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Pre Purchase trials and tribulations

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  • #21
    There is the old saying that you don't ride the x-rays. Most buyers don't feel that way. I would love to see what a Dr. Would find on the same scale of tests for the human buyer. No one and nothing is perfect. I sat through one of the most interesting Lectures at an AHS Annual Meeting. The vet was trying to find a common dominator of if x is present plus z then the horse is sound. Other horses with only x are lame. He had many photos of horses with many different problems and it was amazing how crooked etc some of these horses were and still very sound and still competing. I hope this makes sense it is very hard to describe.
    It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on.”
    ? Marilyn Monroe


    • #22
      Having just done a PPE on a horse, the vet said to me right up front, "I can't tell you whether a horse passes or fails. I'm just going to tell you what I see on one given day and it's up to you to determine whether it's an acceptable risk."

      For what it's worth, I've purchased with less than perfect x-rays and had the horse stay completely sound. My favorite lame pasture ornament still has beautiful x-rays. I passed on one that had questionable navicular x-rays AND showed heel pain with hoof testers. Had that horse seemed otherwise sound, I probably would not have had an issue.

      There is an inherent risk in every aspect with the horses. I am usually a buyer, not a seller, but if I had a young horse to sell, I would probably not offer x-rays to the buyer because the findings can be so incredibly subjective, and also because the insurance companies seem to love any excuse to exclude a limb (whether or not there is an actual issue). If the buyer wants their own x-rays, that is their call.
      The rebel in the grey shirt


      • #23
        Ok I am not a breeder but I had to downsize and had three sound horses for sale. All of them failed their first vet check.

        The mare actually had three different vet checks all by well known quality vets and each came back with something different. First one her back right didn't flex good suggested X-rays buyer walked. Second said her heartbeat was too slow wanted to get it ultrasounded, buyer walked. Third one said she breathed heavy maybe had allergies. Buyer bought lol. After that horse I thought I am never paying for a basic vet check LOL.

        I let my 3 year old Tb go on a trial. He was barefoot and when they vet checked him he had developed a chip in one of
        His hind feet. The vet said since he was an ottb he must have an old injury. He will never be sound etc. buyer sent him back. I had my vet take a look- she said he is a wimpy TB and the crack looks deep lets put shoes one. Voila sound horse and vetted fine with a different buyer and vet. He is eventing now with no issues.

        Last one was flexion testes on a rocky uneven driveway. He was barefoot but should have shoes. He was ouchy on all his feet. Vet said navicular get X-rays etc. I don't know why they didn't vet him on the cement pad behind the barn. I wasn there. Buyer fled. I told the next interested party what happened. The horse is 7 I had him for 5 years no unsoundness. They said they would vet him themselves...instead they took him on a two week trial and just called the vet who did the check (prospective buyer had released the info) then said they didn't want to pay X-rays so can they try him for a few months. I said NO and he came back.
        I didn't tell the next buyer about any of the vet stuff I thought clean slate- well horse world is small and they happened to
        Know the previous pple after they had tried my guy and liked him. They took him to the lameness doctor and told him had failed before. I thought there is no way he will pass this horse considering what the other vet is
        saying. Anyways horse passed flexions on level cement and lameness evaluation on hard and soft ground so they bought him.

        I hate Pre purchase exams it seems like a gong show. Vets seems to pick at everything so people will get X-rays which equals more money. And they still tell the buyer but it could show nothing and he still could be navicular! WTH at the same point I would do a prepurchase with X-rays for
        Any horse I want to high level competition I just would take everything in consideration and even get a second opinion if I really liked the horse.

        Breeders I would have X-rays on file for yourself but let buyers get their own vets out. From going through all the vet checks in a few months I know a buyer will come with a vet that passes and it obviously wasn't meant to be. None of my horse had old injuries, all had clean legs, and were in work.

        Vets need to make sure to use proper level ground preferably
        Cement for flexions...I don't know why they think they can waste people's money doing exams on horrible rocky ground. They should make sure if they can't hear or count a heart beat to get their helper maybe to try or the prospective buyer (my mare had a completely normal count with the other two vets and I checked her a hundred times the week after before, during, and after exercise and all was normal). Vets are too quick to write off a sound horse. Like my ottb with a crack in his hoof- umm no he is not just trail sound cause he had an old injury. He is 100% sound with just normal shoes on :O


        • #24
          Hi Tim,

          you put your finger right on it!! That is why I insist on getting the horses vetted at Morven Park and by Dr. Nat White preferably. Dr. White has been there and done it all and he's not a man of many words. Just recently I took a friend of mine's long yearling there because she had (in my opinion) capped hocks while the owner was worried about it being OCD. Dr. White had his specialist do an ultra-sound and then followed up with a couple of x-rays. The result was capped hocks due to some trauma (i. e. kicking walls?) and no other changes. Dr. White ended the visit by telling my friend that he had tried everything over the years when dealing with capped hocks - injections, drains, etc. - and in the end it didn't make a darn bit of difference. He recommended turning the filly out with lots of exercise and didn't expect the injury to be that noticeable once she reached maturity. How many vets do you know that will say things like that?? My friend was ready to invest lots of money in "fixing" this filly and I know of some vets that would have definitely taken advantage of that.


          Originally posted by RyTimMick View Post

          You are lucky to live near Marion Dupont Equine Ctr. They are a great resource. I however am not so lucky.

          I do not x-ray a horse unless there is a problem. It is my opinion that Vets do not know how to diagnose soundness. They are only trained on telling you why a horse is lame. I don't trust Vets to understand their role, so I clearly state it. I remind them that it is their role to evaluate the horse soley for the intended use as described by the buyer. Abnormalities that do not have a direct correlation to lameness are to be discussed as such, and not potentials for lameness. Last I checked Vets don't have crystal balls and can't tell the future. I have taken films and shown them to 3 vets, and gotten 3 different responses. I have had buyers walk, and had their x-rays reviewed by Olympic vets and told there is nothing to worry about. I have had Vets make up concerns to increase the number of services required to give an opinion to only have nothing be wrong. I have fired Vets on the spot for being shady or inexperience. One I fired just a month ago stated Fluid on the Lungs, fluid on the stifle, a 1 on lameness on a scale from 1-10, recommendation for scoping, $75 anti-biotics for the lungs, and a concern with a "Flutter" in the heart. This was 10 days after the mare had competed training level event, with unbelievable recovery time. The mare had just been examined 4 days prior by my vet with outstanding remarks. I hired a Diplomat of ACVIM to redo the Pre-purchase and handed him the notes from the previous Vet. Healthy heart, lungs, and no fluid or lameness. I ended up having to pay for the 1st vet as I fired him, but I will not tolerate Vets who are playing games while only covering their own you know what. The new owner is estatic with their horse.

          My recommendation is that you must manage the vets and the buyers expectations.

          Siegi Belz
          2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
          Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.