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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hoping this is the right section to post this..
Hi all!


I am in the market for buying a OTTB as my next mid-upper level jumper and to start me in eventing. I found a horse in which I am having a complete PPE done on this week. She is a 7 yr old mare, raced 30 times and retired. Had downtime and has been restarted very well on flat and over fences. She is a BEAUTIFUL mover.

The trainer has been very open and honest with me about horses history. She does have a mild (from what I’m told and can see in picture) bowed tendon on the RF. Bow is lower, rather than high. Trainer had horse vetted and with vetting and flexes, they were not able to make horse take a single lame step in the front. Hind legs did flex slightly + at that time. But vet did not state at that time that horse would need to stay a low level sport horse, and stated she could go far.

Want to know opinions on mild bowed tendons in horses and any personal experiences with having a horse with a bow and continuing to have a successful career in upper level jumping and xcountry. I know every horse, bow injury and story is different- I just want to get some ideas.

As I already stated, this horse is being professionally vetted and I will likely get X-rays and ultrasound done if vet says worth while or to just completely ease my mind.... as I am truly wanting this horse to be a upper level sport horse and would rather spend a few hundred rather than thousand and end up with a lot of issues in the end. Just want to know opinions and experiences!!

Thank you!
 

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Hi there,

I had a mare from age 8 to 14 with quite a big bowed tendon that occured when she was 3 or 4. Made absolutely no difference to her. She was a showjumper and we jumped upto 1m20 and competed regularly. Her career ended when she died of complications from colic :sad: but through all the time I had her she was NEVER lame, nothing...ever.

This is just my experience and as you said, every horse is different so I would place your trust in your vet! Fingers crossed for you!
 

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Welcome to the Forum...


Two things jump out at me...
The horse was cleared to work at a low-level of work and intensity in which she could excel was the vets opinion...optimal word... low-level intensity.
You are already making comment of "I am in the market for buying a OTTB as my next mid-upper level jumper and to start me in eventing."

Sorry, to me that is a different animal as the needs of what you want are exceeding what this prospective mare can offer.


Second is how old is the low bow, how reduced in size has it become and how serious a bow was done.
If the horse raced 30 times this is a career of racing, not that she galloped on the track 30 times...horses, good horses under good trainers don't run weekly not even monthly so good chance of over years.


I would pass just based on the information the trainer has shared about the animal as she is not suitable.
You will be starting with a deck stacked against you in the horse staying sound is my feeling.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Welcome to the Forum...


Two things jump out at me...
The horse was cleared to work at a low-level of work and intensity in which she could excel was the vets opinion...optimal word... low-level intensity.
You are already making comment of "I am in the market for buying a OTTB as my next mid-upper level jumper and to start me in eventing."

Sorry, to me that is a different animal as the needs of what you want are exceeding what this prospective mare can offer.


Second is how old is the low bow, how reduced in size has it become and how serious a bow was done.
If the horse raced 30 times this is a career of racing, not that she galloped on the track 30 times...horses, good horses under good trainers don't run weekly not even monthly so good chance of over years.


I would pass just based on the information the trainer has shared about the animal as she is not suitable.
You will be starting with a deck stacked against you in the horse staying sound is my feeling.
:runninghorse2:...

I believe I saw in the OP's post that the vet did NOT state that the horse needed to stay at low level. I quoted it below but maybe I am reading it wrong (I'm running off of 36 hours no sleep and about 6 cups of coffee haha)

The trainer has been very open and honest with me about horses history. She does have a mild (from what I’m told and can see in picture) bowed tendon on the RF. Bow is lower, rather than high. Trainer had horse vetted and with vetting and flexes, they were not able to make horse take a single lame step in the front. Hind legs did flex slightly + at that time. But vet did not state at that time that horse would need to stay a low level sport horse, and stated she could go far.
I believe you should wait for the results of the US and XRays before you make your decision. She is young and could very much have a long competition career ahead of her with the right care.
 

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You have to look at this with an open mind.

The horse has a damaged deep flexor tendon. Was it treated in any way! It might well be all that is left of a more serious injury.

More to the point, you want a horse that can be an advanced eventer. That involves both a lot of work and time. Suppose this horse does do well and you get to an advanced level but the extra strain is to much for the leg? A minimum of 4 years goes down the drain then there is the healing time.

Personally I wouldn't risk it.

a blown tendon can be likened to a length of rope, get that unraveled and you can never get it back exactly right. The weakness it there though many do hold up.
 

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I have a horse that I bought off the track with a bowed tendon. His was very severe....He had quite a bit of time off and I started him back slowly. He has never been lame on that leg - there is still scar tissue there. With that said, I did not use him at a high level of anything, so our riding was not intense in any sense of the word.

Soft tissue injuries can take a very long time to heal correctly, so I would want to know when the bow happened and what has been done for this mare.

Horses can and do recover from this to become completely sound - but at high levels of training I'm not sure that leg would hold up. When I worked on the track, I do not think a single one of our horses that had bowed ever came back to be successful race horses. Now, whether that was b/c the horses were not given sufficient time off, I do not know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies guys!
@Emylu34: were there any specific factors that made you decide that your horse with the bow could in fact go on to compete and be competitive or it was just all by chance and trial? Just wondering if you had the tendon scanned and the damage percentage was fairly low or just how well it healed.
@horselovinguy: Sorry if the way I wrote it made it unclear! The vet told trainer she was confident she would be able to be her next intermediate horse at the very LEAST. Bow did get proper rehab and the time to heal. Yes, I totally understand that she had quite a lengthy career on the track. Which obviously is also a concern. But again, some tbs have long and even longer careers and still hold up to excel in a 2nd career as a sport horse. It’s always a gamble, Especially with OTTBs and I do want to make the best decision. I don’t want to start with a horse I’m already going to have to worry about. Also why I am getting a thorough vet check, as I know what I want to be able to do with this horse.
@Phantomcolt18: Yes definitely am not making any solid decisions until vet check is done and I have x rays and ultrasounds etc.
@Foxhunter: totally understand what you’re saying! And I know a lot of people would agree and shy away from a bow. But then others don’t. I’m Definitely on the fence...
 

