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

JFTDWS

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I currently have a pony on box rest with a cortical fracture of his radius. I was told by my vet in no uncertain terms (I was shocked by how forthright and adamant he was about it) that provided the second series of x-rays (due in a few weeks) show that it has healed and he comes up sound, the pony will be fine to come back into full work. Bear in mind that I am talking about a just turned five year old who the vet in question knows I plan to BD, WHP and event locally... He was very keen to explain that bone injuries, once healed, are as strong, if not stronger than prior to the injury. He described bone as a very honest tissue - whereas tendon and ligament damage rarely heals fully and injuries are likely to recurr, bone is pretty much either damaged beyond any repair or will be fine.

That said, it would depend on the nature of the injury - he also told me of a horse who he had operated on to remove a chip, and discovered the entire radius was like "crazy paving" with numerous hairline fractures. Before taking any chances, I would want to rule out the more unusual instances like this. I also think you need to know more about the type of fracture, as a full, displaced fracture of a radius seems unlikely (not impossible, but I think most displaced fractures of the radius would be pts on the spot as it would be hard to fix)...

I really hope you find out it isn't as severe as you first thought and the vet revises his judgement. Certainly I wouldn't advocate riding him until you know, but I wouldn't panic that his career is necessarily over either :) Good luck!
 

Ella19

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Oh how awful for you and his owner to find out! I have to say if he was my horse I would rather ride and see and have him happy than retired and miserable (yes some horses don't settle to retirement, I have first hand experience of this many times before anyone shoots me down). But I do understand that if he's on loan it's not so much her running the risk but you and that puts you and him in danger.

P.S Don't worry about trying other horses, secretly we all get nervous and make silly mistakes, people won't expect you to ride amazingly, I certainly would forgive someone the first time as long as they are safe and sympathetic!
 

OzzyBuffy

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Thank you too everyone for your replies. I am happy to help owner with costs, its not so much that she can't afford it, it's that she has always trusted her vet and I think shes made a decision a bit fast and decided thats it.

She has said she will see if he can have light work 2-3 times a week, but she also said she definately wants to wrap him up in cotton wool. I totally understand her feelings, shes a brilliant horse owner, but at the same time I have a gut instinct that retiring him to even light work is going to ''ruin'' him in some ways. He gets bored as it is, I haven't been able to ride for a month now because of a back injury, and its sent him crazy, he hates it, and then when hes ridden he is very fizzy and will rear, and do allsorts of other things through excitement, he needs to be working constantly really until hes alot older, when hopefully his body will realise its time to slow down. I think if he has to be semi-retired or retired the kinder option would actually bt pts. I don't think he would settle into retirement at the moment atall. Although it wouldn't kill him, I have seen the mental affects of him being bored, the pacing, the scratching at the floor constantly, he's losing the spark in his eyes and always hangs his head low. This is not the horse I know when hes in work!!!
 

Tickles

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OP, you and the horse's owner obviously have different ideas about how best to manage this horse. TBH I think it would be best if you gave it back to her (with reasonable notice and once she will be able to cope what with baby and all) and moved on.

I speak as someone who was initially very upset when a previous share ended (for financial reasons of the owner). But am now very happy with my new share, particularly in that the owner and I see very much eye-to-eye on the horse's welfare.

I didn't know if I'd ever share again, I certainly wasn't plannign on it so soon. But the opportunity arose and it is *much* more relaxing when you and owner agree on what is best for horse.

You clearly understand that your owner will do her best to care for this horse well. But you also have different ideas and believe that you know best. Tough as it sounds I'd quit while you're ahead and still have a good relationship with the owner.

I can, and, now, much later, occasionally do, see my old share. Still isn't managed as I would prefer but is well-cared for and now it doesn't have to bother me so much.

If it helps ask to keep a lock of tail/shoe/other memento of this horse.

But do know there are others out there, some of who will have owners willing to take the risks you think appropriate with their horses.
 

OzzyBuffy

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OP, you and the horse's owner obviously have different ideas about how best to manage this horse. TBH I think it would be best if you gave it back to her (with reasonable notice and once she will be able to cope what with baby and all) and moved on.

I speak as someone who was initially very upset when a previous share ended (for financial reasons of the owner). But am now very happy with my new share, particularly in that the owner and I see very much eye-to-eye on the horse's welfare.

I didn't know if I'd ever share again, I certainly wasn't plannign on it so soon. But the opportunity arose and it is *much* more relaxing when you and owner agree on what is best for horse.

