Should I be seeing red flags? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Should I be seeing red flags?

I found a free 6 year old thoroughbred gelding who is currently lame.

My first reaction was to avoid at all costs; however, he's being given away by a competitive eventing barn in a very well-to-do area where perfectly sound OTTBs can be had a dime a dozen.
Rather than pouring money into this horse, they're giving him away to a "regular" loving home.

All I know about his lameness is that he's had his hocks and stifles injected, but he has not been x-rayed.

In a way, it makes sense for them to let him go to a loving home for free rather than pouring money into a horse that may never be competitive again.

I'm not really sure what to think.

If his lameness is temporary, I'm not a competitor, so any of his limitations wouldn't restrict me much, if at all.
If his lameness is permanent, then he could live out his retirement being beautiful and loved.

Since he's free and I'm selling my current horse, that would give me extra funds to put into his diagnosis and rehab.
I'm not sure if it's worth the gamble.

They're sending photos tomorrow, and I've asked what he was doing before he went lame.

I'm torn between knowing that the $60 in gas to go get him could at best get me an amazing horse with a minor problem, and at worst get me a pile of vet bills and a lawn ornament.

Is there even a question in all of that?
I just need a place to talk this through.

I'm selling my current horse, so I've been casually shopping for a replacement.
That's how I found this one.
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 08:18 PM
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I wouldn't do it, but I don't have room for a horse to sit as a pasture ornament if he doesn't become sound. If sound ottbs are readily available around your area then i would look for something that would pass a vet check. You would likely put a lot of money into the horse trying to get him sound when he very well may not get there- I passed on an ottb with a lovely temperament for that very reason.
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post #3 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 08:40 PM
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Pay for a vet bill FIRST, before taking on the horse. It may be cheaper in the long run to find out exactly what you would be dealing with. Don't expect present owners to tell the truth, and don't use THEIR vet.
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 08:46 PM
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^^ pay for a pre-purchase exam, including x-rays. KNOW what you are getting into so you can make the right choice for yourself and the horse.
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post #5 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 09:25 PM
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Yup, a PPE and YOUR Vet, not theirs. If you both use the same vet, hire out someone else for the X-ray's and diagnosis. I'm a Veterinarian assistant and all I can say is don't get in over your head with vet bills right out of the gate. A good PPE, and a known diagnosis and rough guestimate of expenses could save you a lot of heart ache.
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post #6 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Just found out that he is an OTTB, and they got him in December.
He's been turned out the whole time, and has not started any re-training yet.
That could explain quite a bit of why he's free - they probably don't have anything invested into him.

I'm sure I could convince my husband to go for a pre-purchase exam; however, I don't think there's any way he would be willing to basically pay several hundred dollars to x-ray someone else's horse.
Do you think the PPE would be sufficient enough to know if he's worth pursuing further?

Since he was raced, he's going to have some kind of papers or records...
Maybe that could help us track down what's caused the lameness?
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 10:15 PM
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Xrays aren't that expensive, and you would only need a couple, once the vet determined the area of lameness.
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post #8 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadWolf View Post
I'm sure I could convince my husband to go for a pre-purchase exam; however, I don't think there's any way he would be willing to basically pay several hundred dollars to x-ray someone else's horse.
Do you think the PPE would be sufficient enough to know if he's worth pursuing further?
Think about it this way- if you were to take him, you would almost certainly end up x-ray'ing him as part of the process of diagnosing his lameness anyway. With a PPE you then have the option of not taking the horse if the findings on the x-ray reveal something very expensive to treat or with a poor prognosis.

As to whether it's sufficient to make a decision... the PPE may reveal the probable cause of his lameness or it may not give any clues whatsoever.

The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will. - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 10:29 PM
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I would just run like crazy. Don't take on a lame horse. You will likely regret it.

Celeste
Carpe Diem!
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post #10 of 31 Old 09-10-2014, 10:32 PM
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Before I purchased my horse, the ranch owner strongly advised a prepurchase which I agreed to gladly. The vet found him to be lame. It turned out to be nothing more than a popped splint and the ranch owner kept him there until he was sound. I almost backed out but it was worth the wait. I think these people would be understanding that you don't want a money pit with no end in site. Better to spend that now than regret it later! It could be completely fixable and what a shame to walk away on that?
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