Bad news from vet..
So update on the 18yo gelding I bought a couple weeks ago...
I had a vet out to see about having his teeth floated since he is not eating his hay well...picks out the flowers and small stems and leaves the rest. Loves his pellets and beet pulp (and oil LOL).
She basically said that he needs to be on green pasture 24/7 and not ridden. She basically said there is no hope for him at all and that I *may* be okay letting my children ride him while I lead him, but that he can't handle anything more than that. And that is a difficult one cause he has some temperament issues as well.
She also said by his teeth he looks at least 28. The original vet had said at least 30. The owner insisted she knows he's 18.
The "new" vet recommended I try to get his previous owner to take him back...said he'd be better off in their pasture than in our stall with no access to grass and only 1-2 hours a day of turn-out, especially since she believes I cannot safely ride/exercise him.
He's gained at least 50 pounds and his ribs are no longer visible but his hips/back/sacrum are just as bony as ever. :(
If I had my own land with a green pasture, I'd keep him and buy another horse to ride eventually. I can't afford board PLUS vet care for more than one right now (board is $250/stall in our subdivision). The kids and I are already attached to him.
He's pushy and reactive and I don't feel comfortable having them near him on the ground as he's head shy and spooks at everything. My daughter can ride him with the bareback pad while I lead him. He doesn't seem to mind and behaves fine.
FWIW, he was not like this personality-wise the two times I looked at him. Off the record, the vet said he prob. was on Bute. :( I'm such a dummy...he was drifting off in the pasture while vet #1 examined him...she said he'd be more spunky on the right diet. It never occurred to me that maybe he was on something.
I already e-mailed his former owner about taking him back and also sent her the vet's conclusions. I haven't heard back.
I intended to have a PPE but when the first vet arrived she was 2+ hours late and announced that she doesn't do PPEs but that she'd look him over and let me know if he had any major problems. She said he needed to gain 50+ and that I would have to be very careful with padding but that I could ride him. She suggested walking on lead for two weeks, then riding for 10 minutes at a time and working our way up from there. She did feel he was older than the owner said.
Some of the notes:
Oh my, I am so sorry you got taken this badly! I can't imagine the heartache you are feeling at this time. I don't know where you live, but you can consult an attorney and see if you have any legal recourse. I would pressure the seller in any and all ways possible to take this horse back. I know your kids are attached, but this horse is going to be nothing but expensive grief for you and your family. Failing that, I would consider euthing the horse as it sounds like he is in constant pain.
Again, I am sorry and want you to know that not all horse people are crooked.
Sadly,this is an all-too familiar story:-( I'd like to know why the first vet doesn't do PPE's and why didn't she bother to mention that BEFORE making your pay for her worthless time?
I'm going to address the issues I have personally dealt with and hopefully give you a friendlier bend in the road, as opposed to the in-your-face 90 degree turn over the cliff, this latest vet gave you:?
I would love to get my hands around the throat of the Seller for taking advantage of you:-x
It would be nice to know something of this horse's history but you sure can't trust the Seller to tell you anything. Her Pinocchio nose ought to have stretched into the next county by now, and I hope she can live with herself.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Just know that keeping this horse is not going to initially be cheap. He needs a lot of serious up front help:-|
May I ask why you bought this horse in the first place?
from the sounds of it, he does not have one good trait about him, including his personality/demeanor that a buyer would be looking for.
so sorry you have had such a hard time with this. Too many dishonest people in the world.
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It sounds to me like this animals quality of life, living anywhere, just is not there. Reading your post it sounds like you purchased him already under weight. Being the softy but realist I am I would have the vet put this horse down to make sure he is no longer suffering or sold again.
sounds like you got taken for a ride.
Honestly, I would not put a ton of money into this horse to make him comfortable if he is 30. If I could not get the seller to take him back (good luck with that) and I could not inexpensively get him comfortable and I could never ride him and I had no place to pasture him 24/7 I would investigate having him put down.
I hate to say it.. but this horse sounds like a large money pit. Sometimes the wisest thing is the hardest thing. You could quickly go into deep hock trying to fix a 30 year old horse that is not fixable.
JMO. Yes. I know. It is not what you want to hear.
Next time you buy a horse get a Pre Purchase Exam and expect to spend a few hundred dollars on it. You had the right idea getting an older horse. There are older well trained horses that would do well for you but they do need a full PPE.
I'm sorry that you have to go through this. I would see if the original owner will give your money back and take the horse. If not, I'd probably send him to a rescue at this point.
As for the PPE - I've never gotten one but I would if I were paying over $5k for one. That's my personal limit that I set for myself.
Is this seller a professional one? If they are then I would get ugly on the request for the return of money because you can threaten their reputation and in a case like this, I think that's a fair retaliation. If it's just a guy down the road then I'm not sure if there is a legal type of action you can take.
I would try to get send him back to the old owner. The other option is putting him down, which I would do personally.
I know hindsight is 20/20, but there are a few real "red flags" here for me. Before you bought him, the vet who looked at him figured he was 30? If the seller was saying 18, and a vet was saying older, I would personally run for cover. If a seller lies about one thing, they will lie about others, the second you feel they may be dishonest, run. Same with the situation where you were suspicious with him falling alseep in the pasture while the vet was looking at him. If anything, ANYTHING, smells fishy about a seller, move on.
I had a friend who was taken advantage of in a similar way, at the time she didnt have anyone she could bring with her, didnt do a PPE, trusted the seller dispite red flags. she bought a horse she beleived was healthy, 15.2hh and 10 years old. he was actually 14.3hh, 25 years old and riddled with cancer.
I'm sorry you are going through this. If you can get your money back, great, otherwise I would put him down. at this point his temperment issues could be caused by all the pain he's in.
As harsh as it may sound, I agree with those who advise euthanasia. If he's sent back to his old owner, he's only likely to be ignored/neglected or pawned off to the next person who comes along. That's not fair to him. Even if you keep him, it sounds like it would be a constant uphill battle against all of his age related issues. All of those time and resources could be going towards a younger horse with more potential.
Unfortunately, some owners prefer to make it someone else's problem when their horse reaches the point that it just needs to be put down. I think that it is a cowardly thing to do. I have a friend who works in rescue and often gets calls from people wanting her to take their 25+ year old horse who has X, Y, and Z major age-related problems. She usually has to tell them what they don't want to hear: The horse needs to be euthanized.
I wouldn't like to see this horse go back to the original owner either. They've already demonstrated a total lack of ethics and concern for equine welfare.
I feel for you getting taken in like this :-(
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