Hey guys, today I went out to see a horse that I was hoping to turn into an eventer. He's a 13 y.o. OTTB, and raced until he was 9. He had a total of 80 starts. He was purchased by a company that buys TB's to rehome them, and pinned as suited for flatwork and pleasure riding, due to some "wear and tear on his ankles." However, this assessment was made when he first came right off the track. Since then, he's been happily getting fat off grass and enjoying a good four years off work with his new mom. Honestly when I rode him today, I didn't feel him hesitate at all and I kind of fell in love with his personality as well as I'd love to help his current owner since she's in a tight spot. Though I still want a horse that I could eventually be competing at Novice level with.
What are peoples opinions on the recovery process of TB's? Should I take a vet out there to take a look at him now? Or, is the "wear and tear" irreversible? He hasn't had any broken bones or issues throughout his career, and he's apparently got quite the heart for the work he does.
Here are a couple pictures of what his legs look like, if anyone knows what they're looking at.
Conformationally his legs look fine for what you want to do. I wouldn't consider him if he is currently lame in any way. 9 years old is very late to retire from racing. That is a lot of wear and tear. The best you can do to assure future soundness is to get a vet to look at him.
"wear and tear" -- it really depends on what this wear and tear was. Soft tissue: muscles? Tendons? Or Bones? If you want a better judgement you probably would need xrays and an MRI or at the very least xrays and ultrasound on his lower legs. Plus have a general vet-check.
If the company is reputable and they have deemed him suitable for flatwork, they are probably just covering themselves. It doesn't absolutely mean the horse can't do more than that.
Yes the only way to be certain is to get a full vet check.
There are several things I'd be checking from those photos but they may well just be in the photo. Impossible to tell from here.
Firstly in the frontal shots it looks like theres a sink at the top of the coronary band (could just be shadow). If not that's a problem.
Secondly it looks like he's overextended the elbow and suffered some muscle damage in the chest region previously. It's also possible there's hock issues too.
As is said though not of that is confirmable from those photos and could just be shadows etc.