Absolutely gutted :( what do I do now? :(

OzzyBuffy

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I have a 15.2/3 tb on full loan, haven't had him too long but in that short time I have really built up a bond with him, He was my only horse until I picked up my new rescue mare. The plan was to keep ''bigboy'' (as i call him lol!), until january time, then re-discuss the loan and decide whether I want to take him for a year, and I really did want to, hopefully eventually once she trusted me enough she would allow me to buy him as I love him. (Shes had him for quite a few years and always keeps her horses until the day the die)

I recieved a text last night from his owner saying she was digging into his history a little as a youngster through curiosity, and we know he raced, and did a small amount of point to point, but we didn't know he had done polo. Turns out he had done alot of polo for a german army, and during that time he had a massive break in his front leg just above the knee which took well over 6 months just to fix. Owner said she phoned her vet immediately who knows the horse really well and she explained the break, and the vet immediately said with a break like that he should never be ridden again, and if he was then to make sure it was very very light, e.g walk with maybe a 2 minute trot. Absolutely no jumping or cantering/galloping.

Owner is trying to get hold of vet in germany that repaired his leg to find out the exact ins and outs

I love this boy to bits and I'd keep him as a field potato and just let him live out his days (He is 13 currently), but I really really don't want my riding to go backwards, as I am a nervous rider and it has taken me along time to trust him and be able to ride feeling safe, so I need something to ride to continue to go forwards in my riding abilities rather than backwards, and money will not allow me to have 3 horses. I won't give up my rescue mare because I swore to myself she would have a forever home as she has had a horribly rough time of it already, and I need something that I can ride.

I hate going to try horses out for full loan, because I get nervous when people watch me and I make silly mistakes, I am also the sort of person that won't ride a horse for a week or so but lunge instead and build a bit of trust first. I have a bad back and can't risk having any major falls or I'll never ride again. And if I were loaning my horse out I would definately want to see the loaner ride my horse to check they can ride in the first place, and that they are not to heavy in their heads etc. So I really think I am going to struggle finding a new one :(

I am half upset because I do not want to give current horse up, but half upset knowing that I'll probably not find another :(

I still can't believe that he had such a severe break but has never come up lame after jumping, cantering and galloping.

Just some advice and reassurance is what I am looking for, not sure where to turn!
 
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OzzyBuffy

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I have limited knowledge of breaks, but was under the impression that once a bone had healed it was as strong as a normal bone.

What does your own vet say?
I haven't had a chance to speak to own vet yet as only found out late last night, I can phone them today but I really think they will just say the same thing as the other vet, but I guess I could be wrong.

I think it heals and is as strong but they develop problems late on in life? I really have no clue as I don't know the exact type of break and what they had to do to repair it, I am waiting to hear.
 

tallyho!

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Hmm, well what have you been doing on him since you had him? If ou have been doing more than walk for however many months with no problems then I can't see how changing things now are going to make a difference.

If it does happen that can't ride him then don't you worry. Lots of horses out there looking for homes and sounds like they would be lucky to have you. It's not the end of the world - look at it as positively as possible.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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first ask vet to check injury then maybe the below advise

where u are does the field allow you to have another horse??

could u buy this chap then loan him out on condition he stays at your place??
there is prob a yummy mummy out there who want to loan a horse for 2 - 3 times a week just to plod( we have found two loanies who loan and horses stay here) one is a working girl who rides


then you could buy your extra one knowing the chaps keep is sorted.

I also have had several bad falls all resulting on re damaging areas already damaged

first in 70s damage -3-4-5- vertebrae
broken shoulder and clavicle
later resulted in sciatica = nearly got paralyzed for life.

in 2007 got cancer and a fall re=damaged the above nearly lost my life physio said i shouldn't have survived this is just the tip on my injuries so i know how you feel.

I would start buy trying to find a loanie i charge 15 a day for the loanie to ride so x 3 a week thats 45 so would help pay food but obviously if she could ride more the better or get a 2nd lonie then his keep fully covered
 
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OzzyBuffy

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Hmm, well what have you been doing on him since you had him? If ou have been doing more than walk for however many months with no problems then I can't see how changing things now are going to make a difference.

If it does happen that can't ride him then don't you worry. Lots of horses out there looking for homes and sounds like they would be lucky to have you. It's not the end of the world - look at it as positively as possible.
Ive done a very small amount of jumping, jumping isnt really something I am interested in at the moment so havent done much, but have been cantering and galloping around from time to time. He has never appeared lame, and has always been more than willing to do the jumping etc, and I did say this to owner, but she said the problem is apparently it will cause him problems later on in life.

