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To vet or not to vet? (spinoff from not buying a horse from a failed pre-purchase)

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  • To vet or not to vet? (spinoff from not buying a horse from a failed pre-purchase)

    I have bought seven horses in the past 10 years and the two that I bought with full pre-purchase exams (passing w NO issues, 2 different Vets) have been the two with the MOST problems. In fact they have been nightmares financially.
    Anyone else purchase multiple horses, some with vettings some without? How did it go?

  • #2
    I bought my guy without vetting him. Havent had any problems (*knock on wood*). I did get his hocks injected, but hes 15, so thats normal.
    "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by pixie View Post
      I have bought seven horses in the past 10 years and the two that I bought with full pre-purchase exams (passing w NO issues, 2 different Vets) have been the two with the MOST problems. In fact they have been nightmares financially.
      Anyone else purchase multiple horses, some with vettings some without? How did it go?
      Horse #1: PPE, basic. (22 yrs at PPE) Horse was sound partner until died age 38--went on a five mile trail ride the day before, went cantering and bucking to field that morning. No complaints there.

      Horse #2: Basic PPE with X Rays. (9 yrs at PPE) Had horse two years, never unsound.

      Horse #3: Basic PPE. (7 yrs at PPE) Horse sound for 6 yrs, then pasture potato. Died age 20ish due to complications from condition that rendered pasture ornament.

      Horse #4: Basic PPE plus X rays. (9 yrs at PPE) Horse has been with me since '96 and is going strong at age 22 as a 4H and Pony Club mount with my god daughter.

      Horse #5: No PPE, horse 7 yrs. Sound for 2 yrs, then died of neurological rhino while on lease with little girl.

      Horse #6: Basic PPE + Xrays (9 at time of PPE). Still sound and working now at 18 yrs old; had a kick injury and some other minor boo boos which resulted in rest but no break down issues.

      Horse #7: Basic PPE (14 at time of PPE). Developed arthritis in shoulder 5 months after purchase, but was sound unless rider posted on left diagonal. On rt or sitting trot, sound. Died of strangulating lipoma 10 months after purchase.

      Horse #8: No PPE. (12 time of purchase) Sound two years post purchase, no problems thus far.

      Horse #9: Basic PPE. (11 time of purchase) Developed arthritis in knee 4 months post purchase. We are playing with adaquan, bute, Next Level freed through supplements, had a knee injection, and she is currently trotting up sound on a good day, servicably sound on a bad day. She was bought for light work and trail riding for my SO, who is the one who lost horse #7 to strangulating lipoma. Poor guy feels cursed.

      So there you have my sample!
      Eileen
      http://themaresnest.us

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      • #4
        Vet, Vet, Vet, Vet!!!!!

        The money you spend in a pre-purchase will be the cheapest vet bill you will ever pay if it prevents you from buying a horse with a hidden career ending condition!!!! I want to know everything I can about a horse before I buy him. Does that mean the PPE must be spotless? Of course not, but as much as humanly possible, I know what I'm getting myself into before I buy. Done it the other way -- never again.

        Now, just so you know, the PPE is not any kind of insurance that Mr. Pony is not going to run right out and try to commit hari kari as soon as the check clears the bank ... that my dear is a given either way!!!
        ------------------------------------------
        http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/pr...oomtopriceless

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        • #5
          I never vet any horse that I am buying myself. Has it gotten me into trouble? only once (and that is in literally over 100 horses I have bought). I pretty much know what to look for and know what I am willing to live with. I ahve purchased horses a couple times and done a post purchase "vetting" i.e. there was something I was curious about and wanted an xray of, and so I was basiaclly already narrowing down what I wanted to see.

          I do however, recommend that any "novice horse owner" have a horse vetted. All of my students get theirs vetted as I recommend them too, with the exception of a few saintly old souls that are "passed around" thru my students, teaching someone and then resold to another one of my students (by the owner, not me). Their physical limitations are known and well documented so noone goes into it "blind". I have one right now that is boarded here that is teaching the fourth student of mine. He is 20 yrs old and INVALUABLE although limited in his capabilities.
          www.shawneeacres.net

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          • #6
            vet

            I would always vet a horse before I buy it. Even if it does have problems, and you still decide to buy it, you will at least know what problems you are working with.

            Comment


            • #7
              Horse 1: Bought with full vetting, x-rays after positive flexion, decided what we were seeing wasn't of major concern (based on age and other factors). Ended up navicular (completely unrelated to what we had seen in x-rays), sold to trail home.

              Horse 2: Vetted, "failed vet," did not buy. It was a young horse and we didn't want to deal with soundness issues so early on. I am not sure if this horse is sound/competing/whatever, but to me, it wasn't worth the risk.

              Horse 2: Bought with full vetting, x-rays of front hooves, all seems normal given age/history, and so far, he's been sound (have owned for a little over a year) and has worked out better than I could have hoped for.


