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To Buy or Not to Buy?

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  • To Buy or Not to Buy?

    I am looking at a 13 year old "been there done that" TB gelding to do 3' adult local stuff and some rated stuff with. He moves and jumps great. The owners are willing to sell him for $15,000 (trainer talked them down from 25). They said they had him on isoxoprene and legends when they were showing consistently. He hasn't been doing as much for the last year and a half so he could use some fitness and probably 100 pounds which will be no problem with our grass this time of year!

    I am worried about soundness here. I don't mind maintenance as you can expect that from a horse that has been campaigning around 3' and 3'6" at "A" and "AA" shows for quite a few years. We are X-raying his feet and hocks tomorrow. Everybody loves him but I don't want to buy him if he is going to be dead lame in a year. I definitely don't need a lame 14 year old gelding.

    He isn't lame right now at all but seems like he could probably use his hocks injected. The owner said they tried bar shoes but my farrier looked at him today and said he can't see why he would need them.

    What could be found on these X-rays that you would say absolutely no to? Is there anything else you would get the vet to do other than these X-rays and regular PPE stuff? I just went through two years of lameness issues with my last gelding that I had to retire. I don't want to do that again.

    Help!

  • #2
    Along with the PPE, get as much medical history and as many old rads you can track down. Doing maintenance on a horse in his teens is one thing, treating a chronic lameness is another, as you said.

    As long as his job isn't going to get harder, I would be as concerned with his history as with current pics.

    Have you thought about what you will do if it's the "N" word?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      That is actually my greatest concern. Talk of Isoxoprene and Bar shoes sounds to me like it. The past owner however had him for his entire career basically (since 4) and he has never been lame enough to warrant the cost to her for X-rays. Her vet said to her and me that as he got older, maintenance seemed to be needed so they tried the Isox which has worked and tried the bar shoes which didn't really do anything so they stopped. I don't think I would buy him if the vet thinks it's navicular. It's just hard to see the extent of trouble if there is nothing to compare it to so it's a tough decision. I'm very nervous. I do have faith in the seller though as she is letting me have him on trial for a week so I don't think anything is intentionally being hidden. Fingers crossed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Get radiographs. Assuming he doesn't have obvious navicular changes, ask yourself some questions:

        How do you feel about joint injections? Does that fit into your budget? How would you feel if he needed to live on bute? How long do you want him to do the job you are buying him to do? How do you feel about retiring another one? Or do you have contacts that will help you put him with a new owner (even as that might become a school program?).

        Buying one with "milage" at 13 isn't bad, if you are paying for a horse to take you from point A in your career to point B. You are purchasing his mind and experience. You will have to maintain the body or accept that it will cause you to move on from this one.

        Best of luck with your decision!
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • #5
          I would ask why he hasn't done anything for the last year and half.

          Other than that I had a 13 year old with mileage that we had on isox and legend monthly to keep him comfortable to do his job as an A/A. Horse was never lame except for the occasional abscess. I never had his feet xayed so have no idea if he had any issues there. I think if he has clean feet, and you get a decent answer as to the time off and you like him the go for it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Stuff like that in a thirteen-year-old

            bothers me much less than in say, an eight-year-old, where the decline is just beginning and you have no idea where it will go (I'm assuming navicular). Your vet should be able to help you make a decision. Have you had a chance to see how the horse holds up under steady work since he's been out of the game for so long?
            Trinity Farm LLC
            Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
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            Comment


            • #7
              Leae/ Buy

              Considering this nice horse has had some time off, could you lease him for a year?

              The time off doesn't bother me, a lot of nice second horses are having time off this past year, we just leased a very fancy one for a client that has been turned out for a little over a year.

              I agree with everyone on the PPE, and bar shoes are not just for navicular.

              The soundness is definitely a concern, have you looked at others within your budget?

              Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                I own an 18 year old equitation horse thats still going in the 3'6", he lives on isox and adequan/legend. Never been lame a day in his life. Its just maintaince to keep him happy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm too lazy to look this up...is Isox legal to show on?

                  Sounds navicular syndrome to me, as well. That being said, I had a cutting horse that displayed all the classic symptoms of navicular. Pics were clean. We couldn't keep her sound and threw her outside. Pics a year later showed the changes.

                  I've seen navicular horses that had slight changes and were dead lame. I've also seen navicular horses whose pics were horrible, and they never took a lame step.

