Jumping Horse Pre-Purchase - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-31-2009, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Question Jumping Horse Pre-Purchase

I'm getting a pre-purchase on an 8 year old jumper. I'm thinking I should get xrays on joints. Should I get xrays even if he passes the flexion/lameness tests? What joints? Fetlocks, knees, hocks and stifles? Also this horse had an abscess last year...should I xray that hoof or would an xray even show anything with that sort of thing?
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-31-2009, 11:42 AM
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Let your vet lead you on the x-rays, but generally for a horse you are going to be jumping and that has jumped in the past x-rays are a good idea. Unless there is foot pain, there isn't any need to get an x-ray of a hoof just because a horse had an abcess in the past year.

Good luck!

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-31-2009, 01:03 PM
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I would get an x-ray in the foot just to make sure there are no bony changes or rotation in the coffin bone. I would also be checking for arthritis in the coffin joint and lower joints in the front legs, as this is one of the most common places for arthritis to start.
Depending on how high the horse is jumping, and how high you want to jump him I would get full x-rays. If you are doing about 3'0 ++ then I would definitely get a full work up. I would also send the x-rays to two different vets of your choice (not the owners) and get opinions. The horse will have something wrong (and if he doesn't, snatch him up QUICK) and you are going to have to decide whether you are ready to do the upkeep on it. If he isn't already I would also get him on a monthly routine of IM Adequan and IV Legend, if you get the generics it wont cost more than $100/month for vet administering and the drugs. It costs me $60/month and I pay for vet travel and admin. and drug/equipment costs. This is really the only reginment clinically proven to prevent and treat joint disease which is going to be your biggest enemy in keeping the horse sound.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-01-2009, 09:31 PM
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When i did a pre-purchase exam on my event horse i had xrays of all joints and feet, flexion test on all 4 legs, regular routine checkup, and i rode him for the vet. And i got a second opinion on the xrays from another vet.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-01-2009, 09:55 PM
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I think it depends on how much money you are willing to pay. When I went shopping for my high performance jumper, I had the flexion and soundness test done, then anything that looked off I had x-rayed. Keep in mind, nothing is going to be completely perfect, but if you can afford it, I would x-ray the hocks and the front feet, which from my experience, have been the 2 areas that usually show the most changes with jumpers. Now, if you are buying a GP jumper or vetting an expensive imported horse, I would have everything x-rayed and blood work done. Also, something a lot of people neglect to check for is soundness of wind, which can impact a jumper's performance. That's pretty much all I can think of, and get YOUR vet to do the pre-purchase instead of theirs!
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-01-2009, 10:55 PM
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I would highly recommend getting xrays, flexions only tell you so much. We had a girl at our barn do a prepurchase on a jumper who passed his flexions/lameness exams with flying colors. When the vet saw his xrays there were so many issues going on that he could "fall apart at any moment" and flat out said "do NOT buy this horse", which I"ve never heard him say before. and I haven't seen that horse at any shows recently... I usually recommend at minimum hocks, stifles, and front feet. I don't think you need to get his feet xrayed because of the absess but you do want to see if there are any navicular changes, coffin bone issues, etc. I'd also ask his owners if they've xrayed him before and request to see them if they have. It's always nice to have the option of comparing previous xrays to see if there are changes and to what degree.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-01-2009, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryle View Post
Let your vet lead you on the x-rays, but generally for a horse you are going to be jumping and that has jumped in the past x-rays are a good idea. Unless there is foot pain, there isn't any need to get an x-ray of a hoof just because a horse had an abcess in the past year.

Good luck!
I agree. I would get the fetlock and hoof looked at (definitely), considering the sensitivity and abscess. Good luck with your new horsey!


I have 2 horses right now: Tosca my TBxWB black mare, out of Grand Prix stallion, Figaro. I have my Bay Arabian broodmare, Triana. I jump about 4 feet.
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