Let me start by saying I am in the process of adopting a new horse.
I want to adopt a horse from a rescue group, or at least try, before I consider buying. I'm not looking for show, just a sound riding horse for trails and "fun."
Today, I spoke to a specific horse rescue group about a horse they had available. They showed me a palomino mare, and told me that she had no health issues, only allergies. That she was a good riding horse, and had been used on trails quite a bit. One of their very, very few riding horses.
This mare was the only mare that appeared to be shod. The Trainer / farrier told me, last time I went out, that they kept their horses barefoot. This one was shod.
She seemed to have an amazing personality, and put up with a lot on the ground, her manners were spectacular and she was beautiful. I put on a hold on her, and got home and did some more research on the specific horse, when I found this:
We would like you to meet Nilla, a 20 year old Palomino mare who has lameness, possibly founder issues, in the front. She currently has shoes on that have pads. She was used as a broodmare, and she is trained to ride. She was rescued at an auction and so the previous owners didn’t have a lot of history on her.
When I first read this, I was angry. I was angry that they wouldn't have discussed this with me. I was angry that they would call her a good riding horse if she was lame with founder. But I've taken time to calm down a little bit, and I sent this email:
My name is Kaela. I came down to the shelter today (7/30/2012) to look at the horses available for adoption, and moved my hold, hopefully for the last time, to "Nilla," a palomino Quarter Horse(?) mare.
When I was at the shelter, I brought up that her 1-800-Save-A-Pet / Adopt-A-Pet page said that she was special needs. The two employees working there didn't know why it said she was special needs, and told me she was healthy, other than having allergy problems.
When I got home from the shelter, I was reading through your blog, and found a page that said that Nilla is lame, and may have founder. I was wondering if this has been confirmed or dismissed, and if not, when the next time the vet will be in, so I can speak to her about these issues. I am not looking to adopt a lame horse, I am a hard rider, and need a horse with get-up-and-go and can be ridden regularly, and hard.
The man who helped me look at the horses today told me later this week they would evaluate her level of training, and see how broke she was then contact me afterwards. I did notice she was shod, when I was sure that the man who helped me previously told me the horses are generally barefoot, so does she have founder or other hoof issues that you know of, or, again, can you please let me know when the vet can be out to check her, and I can come out and speak with the vet?
Thank you so much.
Now, I will be speaking with a vet - be it their vet, or my vet. But the reason I'm posting here is, I want some opinions from people who may be more experienced with founder. Does this, "lameness and possible founder" seem to suggest that this horse isn't - or will never be - a good riding horse? Will she ever be sound, if founder is the issue? If this is fixable, and she can be back under the saddle, will fixing it be expensive, and will this be an ongoing issue? In your personal opinions - should I cancel my hold or see about moving it to a more sound horse?
I'll be back out there soon, and hopefully, can speak with a vet as soon as possible, I just want as many opinions as I can get before I make such a decision to pass up on this wonderful horse, or adopt an unsound horse.
(I never seemed to notice any "founder stances" in her.)
I sincerely thank in advance any one who's willing to give me any kind of advice. Thank you kindly,