Looking at a horse but has low pasterns... advice please
   

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Looking at a horse but has low pasterns... advice please

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  • Problems with low pasterns
  • What can u do for low pasterns in horses

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    10-02-2013, 12:36 AM
  #1
Weanling
Looking at a horse but has low pasterns... advice please

Ok so I was perusing on local craigslist ads and came across this gorgeous Shire mare. Picture the horse from Brave. The owner described her as everything that I have been looking for- a slow kid/beginner safe trail horse that is super slow and calm and gentle- and a plus is that she is a drafty. :) I can deal with fact that she may not be great at loading and has no papers. She was/is a rescue and that's fine as well. (although they are not sure on her age- they say between 10 and 15 from the look of her teeth)

But I am really concerned about the fact that she has low hind end pasterns. I've never dealt with this kind of conformation fault before but I know that it is NOT good at all for the overall health of the horse- horses live on their feet- no feet no horse. The owners say that they don't know if its from being malnourished/starved before she was rescued or if its genetic.

My concerns are that maybe she is slow because she's in pain? They say she has not been lame while they've owned her but that may still not indicate if she is hurting.

Another fear is that if she is older, like 15 , are her odds of this trait degenerating into non-use going to happen much faster? Please don't misunderstand but my view is if you put the money into purchasing/caring/feeding a horse, you'd probably want to get the most use/time as possible with them before retiring them. I know that I could buy a 20,000 dollar show horse one day and it could keel over in a week due to some unforeseeable circumstance but in this case I see a posing threat but do I take the risk- woud it be worth it? I see it going two ways- Either I get burned with only a very short time of use and then a lame horse that cant/shouldnt be ridden ever again and need special treatments for the rest of her life or need to be put down to end her pain OR I get some fantastic years with her and have one of the best horses I ever had the pleasure of owning with no to little issues? I know no one can make the decision but me but still what are others thoughts? Does anybody have any experience with horses with this trait and their quality of life?

Also they are asking $1,000 for her but that seems pretty high for a conformation fault like that, and that she is grade- no papers and is a rescue but if she is as bomb/kid proof as they say she is is that a fair price? What would be a reasonable offer for her if not? Should I ask her to be checked by a vet-PPE and have her tested for those low pasterns? To find the cause before I buy her?

There is no plans yet for me buying her- I still have to find time to go out and meet her- but hopefully soon. :) So this is all just hypothetical. But I am crazy about her... just not her pasterns-call me crazy I guess lol.
     
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    10-02-2013, 12:41 AM
  #2
Trained
If she has made it 15 years without a problem, then I doubt it will be in the future, however if you do consider buying her, I would get a vet check as I would with any horse I would consider purchasing. I highly doubt the horse is travelling slowly under saddle because she is hurting, when horses hurt, they limp or misbehave or both.
     
    10-02-2013, 12:55 AM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
If she has made it 15 years without a problem, then I doubt it will be in the future, however if you do consider buying her, I would get a vet check as I would with any horse I would consider purchasing. I highly doubt the horse is travelling slowly under saddle because she is hurting, when horses hurt, they limp or misbehave or both.
Thank you, I will definitely ask for a PPE just to make sure she is sound all around- that is after I meet her, test her out, and get a good look myself at her pasterns and how she behaves and am still 100% interested. I don't know if is is 15 or if she's younger, I was just wondering that if age and the low pasterns get worse over time. I suppose her age could be checked out during the PPE as well- would be nice/good to know if I would have more prospective years with her.
Cynical25 likes this.
     
    10-02-2013, 01:42 AM
  #4
Trained
I just looked at a gelding with the same problem. He was nearly straight through the hocks and very horizontal in the pasterns. I didn't even try him, told the seller to look for a light rider/ child for him. Friend of mine had a broodmare, had her PTS at age 22 because she broke down, fetlocks touching the ground when standing.
I did read about it being a nutritional problem. I'll see if I can find the link.
LadyChevalier likes this.
     
    10-02-2013, 02:01 AM
  #5
Trained
Can't find the article, just snippets of other articles and threats on other forums. But check out the DSLD/ESPA group on yahoo.
LadyChevalier likes this.
     
    10-02-2013, 02:08 AM
  #6
Weanling
Thank you deserthorsewoman!

Also I am wondering if I can post the picture of her? It would be the one from the ad so its not my picture nor would I claim rights to it. Or should I share a link? Its no good at really judging her conformation but I can see at least one hind pastern is definitely lower than it should be (left hind).
     
    10-02-2013, 02:09 AM
  #7
Weanling
I would pass. If the horse has DSLD there is no way I would pay money for him. I would consider it if the horse was free and I could afford having another retired horse.

My mare has DSLD. She was funny in the hind end for years before her legs swelled and it was finally diagnosed. Had to retire her at age 19- we go for 30 minute walks only. My friend's Paso has dropped pasterns and is fine for riding... For now. She is planning on retiring him if/when he goes lame.

