PPE Results 😣 - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-25-2020, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Hi friends! I’m new to the forum here, my name is Laura. I’m not new to horses, however I’ve just been getting back into after a 15 year hiatus (went to school, moved away, horses weren’t accessible/affordable , etc). So I’ve been taking western lessons, and casually searching for a new friend. I came across a gorgeous little buckskin QH. It’s always been my dream to have a buckskin. She kind of fell into my lap. I tried here a few times, did some lessons with her. She just so happens to be at a wonderful barn with wonderful people and a good friend also boards at. She’s a lovely girl, ground manners are top notch, needs some work with her forwardness, but otherwise, I really fell for this girl.

So I proceeded with a ppe. I was sure something would come up, much like a house inspection, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be something like this. She came up with grade one lameness in her front left, and when the vet did a flexion on her left hind, that increased her front left to grade 2 for five steps. He proceeded to do an X-ray on the front left, he said she has some minor oa in her coffin bone. He said he thinks she might just need some cortisone injections every 6months to a year.

Little bit more background. She’s a grade mare. Current owner said she was 8, but vet estimates closers to 12. I am only into trail riding, maybe some very very casual small jumps, but absolutely nothing hardcore. I just like to ride and spend time with horses. Vet also said she has shallow feet, and from what I gather she’s only just had front shoes put a couple weeks ago for potentially the first time ever. She’s a tad overweight. We also live near the mountains, lots of rocky terrains, and it’s been a wildly wet summer so far. So now I’ve had various opinions like, maybe she just needs some corrective shoeing to keep her sound, a horse this age shouldn’t need injections, injections can be needed at any age, don’t buy a horse with known issues, buy her if you love her, she might just need some minor maintenance, etc etc.

So sorry for the long post. I just really like this girl. I considered even if she has lame days, I enjoy being around her so that’s not exactly a dealbreaker. I’m just wondering if anyone has any further insight. I also like to keep in mind, she could have passed the exam and been injured the next day, so it’s always a gamble. Much like Seabiscuit, I’d hate to throw away a whole life just because it’s banged up a little, and I reckon she hasn’t had the best owners so far.

Thanks in advance folks! And again, sorry for the novel.

Last edited by laurkenn; 07-25-2020 at 11:22 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-25-2020, 11:47 AM
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How much is she? A free/cheap horse is never actually free/cheap, and I will not pay megabucks for a lame horse. You have the last say, but personally, I would not knowingly buy a lame horse with hoof problems, especially if I plan to jump (no matter how small) and trail ride on rocky mountains. What will happen and what is expected to happen can be two very different things. True, all she may need is a proper trim, corrective shoeing, and injections, or worse, she may be permanently lame. One cannot predict what will happen. If the worse outcome happens, then all you have is an unrideable horse with leg and hoof problems. Grades are notoriously hard to sell, then add in the lameness, older age, and training. Are you willing to take that risk and spend the money? I firmly believe that if a horse is not sound without shoes/boots, then the horse is not sound, and I will not knowingly ride an unsound horse, no matter how light the riding.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-25-2020, 11:58 AM
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I’m going to suggest that you walk away from this horse because with that type of condition there’s really no such thing as a ‘few lame days’.
The horse will be lame, period.

If it’s a wear and tear o/a then the more wear the more tear you’ll get.

I might wonder if she’s already on pain meds to mask discomfort?

Cortisone can induce laminitis in horses, Id be worried about taking that route.

The chance that you’re getting a pasture pet is pretty high and unless that’s what you want from a horse, don’t buy one.

