Soundness issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Soundness issues

Ok this is kind a long story and I am just starting to put all of it together.

I am keeping a horse for a family member who is very sick and not able to take care of her anymore. We are hoping that he will be improve to a point where he can take care of her again and may be even ride her.

We have been fairly distant until recently basically right be for he got sick. He has had horses for a long time and I knew quite a bit about the horses that he had before. About a year ago he sold his other horses and bought this older mare for trail riding and maybe to breed her as he did not want to show anymore. Communication with him is very difficult now that he is sick and most of the time I can get yes no answers but not too much more.

So I know very little about the mare's history and in fact all I know about her age is that is she is definitely over 12. I picked her up from the boarding facility that he had been keeping her at and tried to get information from the lady, Anne, who was boarding her. This is the same lady that he bought her from. Anne was very hard to deal with and clearly did not want me to take the mare. It turned out that she was using her and charging us full board, which was not cheap I might add (I gripped my heart at the number and staggered a bit). The mare was lame when I picked her up. A little swollen in the back fetlocks and she had a pulled a shoe and her hoof was wrapped. It turned out that the hoof that she pulled a shoe from was not damaged bad at all and could have not been wrapped at all.

When I finally got the vet records from one of the vet. She had been injected with about everything into every joint in her back legs over the past year. After having her for sometime now she seems to have no lameness issues in her back legs and her hoof now is healed well and has a shoe. Granted the most that I have done with her is some mild trails and walk-trot in the arena. Anne would not tell me anything about her when I asked. I even asked a couple of times for the mare's age and never really got an answer, she had a good way of avoiding telling me what I was asking. She would not tell me what vets had seen the mare and claimed to have no idea of when or what vaccines she had. Now I don't know about you but when I board a horse I keep copies of their coggins and vet records.

The mare does seem to be displaying the early signs of nuvicular. I am going to have my vet check it out soon. But do you think this Anne lady sold this horse knowing she had nuvicular and did not tell him? I really am thinking that the hoof wrapping was something done to try to scare me off of the mare. She also changed her story to different people and seemed kinda desperate when we said that we were moving the mare.

Sorry for the long crazy story but I just thought I would get some other opinions on the craziness.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 11:03 AM
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Wow, that's really wierd. The only suggestion I can offer is to get a vet check done on her asap and get a dentist out to take a look at her. She probably hasn't had her teeth done in a while and the dentist should be able to give a good estimation of her real age.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I already plan to have my vet come out and I am going to have him look at her teeth.

My other question was about breeding. I am reading more about nuvicular and there seems to be some indication of it being genetic. She was bought with the idea of breeding her. If she does have it would it be unwise to breed her? (she has already been bred before)
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 04:05 PM
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I have nothing to offer about the shady behavior from the lady that had the mare, but about the navicular, I do have a comment.

First, while some factors that pre-dispose a horse to nav. problems can be genetic-such as large body size with dainty legs and smallish hooves, or a horse that is heavy on the forehand naturally...most of the time, navicular problems will be created or exaccerbated by poor trimming, shoeing or even husbandry (meaning the caretakers don't do a good job of preventing thrush that can create a vicious cycle of ouchy feet that leads to compensating movement that can build up, over a long period of time, to navicular symptoms). Poor trimming, esp if shod, can create contracted heels, which can also lead to nav. syndrome. My feelings are that many horses that have it, do because of error on the part of the farrier or caretaker more often than the result of conformation.

All that being said, unless she's truely an exceptional mare, there is probably little to gain by breeding her right now, and would probably be cost DEficient compared to just buying a nice, young prospect.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Apart from her hoof wall a bit on the thin side her feet look good. They are a nice size for her body and she does't have contracted heels. I have put her on a hoof supplement since having her, but it really too soon to tell if that will help with the thin hoof wall (I think it will). I have already had my farrier out to put the shoe back on that she had pulled. This was before I had noticed the signs for navicular.

The signs that I am seeing is shortened steps in the front only on hills, the way she walks sometimes toe first, and more wear on the front of her front hooves. For the most part she seems fine, apart from the wear on the hooves I really only see the other problems on and off.

I am not really planning on breeding her right now considering the situation and not to mention the economy. I was just asking since I knew that that was one of his intentions when he bought her.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-22-2009, 07:25 PM
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Agree pretty much with barefoot(as usual ). I will add that 'navicular' is basically just a catch all name for unexplained heel pain tho. If 'properly diagnosed', xrays will also show bone &/or DDFT degeneration, which is one *result* of the heel pain & subsequent toe-first impacts, not the cause. Unfortunately, heel pain is extremely common & often unrecognised, until it becomes chronic enough to make the horse lame, when it is often labled as 'navicular'.

Recent studies suggest that it is likely the underdeveloped heels & digital cushions of domestic horses kept in conventional management - eg. stalled, soft pastures, little real exercise esp when young, etc. Poor trimming, genetic conformation, shoes, thrush, etc can exacerbate the problem, but it seems to me that the biggest problem is environment/management.

Ditto only considering breeding this horse if she is an exceptional type. Got any hoof pics to show us?
loosie is offline  

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