This horse is a 10 y/o Oldenburg, 16.1. He was started in dressage then leased out for two years to a girl that showed him in the JR Hunter division. Story was that he has been out in pasture for the last 9-12 months and only returned to work over the last twelve weeks. He was lunged for two weeks as a general return to work and has only been back under saddle about 10 weeks due to the horse’s trainer moving barns and the owner not having the time or inclination to ride him. I saw him twice and really liked him. A rock solid manner, easy to sit gaits; right there in a frame when asked. Sure, he had his quirks..he was a grump fresh out of the stall and a nipper for that reason but once tacked up he was great.
One initial concern, or “disclosure,” was that he had lacerated his right front fetlock while trying to jump a fence as a young horse. There was visible scar tissue but from what I could see, and feel, it was cosmetic only. I was “assured” that ultrasounds of the joint and tendon had come back clean at the time of recovery from the injury and it was an old scar..that I could tell. On the first day the horse was tripping a bunch but the footing in the arena was very deep as I found out the second day I saw him and we measured it at 6 inches; the arena is very new plus he had a very loose left hind shoe. Now, taking vids over the two days I saw him, I forwarded those to more than several people including two of my trainers that have known me for many years and my vet (and by extension his resident vet). The concern came up, and was confirmed by the vets, of probable stifle slipping AKA upward fixation of the patella. Not necessarily a deal breaker so long as nothing else was adding to the problem which x-rays would have shown. Now on to the fun part.
I went into the PPE fully armed but realistic. I had made up my mind that if he flexed clean and x-rayed clean I would take him into very serious consideration..and there it all ended :). This PPE wasn’t about finding something wrong but turned more into trying to find something RIGHT. First, in the initial chat with the vet, the trainer suddenly came out that the horse had a low bow as a second injury a few years after the fetlock laceration (and pre-hunter days) and that ultrasounds showed the bow was completely healed and “cold” without causing issues. Now, to be fair there were five and a half things good..five in that I give him his good brain…he could see, he could hear, his left hind shoe was freshly nailed on and his left front leg was sound after flexing..oh, the half part..his teeth were good for about 6 months..other than that….
When the vet palpated his back and SI area the horse practically sat down. He flexed positive, with a 2 out of 5 ranking in both hinds and a 1 out of 5 in the right front; vet indicated she thought that cosmetic only scar tissue had actually penetrated the joint. He had three shoes that were loose (the farrier was there on Tuesday) and all four feet needed to be trimmed..including the left hind. With 6-12 months of rehab he MIGHT be ready for sale..as a trail or pleasure horse.
Here are a couple of vids..he really is cute but geez….