You clearly understand that your owner will do her best to care for this horse well. But you also have different ideas and believe that you know best. Tough as it sounds I'd quit while you're ahead and still have a good relationship with the owner.

I can, and, now, much later, occasionally do, see my old share. Still isn't managed as I would prefer but is well-cared for and now it doesn't have to bother me so much.

If it helps ask to keep a lock of tail/shoe/other memento of this horse.

But do know there are others out there, some of who will have owners willing to take the risks you think appropriate with their horses.
We do see eye to eye, although I do not AT THE MOMENT agree retiring is necessary, if an xray shows their is even a slight chance of later problems then that will be what we shall do, and she understands this, she was just in initial shock. I always go to her when I have any questions regarding him (obviously).

Its not atall that we dont think the same things, and I wouldnt take any ''risks'' with a horse, I am not riding him or even exercising him until I know 110% from xrays that it is safe to do so, and she is happy with this. She is happy to have him back but I also know how hard it will be for her to cope with having him back, and for that reason I have chosen not to have a ridden horse for a while, I shall hold onto this boy until owner is read and able to take him back, and that will only be if he cannot return into full work.
 

CBFan

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I think you need to ask owner to be rational and ask her how she can contemplete retiring a horse on hearsay!! At the very least she needs to get xrays done. How can she be sure that the 'previous owner' that she spoke to is indeed talking about the right horse!! These people handle umpteen horses, and it is easy to get them confused.

I would seriously get this horse booked in for xrays at an equine hospital (where you can see the results instantly on-screen) to check the area that suposidly sustained the break and go from there.

Most horses suffer some degree of arthritis (later) in life... some start developing it before they hit their teens and cary on well into their twenties... it doesn't have to be the end of their 'career' just added care and attention should be paid to warming them up and cooling them off. In the case of your boy, it would probably be advisable to avoid lots of fast work on hard ground but otherwise carry on.
 

fatpiggy

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Ask yourself one thing - why on earth would the German army or anyone else for that matter spend a small fortune getting the broken leg fixed if the horse would be unable to do anything at all in the future??? Its hardly something you take on out of the goodness of your heart, especially bearing in mind the horse is a gelding. So the vet says absolutely nothing faster than a walk - what does he think the horse does in the field - stand in the corner all day and promise not to canter? Its just rubbish!
 

Louby

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I have a horse that badly fractured his Radius 5 years ago. It was touch and go at the time but he recovered and I was told to treat him like a normal horse, that his leg would be as good, if not better than it was prior to the fracture.

Not that I ever would but I could sell him and never disclose it as you would never know he'd had a problem. I wonder how many horses are similar out there.

There was never any mention of problems in the future but to be fair, he could get many other things wrong with him in the future and if that time comes, would it really matter if he needed bute in the grand scale of things.

I realise this was a shock but I would do what you are thinking of doing ie get some xrays, then at least you know what you are or arent dealing with.
Good luck, I hope it works out for you.
 

vroutledge

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A little strange how she randomly decides to look into his history..........are you sure she hasn't just used you to put all that work into him so she didnt have to??? it all sounds very odd to me, if the break was as bad as she said then why did she not know about this before and also if you have been riding him and he has been sound then it obviously isnt a problem.......if she didnt tell you until late how had she contacted a vet about it??? i think you should perhaps contact your own vet and even have some xrays done yourself to see if there is any sign of damage etc.......
 

OzzyBuffy

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I have a horse that badly fractured his Radius 5 years ago. It was touch and go at the time but he recovered and I was told to treat him like a normal horse, that his leg would be as good, if not better than it was prior to the fracture.

Not that I ever would but I could sell him and never disclose it as you would never know he'd had a problem. I wonder how many horses are similar out there.

There was never any mention of problems in the future but to be fair, he could get many other things wrong with him in the future and if that time comes, would it really matter if he needed bute in the grand scale of things.

I realise this was a shock but I would do what you are thinking of doing ie get some xrays, then at least you know what you are or arent dealing with.
Good luck, I hope it works out for you.
I completely agree. I know each and every horse is different but I definately feel now like there has got to be some hope for him, if she hadn't routed through his history we would never know there was anything wrong with him either. I might ask her now why she was routing through but do not feel it's the best time to start pestering her with questions, we are definately going to sort some x-rays and go from there as this is the best possible thing.
 

vroutledge

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I completely agree. I know each and every horse is different but I definately feel now like there has got to be some hope for him, if she hadn't routed through his history we would never know there was anything wrong with him either. I might ask her now why she was routing through but do not feel it's the best time to start pestering her with questions, we are definately going to sort some x-rays and go from there as this is the best possible thing.
it wouldnt surprise me if she takes him back and then sells him to a polo yard..........i would get the xrays done first and ask questions later......maybe have the xrays done without her knowing that way you would know if she is lying or not.
 

