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Ringbone?

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  • Ringbone?

    So I am horse shopping and I am really interested in a 7 year old Trakehner mare. I called and talked to her owner and the horse sounds perfect for me but her owner said someone who wanted to buy her got x-rays and found that she had a mild case of ringbone. Needless to say the person freaked out and ran the other way. Owner told me she showed the x-rays to her vet and he didn't seem to think it would be an issue for the horse.

    I plan on showing the horse in 2'6". One or two shows a month. Riding 4-5 days a week. one or 2 of those days will probably be a nice long trail ride. And I would jump no more than once a week, maxing out at 3' but that wouldnt be often. she would also be on turnout 24/7 that majority of the year but in for the night in the winter or if the weather is really bad.

    So who has experience with ringbone? A friend of mine has a TB gelding with ringbone and shes shown in the 4' jumpers for years and hes never taken a lame step. I dont know a lot about ringbone but I've done some research and have a good idea about it. She said I could take the x-rays and show my vet to see what he thinks and I would DEFINETLY do that!

    Any input would be great!
    thanks!
    Dacharia = best mare in the world

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  • #2
    I have a horse who is a 10 yo 1/2 Trak who has ringbone and navicular. Unfortunatley I do not know which one is more debilitating for him- I just figured out what shoeing/supplement combo works to get him pasture sound. He had been lame for almost a year before we figured out what works with him.

    Personally, I wouldn't jump a horse 3' that I know has ringbone. As I understand it, can't it get progressively worse as the horse ages? Yeah, she's sound for jumping now, but she's only 7. Will she be a cripple by the time she's 14? Would it be worth it? You can't be sure. I would pass if you are looking for a jumper. Flatwork/trail riding would be another story.

    ETA: He has low ringbone, we weren't looking for it, but vet saw it on navicular xrays.
    Last edited by Halt At X; Apr. 15, 2009, 09:38 AM.

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    • #3
      Ringbone can be a very broad term used to describe a wide range of things- is it low or high? Some prognoses can be hopefully optimistic, some can be very very bad. Ringbone is certainly not fun when it shows its ugly side, not a ton you can do about it.
      EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

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      • #4
        I had a horse with high ring bone in a rear leg. Best case scinario for a ring bone horse. He was sound to be a breed show horse and go down the rail, with some management. However, when I sold him I told the new owners that they were not to jump, barrel race, or try reining with him. Anything that involves fast stops or turns is very bad for a ring bone horse. Now, if the horse is 100% fused the case may be different. I would never buy a horse knowing it has ring bone. Just my experience.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dags View Post
          Ringbone can be a very broad term used to describe a wide range of things- is it low or high? Some prognoses can be hopefully optimistic, some can be very very bad. Ringbone is certainly not fun when it shows its ugly side, not a ton you can do about it.
          I would want a new set of radiographs taken by my vet, and interpreted by him, at the very least. It does depend a great deal as to where it is.

          It can be more miserable to deal with than navicular, but not much.
          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.

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          • #6
            It honestly depends on the horse and the type of ring bone. There are several types of ring bone including low, high, degenerative and non-degenerative.

            I had a horse that had a blunt force trauma to the pastern. As a result he had arthritis in the pastern, referred to by several vets as "ring bone." It was non-progressive and non-degenerative. It did not get worse over the 5 years I had him. Every once in a while he would wrench the joint, and would be a grade 2 out of 5 lame. When that happened we'd inject with HA and go on our merry way. This horse showed jumpers up to 4', with no apparent issues with the ring bone leg.

            OTOH a degenerative ring bone horse can and will decline as time goes by with their usefullness as a riding horse diminishing. Most of the time, correct shoeing, and prevention of over-strenious exercise can help prolong the riding life.
            My adventures as a working rider

            theworkingrider.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              Ugh... ringbone... I would walk away.

              My very first horse ended up with ringbone within 6 months of purchase.... I will say we took xrays when we bought him and "they look great". But considering how lame he was so quick... let's just say I am skeptical.