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-02-2020, 02:14 PM
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I am going to jump in with a different view here. Although I agree with the things that have been said.......... I have a horse that will not pass a PPE. I was going to buy him from my friend whose husband recently passed away. I ride him often and he is a great horse. Now I was told he was 16 and that he had no real issues. When her husband passed and I was preparing to buy him I took him to a different vet than the one they use. He came off 2+ and 3+ on 3 legs! He also is between 18-21 roughly. He has terrible allergies to something at the ranch he was living at and was just in general poor condition. I took him home with me along with one of her other horses for my husband to use. This guy is now on Equioxx and Lubrisyn AND allergy meds and flax seed AND horseshoers secret. He and the other horse look much better than they did when they got here 2 weeks ago.
I ride him around the neighborhood and took them out on a pretty hairy trail ride the other day. Some days he seems ploddy and slow but others he seems just fine. I love him to peices or I wouldn't have brought him home to help him. I would not pay the $1000 she wanted for him because he didn't pass the vet exam. But he is here and I take care of him and ride him.
The horse you are talking about is grade 1 and 2. I would see what the owners want to do. I do as much as I can to help this guy be comfortable and not stress him. I am going to take some massage therapy classes and also have a chiropractor out for them. If the owners are willing to give the horse to you I would take that option. I am glad I have these guys and that I KNOW they are getting proper care! They are expensive and the one guy more than the other because the meds are not cheap but he seems happy (well except that I took him from 12+ hours on pasture and he is now on dry lot fed 4 times a day which is not enough he thinks!)
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-02-2020, 02:55 PM
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So are we referring to the mare being head-bobbing, dead lame limping on her worst days?
That to me is a total no-go.
I she just stiff and will benefit from turnout??
Only you know what you are comfortable taking on and whether a little lame or on the face lame...lame is lame.
What you have to pay as MustangMom has taken on makes a horse not affordable for many but becomes a burden of maintenance medications forever and not often going to become less difficult but harder to maintain as the horse gets older.

What has the examining vet made comment of is far more important than a bunch of us armchair commenters can say.
That vet saw, felt and examined and has years of experience behind them for giving advice suited to just what your riding requirements are to be.
I would think a very frank discussion about where their experience would take you toward in future with this horse in usability and extra costs for medications and if special farrier work is expected...remember not every farrier does specialty work and the costs of specialty work is not cheap..
I would not go further till I again consulted that attending vet for their professional foresight and advice.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-02-2020, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
So are we referring to the mare being head-bobbing, dead lame limping on her worst days?
That to me is a total no-go.
I she just stiff and will benefit from turnout??
Only you know what you are comfortable taking on and whether a little lame or on the face lame...lame is lame.
What you have to pay as MustangMom has taken on makes a horse not affordable for many but becomes a burden of maintenance medications forever and not often going to become less difficult but harder to maintain as the horse gets older.

What has the examining vet made comment of is far more important than a bunch of us armchair commenters can say.
That vet saw, felt and examined and has years of experience behind them for giving advice suited to just what your riding requirements are to be.
I would think a very frank discussion about where their experience would take you toward in future with this horse in usability and extra costs for medications and if special farrier work is expected...remember not every farrier does specialty work and the costs of specialty work is not cheap..
I would not go further till I again consulted that attending vet for their professional foresight and advice.
...

So right! I did not completely explain it as well as you!
I chose to take these guys knowing it was going to be expensive. I would not have done it if the horses did not belong to my friend who needed help. However I will have to figure out how to return them if it comes down to me not being able to afford all their care. It will not get any better as they age.

I had a good talk with the vet about what the horse could and couldn't do. The riding is actually good for him. Moving around is good. He can not school for showing but he can trail ride and do the parades, ceremonies and posse work he has been doing. So I do need to find a horse that can do those things but right now we are perfect for each other. He is building my confidence back and helping me get in better condition. Plus having the horses is forcing me to get my horse area fixed back up after renters destroyed it!

Definetly talk to the vet to understand what you are getting into. Like horselovinguy was explaining....... you may need a special farrier (luckily my charge doesn't) how much is the special shoeing? What meds are we talking? How much are they? how often? Is it injections? How often? Looking at all the things that will be needed, how much will it cost, and can you afford that long term? It will NOT get any less expensive!

It is a shock to me how much people want for these horses who are money pits! There are a few horses I have looked at that the sellers KNOW the horses are lame and they STILL want $4,000 to $10,000!!! WTH!!! I don't understand!!!
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-02-2020, 05:09 PM
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There are a lots of buckskins out there who aren't lame. Pick one of them. That's my advice.