Damnation

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I knew a horse who factured his leg as a youngster - he is now schooled to Advanced Medium and competed at Medium level dressage. I think it was affiliated.
He was a BIG lad too! (17.2/3hh and build rather big!!) Perhaps its worth getting his leg checked out properly with X rays to see how well its healed etc.
Then make a decision as to what to do.
Also it would depend on what you want to do with him.
Obviously speak to the vet, track down the german vet and see what they say :)
 

OzzyBuffy

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I knew a horse who factured his leg as a youngster - he is now schooled to Advanced Medium and competed at Medium level dressage. I think it was affiliated.
He was a BIG lad too! (17.2/3hh and build rather big!!) Perhaps its worth getting his leg checked out properly with X rays to see how well its healed etc.
Then make a decision as to what to do.
Also it would depend on what you want to do with him.
Obviously speak to the vet, track down the german vet and see what they say :)
I was planning on quite alot actually, mainly cross country, jumping etc, which is why this is going to be such a hard decision for me, I would need to know that 110% he is currently safe and sound to do all disciplines, what comes in the future is guess work and I'll come to that barrier when I get there. I find it hard to believe she would be dishonest with me, she has been very honest from the start and has always been there to help if I have needed it, she has offered to have him back when I have had some really tough times with him and asked myself whether I am over-horsed. But I have braved through it and thought I had come out the other side shining, this has just peed on my bonfire as it were.

I can't solely afford the costs of xrays right now, so would require her help and I don't think being dishonest by getting x-rays behind her back would go down well, because if there was nothing wrong, I wouldn't want to go to her and say look I got these done without telling you and hes fine.

Also he is going to have to have x-rays anyway because his insurance will be invalid if he ever (heaven forbid) hurts that legs again and requires an x-ray and there is an old injury.
 

Damnation

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I was planning on quite alot actually, mainly cross country, jumping etc, which is why this is going to be such a hard decision for me, I would need to know that 110% he is currently safe and sound to do all disciplines, what comes in the future is guess work and I'll come to that barrier when I get there. I find it hard to believe she would be dishonest with me, she has been very honest from the start and has always been there to help if I have needed it, she has offered to have him back when I have had some really tough times with him and asked myself whether I am over-horsed. But I have braved through it and thought I had come out the other side shining, this has just peed on my bonfire as it were.

I can't solely afford the costs of xrays right now, so would require her help and I don't think being dishonest by getting x-rays behind her back would go down well, because if there was nothing wrong, I wouldn't want to go to her and say look I got these done without telling you and hes fine.

Also he is going to have to have x-rays anyway because his insurance will be invalid if he ever (heaven forbid) hurts that legs again and requires an x-ray and there is an old injury.
Well the big lad I knew did some SJ when he was younger. (He went lame infront on the other leg due to a trapped nerve, completely unrelated and just hasnt been in proper work for about a year!) He is about 17 now and is getting a bit stiff on that front leg. But as far as I know, once the horse's leg had healed and he was rehabbed and physio'ed she has never really given the leg a second thought.
There is hope :) Just try and keep a neutral state of mind until you have all the facts, I know thats difficult but as far as I am aware once fractures heal they are just as strong as they were before :)
 

OzzyBuffy

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UPDATE!

This is the text I have just been sent from his owner:

There are different types of fracture which are:-
Hairline Fracture: Usually evident by mild lameness. Bone is cracked in the outer layer only. The tissue surrounding the crack is minimal. Hairline fractures become dangerous when not recognized and continued work/trauma may cause further damage to the area.
Simple Fracture: Only one fracture line in one bone with no displaced bone pieces.
Incomplete Fracture: A shallow break in the bone.
Compound Fracture: Bone breaks through skin and introduces risk of bad infection.
Comminuted Fracture: Two or more bones are broken or crushed.
Open Fracture: Bone has broken through the skin.
A break can also be a combination of different kinds of fractures. For example, a horse may have a compound/comminuted fracture (a very devastating kind of break). Obviously the less intense the damage the more chance of successful recovery. Where the broken bone is located and its function is a large factor in recovery process. It isn't a black and white case when a horse fractures a bone. There are many factors to consider when assessing the situation.

Turns out he has had a comminuted fracture of the radius bone, above the carpus

Usually a horse will become obviously lame when a bone is broken. The outcome depends on many factors that vary from case to case. Many horses obtain simple or hairline fractures and recover with rest and proper care. Others have complications, or have much more serious injuries.