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I wouldn't. Bowed tendons are forever at risk of bowing again and are absolute hell to deal with. You're in the market, keep looking. You'll find a horse. I wouldn't risk it. Higher-level work is risky enough as it is and I wouldn't take a horse with a past injury into it if I could help it. Could they be perfectly fine? Yes. Could they also rebow it landing funny after going over at 2ft jump? Also yes. Even if it is a "mild" bow, there will forever be scar tissue left over that compromises the tendon's flexibility. If you wanted a low-level horse, I'd go with it. Since you're looking to use her for years to come and get into upper level eventing, I'd say no. I wouldn't risk it. I've dealt with bowed tendons before and the rehab is pretty difficult and very time consuming, even for a "mild" bow.
 

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I have probably dealt with more tendon injuries than most having worked in the racing industry for years.

Yes, horses that were bar fired did come back into racing and win but, they had to be nursed all the way. Then came carbon implants which were never over successful, stem cells are meant to be good but I haven't had a lot to do with that so I cannot say from experience.

This is a 7 yr old, bringing her on means that she is going to be higher in age than most advanced horses, especially if you do hit a problem and she has to have a year off.

I have absolutely nothing against mares, but, look at the percentages of mares competing at higher levels to geldings.
 

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My apologies... I did read that comment wrong.
I still would not buy a horse you want to go far with that has had such a significant injury.
Tendon injuries...you must expect the damage was "significant" if it is still seen.

You know if she is being represented by a trainer for a sales prospect only accolades you will hear...you really want to take that chance? :|
They are looking to sell the animal.
Of course they are not going to tell you anything bad but only push the good...called positive marketing procedure.
So they are telling all...
How long was the horse off work?
How much down-time for the heal to that leg? 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, a year or more???

Seriously still interested?
I would want ultrasounds of all the legs done since when one leg is injured it is almost always another leg who bears the brunt of additional stresses put to it while the injured heals..
I would want to know for certain about the lesions, the torn fibers, as was described..."the unraveling".
I too saw to much, and no they never heal the same.
Scar tissue is just that, scarring.
It fills a void but it is not the same cell composition and is now a weakened link because for one...you just lost the elasticity that tendon had.
Because the horse did not step wrong from a flexxion does not mean all is great. And this is hearsay...
You I hope have a top notch lameness vet doing this PPE...a true specialist.
I hope you are also considering blood chemistry done looking for any additional "help" given department.

If you want a OTTB for your project, fantastic.
They are wonderful animals as is most any breed, but there is something about TB that you just don't get in other animals when you work with them long enough you just know it.
So many horses come off the track 100% sound, are gorgeous movers with tons of scope for any discipline you want to pursue..
They may not have raced much if they had no desire to run like the wind, hence retired from racing at younger ages and a new career found for many of them.
Not racing for years also means they didn't pound a track for years either...called wear and tear to the legs all racers sustain..

This mare is 7 and raced 30 times...so how long has she been off the track and in a new job?
Now take that time and figure how many times she gave all she had pounding to "race"...
My guess is she raced for 2 years if started as a late 2 year old..had at least one other injury before she blew the tendon and then was retired off the track...downtime and now probably 6 months under saddle.
You do the math and figure out how often she was raced, giving all she had pounding down the track in a short time span of "years".


Sorry...I see her coming apart on that leg with the bow if your lucky and probably on another that is now stress weakened and going to show when you put her to a training regime.
If this was so small and not a issue she would of returned to racing...
I would not be sitting on the fence of indecision, but firmly have fallen off the fence and continue the search for a truly sound horse, this one no matter what you hear is not sound.
Bowed tendon took "sound" and trashed it...her blemish is great for her to take the amount of riding and intense training to become a mid-to-upper level competition animal.
What she is offering can be had in a horse with no leg blemish such as this that was career ending for her...and now you would be putting her right back in intense training and jumping...pounding concussive work that is what took her apart to begin with.


I agree with foxhunter and ChieTheRider and any others who advised no to this animal.
I would walk away. sorry.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks y’all!
I really appreciate all of the honest advice. Clearly I am not 100% certain about this horse d/t the injuries so I wanted some feedback. My doubts are confirmed. I will continue with the vetting since I did schedule it, I am interested to see what is said about her. TBH, my trainer was more worried about her boxy hoof vs the bow.
Fortunately there is no shortage of ottb for sale, so if I do ultimately decide to pass per vetting, I’m sure ill find another within a few days. Would rather spend a couple hundred vs thousands and then having an un-rideable horse. Unfortunately the other horse I was interested in also had a bow! For now I will continue my search For more solid, un-injured ones. :)
 

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Pass........


That is not a "small" bow , that is a substantial injury.
The hind end of this horse also to me is not what is needed for your goals...a weak motor.
For all of the reasons already given...pass.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I agree with horselovinguy.

That is not a small bow by any means. Hard pass, there are many suitable clean legged horses out there. She may be okay as a 2' MAX lesson schoolie but not an upper level competitor.

Keep looking and good luck in your search!
 
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