Horse with old "bowed tendon"?
The other day I went to try out a horse, Bold, that 2 years ago had a bowed tendon. Although we don't EXACTLY know if it was for sure a bowed tendon because his vet records say Tendonitis (and tendonitis can be a wide range of things) with nothing mentioning a tear or rip in the tendon. Bold has since then been back to jumping normally (3ft max & Xcountry) and competing with no problems concerning his past injury. Before I rode Bold my mother and I (with what info we knew from our trainer) took a look at his teeth (seeing if he was a cribber) his back (looking to see if there was any sensitivity or pain) we also took a good look at his legs and flexed them with no issues. When you look at Bold's legs, it doesn't even look like he's ever had a bowed tendon, his legs look perfectly proportioned and normal. Which makes me wonder, instead of a bowed tendon, if he just had some inflammation or something else minor? We talked to our trainer about this and she said that she personally wouldn't consider this horse, even if it was only a minor tendonitis problem. She claims that she doesn't want me to have "heartache" if something were to happen. My trainer has been through some traumatic things with horses concerning legs, etc. She also used to be a vet tech. and, although not a vet, is very knowledgeable. But I also believe in a way she's trying to protect me from the things she's been through.... I've been jumping for about 3 years now (only up to about 2ft) I really don't have the desire at this point to go to extreme heights or competitions. Last summer I took a bad fall and broke my back. I was luckily able to ride again within 4 months. But since then, I'm always nervous and anxious before and when I first get on a horse (due to injury) I usually calm down within 20 minutes of a ride. My point with this is that I'm not just looking for a super jumper/xCountry horse, but a horse that can help me regain confidence riding again weither it's out on the trails, or just going to the barn for a hack. I have put a lot of thought into this and if something were ever to "happen to Bold's leg" I would be willing to go into a less strenuous discipline such as dressage, English/Hunseat pleasure, trail, etc.
If anyone has experience with this or any insight I'd appreciate it.
Get a thorough vet examination and tell him what you know. Very rarely, bowed tendons can heal in such a way that the leg returns to its normal appearance, but this is rare. Also keep in mind that once a horse has a bow, the tendon is weakened and more likely to cause problems in the future.
I wouldn't put this horse off completely, especially if the leg looks normal to you. However, I also wouldn't buy him without a full PPE to find out any problem areas.
I bought a horse with a known and visible tendon injury. He had a major flare-up when he came in training. It was treated and never did a lame step after. BUT...I didn't rush anything, gave him the rest he needed and never jumped.
It all comes down to what you want. If you want to jump, stay away from it, the risk is there. If you can live without jumping and he is the horse you think can help you, go for it. There is such a wide variety of protective gear available now that actually works, I personally wouldn't see a problem even with a little hop over a small log occasionally.
I think buying a horse is a risk already, anything can happen and most likely will. The healthiest horse can do a wrong step and ends up crippled.
So it all boils down to what you are willing to put up with. The PPE is a must, tho, so you know where you stand to begin with
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With your back history & your nervousness, why are you even attempting any jumping? There's nothing wrong w/just enjoying a horse, competing is NOT a given. Do what makes you happy.
Plenty of horses with no problems!
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