A major hurdle with horses is that a fracture that extends into a joint area will almost certainly plague the horse with a lifetime of arthritis (which may be crippling in itself even when the break is healed).
In open comminuted/compound fractures only about 10% of horses survive. Yet there are many cases where the outcome and recovery looks positive. Many breaks in the foot can be corrected with plates, screws and proper shoeing. A broken scapula can often be healed with three to six months of stall rest. However, a broken humerus (or other large bones) is considered life threatening.

One must consider the toll recovery will take on the horse. Youngsters do much better with surgery and recovery (often because they weigh much less).. One must think about how their particular horse can deal with recovery and life after recovery. Be realistic with what that horse will be able to do once healed. Be aware of possible arthritis problems, laminitis, recurring infections, and recurring injuries. Broken bones can often mean the end of a horse's athletic career.

Whether a bone grows back stronger than before that would all depend on the age of the horse as most horses stop growing at 6/7 years and I can't see if a horse is older then how it could grow back stronger the same as in a human. Degenerative joint disease is also highly common is horses withmultiple fractures.

My pesonal choice is that I don't want him ever jumped again and that he is to be used for hacking only and with all the usual precautions taken booted up every time and no excessive work on roads and hard ground. I want the best for him and want to reduce the risk of further injuries by keeping him active but only by light hacking
 
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OzzyBuffy

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I don't think she wants x-rays now, I think she wants to call it a day other than light hacking which is understandable, I just don't know what to do!
 

Damnation

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Personally for my peace of mind I would want xrays but its up to the owner.
Its also your decision now as to wether you keep this boy of give him back to her. This would be a decision I wouldn't take without up to date xrays/tests done.
All you can do is sit down with the owner and see what she says.
 

JFTDWS

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Whether a bone grows back stronger than before that would all depend on the age of the horse as most horses stop growing at 6/7 years and I can't see if a horse is older then how it could grow back stronger the same as in a human.
Well you have your answer, I'm sorry it's probably not what you would have hoped for. I'm surprised the German army would have invested the time and money in such a serious type of fracture, but who knows.

On the point I've quoted above, this is more for general knowledge and understanding really, but... People regard bone as just a big lump of supporting material, like concrete pillars holding you up. This isn't the case at all - bone is as much a living tissue as the rest of you, it is constantly being remodelled and new bone laid down regardless of age. There are cells in bone which degrade old bone and cells which lay down new bone - so when a bone is fractured, damaged bone is removed, new bone is laid down, forming a callous over the fracture site. This happens regardless of whether the horse is still growing or not.

Interestingly, it's a big problem with astronauts - one of the main triggers for laying down new bone is stress and force acting on your bones, i.e. standing up and counteracting gravity. Astronauts lose a lot of bone mass when in space as obviously there is virtually no gravity and commonly suffer compression fractures when they come back to earth. To try to re-dress this balance, astronauts in space spend a lot of time doing exercises designed to try to mimic the gravity-induced stress on their bones. I'm rambling on about this as it's a way of showing how "alive" bones are in that sense...
 

OzzyBuffy

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Yes I understand what you mean about the bone.

And yes I do still want x-rays but I think the best thing is too send him back :( I will be happier knowing loan has ended on good terms, but I will feel partially guilty for not giving him a chance to prove he has more to give still, but I think shes planning on light hacking every couple of days to keep him fit, however I really need something with more to give than light hacking because I was planning on doing cross country soon. I guess now the hunt is on for a new loan horse, going to hate watching him leave :(

And as for history...she has another tb who is in his late 20's, she was very bored at home and decided to research his entire history right back to birth, and thought she'd do same for my boy, thats how she came about this news.
 

charlie76

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My horse fractured his radius in January, its now only June and he is in full work and is jumping and competing with no problems. My vet said he was 100% prefer a break than a tendon injury as once its healed, its healed.
 

OzzyBuffy

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My horse fractured his radius in January, its now only June and he is in full work and is jumping and competing with no problems. My vet said he was 100% prefer a break than a tendon injury as once its healed, its healed.
I understand this and have relayed to owner that bones heal etc etc, however she wants to safeguard him which is understandable so its best he goes home.
 

Ibblebibble

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as hard as it is for you i think sending him home is the best option. With his owner being so convinced that he's going to fall apart at every opportunity you would never be able to relax!!
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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OP this is awful for you and the owner alike. But without wishing to raise your hopes at all, either of you, I'd say that IME vets tend to be ultra-cautious (mainly to cover themselves) - and whilst I appreciate that the prognosis might seem hopeless, I just wonder whether the owner might consider getting a second opinion?

