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Discussion on Horse doing "the head bob" only at trot

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Angela Zahorsky
New Member
Username: angiez

Post Number: 1
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 - 7:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am looking at a horse to buy. He is THE perfect horse for our family. Exactly what we want in every way. But, he is lame at the trot. He's fine in every other gait, just bobs at the trot. It was 2 weeks ago when I first looked at him, and he had
this then. Went out again, and it's still apparent.
Should I not buy him? He IS the perfect one for us.
Help?!?
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Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 1903
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 - 8:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Angela, have you had a vet to check out why the horse is lame? I would not purchase a horse with an unidentified lameness, no matter how perfect otherwise. If you have the horse vet checked, and can be reassured that the lameness is something mild and temporary with correct treatment, than maybe you would want to consider the horse (but head bobbing lame for two weeks sounds serious to me...hasn't the current owner had the horse looked at??). Otherwise, walk away.

There are many, many wonderful horse for sale and at rescues that are well trained, healthy and sound. There's no reason why you won't be able to find an other wonderful companion with a little more searching.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 22646
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 - 9:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome Angela,
He may not be the perfect horse for you. In 95% of the cases I agree with Fran because most folks buy horses to walk, trot, and run. It is not fair to ask a horse to do this on a lame leg. But there are exceptions and the important question is: could this horse be reasonably expected to meet your needs?

For instance, if all you need is a pasture companion for an older horse, the lameness might be acceptable. But even then what if the lameness is a rapidly progressive disorder that at best would be expensive and time consuming to keep humanely comfortable?

So to answer your question you need to be clear on your intended use and clear as to why this horse is lame.
DrO
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Jennifer R.
Member
Username: jjrichar

Post Number: 8
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 - 10:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I agree with everything Dr. O and Fran have said... if he is the perfect horse for your family then a vet check would be a worth while investment. The current owner may offer to pay for it, but typically the buyer is responsible for a prepurchase exam.

A head bob at the trot but nothing noticeable at other gaits does not mean he is not hurting or lame at the canter or walk... it just may not be as easy to see. For instance he may be choosing the most comfortable lead at the canter, etc.

We know of some ppl that found the perfect hunter pony for their daughter but on a prepurchase exam/x-rays they found he had a bone cyst. After discussing with their vet, they went ahead and purchased him and had the vet surgically remove the cyst. The pony made a complete recovery and was totally sound. So in some cases if you know that the lameness is treatable, it may not stop you from making the purchase.

If the current owner is not willing to have a vet exam done or you are not willing to pay for one, then, like Fran said, definitely move on and continue your search. There are many many talented, well trained horses out there and you may actually find a better one, believe it or not.

One more thing... if you pursue the purchase of this horse further, beware of the owner claiming he is now all of a sudden sound as they could load him with bute or other pain killers.

Good luck to you. Let us know what happens.
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Angela Zahorsky
New Member
Username: angiez

Post Number: 2
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 - 11:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks to everyone who responded...all incredibly
helpful! We're going to get him checked on Monday...will keep you posted.

Angie
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 2446
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 - 11:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Be sure to check hoofs; I've found with my own trimming that a bar not trimmed correctly will cause lameness to various degrees.

I have a horse who was kicked in the shoulder as a yearling and had on again and off again lameness for a couple of years. I think shoulder issues are the toughest to diagnose. I KNEW that is what it was, but farriers, vets, and knowledgeable horse folks each thought it was other areas! He has been sound for 2 years or more now, so I think he's as good as any other horse at this point.

That said, I'd pass on horse that may need pampering, and joint supplements at the least for the rest of his life. Why have a horse with issues, and one who will always be iffy to ride?

Angie J.
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Angela Z.
New Member
Username: angiez

Post Number: 3
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 8, 2009 - 11:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, and again thanks to all who responded.
We had him checked by our trusted vet. My vet found the lameness quickly. There was a lump on his near front coronet. Vet said to give him 3-4 weeks with bar shoes to heal. He might turn out sound, and he might not. He said the cause could have been as simple as an uneven ground "trip"

The lady said she would get the shoes on him. Well, she called me the next day and said she wasn't going to do it, and offered the horse to me for $200 cheaper. Unbelievable!! She's not going to help him. Is that not pure neglect?!?
The poor horse. As much as I would love to take him home and doctor him back to soundness if at all possible, we can't afford to take care of someone else's problem. Needless to say, we walked away and are still searching for that "perfect" horse. :-)

Angie
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Chris
Member
Username: stevens

Post Number: 746
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 8, 2009 - 11:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Smart decision Angie; there are many horses for sale out there. Good Luck finding the right one for you.
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Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 1913
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Apr 9, 2009 - 7:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm sorry it did not work out, Angie. Best of luck finding another prospect...there's no doubt that there are lots of wonderful animals out there looking for good, loving homes.
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Jennifer R.
Member
Username: jjrichar

Post Number: 47
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Thursday, Apr 9, 2009 - 8:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Awww sorry to hear that it didn't work out, Angie. I know that can be heartbreaking - find the perfect horse and then having it fall through. You did do the right thing though by walking away.

I am curious... did the vet say what the lump was? And was he talking about heart bar shoes or egg bar shoes or what?
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