Vet check or just walk away? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question Vet check or just walk away?

So after many months of searching I have finally found a horse that seems calm and well mannered (although a little less trained than I had hoped for)in the price range I can afford, but she has scars on her hocks and at the trot her right back foot is taking a shorter stride than the left. She occasionally seems to bobble that back foot too. Her owner says she hasn't had any soundness issues with her in the 1 1/2 years she has owned her but she also said she is being used for 3 to 4 lessons a week and a look at the barn board showed her being used only one time this week. She also seems to stand a bit camped out in the cross ties. How reliable are vet check for finding lameness issues? Can pain killers for horses make them calmer than normal (I am wondering if she is being given something to make her appear sound). Logically I probably should just pass on her, but her disposition is so good. She would be used for a horse for my daughter (9)to do begining jumping with and 4-h and for me, a rank beginner to learn to ride so calm and willing is a big deal. Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 11:02 PM
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If you have any resonating doubts.....walk away.....if you don't like her trot and the scars on her hocks and it's going to bother you (you are the one who has to look at this horse everyday).....walk away......

If you don't have enough doubt to walk away, then by all means get a vet check PLUS x-rays which will set you back some money. Nearly every horse doesn't get a perfect score on a vet check, sometimes the horse shows lameness on the flexion test that the owner is honestly completely unaware of.
Yes, certain drugs can mask lameness, and can also change a horses disposition. If a horse seems unusually dull to you, sedatives could possibly be the cause, or else he's had the beans run out of him to calm him down.
It really is a buyer beware situation. it's a big investment, you need to be comfortable and excited about your new horse
Good luck!
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 11:05 PM
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I'd say walk unless you wish to pay for a PPE. Unless you are willing to pay for xrays the vet will know if something is amiss but may not know precisely what is going on. He'll make an educated guess.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-20-2012, 01:59 AM
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To be honest, if you are seeing issues with this horse's legs now even before a PPE, it doesnt much sound like a horse that should be used for jumping.

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post #5 of 9 Old 09-20-2012, 02:20 AM
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I'd walk away. You are seeing lameness issues, the seller is obviously lying.

There's lots of horses out there with great dispositions, so just keep looking.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-20-2012, 02:37 AM
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you could get a farrier out there, he could probly tell you alot. She could have a sore foot or it could be old tendon/ligament injuries. ( Im asuming the short step is the same leg as the scars.)
Get a friend to help you do a flex test.
If she does have an old injury then I wouldn't jump her, but she would probly be fine for calm leasure rides. depends on the price your paying I guess.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-20-2012, 04:11 AM
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To me scars are okay but if there is visible lameness just with general work that would be a big no for me (unless its clearly a very recent injury).
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-20-2012, 06:41 AM
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Agree with everyone else. A PPE with X-rays can run from 250 - 500 dollars. Why would you spend that on a horse you already have serious concerns about.

A PPE is usually for uncovering hidden or latent problems on an overtly sound and healthy horse, and for the potential buyer to gain information about the horse. You are looking at a clinically unsound horse; seems to me yu already have all the info you need.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-20-2012, 07:34 AM
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Ditto everyone else -- walk away.

Walk away not only for the all the reasons already stated but, worse than that, there's the emotional attachment your daughter will form with the horse.

That attachment is going to start the moment you say "yes", regardless of whether you are tucking her into jammieland or fixing her breakfast before she heads out the door for school, where she will tell all her friends about her new horse.

A horse that sounds as if, physically, is not going to able to perform the intended job.

I have three horses who can no longer perform their original jobs and only have a "slight lameness". They were trail horses; die hard, dig up the hill and slide back down it, hard working trail horses. That "slight lameness" is masking some very serious issues because I spend so much time and effort trying to keep them comfortable. They aren't drugged in the sense you speak of but they are on anti-inflammatories, come in at night and get poulticed and wrapped when that "slight lameness" elevates.

They've been with me 11, 19, & 6 years, so will remain until their Times come but, it isn't cheap and there's a lot of work to keep two of them comfortable.

That is NOT something you want to get involved in when buying a first horse for your daughter.

Your Mother's Intuition is already sending off signals, elst you wouldn't be asking for input in here. Listen to it

I hope we have all helped
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