I know there are lots out there, I just struggle to find one, I have had so many ''bombproofs'' that have thrown me off and now I have back problems and lack of trust in most horses, so finding the right one is going to take so long, I just worry my riding will go backwards in that time!
Thank you for your words of encouragement though
 

OzzyBuffy

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first ask vet to check injury then maybe the below advise

where u are does the field allow you to have another horse??

could u buy this chap then loan him out on condition he stays at your place??
there is prob a yummy mummy out there who want to loan a horse for 2 - 3 times a week just to plod( we have found two loanies who loan and horses stay here) one is a working girl who rides


then you could buy your extra one knowing the chaps keep is sorted.

I also have had several bad falls all resulting on redamaging areas already damaged

first in 70s damage -3-4-5- vertebrae
broken shoulder and clavicle
later resulted in sciatic = nearly got paralyzed for life.

in 2007 got cancer and a fall re=damaged the above nearly lost my life physio said i shouldnt have survived this is just the tip on my injuries so i know how you feel.

I would start buy trying to find a loanie i charge 15 a day for the loanie to ride so x 3 a week thats 45 so would help pay food but obviously if she could ride more the better or get a 2nd lonie then his keep fully covered
I don't have the funds to buy at the moment, and I definately don't have the funds to loan, current owner is paying insurance and part of his livery. I only pay for feed and farrier. I can afford to take a horse on and pay for everything, but loaning would work out alot more expensive for me. Insurance is around £25 a month, livery is £50, and if horse needs shoes then £65 for those. But I am sure I can find a horse that needs just front 2, if not barefoot. But loaning at £45 a week and not being able to have horse close to home would be pointless for me. But thank you for your suggestions
 

OzzyBuffy

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have you thought of horse welfare they have horses for loan??

so no buying necessary
No I havent, Ill have a look at that. Ill keep an eye out on nfed etc aswell, maybe even place an ad describing what I would like. Its not just finding the horse, its viewing it, I get so nervous, I don't know why, I have always been like that!
 

tallyho!

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That's ok. Sounds like you need a big ol' hug.

A break above the knee is serious at the time but once healed, that bone is seriously strong. If it was a joint or tendon damage I would understand but if he's been working well, I wouldn't stop him. But then that's just my opinion and what I would do if i were in your shoes - still I guess you have to wait for results.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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then I would get your vet if poss to take xray of injury sight so u can see first hand the condition of the sight give him good joint supplement ( equimins flexi joint) is second to non
amazing stuff do supplying exercises like walking trotting over raised poles turns circles figure of 8 just work along those line keep him fit and supple

http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/help-today/horse-loan-scheme-search

they get horses in from people who die and leave horse to them in theri will

thats what i am doing with my clan so i know that when/ if i die they will become horse welfare horse and their future safe
 
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OzzyBuffy

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Where in the country are you and what would you like to do with any potential horse you have?
I am in South West area, I don't want to do any major showing, I just want to happy hack to begin with, with the odd cross country, I definately want to get out more which was what I was planning on doing with this horse, and when I got him he didn't load, he now loads like a dream, didn't hack alone without being incredibly spooky (spinning, rearing, trotting backwards), he now hacks beautifully. I have worked so hard on getting him where he is, and would put that into a new horse if I could find one.

I may end up taking on something thats a major project and doesnt hack atall, at least its something to work with
 

soulfull

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I think it all depends on how close to a joint the fracture was as to whether it would be as strong as before. For instance I badly fractured my tib and fib dislocating my ankle. Because the fracture was close to joints it would never be as strong as it was.
Ok I have had additional problems and needed an ankle replacement BUT thats a different story

I can understand owners point of view as well as yours. It is really hard when you find out something like this.

I don't think it would matter what any vet you had said, owner is always going to go on the side of caution as its human nature

I would keep looking for a loan horse or even a share maybe the answer especially if you need to travel a little or costs are higher
 

Fransurrey

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I think the easiest thing is to get current vet to scan and x-ray if you want to be sure that he's ok.

Chances are though, you'd have seen signs of weakness by now! Whoever put him on the road to recovery obviously did a very good job!
 

Milanesa

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hey, i feel for you. However if the horse is sound and happy doing what it is doing whats the worry? I don't understand the 'it will have problems in the future' - the future may be 10 years away, why turn it into a field ornament if not necessary.

