Eventing a Roarer... Calling any and all who have any experience or advice on this!
I own a 2009 ISH. He is well-bred, by "Bridon Beale Street" in the States, for those of you who may know of him. He was bred to event.
He has recently been diagnosed as a roarer (the vet said they could not get him to breathe hard enough lunging for 15 minutes, so she had to put him down as grade 3, but she said she thinks he may be more of a grade 2 or in between the two). He is still very green, he hasn't been backed for a year yet. So far I have not noticed much of an issue, just that you could hear him making a low puffing noise at the canter. He does not make a noise at the trot.
I would not have called him "exercise intolerant" and still would not... he has always had adequate energy and has rarely had any problem going forward (not counting when he had just been backed and was still very unfit). I would not say he is super forward, he is more like one of those "just right" horses, if you know what I mean. Not too forward but not too lazy. On a hot day, he would be on the lazier side. There are more times than not that I have to keep a check on him while riding in the field or on the trail.
I have done a ton of reading on this condition, the surgery, everything... If the surgery were a no brainer one-time fix, I would have had him have it in a heartbeat. But it is not. The surgery will be a last resort for me. I would rather see how far he can go without it, and IF I really wanted to go further with this particular horse, then it would be a decision I would make when it comes to that.
I have read that some people have evented horses who roar (some sound worse than my guy in cases), and the general reading was they kept them in perfect fitness, were careful with them, and used various aids to help them on XC (flair strips, wind aid etc.).
I have no real idea of just how far he can go right now. I have not galloped him yet, or done any really hard work that would push him to his limits. Since getting more food and added oil, he has energy plus, it seems.
The advice I have been given by my vet is to keep training him and trying and just see how far he can go. I had aspired to one day make it to prelim, possibly a 1*. I did not want to go any farther than that because I know how hard the higher levels are on horses, and I would never forgive myself if he dropped dead of an aneurism mid-course (no offense to anyone who competes at these levels, I have great respect for both horses and riders in them, it is just my personal feelings towards my animals).
So, I would REALLY like to hear from anyone! Anyone who has competed a horse that roars or knows someone who has? What level did they get to (what grade roarer were they?)? How did the horse cope? Anyone had the surgery done on their horse? How has it affected them? Anything you/they did in particular to make them more comfortable with the harder work?
Anything helps! I do not want to give up on this horse... selling him would break my heart, but I really want to compete. Kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. In the end I don't think I would sell him. I would just have to wait and try to make arrangements to buy a third horse (scary thought!).
As for now, I am going to keep training him and see how it goes.
Thanks so much and sorry about the novel!!