he is very handsome but the “mild ringbone” would be deal breaker for me.- so far, the one ding on his prospect is he has "mild ringbone", which I am a bit leery about. But, the farrier has worked on him a long time and never noticed any issues. I gather his owner's daughter rides him but wants to do hunters but that'd be hard on him. I've talked to several people who say for what I do - enjoying trails a few hours a few days a week, an occasional longer adventure or the St Patrick's parade, he'd be fine for many years yet.
How old is he? If you said, I missed it and I apologize. I sense he is younger as several people have told you “he’d be fine for many years yet”. I have dealt with high ringbone in the past, and currently low ringbone in my metabolic horse that foundered in 2012.
Neither horse developed ringbone until they were in their 20’s, I lost the first fella when he was 27, in the mid-80’s.
It was discovered on my current horse this past Spring on the top of the P3 and inside the hoof near the coronet band. He is 25. He is metabolic, Cushings and has some other issues.
Maybe ringbone is common in bigger draft-type horses at an early age, but I will say handsome and no matter how perfect the horse is otherwise, the progression of ringbone can never be predicted.
It was a painful thing to watch my horse of the 80’s struggle to get up from a good roll due to the pain the ringbone caused him. Back then there wasn’t a lot that could be done and it had progressed quickly so I made the horrid decision to lay him to rest.
My current horse doesn‘t have near the pain level he had six months ago and that is because I spend a LOT of $$$ on things to keep him comfortable.
He has to wear shoes and pads for the residual founder issues. The farrier recently switched him to the Versa shoes which are a pliable plastic material and they have done wonders to help.
I also have this horse on a couple of supplements for arthritis that are not cheap. Now that the nights are colder, I wrap his legs with quilts when he comes in at night to keep his circulation up - something the lameness vet had told me to years ag, when he foundered.
If you go look at that beautiful horse, please realize “mild ringbone “ will not stay in it’s current mild state forever. It gradually worsens, the same as Cushings does but that progression can vary with each horse AND the level of care they receive. By level of care, I mean how much money are you willing to spend on a horse that may end up not rideable sooner than later?
After all that ^^^^ if you still like the horse, find a disinterested vet clinic (one that has never seen the horse) that can x-ray those hooves (all four of them), and get the opinion of that vet (hopefully a lameness vet) based on the work level you expect from the horse.
In this case, I don‘t care about the opinions of any of the people offering them up to you. They aren’t the ones who will have to foot the bills or watch the horse in discomfort and none of them are lameness vets
Please don’t be mad, I’m just trying to save you some heartache. They are selling the horse due to the ringbone. They are telling you about it because they know it will show up in x-rays and that makes them more on the honest side than the dishonest