and you didn't notice it for some time?
      I would not like the abnormal gait part. I assume you are going to show? If gait is abnormal I wouldn't think you would place.
      I think you should ask your vet about the club foot and soundness.

      Comment


      • #4
        I used to show a horse in the Child/Adult Jumpers (3'6") on the Florida circuit some years ago that had a club foot. He had the foot abnormality when I bought him at 5 years old and we were able to manage it with great farrier work. He never had an unsound day in his life and he is 20 and retired now.

        That being said, he did not have any gait abnormality and while one leg was longer than the other because of the club, my farrier was very comfortable dealing with the issue and was able to keep him sound through shoeing. I do not know if farrier work will help this horse though, since he is apparently having issues at age 12. Who knows? One thing is for certain, make sure if you go forward that you have a farrier with experience with clubs or it may go from bad now, to worse later.

        Comment


        • #5
          If he can do the job and both sides will write a total-a$$-covering agreement, the club foot isn't your problem.

          But there is potential for this to end badly, and since you will be paying a (big?) lease fee up front, you do stand to lose.

          Questions I'd ask:

          Is the horse doing the Big Eq job now, foot and all?

          Who shoes the horse and can you have the same guy keep managing the foot? If not, do you have a farrier that the lessors can work with?

          Do the trainers involved see eye-to-eye on horse management and care? (IMO, you'd want this for any leased horse.)

          Has that foot/leg already been excluded from any future major medical policy? And how do you feel about the excluded opposite leg? Are you happy to pay for any injuries there? A long rehab? (And what does your lease say about who pays for that?)

          If you guys want to get creative (and the lessors are a tad desperate), write a lease that makes deals around the parts of the horse that seem to be trouble spots. So, for example, Machine has an old suspensory injury on the opposite leg, no insurance. You pay the full fee and lease him for a year, following whatever management protocol they'd like. If the horse goes belly-up somewhere else, you follow the terms of the lease. If he fubars that named leg, however, he goes back and a the remainder of your lease fee is returned. See? A deal like this is funky but addresses the particular concerns surrounding this animal.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

          Comment


          • #6
            It is difficult to imagine an eq horse with uneven gaits. One of the criteria for a good ride is rhythm. How can a horse with uneven gaits be rhythmic? He may be broke to death, tidy over fences but his flat work has to be tough.
            Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

            Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

            Comment


            • #7
              If it left front or right front? I have a horse with a LF club. Until now (6 years jumping 3-3'6'') he's been sound. Always slightly uneven up front, but we would go left in hacks first, and when he could go back right, he always looked much more even and generally did very hack in the hacks. If a judge ever looked at him and thought "hmmm" to the left...tracking the second way he always looked much better.

              The feeling of him being odd will go away if you ride him all the time. I had a friend sit on mine and go "he's WONKY!" I never notice anymore Also, riding him with connection will help with the unevenness.

              I would put something about the contract ending if he was lame...or something. Otherwise I say go for it if he has consistent records that doesn't show long times off due to possible lameness.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd be hesitant to make a full year lease agreement personally. Does he LOOK uneven in his gaits or does it just feel that way? Do they have any current xrays of the foot so you can see that he's lined up correctly? IF you go down this route, even month to month, a knowledgeable farrier is a must.
                (I prepurchased a dressage mare a bunch of years ago - she had no soundness issues, but the xrays showed rotation of the coffin bone when compared to earlier xrays. Definite no-go there!)
                We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                Comment


                • #9
                  I owned a horse with a club foot for a number of years and competed her regularly around 3', including going cross country. In the first year she was uneven a lot... which was all fixed by corrective shoeing. The fact that this horse has a club foot would not bother me as a lease; the fact that he is not totally sound absolutely would. Call it whatever you want, but if the horse isn't going evenly, I don't consider it sound.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a horse with a club foot. I am pretty certain the clubbiness happened when he was a baby grazing in strange positions. It's not bad enough that it effects his gates but it's there. He has not once taken a lame step and happily jumps 1.20m+ with the occasional 1.40m fence in the mix. As long as it is managed with regular farrier work I have yet to have a problem.
                    Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Yes, that is what I was thinking.
                      Originally posted by BostonHJ View Post
                      I owned a horse with a club foot for a number of years and competed her regularly around 3', including going cross country. In the first year she was uneven a lot... which was all fixed by corrective shoeing. The fact that this horse has a club foot would not bother me as a lease; the fact that he is not totally sound absolutely would. Call it whatever you want, but if the horse isn't going evenly, I don't consider it sound.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you all. After reading all your entries I negotiated an extended trial period and a month to month lease.
                        Originally posted by hjrider1 View Post
                        I found a very nice eq horse, WB, 12 years old, broke and happy to do the job. Yeah! But he has a wicked club foot. It is so bad it makes his gaits abnormal. I can hear it when he walks and he feels off at the WTC but I am sure it is just the unevenness of his gaits. The owner wants a 12 months lease that is moderately expensive. I have written a few exclusions in to the contract but now that I see the club foot I want to go month to month.

                        Anyone else had experience with a club foot. Is it possible for it not to make the horse lame if it is quite extreme.

                        He has had one injury two years ago the regular foot and that is excluded in the lease...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I bought a horse off a (Short) video and pictures. When she arrived she was off/lame...why? because they had tried to make the club foot LOOK normal instead of trimming/shoeing her to go with her conformation...one leg shorter hence high heel club foot. When we finally got her trimmed properly, she was sound...it was not pretty...certainly didn't want to breed with that trait... but sound.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well congrats on your adventure. I sure hope everything works out great. There are some lovely horses with "blemishes" that can do their job safely.

                            I have a horse with a slight club foot that wasn't being trimmed properly. It's been 9 months and finally we are seeing improvement in the frog on that hoof. Competent farrier is critical in all horses. Just make sure you keep on top of it with the vet and farrier....
                            Live in the sunshine.
                            Swim in the sea.
                            Drink the wild air.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OP - good job on the arrangement. Very wise way to go.
                              As someone mentioned above re breeding, I would not breed a club footed mare. It turned out that the dam of the one I prepurchased (post 8) had a club foot, and so did this mare's full sister.
                              We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                              Comment

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