              Lesson I've Learned Via Observation: Sometimes you vet, find nothing, and end up with something. Sometimes you vet, find something, and end up with nothing. But I would never want to buy a horse and not KNOW what I was potentially getting into.

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              • #8
                I always vet. I like to have a baseline so that I understand what is going on with the horse.

                Also, twice I've had vets find things during the PPE that were not visible without films, but which gave me pause for concern based on my intended use for them. One I bought, the other horse I passed on.

                You don't need to x-ray them until they glow -- but I find it very helpful to know what's going on in the major joints and the front feet.

                Here's a blog posting that I wrote on the subject.

                Should you do a PPE before buying a horse?
                Last edited by Bogie; Aug. 16, 2009, 12:18 AM. Reason: added link
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                • #9
                  Vet!

                  I highly recommend vetting, a horse I did a PPE failed because he had bone chips in his hock. He would have became lame if I began a jumping career with him.

                  The second horse we did a gamble with, we did not x-ray but just a basic PPE. This was only because we had a 90 day trial on him. We got lucky with him, I got ten wonderful years out of him before he had to retire at 18 years old (due to an career ending injury he sustained out in the pasture)

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                  • #10
                    I always have a PPE done, including xrays.
                    When I'm willing to pay close to six figures for a horse, he better be sound.
                    Sure the horse may develop issues in the future, but why start out with a problem?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Totally depends. I don't generally vet the ones I buy, but then again, I buy mostly cheap (less than $5K) horses.

                      I passed on one young horse that totally flunked his flexions - didn't even bother to x-ray. I then watched him clean up at the shows with the person who did purchase him, and kicked myself when they sold him a year later for about 10 times his original purchase price.

                      Conversely, a client of mine did a full PPE with extensive x-rays on a 6yo horse that had a very clean vetting. A year later, the horse was retired to pasture board because of terrible degenerative ringbone in both front legs. Xrays were totally clean at the time of purchase, and there was no injury - just the most agressive DJD our vet had ever seen.
                      Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Vandy;4309697]

                        I passed on one young horse that totally flunked his flexions - didn't even bother to x-ray. I then watched him clean up at the shows with the person who did purchase him, and kicked myself when they sold him a year later for about 10 times his original purchase price.

                        (/QUOTE]

                        I bought a horse in a similar situation...flunked hocks but I bought her anyway, and she won everything for 3 years; easily the best horse I will ever own.
                        Man plans. God laughs.

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                        • #13
                          Would you buy a horse that has a crack in one of his front hoof? Just wanted thoughts or opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AHorseSomeDay View Post
                            Would you buy a horse that has a crack in one of his front hoof? Just wanted thoughts or opinions.
                            Depends on what my vet thinks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Vandy View Post
                              Totally depends. I don't generally vet the ones I buy, but then again, I buy mostly cheap (less than $5K) horses.

                              I passed on one young horse that totally flunked his flexions - didn't even bother to x-ray. I then watched him clean up at the shows with the person who did purchase him, and kicked myself when they sold him a year later for about 10 times his original purchase price.

                              Conversely, a client of mine did a full PPE with extensive x-rays on a 6yo horse that had a very clean vetting. A year later, the horse was retired to pasture board because of terrible degenerative ringbone in both front legs. Xrays were totally clean at the time of purchase, and there was no injury - just the most agressive DJD our vet had ever seen.

                              Even with "cheap" horses, I would have a PPE done.
                              The initial price is nothing compared to vet bills, lay ups and the possibility of ending up with pasture potato.
                              A PPE can't guarantee a horse will be sound in the future, but why start out with a problem?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                cracked feet

                                Would you buy a horse that has a crack in one of his front hoof? Just wanted thoughts or opinions.




                                Probably not as I have experienced this with the end result having the horse euthanized. He did not come with a crack but sprouted one during some hard footing at a show. Very good blacksmith could not control it and the horse was pretty lame. He then foundered on the good foot, then the other......

                                IMHO jumping horses don't do very good with cracks in their feet on the quarters.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Pixie-Thanks for your input. That is a concern of mine. If I decide to buy him and have him vetted out, that would be the first thing I would have the vet check. I don't want to buy a horse who will not be sound. I can't afford to have a pasture ornament.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have vetted a number of them, and not vetted a number of them. I just bought two young horses without vetting them and hope that turns out ok. They are both young and haven't done anything and have no injury history, and clean legs. We'll see. I have also bought a lot of horses off the track and never vet them. This has only bitten me in the proverbial buttocks once, knock on wood. If I were to ever buy a high dollar horse that has already been working, then I would vet it without a doubt. It really depends on your situation, your intended use for the horse, how much you're willing to put into the PPE, and how much you're willing to gamble if you don't do one.

                                    As for the hoof crack, it really depends on where it is, how bad it is, and what the vets/farrier say about it. "Hoof crack" is too broad a category to comment on, IMO. Could be perfectly fine if it's a superficial crack thats simply the result of not having regular proper farrier work done.
                                    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

                                    http://www.halcyon-hill.com

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