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Horse Vetting Advice

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  • Horse Vetting Advice

    Good morning,

    I need some advice, if you all don't mind. I am in the process of searching for a new hunt horse (a prospect will be all my budget will allow). I started this adventure about two months ago. I fell in love with the second horse I tried. Gelding, 17hh, 5yo, OTTB, in my budget (woohoo!) and I know his whole history! I knew the farm he was bred at, the trainer he trained with at the track, and the trainer that now owns him and was selling him. He is a lovely horse.

    Last week I had my vet go and check him out. He ended up scoring a 3/5 lame on his right hind flexion. The trainer then did a couple x-rays on the horse and found nothing in either joint hock or stifle that could be responsible for the lameness- no chips or bone spurs or other fishy stuff- clean x-rays.

    I was so disappointed. I'm sure many of you have been here too.

    I spoke with the former breeder about any lameness she may have seen- none. I spoke with the track trainer to be sure he hadn't seen anything- nothing.

    My only other horse is a lameness bonanza. He needs hock injections and special shoes to stay sound (-ish) so I am nervous about having another lame horse in the barn.

    Should I just walk away or give this boy a couple weeks and recheck him? To the folks who buy horse more often than I- is this something you would just walk away from?

    I thought since I was so close to Ocala, FL that I wouldn't have any trouble finding a new project (OTTB) but turns out this search is a pain in the butt that is going to drive me to drink! If I should move on, do any of you have suggestions on other website or resources I can search? Equine.com, foxhunters.com, dreamhorse, I've mentioned to my master what I'm looking for... am I missing anything? (Please don't yell at me I know this is in another thread as well I just chunked it in here in case I'm missing something obvious.)

    Thank you all for all your help. I hope you all are having a great cubbing season so far!!!


  • #2
    How modest is your budget? There is a fabulous Facebook group (presuming you have a Facebook account) entitled "Hunt Horses For Sale", I have seen things posted around $3500, some that have even started roading/cubbing. And very reasonably priced "made" horses around 8-10K. Though, you may have to travel.

    I haven't had tremendous success with OTTBs over 17 hands staying sound for very long.


    • #3
      Personally, if I like the horse (which sounds like you do) and he xrayed clean, and he is sound on the ground and undersaddle I would go for it. Flexions can be deceiving.


      • #4
        Have the leg ultrasounded. I had a similar situation...perfect xray but u/s showed series of micro- tears in a ligament. That said, with some rest and a series of shock wave treatments, she is fine. My few hundred dollar ex- race horse cost me more in vet bills in the first 60 days of owning her than her purchase price, but she's one of the nicest horses I' ve ever owned and vets give her a good prognosis for long term soundness.


        • #5
          I too, had a foxhunting prospect on trial who I loved - great horse with a great mind. When I had him vetted, he also scored 3/5 on lameness but works his way out of it to a 2/5. He also had an OCD lesion on his xray AND shivers! People told me to pass on him, but since my vet said I could hunt him (I would only hunt once a week anyway) and event him, I took a gamble on him. Especially because at that point, the seller gave him to me for free.

          That horse is a flippin champ.

          Yes, I took a big gamble on him and I lucked out. I know every horse is different and I would never tell anyone to do or not to do something - but do what you feel good about. I felt really good about this horse and he's an amazing foxhunter, as it turns out.


          • Original Poster

            Thank you all for your advice.

            I have decided to keep looking... I'm sure that I will probably see that horse out eventing and bring generally fabulous but Murphy's Law tells me if I do buy him he'll never take another sound step the rest of his life

            And the search continues! This is so nerve racking!

            Thanks again!!!!


            • #7
              Come to the All TB Show Dec 2nd Longwood Farm if you don't find something before. There will be horses there that need re homing and a bunch from rescues that are in training! www.tbhorseshow.com
              Karen Grimes, Horse Farm Realtor Ocala, owner Farm Tours of Ocala Just say no to snow! http://www.horsedirtforsale.com


              • #8

                How about another vet to do the PPE.?? If you really like the horse; wouldn't it be worth it to get a second opinion. ? I agree sometimes flexion tests can be a tad subjective maybe. Peace of mind is worth $$ sometimes! I would not share the info with the sellers if it's good too btw. Get the price down with the first vets opinion!!
                And I second the ultrasound. Tendon injuries are so rampant in ottb's and so healable too!
                To me the secret is to use a vet you trust.