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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2010

    Default Advice on how to deal with lame horses for sale

    I am starting to loose my stomach for this industry, and getting discouraged.

    Horse shopping is the worst. I have seen so much crap this fall, and some of it I am having trouble shaking this time around.

    None of the horses have been neglected to the point they are in danger, but some of it just makes me sad and discouraged.

    An example I can't shake;

    Nice little mare. Advertised as taller, but what's new about that? First thing I notices was the duct tape wrapped halter and the sores the duct tape was trying to reduce. Apparently she was getting hard to catch, and the 24/7 wearing of a poorly fitting halter was leaving her with toonie sized sores.

    Then I noticed her hooves wearing more toe then heel.

    then the super short standing martingale "because she lifts her head when you go to get off" and the waterford bit.

    Go to watch her ridden; poor horse is so lame on at least both fronts (possibly all 4) she can hardly walk! (at least a foot from tracking up) And they ride every day according to the barn owner and JUMP HER! I was looking at another horse at the same barn, so I left the ring to look at the other horse, and when I came back they were cantering...poor horse went down to her knees.

    I told owner "the horse is obviously sore so I can't consider her"

    The things is, this person rides with a trainer who coaches hunter/jumper! She has to know her clients horse is sickeningly lame! I mean I know it can be hard to tell when a horse is bilaterally lame, but this horse isn't being subtle. At the very least the farrier should know!

    I feel for the horse, and feel for the person who is suckered into buying I imagine the horse will feel better once its feet are frozen in snow and they will find some naive fool to buy her.

    Is there anything I can do to help this horse? Or help the fuure hapless buyer? It has been 2 weeks since I went to see her, and I see her ad reposted regularly. No change in price or mention of lameness/special needs. Cute horse too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2007


    Not much you can do. Unless you want to buy her. I had a client go look at a horse and bring it home on trial. The horse was sweet but not UTD on anything. Needed shots, shoes, teeth done etc..

    Told the client the horse was lame. Took said horse to the vet and it was lame to such an extent the vet could not decide which part to look at first.

    The horse went back to seller. It was regularly advertised on several sites as 'sound' 'great legs'. They were jumping this horse as well.

    I haven't seen it advertised recently so I hope it is okay. It would be better off with someone else but I'd hate for them to buy the horse and not know it was lame.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009


    Some people just have really shocking definitions of "sound." I'm not sure if they have visual difficulties or are in denial or just truly don't know any better. In those cases, they may have assumed your statement regarding the horse being lame was a dirty attempt to negotiate the price down. Or, perhaps they are just on a fishing expedition for an uneducated buyer who will foolishly forego having a PPE.

    There is nothing you can do, short of buying the horse as a charitable cause.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
    down south


    It is hard to see for sure. I saw plenty in my years search for a horse. Sad for sure but nothing you can do.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008


    I agree - I went out to look at one advertised as sound, and just turned and walked away when I saw that one leg was turned nearly 180 degrees. It was bizarre, and they were RIDING this horse. I guess he probably was sorta SOUND, but not something I wanted. For some reason it didn't show up in the pictures they had taken

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007


    Almost 2 years ago the trainer I had looking for me found a great horse at a show.
    Asking around, everyone knew the horse and how good it was and said it was ok.
    The seller was a veterinarian, his kids had won much the five years they had him.
    He was getting older and needed a bit less showing.
    The veterinarian guaranteed him sound and being a vet, well, the trainer didn't do a PPE, not that it would have shown anything.

    The trainer bought the horse, the trainer rode him the second day, I rode him the next day and he was sound, the next day he was slightly off in one front.

    Three different vets and several farriers and a year later, the horse was still not sound, but no one could find anything specific.

    The vet had washed it's hands right off, the horse was sound when he sold it.
    We think now, in hindsight, that probably the last year of showing he was injecting him to keep him sound and did right before he sold him.
    We sure don't want to go there with him, so he is a pasture ornament.

    Since we can't prove it, well, there is nothing we can do.
    The veterinarian, his kids grown, was getting out of showing, so word of mouth about the questionable sale didn't seem to matter to that vet any more.

    You really can't trust anyone any more, just hope your luck holds.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2010


    Of the EIGHT horses I have looked at recently, only one was likely sound...and that one needed to be backed down the entire arena to be mounted.

    The most recent one I was pretty sure was lame in the video, but was hoping it was something easily treated as she was exactly what I needed for a new lesson horse. Vet could only pinpoint it was the LF hoof, but could not ascertain why, so I passed. Seller went from being "oh, I just love Poopsy, and I am not sure I even want to sell her", to asking me about the local auctions...gee, maybe Poopsy deserves at least a little decent farrier care first?

    It was hard to still send her back, but I can't take on someone else's vet bill. Hopefully my vet report will encourage them to try to get her sound though.

    The number of lame horses is really making me discouraged about looking. Not sure if that is just the state of horses in general around here, or just that people are only selling their lame ones.

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