I understand your pain as i too have had a similar thing. Polo pony broke the bone at the back of the knee last season- vet xrayed-completely splity in 2 pieces. He advised box rest etc, we did that all summer. He came back and re-xrayed, same unfortuantely the bone had not healed. He advised pts as it was still lame and thought it was unable to recover. We didn't pts, and turned away over winter, brought her back in and sound as a pound! Re x-rayed, no-bone still split in 2,vet advised it is a miracle should not even be walking-but it is FINE! Has been retraining as riding horse, i have jumped it (small obviously) walk, trot, canter etc, all steady but she has stayed sound. So i do know where u are coming from on this.

What i am trying to say is i undertsand it is only loaned by you, but surely the owner can't stop the horse enjoying life now beacuse what may occur in the future? Would be good to get a local vet down to x-ray the horse and give you an honest diagnosis now, i would suspect as it was so long ago and the horse is sound vet will advise keep doing what u are doing? If you are only happy hackign and small jumps anyway it can't be that much of an increasec risk? Good luck x
 

amage

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Eh the horse had a break YEARS ago, has been fine all along (which is obvious coz owner didn't mention till now) and suddenly this has been discovered and her vet says it can't do anything. Sounds a bit ridiculous....I don't know of any vet that would make that kind of diagnosis when the horse has been perfect all along and had no issues! I'm guessing the vet misunderstood and thought she was talking about a horse with a current break I would ask to sit down with owner and discuss with vet but if the horse is happy & sound then why stop him?
 

OzzyBuffy

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Eh the horse had a break YEARS ago, has been fine all along (which is obvious coz owner didn't mention till now) and suddenly this has been discovered and her vet says it can't do anything. Sounds a bit ridiculous....I don't know of any vet that would make that kind of diagnosis when the horse has been perfect all along and had no issues! I'm guessing the vet misunderstood and thought she was talking about a horse with a current break I would ask to sit down with owner and discuss with vet but if the horse is happy & sound then why stop him?
I understand what everyones saying and I do agree with the why should we stop but I think what the owner is probably thinking is does she want to spend all that money (and she trusts her vet greatly) too see if hes likely to have any more problems. And shes concerned hes been in pain all these yars whilst we have been riding, and she said he will end up probably arthiritic, and she understandably does not want him on bute for the rest of his life.
I think he would have shown and told us that he was in pain after all this time, and I am totally gutted that she wants to retire him. He is incredibly bored in his field when hes not being ridden, he paces, gets anxious, if hes left for too long then ridden hes a loony. He needs some form of work and really needs his mind keeping active.

I just don't know where to turn, so worried I'll not find something else and worried that he will be unnessecarily rested when he has so much talent and potential.
 

Milanesa

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I understand what everyones saying and I do agree with the why should we stop but I think what the owner is probably thinking is does she want to spend all that money (and she trusts her vet greatly) too see if hes likely to have any more problems. And shes concerned hes been in pain all these yars whilst we have been riding, and she said he will end up probably arthiritic, and she understandably does not want him on bute for the rest of his life.
I think he would have shown and told us that he was in pain after all this time, and I am totally gutted that she wants to retire him. He is incredibly bored in his field when hes not being ridden, he paces, gets anxious, if hes left for too long then ridden hes a loony. He needs some form of work and really needs his mind keeping active.

I just don't know where to turn, so worried I'll not find something else and worried that he will be unnessecarily rested when he has so much talent and potential.
hi, sorry but i think this is unreasonable! She cannot possibly think retiring now will make much difference, in the majority of cases older horses with old injuries do BETTER in gentle work. It will not costs much, a vet check and x-ray is a few hundred pounds, but surely that is the best thing to do? Perhaps you could offer to pay a percentage as you enjoy the horse so much and don't want to retire him unnecessarily. If it was my horse i would do exactly this, if he has been fine up to now then i would certainly not retire for the sake of something that may occur in any gfiven time in the future-you never know whats around the corner escpecially with a horse...
 

Wagtail

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We had a horse that was a ex steeple chaser. He had bowed tendons, but was otherwise sound and we had him in full work for two years. Then one day he was bucking in the paddock and his hind leg completely snapped. He was PTS within 20 minutes, poor lad. But the point is, the vet thought it was an old break or hairline fracture from an old racing injury. It was devastating, but just think how much worse it would have been if one of us had been riding him. I would not be riding your horse, OP, until he has had new xrays and a second opinion, for his own sake and for your own safety.

I do not think the owner is being at all unreasonable.
 