                  Let us know what you find.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    *Update*

                    Did the PPE today. Horse has slight lameness in hocks and front right. Vet hasn't looked at the radiographs yet. Since the horse has been off and hasn't been on the maintenance stuff I am kind of leaning away from buying him. I really like him and maybe we could do a lease or something as I really love him but taking a chance on whether injections/isoxoprene/good shoeing/legends will work and keep him going and finding out 6 months from now I have a horse that is lame and I now own him isn't worth it to me. I am going to see what the radiographs say and if there are changes it's 100% no. What would you do? The horse would be so cool to ride and show for a while.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jack16 View Post
                      Did the PPE today. Horse has slight lameness in hocks and front right. Vet hasn't looked at the radiographs yet. Since the horse has been off and hasn't been on the maintenance stuff I am kind of leaning away from buying him. I really like him and maybe we could do a lease or something as I really love him but taking a chance on whether injections/isoxoprene/good shoeing/legends will work and keep him going and finding out 6 months from now I have a horse that is lame and I now own him isn't worth it to me. I am going to see what the radiographs say and if there are changes it's 100% no. What would you do? The horse would be so cool to ride and show for a while.
                      I don't think any horse you try at that age is going to be 100% in everything espically if it has a show record. The horse not being in work for a year really doesn't bother me. The owners not have enough money to show him/not enough time to ride him anymore. Any horse at 3' if going to need some type of upkeep. Buying a horse is always a risk. You could buy the perfect horse and have it get hurt playing out in the field. I think you are looking for something perfect and you are not going to find that
                      But its no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then

                      -alice in wonderland

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would suggest perhaps leasing the horse for 6 months if owner would do that, get him back into work and see how he does. You may find that he comes back into work and is very sound with a little maintenance, often the types of issues that it sounds like he has actually benefit from regular work and the horse gets stiffer if not in work. You may deicde at that point he is worth the investment, may decide to see if they would do a longer term lease or may decide it is not worth it.
                        www.shawneeacres.net

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          *Update*

                          Thanks so much for all of your help! I really love the horse and the owners are letting me have him at my barn for a week for a trial so I am really sure that they aren't trying to hide anything from me. I think I have decided that if his radiographs come back with nothing out of the ordinary I will take the leap. I don't mind maintenance at all as I would expect that with a 13 year old that has done everything from fox hunting to indoors.

                          I just want something that I can show on the local circuit and maybe take to a rated show nearby every now and then to do the 3' with. Outside of that I just want a horse that I adore to love on and ride and take care of. He has been a saint for my "Just getting to know you" mistakes. I will let you know what happens with the X-rays.

                          I really hope he works out. Thanks again, I don't know what I would do without all of the COTH opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would have a little concern about him being off in the right front, the hocks don't bother me much-wear and tear stiffness probably easily maintained-BUT-he has been off for a year? Be careful there. He should not be off in front after a year lay up.

                            Far as the rest, suspect navicular and you will need to consider what that costs to maintain with shoes and the meds like isox (no, not legal to show on). He may well need the bar shoes-and pads-when he goes back to regular work.

                            Be sure to ask your PPE vet what kind of maintainance s/he recommends shpuld you decide to go ahead on him-and ask what that is going to cost and how often it needs to be repeated.

                            Like I said, some issues are normal and most could be lived with as long as you know what yopu are getting into cost wise to keep him going but it bothers me this one has been off for that long and not in regular work but is showing off in a front.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              *Update*

                              So I decided to buy the horse after listening to two trainers and my vet. It turns out that his slight lameness in the front was actually do to a heel injury and since he hadn't been ridden consistently for a year and then was tried for 4 days at a big show it started to bother him. I X-rayed the horse to death and it turned out to be a bruise so no big deal. Vet said the X-rays obviously weren't perfect but he thought they looked better than he expected them to. I really love the horse and he was perfectly priced too. Sometime you just get a feeling and I had it with this guy. I knew he was the one. We are a couple of weeks into it and have injected his hocks and made sure the bruise is gone. The vet didn't see the need for any other maintenance so I felt okay about that. He is feeling fantastic now and seems really happy in his new home. Thanks for all the help. I think this guy has found his forever and ever home!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                So happy for you. Good luck in your future endeavors with him.
                                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  That's wonderful! Please post pics!
                                  Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                                  You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Jack16 View Post
                                    So I decided to buy the horse after listening to two trainers and my vet. It turns out that his slight lameness in the front was actually do to a heel injury and since he hadn't been ridden consistently for a year and then was tried for 4 days at a big show it started to bother him. I X-rayed the horse to death and it turned out to be a bruise so no big deal. Vet said the X-rays obviously weren't perfect but he thought they looked better than he expected them to. I really love the horse and he was perfectly priced too. Sometime you just get a feeling and I had it with this guy. I knew he was the one. We are a couple of weeks into it and have injected his hocks and made sure the bruise is gone. The vet didn't see the need for any other maintenance so I felt okay about that. He is feeling fantastic now and seems really happy in his new home. Thanks for all the help. I think this guy has found his forever and ever home!
                                    Congrats!! Sounds like a great deal all around! When do we get to see pictures???

                                    Seb
                                    Aca-Believe it!!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hmmm.....what you see is what you get. If the horse has a slight front lameness, you just bought a slight front lameness. I would much rather see a horse that is ridden more consistently be sound w/out meds, but show a little something on the xrays; than a horse that is already on meds and shows something on the xrays and is already a little off...
                                      Man plans. God laughs.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Congratulations, and good luck with your new best friend.
                                        It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                                        www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

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