Not wanting to raise anyone's hopes, BUT I do think that - quite rightly - the vet is being cautious, but it might be worth at this stage seeking another opinion. X-rays might give a better picture of the situation certainly.

Think you & owner def need more info before making any decisions.
 
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I have been reading everyones messages on this subject and feel that I need to reply. I think some of you are being a little harsh against the owner and it is her horse at the end of the day and if she wants to protect him then that is her right and is so nice to hear of someone wanting the best for the horse instead of running him into the ground unecessary and he is still going to be hacked so his life has not ended completely.

I had a horse that broke his leg and we spent time and money on getting him sound and it worked well and I rode him to a very high level. He went to a new yard on full livery and one of the grooms was entering him in a BE one day event and half way round he hit his leg fracturing it again, somersaulted and landed on the groom killing her. i now have to live with that forever and is something that will haunt me always and if I had not pushed him to fulfill my own satisfaction then she would be alive today and so would my horse!

I know that is extreme but think of what would happen if you rode him and something did happen and you were seriously hurt, you don't know what action you would take against the owner
 

OzzyBuffy

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I have been reading everyones messages on this subject and feel that I need to reply. I think some of you are being a little harsh against the owner and it is her horse at the end of the day and if she wants to protect him then that is her right and is so nice to hear of someone wanting the best for the horse instead of running him into the ground unecessary and he is still going to be hacked so his life has not ended completely.

I had a horse that broke his leg and we spent time and money on getting him sound and it worked well and I rode him to a very high level. He went to a new yard on full livery and one of the grooms was entering him in a BE one day event and half way round he hit his leg fracturing it again, somersaulted and landed on the groom killing her. i now have to live with that forever and is something that will haunt me always and if I had not pushed him to fulfill my own satisfaction then she would be alive today and so would my horse!

I know that is extreme but think of what would happen if you rode him and something did happen and you were seriously hurt, you don't know what action you would take against the owner
That is out of order. I completely agree with owner, hence why we have come to the decision for her to have him back and he be lightly hacked, as if light hacking is all he can do (understandably) then he is not suited to my wants and needs. I have at NO point slated the owner, however I did find it odd she was routing through history, so I asked her outright why so, and she gave me a good explanation and reason.

People can see she wants the best but they also see a 13 year thoroughbred with alot of life left in him, and are trying to help me come to the best decision without hurting horse, owner, or myself!

Xray is a possibility yes, but owner doesn't want to go through all that, and knows that as he has spent life hacking with no worries, she is happy to have him back and just lightly hack him from time to time, and I respect that! I was the one that said I wanted to send him back because I couldn't live with myself if we were out hacking and I got carried away and jumped something or cantered without thinking, and something happened to him, that is why I made the decision to send him back, and even if I WERE to keep him and hack him, I would NEVER take action against aforementioned owner, she is a lovely lady and cares for her horses greatly. At first I disagreed that she just decide thats it for horse, simple, but she was in shock, as was I. We all react differently to shock.

Edit - And I also think that any responsible horse rider understands the risks of riding other peoples horses, or riding horses full stop. So I highly doubt anyone would take action against the person who owns the horse they are loaning if THEY choose to ride the horse through its condition despite being advised not too. Although I am willing to accept that on occasion you can get the odd idiot that does, but the answer to that is insurance. And yes horse is insured for me to ride him.
 
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pintoarabian

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I am sure that everyone involved has the best interests of the horse at heart and that he will be given a good life. It doesn't always follow that a fracture will lead to arthritis in later life. I have a mare who fractured her hock as a 3 year old. She is now 30 and has never been lame or stiff since it healed. At the time, vets said she would almost certainly become arthritic in the joint but, 27 years on, there's no sign of it. I hope everything works out for the best.
 

SusieT

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Nip him down for some x-rays and go from there, it may have even been a different horse, don't write him off before you know the full story.l
 
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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.

Racehorse with COMPOUND fracture of the hind cannon NOT PTS??? Hmmmmm
 
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I also hope that he is kept under close observation as, if he is inclined to buck and gallop about through sheer joie de vivre, the liklihood he'll break it without any help from a rider is fairly high I would imagine.

OP I would lend you any of mine, if it would help.
 

BonneMaman

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I understood that once a bone mended it was actually stronger than originally! Can you ask your vet or put the question on vets on here?? There are a couple of vets that post.
 
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