There are enough incapacitating things that happen to horses who have clean PPE's. Right now, of my three friends I regularly ride with, one has a horse who is being treated for Lyme (again), one has a horse with laminitis, and the third one's main horse just got diagnosed at Tufts with a rare benign tumor in its hoof wall (will come sound eventually now the tumor has been removed). Three originally perfectly sound horses.

If you do get this horse it should be a free gift. Because you are going to need that money to buy a second, sound horse.

Short horse lover
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-02-2020, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurkenn View Post
He proceeded to do an X-ray on the front left, he said she has some minor oa in her coffin bone.
It's very important to note that the lameness is being caused by osteoarthritis. OA will only ever get worse. It never gets better... Even if the horse was never ridden again. It can certainly be managed, but only to a point before masking it doesn't work anymore and that will cost you $$$ in the meantime. If the lameness was being caused by something that could be corrected with good farrier work and time, I would be much more optimistic, but the fact is OA is only ever going to get worse and this horse will never be 100% sound (though management will sure give the illusion of it). The horse you see today is the best form of her you'll ever experience. Are you okay with buying this horse knowing that?

Especially in a young horse (I would consider 12 still young when put into perspective of the amount of time - 15+ years - you'd be caring for a lame horse if you plan to keep until death), personally, I would pass. Put your money into a horse that is currently 100% sound so you have a much higher chance of experiencing many more years of 100% soundness ahead of you, where you can both learn and grow together and not have to put a cap on that.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-03-2020, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Hey folks! Guess I shoulda popped back here to update. I decided not to buy her, however the barn she’s at is considering buying her and I’ve been still getting to see her a couple times a week. She’s a sweet girl, so it’s nice to still spend quality time with her while I continue my search. Thanks for all of the input! 🙂
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-03-2020, 02:26 PM
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Well I have read that you have passed on the horse, but I'm going to chime in anyway!

(because honestly, I probably would not have passed on her)


Quote:
Originally Posted by laurkenn View Post
She came up with grade one lameness in her front left, and when the vet did a flexion on her left hind, that increased her front left to grade 2 for five steps. He proceeded to do an X-ray on the front left, he said she has some minor oa in her coffin bone. He said he thinks she might just need some cortisone injections every 6months to a year.
Grade one doesn't concern me a whole lot. As reference, my Shotgun almost always flexes off on his front right foot. Back when he was 4, he had a minor strain of a tendon that has since completely resolved and gives him no problems .... yet he ALWAYS flexes a bit off on that foot. He's 9 this year. Sometimes, horses might flex off but it may or may not be a problem.

Yes, I get that the horse has some bony changes in the coffin bone but that's isn't a big deciding factor either. My horse Red has no changes on x-rays but he still has heel pain I've been fighting with for the past 7 years (although he's doing awesome this year!) And my horse Dexter does have changes on the x-rays on his front feet, but they don't really seem to bother him too much.

What would be more important for me, if I were looking to buy, is how does the horse move and ride?
Did she exhibit any signs of lameness at all or any problems at all? If not, I would place less weight on the PPE results if the horse was an absolute perfect fit otherwise. For an assumed 12-year-old horse, I feel it going to be pretty rare that you find one with no lameness problems whatsoever. Something will always be found on a PPE. Always.

Maybe I am used to dealing with lameness, having performance horses that get ridden hard, but what you describe would not automatically cause me to pass on the horse. I'm not afraid to inject/shoe/supplement a horse if they need it.

However, YOU have to decide what YOUR comfort level is. If you are not comfortable managing something like this, then you are correct to pass on her.

And of course, always make sure your decisions are made with your head, and not with your heart (because let's face it, they are ALL easy to fall in love with!!). So if she really, truly, is the right fit for you and what you are looking for, and you aren't afraid to manage what she has with your vet's help, then go for it. If you'll be able to find another horse that fits you and is what you are looking for (without this type of issue), then keep on looking.
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