Some horses go downhill fast. I know a saddlebred at age 17 who has a really severe case- onset in under a year.

My mare had an initial flare up over a year and a half ago and has been okay since. She is comfortable on pasture and once we got the initial swelling down she stabilized. At least for the time being. I was told that this is progressive and she will eventually get worse. It could be tomorrow or it could be 5 years from now.

My friend's Paso's pasterns actually look much worse than my mares (more dropped and swollen) and he's still sound. I'm not sure why?

All my vet said was that my mare probably has severe arthritis as well as the dropped pasterns.

DSLD/ESPA Symptoms, Diagnosis and Management

I would send the owners of the horse an email telling them that you are no longer interested and give them information on dropped pasterns. Encourage them to re-think selling and retire the horse. She could end up being put down if the new owners do not want to retire a horse like her.
     
    10-02-2013, 02:52 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyChevalier    
But I am really concerned about the fact that she has low hind end pasterns. I've never dealt with this kind of conformation fault before but I know that it is NOT good at all for the overall health of the horse- horses live on their feet- no feet no horse. The owners say that they don't know if its from being malnourished/starved before she was rescued or if its genetic.

...Does anybody have any experience with horses with this trait and their quality of life?

Should I ask her to be checked by a vet-PPE and have her tested for those low pasterns? To find the cause before I buy her?
These are good questions. Low pasterns can be due to conformation but they can also be caused by injuries that were left untreated.

When you go to see her I would advise you to take a good look at her ligaments and tendons. Palpate them to see if there is any enlargement and/or thickening which could be due to injury. If the suspensories have been injured and have thickened and hardened there really isn't anything that can be done about it. It's not something that can be reversed.

The only way to really "see" what is going on inside is to have ultrasounds done. This costs a couple hundred dollars and is not included in a PPE unless you ask for it. Ultrasounds can tell you if there is damage or tears in the suspensory ligament.

As far as quality of life, I had a stallion who had horribly damaged hind legs. I bought him sight unseen and when I took my first look at him I burst into tears. I was sure I was going to have to put him down. (By the way, he passed a "vet check" done by a quack in Colorado). Long story short, I had him for 9 years. He was a sweetheart who enjoyed his life. In spite of the damage to his legs I never saw him limp or refuse to move. I never rode him, just loved him a lot and gave him lots of neck and wither scratches. He used to stand with his neck stretched up like a giraffe and he'd drool, he loved being scratched so much. I had to have him put down just over a year ago. He was 25. I still miss him.
deserthorsewoman likes this.
     
    10-02-2013, 03:08 AM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4horses    
I would pass. If the horse has DSLD there is no way I would pay money for him. I would consider it if the horse was free and I could afford having another retired horse.
I have no way of knowing if she does have DSLD unless she gets checked by a vet- and I doubt that since the owners are selling her, that they'd interested in paying for a vet to come out if they havent already done so but after reading the article it sounds like it is something that I would rather not get myself into, especially paying $1,000 to get into... and then some for paying hundreds on on PPE. If all she could really safely (for her benefit) be used for only as a pasture ornament or retired horse- I can't afford to be interested. Its just sad, that such a great horse has such a undesirable flaw. :(
     
    10-02-2013, 03:33 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by xlntperuvian    
These are good questions. Low pasterns can be due to conformation but they can also be caused by injuries that were left untreated.

When you go to see her I would advise you to take a good look at her ligaments and tendons. Palpate them to see if there is any enlargement and/or thickening which could be due to injury. If the suspensories have been injured and have thickened and hardened there really isn't anything that can be done about it. It's not something that can be reversed.

The only way to really "see" what is going on inside is to have ultrasounds done. This costs a couple hundred dollars and is not included in a PPE unless you ask for it. Ultrasounds can tell you if there is damage or tears in the suspensory ligament.

As far as quality of life, I had a stallion who had horribly damaged hind legs. I bought him sight unseen and when I took my first look at him I burst into tears. I was sure I was going to have to put him down. (By the way, he passed a "vet check" done by a quack in Colorado). Long story short, I had him for 9 years. He was a sweetheart who enjoyed his life. In spite of the damage to his legs I never saw him limp or refuse to move. I never rode him, just loved him a lot and gave him lots of neck and wither scratches. He used to stand with his neck stretched up like a giraffe and he'd drool, he loved being scratched so much. I had to have him put down just over a year ago. He was 25. I still miss him.
Thank you, I am still up in the air right now but if I do go to see her I will check her legs- I'll educate myself a little more about palpating the tendons to make sure I am checking properly if/when I do. Thank you for the advice. I will also consult a few vets that I know about their experiences with horses with low/dropping pasterns and what they would suggest I look/feel for.

After that visit I will know better where to go from there, if she is sound for light riding and suitable to my needs/desire to be added to my herd or if I should pass. Thank you all for your comments and stories of your horses/ horses you know. I needed to hear those.

Sorry for your loss xlntperuvian, sounds like he was quite the character tho... I've never heard of a horse drooling from being scratched lol
     

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