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Tickles

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TBH if I loaned out a horse and then found out something about it's medical history that made me want it retired immediately I would be FURIOUS if loaner even contemplated getting on its back.

It doesn't matter how much trust you've built with the horse and what you've gained from him already. At the end of the day he belongs to someone else (who does sound to have his best interests at heart) and you have to do what they say.

Rest assured that most horses do adapt very well retirement at grass. They don't have, as far as I can tell, the same ideas about fulfilling potential we do!

His owner may want him in light work later but as long as he has equine company he should be fine. You could always ask about taking him for occasional walks in hand when (or if, she may calm down once shock has worn off and she has more vet advice) he goes back to owner. Keep the good relationship you have with owner, it is as important as the one you have with the horse.

Given that you would struggle with extra financial commitments and already have one horse I'd strongly recommend NOT buying another. Loaning (and yes, you will have to ride in public but you'll get over it!) or sharing would be much better. That way if anything expensive (e.g. a broken leg...) happens to your horse and you can't afford long term care for it it won't automatically be PTS. If you buy a horse today it could be injured tomorrow and not be ridable again.

I appreciate this is all a bit of a shock (I was very upset when my old share ended) but
- your loan/share horse clearly has a very caring owner
- you've learnt a lot
- and the horse was very fortunate to have belonged to someone with the funds to get it through the fracture and after-care.

Really this is not a bad story :)
 

OzzyBuffy

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TBH if I loaned out a horse and then found out something about it's medical history that made me want it retired immediately I would be FURIOUS if loaner even contemplated getting on its back.

It doesn't matter how much trust you've built with the horse and what you've gained from him already. At the end of the day he belongs to someone else (who does sound to have his best interests at heart) and you have to do what they say.

Rest assured that most horses do adapt very well retirement at grass. They don't have, as far as I can tell, the same ideas about fulfilling potential we do!

His owner may want him in light work later but as long as he has equine company he should be fine. You could always ask about taking him for occasional walks in hand when (or if, she may calm down once shock has worn off and she has more vet advice) he goes back to owner. Keep the good relationship you have with owner, it is as important as the one you have with the horse.

Given that you would struggle with extra financial commitments and already have one horse I'd strongly recommend NOT buying another. Loaning (and yes, you will have to ride in public but you'll get over it!) or sharing would be much better. That way if anything expensive (e.g. a broken leg...) happens to your horse and you can't afford long term care for it it won't automatically be PTS. If you buy a horse today it could be injured tomorrow and not be ridable again.

I appreciate this is all a bit of a shock (I was very upset when my old share ended) but
- your loan/share horse clearly has a very caring owner
- you've learnt a lot
- and the horse was very fortunate to have belonged to someone with the funds to get it through the fracture and after-care.

Really this is not a bad story :)
I think that was a bit harsh. I would NEVER put him through pain, and wouldn't consider getting back on him if for a second I thought it was cause a problem, your missing the point that he is 13 and has spent the last 8-9 odd years being ridden like a normal well healthy horse and had no problems, so instant retirement is a massive shock to me!

I CAN afford too have two, she offered to help me as it made things easier for me, when January came I was going to take up complete responsibility for all costs, which I am happy to do now! But she has already said she is more than happy helping out with his costs as I not bathing in my own cash currently!

Yes if he needs retiring this is what I will do, I have discussed xray and this is the step we are going to take, why rest a horse that may have no implications? Like someone said, you never know whats round the corner, and if we lived on what-if's, no horse would ever be ridden!


Edit- and yes she does have his best interests at heart but people do crazy things when in shock and under pressure, and I just feel shes not thought it through completely... I was seeking advice for his welfare and making the best of my hobby.
 
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Milanesa

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We had a horse that was a ex steeple chaser. He had bowed tendons, but was otherwise sound and we had him in full work for two years. Then one day he was bucking in the paddock and his hind leg completely snapped. He was PTS within 20 minutes, poor lad. But the point is, the vet thought it was an old break or hairline fracture from an old racing injury. It was devastating, but just think how much worse it would have been if one of us had been riding him. I would not be riding your horse, OP, until he has had new xrays and a second opinion, for his own sake and for your own safety.

I do not think the owner is being at all unreasonable.
OP What made her go back and check the history of the horse? If she hadn't done this all would be none the wiser and horse would be happily plodding around. You need a vet to check it and give you an honest opinion as to its suitability to be ridden etc...understand owner is very caring though and wants to look out for both of you.

wagtail-this is exactly what i am saying if it was fine one day then suddenly leg snaps in field- these events cannot be forseen! You say yourself he was in fullwork for 2 years with no problems, then in the field something happens, are you saying if you knew in hindsight that you would have not enjoyed said horse over the 2 years in the case that it 'might' have an old fracture?