              I don't think there is a "good" ringbone really high or low.... there is no cure and no solid/sure way to keep them sound 100% of the time. It is a constant maintenance issue. It is degenerative so it is going to get worse no matter how well you take care of it.

              If I had a client that was looking at a horse that wanted to show at the 2'6 level I would recommend a pass on this one.
              www.CastleHeartFarms.com
              Hunters, Jumpers, Equitation and Ponies
              Don't practice until you do it right, practice until you can't do it wrong!

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              • #8
                I know it's not the same condition, but it's a similar circumstance. I bought my warmblood at 12 years of age knowing he showed navicular changes with some lameness. He has good days and bad, and I do love him tons! However, I will never again buy a horse with a major issue like that. Too much heartache trying to keep them sound. If I were in your shoes, I would not buy a seven year old who already has ringbone. Something is just not right there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would get a vet who isn't involved with the horse in any way to take new films and to give you the low-down on what type of ringbone it is. As Nick said, there are different types.

                  Once you know what it is- as it could be something like what Nick dealt with, just some old scarring that isn't going to get worse- then you can make a decision. However, if it turns out that it IS a more serious case, you need to pass the horse by. What you're wanting to do is going to be too strenuous, and right now there are so many great horses on the market for a good deal who don't have issues like that.

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                  • #10
                    I am going through my first experience with it as well. I have a Level 4/5 Jumper for sale that since bringing home from trainer and throwing out in field (pregnant, now infant, blahblahblah) has started to gimp a bit.

                    Dropped her price by 80% and relisted her as broodmare or low level horse with maintenance needed. A LOT of people responded but most walked away when I said I just had her xrayed and she has ringbone on left front ankle.

                    Vet says once fused she could go sound again (should...) and until then no Level 4/5's- maybe low/local stuff once in awhile but definitely not every weekend- with shoes, supplements, and injections. But there are no guarantees.

                    It really depends on how much you like the horse. In my horses' case the person could always breed her if she went unsound which is a possibility once diagnosed with ringbone.

                    Good luck!

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                    • #11
                      It's one thing to manage this type of thing when it turns up in one you already own but....why ever would you want to buy a young and presumably lightly used at age 7 one that has this condition? IMO it is not even suitable for a broodmare if it came up with ringbone so young.

                      Has this mare been in a program being ridden 5 days a week, jumping once every week? Has she been shown at the 2'6" or 3' you wish to to do and handled the 30 to 45 fences a day there???

                      By all means have your vet take all new pictures and get the good PPE and do not trust a word the owner/seller tells you about how "it will never bother her" or "my vet said she should be sound on it". But that's going to cost you about 800+.

                      Ringbone does have several different definitions and variations but it will not just go away and most types are degenerative. if you are specificaly buying one for regular riding and jumping as well as to show? I'd really, really advise agains this one or spending another bunch of money for new x rays.

                      In this market, there is no need to settle for less just because you are on a budget.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                      • #12
                        Findeight said it well, and referencing Diablo.... I wouldn't even want to wait for it to fuse. Who knows how long that would take? It varies so much from horse to horse, and there's never a guarantee of complete soundness- more just a "less lame" guarantee with the caveat "level may vary from horse to horse."

                        Go forth and find yourself something that is suited for what you want to do

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                        • #13
                          Please walk away...my large pony had ringbone. Lots of shoeing bills, lots of vets bills and lots and lots of heartache...

                          RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry ..each horse is different but I would not take a chance.

                          Just my opinion.

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                          • #14
                            I very recently acquired an anglo-arab gelding (very long story) who is in his twenties and has ringbone. He has never been lame a day in his life and has never had to wear shoes. I'll admit, I don't know a whole lot about the condition, but my very limited experience with it hasn't been anything that would make me walk away from a horse I really liked.
                            "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                            -George Morris

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                            • #15
                              Honestly, if you don't own the horse yet, run far far away. I've never had a particularly good experience with ringbone.

