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  1. #1
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    Default WWYD: perfect horse except... PIC #40 and update, good news!

    My friend has the opportunity to buy a horse for herself and maybe to resell. She would be using him eventually for adult hunter ring no higher than 3'6".

    The pros: He is GORGEOUS, 17h, dapple gray who is sweet, willing, calm, beautiful mover and pretty jump. He is cheap (2k) because he is slightly older and OTTB. He is sounds and has never pulled up lame in his race career.

    Cons: He is 8 and his vetting was totally clean (including flexions) EXCEPT for a little arthritis on the FRONT of his kneecap on the left leg that showed up on xray.

    Vet says probably wont be anything but without comparative xrays she can't say for sure.

    What does she do? Buy him or pass? What about resell?

    Thanks for any insight you have to offer.
    Last edited by CJ4ME; Nov. 8, 2012 at 10:55 PM.
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  2. #2
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    To me I would pass... I personally would not want to worry about the possible pain he might be in or the maintenance. But I am a worry wart.
    Plus, I could get a younger, 100% sound horse for that price that would greatly increase my chances at resale later on.

    Good luck to her for making the choice.... I am a sucker for dapples and chessy's.



  3. #3
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    How "possibly" is the resale? For a horse for me- especially at that price, with his attitude and quality, I would take that chance. But if she knows she's going to want to sell him in a year, it may be a bigger gamble. If the arthritis still looks the same next year, someone like me will still want him. If it doesn't...
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  4. #4
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    For resale, I think it's risky. The horse is relatively inexpensive because it has the potential for a problem. Taking baseline films now and then offering potential buyers comparative films in the future might allay concerns . . . or it may confirm that the arthritis is a problem.

    Whether the knee will stand up to regular jumping is also a question. You don't say how long the horse has been in its new job or how long/how much it raced.

    If she were buying just for herself she would only have to decide how much the knee bothers her. There's no way to know how much the knee will bother a future buyer. I once looked at a horse that had a chip that was currently not bothering the horse. My vet cautioned me that buying the horse as a "project" was risky, although he didn't have any hesitation about recommending it if it were just for me. I'm not a big fan of horses with knee problems myself.

    Your friend also needs to keep the economics in mind. If she buys a horse at $2K and keeps it for 6-8 months, she may have quite a bit of $$ in the horse (depending on whether she boards or keeps the horse at home). If the knee worries buyers, it may be hard to get that money out again, especially in this economy.
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  5. #5
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    That wouldn't bother me, and I'd still buy such a horse. So many horses who jump have arthritic changes of some sort.



  6. #6
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    I would wait on xrays to see how severe or minimal the arthritis is.
    I wouldn't buy him if my only option for him was resale, though. If it gets any worse or it turns out he can't comfortably do his job a couple months in, he may end up being a keeper.
    Most horses end up with some sort of required maintenance, 8 seems a bit young to be thinking about maintenance, but a little arthritis seems easily managed.
    That being said, I'd love to hear from someone who has experience with knee arthritis.
    If it isn't serious, I'd buy him for me...but I'm not sure I'd put my money on resale.
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  7. #7
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    I'm going to say no. 8 is young for arthritic changes to show on xray, IMHO. It makes this guy a risky project. Buyers will want to see a low price, so I just don't think it's likely that your friend would recoup her initial investment and costs.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  8. #8
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    How much work is he doing now? I can't tell if he is coming right from the track or has some re-training on him (you commented on his movement and jump). If he has either been consistently racing *or* consistently ridden in an jumping program for say, the last 6 months, I'd be OK with it. If he has been sitting in a field, I would be a lot more worried about it.

    As far as resale, there are a lot of people who aren't going to consider an TB who ever raced from the start. I think once those are weeded out, many people would be OK with some changes. She should hold on to those x-rays as a something to compare to in the future.



  9. #9
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    Thanks so much for the answers so far
    He has been in consistent racing work and is newly off track. So far minimal jumping.

    Owner says he was kicked in the knee as a yearling and that is probably the source of calcification on kneecap but who knows? We are hoping he has xrays from then to confirm...or any really...so we could see if there was any progression. It isn't IN the joint at all. Just on the top of the knee cap, so if it stayed like that it would never be an issue --> but if it progressed it might be.

    Obviously we are hoping owner has previous films.
    Ransomed from Suerteland.

    “Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.”
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ4ME View Post
    Thanks so much for the answers so far
    He has been in consistent racing work and is newly off track. So far minimal jumping.

    Owner says he was kicked in the knee as a yearling and that is probably the source of calcification on kneecap but who knows? We are hoping he has xrays from then to confirm...or any really...so we could see if there was any progression. It isn't IN the joint at all. Just on the top of the knee cap, so if it stayed like that it would never be an issue --> but if it progressed it might be.

    Obviously we are hoping owner has previous films.
    I would not be too deterred to purchase as a personal horse, especially since it seems the owner has a long history on this horse and good flexion tests. However, if the buyer is looking at this horse as a potential resale prospect, there are A LOT of OTTB's out there that are a better age, a better price, and will vet 100% clean. Not saying that this one isn't worth the chance, just that if I was looking for a resale project I wouldn't want anything to deter future buyers other than suitablility.