It is a hard call but vet really needs to give you a diagnosis as to how it is now and in forseeable future..
 

Milanesa

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I think that was a bit harsh. I would NEVER put him through pain, and wouldn't consider getting back on him if for a second I thought it was cause a problem, your missing the point that he is 13 and has spent the last 8-9 odd years being ridden like a normal well healthy horse and had no problems, so instant retirement is a massive shock to me!

I CAN afford too have two, she offered to help me as it made things easier for me, when January came I was going to take up complete responsibility for all costs, which I am happy to do now! But she has already said she is more than happy helping out with his costs as I not bathing in my own cash currently!

Yes if he needs retiring this is what I will do, I have discussed xray and this is the step we are going to take, why rest a horse that may have no implications? Like someone said, you never know whats round the corner, and if we lived on what-if's, no horse would ever be ridden!
Well done OP, gets xrays then go from there IMO, if the horse has been ridden for last 8 of so years happily and is not lame then i see no need for immediate retirement on a what if basis!
 

OzzyBuffy

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Well done OP, gets xrays then go from there IMO, if the horse has been ridden for last 8 of so years happily and is not lame then i see no need for immediate retirement on a what if basis!
I am really hoping we get the xray done asap because having this on my mind is horrible, I would rather know he needs retiring now than wonder for ages. She said shes going to phone the vet to discuss whether an xray is a good idea?

Obviousley the answer to that is yes!

And as for why is she routing through history now... haven't got a clue, but it could be because shes coming to see him for the first time since loaning him to me this sunday, and I think she was going to bring things down, such as his passport (yes I know I should have had this anyway, I had asked for it quite aot but shes just had a baby and she had a traumatic birth and has had lots of complications so didn't push my luck)
 

corbleu

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Oh :( what an awful thing to find. I know it's still all quite new to you and the owner of the horse but just wondering how much information the vet had when they recommended he be retired to the field for the rest of his days! Generally speaking a broken bone, when healed, is exceptionally strong but it really depends on how long ago it was broken as it takes time and exercise to build that strength back up and also to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments which support the bone. I also wonder had the vet seen x-rays of the break and also post-recovery, in my experience we in the horse-world tend to exaggerate illness and injury just a tad!! (can't count how many times I've been told by YO that my horse has a "massive cut and it's really bad" gone racing up to the yard to find a bit of a bump that's bled slightly!!!) and so without those I think any management plan is going to be hindered. I would also consider what the horse has been doing since the break occurred. If he has been happily walking, trotting, cantering etc... then for the sake of his mental health I think it's suddenly unfair he be retired. Other things that can affect the healing is how old the horse was at the time - youngsters tend to bounce back than middle-aged and older horses. Do you get on well with the owner of the horse? If possible I'd pop round for a coffee and have a chat with her. Explain to her your concerns and ask if it would be possible to do some more research, maybe get another opinion from the vet (you may find you have to offer to pay for this yourself if the owner would otherwise be happy for him to retire) and look into having some investigative work done with the horse (x-rays for example) to ensure the bone is healthy. Once you have all the information you are in a much stronger position to make an informed decision about the boy's future.
 

Wagtail

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wagtail-this is exactly what i am saying if it was fine one day then suddenly leg snaps in field- these events cannot be forseen! You say yourself he was in fullwork for 2 years with no problems, then in the field something happens, are you saying if you knew in hindsight that you would have not enjoyed said horse over the 2 years in the case that it 'might' have an old fracture?

It is a hard call but vet really needs to give you a diagnosis as to how it is now and in forseeable future..
Yes, I am saying that had I known about the fracture and what might happen if it was put under too much strain, I would not have ridden him. I bought him as a companion to my mare and was not sure how much he could do in any case due to the fact that he had broken down on both front tendons. I took him very slowly and was delighted to find that he stayed completely sound and did well in dressage. Though looking back, he did struggle in the beginning with right canter. I have retrained quite a few ex racers and this is not at all uncommon due to them running mainly left handed tracks and so I thought nothing of it. However, it was his right hind cannon bone that suffered the compound fracture, and so maybe he was feeling it, but not enough to make him unsound? But I would have felt even more terrible if I had been riding him when the leg gave way, and also it could have resulted in serious injury to myself too. So no, I would not have ridden him had I known.
 
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