                              I know you said that you only want to do 2'6", etc. but the horse I leased that had ringbone was only capable of doing 2'6" occassionally comfortably. Couldn't even do it on a regular basis. After years of minor soundness problems, he finally went lame enough that they couldn't fix it enough for him to be in more than very light work.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I personally would not buy a 7 year old horse with ringbone, nor would I advise anyone else to do so. An older schoolmaster with some age-appropriate issues who is worth his weight in gold, maybe, but not a 7 year old. Ringbone can be career ending.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Speaking from personal experience, we had a very nice Kentucky Mtn horse that had advanced ringbone and on a scale of 1-5 in lameness, she was a 5. She was in such pain and misery we had her put down. RIP Sierra.

                                  Ringbone doesn't get better and anyone who says they can cure it is a liar. We actually had someone tell us that she could "cure" ringbone.
                                  Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
                                    I very recently acquired an anglo-arab gelding (very long story) who is in his twenties and has ringbone. He has never been lame a day in his life and has never had to wear shoes. I'll admit, I don't know a whole lot about the condition, but my very limited experience with it hasn't been anything that would make me walk away from a horse I really liked.

                                    Yeah...BUT OP wants to specifically put this one in a regular program of riding 5 days a week jumping 2'6" to some 3' and that means, usually, at least 25-30 fences a week for lessons plus more at shows.

                                    Unless your gelding is in this kind of program over the years, it's not a fair comparison...and he is mid 20s. this one is 7.

                                    Plus most of us that have been around a long time are very familiar with the condition and have, unfortunately, alot of experience with it. I had a mid 20s type that was still going well over fences but ringbone was what finally took him out...and he sure did not have it at 7.
                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                      Yeah...BUT OP wants to specifically put this one in a regular program of riding 5 days a week jumping 2'6" to some 3' and that means, usually, at least 25-30 fences a week for lessons plus more at shows.

                                      Unless your gelding is in this kind of program over the years, it's not a fair comparison...and he is mid 20s. this one is 7.

                                      Plus most of us that have been around a long time are very familiar with the condition and have, unfortunately, alot of experience with it. I had a mid 20s type that was still going well over fences but ringbone was what finally took him out...and he sure did not have it at 7.
                                      I'll happily defer to the opinions of those more experienced with the condition than me. I was just mentioning this gelding because he really hasn't had any problems. He was diagnosed with ringbone at around age 8, but still managed to jump around up to 4'3" for several years. He was then put into a program on an equestrian team where he was going twice a day, with difficult flat work and 3'-3'3" fences. That was up until about a month ago. He's still sound. Apparently he's an exception.

                                      To the OP - I would say talk to your vet. If they say pass, I'd pass.
                                      "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                                      -George Morris

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                                      • #20
                                        Our retired show hunter/field hunter mare was retired at 13 due to her ringbone. When my husband was selling her at age 6, and she was vetted, her x-rays were TERRIBLE on that foot (although at that stage she had no issues from it). Although the buyer still wanted her (she was a packer in the hunt field), my husband was too concerned about it and decided against selling her. For the next 4 years (with regular continuous work, including showing, cross-country schooling, and hunting), she was 100%. The following 2 years included occasional lameness episodes, maybe 3-4/year for short periods. She had some injections, and continued. In February at age 13, I hunted her for almost 5 hours with a very fast/lots of jumping hunt. She was absolutely fantastic. And that finished her. She was on bute for about 1 week, given months off, etc., and she never came sound again for riding. We pulled her shoes, and keep her trimmed correctly. She has been 100% pasture sound unless it is really rocky, and you'd never think there was a problem with her unless you got on her, and then she's head-bobbing lame.

                                        So she's been a pasture pal for 3 years now, and is very happy. However, I would never knowingly buy a horse with ringbone again. She was an incredibly talented mare, and it was really a shame that she didn't have a chance to continue on due to the ringbone.
                                        Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

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