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  11. #11
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    I personally wouldn't be deterred by the films for a horse of that age and of that price range without any history of unsoundness. But, I think 2K is possibly a little high for an 8 yo OTTB without any retraining. If I still wanted the horse and felt that it was really special, I'd use the films to negotiate and I'd probably still buy it. Yes, anything that shows up on x-rays will affect resale, pretty much no matter what.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ako View Post
    I'm going to say no. 8 is young for arthritic changes to show on xray, IMHO. It makes this guy a risky project. Buyers will want to see a low price, so I just don't think it's likely that your friend would recoup her initial investment and costs.
    It's really not all that young. I vetted 4 horses between 3 and 6 a few years back, all had mild arthritic changes in a joint or two. I passed on the ankle and knee arthritis, bought the one with mild hock changes (with the a-ok of two very good sporthorse/lameness vets). In 3.5 years, has never been an issue.

    For resell, you are bumping up against 2 things. One, arthritis in a knee, which is typically more problematic for a jumping horse than hock arthritis, and 2, his age. At 8 now, he'll be 9 in January and just coming off the track, with a lot of remedial work to be done. A 10 year old with no real show record or experience, plus arthritis, isn't really worth a whole lot.



  13. #13
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    My trakehner was kicked in the knee when he was 2 and had some calcification. He was never bothered by it. I was actually able to find films from right after the injury occurred and compared them to his films when I bought him at age 5. He died at 17 and there was never a problem with it.

    2K for a nice, large gray gelding is probably not out of line if is sound, has as great mind and is a nice mover. You can certainly find OTTBs for less but they will be smaller and less colorful. The age doesn't bother me but I also have a lot of respect for TBs that stay sound over a long career. I bought a mare who retired at 7 with 56 starts and her legs were clean as a whistle. Horses that are truly sound after racing that long are usually pretty tough. However, 8 is starting to be old to be "green" so it really does come down to how much she wants to resell vs. keep.

    It's still a risk for resale but then again, you could buy a "perfect" horse today and it could get injured tomorrow.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaintedHunter View Post
    That wouldn't bother me, and I'd still buy such a horse. So many horses who jump have arthritic changes of some sort.
    I would buy a horse with early OA for my personal use. If it's not showing clinical signs yet (e.g. lameness), then he's probably got several more solid years in him, depending on how it's managed. And of all the problems you can find on a PPE, OA is one of the most manageable. It's a little risky because your friend is looking for a resale horse, though. See how many responders here wouldn't buy a horse even for themselves that had OA. She's going to meet that opposition when she goes to resell him.

    Quote Originally Posted by ako View Post
    I'm going to say no. 8 is young for arthritic changes to show on xray, IMHO. It makes this guy a risky project. Buyers will want to see a low price, so I just don't think it's likely that your friend would recoup her initial investment and costs.
    Yes, 8 is young, but not that young. I did PPEs on several 4 year olds and younger that had radiographic evidence of OA. Now that is young. Plus, the horse is an OTTB. I'm somewhat surprised that he's 8 and that's the only thing they were able to find on a PPE.



  15. #15
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    First, I do think that a lot of OTTB have something that will show up on a PPE. However, if she really does intend to resell the horse instead of keep it for herself, I might look for something a vet can confidently endorse instead of saying the usual, "well it could be nothing but then again it could be something, it's your call." This phrase makes people nervous. The arthritis is not a huge issue at this point and might never be, but in this economy that will really drive down the price people are willing to pay because so many OTTBs are available for so little money that don't have issues like that. I would tell her to keep looking and she can probably find another horse that has more resale potential.



  16. #16
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    Is this horse a hunter now or just coming off the track? If he's a show horse now, 17 hands, big pretty color and only $2000... I'm suspicious there's a reason why?!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    Is this horse a hunter now or just coming off the track? If he's a show horse now, 17 hands, big pretty color and only $2000... I'm suspicious there's a reason why?!
    She replied earlier that the horse is recently off the track.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ4ME View Post
    Thanks so much for the answers so far
    He has been in consistent racing work and is newly off track. So far minimal jumping.

    Owner says he was kicked in the knee as a yearling and that is probably the source of calcification on kneecap but who knows? We are hoping he has xrays from then to confirm...or any really...so we could see if there was any progression. It isn't IN the joint at all. Just on the top of the knee cap, so if it stayed like that it would never be an issue --> but if it progressed it might be.

    Obviously we are hoping owner has previous films.

    If he has been consistently racing....wouldn't worry me at all.

    For resale--his age is the bigger issue. But at that price, if he is easy, he should still have a market and she will have fun bringing him along in the process.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLeventer View Post
    She replied earlier that the horse is recently off the track.


    I missed that, and was confused by the fact that he seems to be jumping in the original post.

    I think the price is still a touch low for what he is, if he's as nice as she says. And I'm a little leery as a result. I am used to good size/good color/good temperment gelding OTTBs lightly restarted being more in the $4000-5000 price range and I am wondering why this one isn't.

    Why did he retire? Do we know?
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  20. #20
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    Usually I'm pretty cautious, but that description doesn't scare me off. If I read correctly, the x-ray finding was the only clue - there wasn't anything in the exam/flexions to raise a red flag? Then it seems a pretty minimal finding and not at all unexpected given the age and history. Long as the vet is a good one that I trust not to miss anything, I just don't see a big worry there. The vet should be able to provide some feedback on the risk if told what the plans for use and future (including possible resale) are.



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