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I had a pre purchase exam on my already purchased 6 yo OTTB. Yeah, I did it backwards but his personality was priceless and I regret nothing. He got positive flexion test results on his front ankles (most likely arthritis). He is not lame walking freely, under saddle, or on the lunge- according to vet. (He will be started on an oral joint supplement) Most people say jumping with arthritis is bad, and I'm a little frustrated now. I just want to pop him over a few crossrails now and again for fun. If he's not lame, why would small jumps be a problem? My question is......

Do OTTB eventers and show jumpers etc really have no leg or joint problems?! I've seen 14 yo full ottb's eventing at 3* level- am I to believe they have no problems with their joints? I just want to clear this up. Thanks :)
 

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Sorry but there is no cut & dried answer because each horse is an individual.

I would flunk a flexion test & I don't have arthritis. Did the vet do X-rays?
 

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It really depends on the individual OTTB!

The OTTB I recently sold had a very thorough vet check (including x-rays) and didn't have any issues other than very minor arthritic changes as would be expected in a large horse who had a tough job at a young age. He did not race extensively (less than 20 races) and was retired because he was too slow, so suffered no major injuries as a racehorse. Hopefully this all bodes well for his continued soundness with his new owner! However, I've also seen OTTBs with fewer starts than he had come off the track dead lame with horrible looking x-rays. So it can go both ways.

However, at a certain point any extreme athletic endeavor like racing or upper level eventing is going to cause some wear and tear. Good management of these upper level competitors means calling the vet and developing a plan for rehab and care at even the slightest sign of change.

Can you x-ray him and determine the extent of the arthritis? That will allow you to make a more informed decision.

Also make you sure that your vet is familiar with OTTBs or other sport horse types and is helping you to identify what the horse will likely be servicably sound for rather than seeking perfection!
 
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