Question: I am looking at a 16.3 hand 2 yr old appendix quarter horse gelding. His owner is a college student and can’t afford him anymore so she is selling him for a reasonable price. When he was 1 a bone spur was found on his hock. His owner had him injected with hock injections and has kept up on proper shoeing and neither her nor the trainer have seen any signs of the problem since. He is now 2 and is broken. He has been shown (hunter under saddle, equitation, and showmanship) and has won a good bit of money, and is ridden/worked everyday and hasn’t been injected since. I’m wondering if he could’ve grown out of this or if it is going to give me any future problems, i already have a horse with a badly injured back so i don’t need another hurt horse. I plan to do hunter under saddle, equitation, showmanship, some western pleasure, and some light jumping (around age 5) he will be worked just about everyday and shown almost every weekend. PLEASE HELP!!!!!
Answer from April Reeves: Ouch, there are many things you have written that suggest to me to look somewhere else for a horse. I’m not a vet but after all these years there are certain training methods that show up in physical problems down the road, and riding before the age of 3 is the most prominent.
Regardless of the bone spur, anyone who has started a horse that young and works it every day is setting the horse up for back issues down the road. No, there is never a guarantee of this, but your odds right now of having a horse with back issues are 50% and in my books, that’s 50% too much.
There are so many great appendix quarter horses for sale right now. In fact, there are many show quality horses for almost free it would be worth your while to investigate this. I know a real hot appendix in Missouri that stands 17HH that I would love to have in my barn. Not sure where you live but it’s my ‘strong’ suggestion to search further.
The hock may never show signs of damage again, but with the riding history, I’m betting money on it. If he was such an amazing horse at such an amazing price, I would put him out to pasture for 1 year with buddies. I use to put my OTTB’s on 30 acres together to run and play and eat all day and night. After one year, you knew if there were any injuries to worry about. Horses that run free tend to heal much faster and strengthen their bones, ligaments and tendons properly.
‘Movement’ is the key to horse health and healing. Confinement is the key to problems. Horses feet are much like ours, with ‘zones’ that create stimulation to organs. Taking this young horse home and putting him in confinement will increase your chances of many problems.
Try to find a horse that has less ‘odds’ of being a possible problem down the road. Paying for the horse is cheap; keeping it is the expensive part. It costs the same to feed a good horse as it does a bad horse. I don’t want to see anyone with 2 problem pets.
I’m curious about the back issues of your other horse?
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