Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Missoula, Montana - Transplanted from Anchorage Alaska
New Horse Owner - Hard Lesson Learned - Note to Horsecrazy84
I was just reading a recent thread by Horsecrazy84 and searching for information on Navicular. This was my EXACT same story.
I bought a horse from the auction 4 months ago. I took an experienced horse friend with me to help me. Long story short, I bought a horse that seemed just perfect. We rode him before purchase, etc.... He came with a "Guaranteed Sound" certificate. About a month later I had another experienced horse rider ride Chip (his name) down to the stables where I boarded him and had a horse lesson. When the gal rode him down there I remember her telling me: "Something is just 'off' with this horse's gait" It wasn't severe, but perhaps a stone bruise. I sort of just brushed it off. I scheduled a lesson on his horse with a horse trainer and he too noticed something was just 'off' with Chip. Their exact words were: "It just seems like he is not tracking right in the back end. This did NOT show up on a walk, only at the trot and canter. No one thought it was bad enough to not ride him. The barn owner suggested perhaps taking off his shoes for a few weeks and see. He was still "off" but not enough to figure out what was wrong. We had the farrier come out again and do hoof tests. He was negative for pain. I only rode him very lightly in the arena for the next few months only 20 minutes at a time. A few more people noticed he was just not tracking right. Again, we had his feet checked and nothing came up.
Fast forward to TODAY: The barn owner thought perhaps he could use an adjustment from the chiropractor, so today the the chiropractor came out and adjusted Chip. He was sore in the neck and in his back hip. He told me Chip would be just fine after a few days rest. At this point I had been lying awake at night worrying, so right after the chiropractor was finished I hauled him in to see a vet. They took radiographs and then I got the most heart-wrenching call of my life.
CHIP IS COMPLETELY LAME!!!!!! I have been completely destroyed all day. The horse never complained one bit and tested negative with hoof testing by the farrier. Only a trained eye could see there was "something wrong with his gait". I never could tell myself and there were others who couldn't see it either. Chip has CHRONIC IRREVERSIBLE Navicular. He has severe navicular degeneration, bone spurs, cysts, calcification, and an old tendon tear that calcified. Chip is only 10.
I'm writing this because I noticed Horsecrazy84 for some reason doesn't seem to think a vet check is necessary. Please take my story into consideration before you dismiss the idea of having a vet check him. Chip is now so far gone that they didn't even recommend TRYING. He is in pain 24/7 and one would NEVER even know it because he's just a sweetheart horse that doesn't complain. I had professional horse people tell me yes he seemed a little off, but it's probably nothing, and being the worrier that I am I just wanted peace of mind from a vet. I'm grateful I did because Chip deserves to be relieved of his pain, probably by going to horse heaven. Not even the farrier noticed anything wrong.
Please get your horse checked if someone notices something is just "off". It cost me less than $100.00. Isn't your buddy who carries your bum around at least worth THAT? Do it for your horse, please. They so deserve it. I wish I had done it 2 months ago after the 2nd person mentioned he seemed "off".