Advice on buying a horse with a old popped splint - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-19-2012, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on buying a horse with a old popped splint

Hello all, this is my first time posting on I am in need of some advice. I found a horse that I really like for sale, half Arab half Quarter horse. Young, three year old, beautiful movement. I went up yesterday to meet the horse for the first time, I had only seen pictures. She was a very nice filly, big, nice movement, looked to have nice conformation as well. I did notice that she has/had popped a splint on her inner right leg. Right below her knee, and a good size one too. I do not have a picture to show you, but I was able to feel the leg and the splint was very hard, no swelling, no heat and she didn't seem to mind me feeling/playing with it. I was able to see her trot around her pasture and she doesn't seem off or lame from it either. I have never had a horse with a popped splint and I'm unsure if it's really a problem? or just a eye sore. I asked the owner about it, and all they said is that she popped the splint. Not really knowing how or what happened? As a two year old she was shown in halter classes but the last year just been out to pasture. So not knowing when or what happened or if there is anything that can be done to minimize the size of the splint, I'm a little un-easy going forward in the purchase. Can anyone tell me a little more about what they know about splint issues? I have read all about what to do if a horse pops a splint, but can anything be done to a horse that has had this blemish for a while? Or weather or not I should be concerned that she has one in the first place? I just don't know. They are asking good money for this horse too, and yes, she is very pretty, but I would rather have a heathy, sound horse than a pretty one. Thank you!!
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-20-2012, 12:16 AM
Green Broke
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One of mine many years ago (he's now passed on) popped a splint. This was when he was probably about two. I had him until he was in his twenties. Over all that time, after the short initial soreness when it first popped, it never bothered him again and we had many adventures together.

It is my understanding that splints (which are actually damages done to one of the little minor bones in the leg) are fairly common and while unsightly don't usually bother the horse. The only possible exception is where the splint has happened close to the joint (which sounds like what may be your situation). The problem with it being close to the joint is that it has the potential to interfere with joint movement. Personally I wouldn't pay 'good money' for a blemished horse particularly if I wanted to show; however I would buy a horse with a splint if the price was appropriate. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, please get a vet involved to get it checked out.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-20-2012, 10:40 AM
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Agree with Chevaux. Have a vet check it.

Splints are vestal toes either side of the cannon bones just below the knees (and hocks). They are attached to the cannon by periosteal tissue and when this is traumatized (usually by a hard turn or by working doing something a horse should not until more mature) the splint may separate from the cannon or fracture and become inflamed. With time, this splint calcifies into a hard lump that is of little consequence unless it interferes with the joint.

In the interest of obtaining a sound horse, get a PPE including an Xray and opinion on the splint. Old and cold? Probably no issue at all. OTOH if the horse is back at the knee or exceedingly short or long in the pastern, she may pop the other splints in her front legs.. so be sure her front leg conformation is correct before going further.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-20-2012, 10:44 AM
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A pretty good portion of performance horses have popped splints. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-20-2012, 12:20 PM
Green Broke
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I would not worry about it, I've had many horses that came to me with splints. never had a problem with them.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-20-2012, 12:47 PM
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should not be a problem at all. my horse has one on each front leg from being crazy in the field as a youngster

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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-20-2012, 07:55 PM
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I have one horse that popped a splint at the track and one who popped a splint out at pasture. If you are looking to ride and have fun hang out horse then I would not consider it a reason not to purchase. If you are looking to show halter then I would reconsider. In most cases, splits don't cause lameness or indicate an potential soundness issue, they are cosmetic.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-20-2012, 09:43 PM
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Do you know the owner's reason for wanting to sell the horse? I don't know much about popped splints, but I would be wary if that is part of the person's reason for wanting to sell him because of possible lameness issues in the future, etc.
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