Selling to hacking /hunting home - realistic?

Broodle

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I have today discovered the reason why my 7yo connie has become gradually more and more recalcitrant as his schooling has ramped up over the 2.5 months I've owned him... His hocks are pretty shocking it turns out :(

Vet thinks he should be fine hacking and hunting (straight line work), though obviously cannot guarantee this. But he's pretty certain that he won't cope with school work or sj, so won't be the high level allrounder I want :(

Is it realistic to contemplate selling him as a hunter and hack? He hunted with a 12yo boy in previous home, and am hopeful of getting good reference. He's a good hack, though forward going and can be spooky, so not a plod.

If he was incapable of any work I'd pts, but he should *probably* be good to do a job in the hunting field. I'm not in a position to keep a horse who can't do the job I want, especially when I've owned him such a short time (that sounds awful :(). Similarly, I don't want to retain ownership but loan him out and risk being landed with a broken pony to keep on livery.

Not really sure what I hope to achieve by this post, but I'd be grateful for any thoughts on what I could do, and whether my hunt home plan is realistic with a veterinary problem hanging over him.
 

Broodle

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Sorry, it's really complicated to explain, but his (incredibly rare) hock problem is associated with tight turns - straight lines, and jumping on straight lines should in theory be fine. But the in theory bit is the issue clearly :(
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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That's odd for a vet to say hunting would be ok, there is so much turning, jumping, on hard or soft ground, none of which is good for dodgy hocks.
I really would think gentle hacking is possible, but i wouldn't recommend anyone to purchase a problem like this, however if a loan where you can monitor how he is going, then I'd go this route if possible.
 

Broodle

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Thanks TFF - I don't hunt, but vet does/did, and he thought my chap should cope fine. I need to talk to him again so will clarify, but he's a very well respected vet with masses of experience so I trust his opinion.
 

Starbucks

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Agree with PP I can see why someone would think on the theory you might only jump in straight lines, but what about if you are jumping on/off a road or track? Or galloping through a windy track in the woods? Or jumping in / out of a seeded field? Loads of turning and can be on any crappy ground, not a nice soft surface.

Maybe you could get a nice hack, local show type home? Sounds more feasible. It's hard enough to keep a horse with no issues sound hunting never mind one that's already got stuff wrong with it.
 

be positive

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I would be concerned that his hocks are deteriorating rather quickly if he was sound enough to presumably pass a vet 21/2 months ago yet they are now considered to be "shocking" and beyond treatment, so cannot see who would want to take him on, even gifted it would potentially be a risk that he may only last a short time.
If the condition is rare and untreatable then maybe the kindest thing to secure his future would be to pts rather than risk him being buted up and sold on which however well you check out potential homes is a possible scenario which is unfair on him and whoever may end up buying him.
 

Broodle

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Pants - just lost a really long reply.

While I appreciate the reason for the questions about the diagnosis, it's really difficult to answer without xrays to point at. Basically it's an issue to do with the internal conformation of the joint which means that it's very hard for him to sit on his hocks, and in particular to twist through that joint.

Prospective purchasers would have full access to vet history and xrays.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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I drag and trail. Last autumn i had CF pts. His hocks were not good, he had them injected, the 2nd round actually accelerated the problem.
We went from popping xc in July to light hacking in Aug, to paddock pootling in late sept and then 4 danilon a day at the start of oct, so game over.
He was a sprightly hack, not a novice ride, and def never to be a paddock ornament (adored being bysy) the breakdown was quite quick and distressing for both of us and vet too.
Hence my suggestion that you loan, sorry :(
 

ycbm

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I would be concerned that his hocks are deteriorating rather quickly if he was sound enough to presumably pass a vet 21/2 months ago yet they are now considered to be "shocking" and beyond treatment, so cannot see who would want to take him on, even gifted it would potentially be a risk that he may only last a short time.
If the condition is rare and untreatable then maybe the kindest thing to secure his future would be to pts rather than risk him being buted up and sold on which however well you check out potential homes is a possible scenario which is unfair on him and whoever may end up buying him.

This.

I'm a bit bemused by a vet who hunts who thinks that it won't involve twisting the hocks. Even the non jumpers in all the hunts I've ever been on (lots) have to cope with sharp turns at speed on poor footing.
 

Broodle

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Thank you all for your replies, you've said all the things I'm worrying about...

I don't think I've explained the problem well at all, probably because it's all so peculiar and outside of my experience. It's not a condition as such, but rather a rubbish joint confirmation that my vet has never seen the like of before. Sorry to be so vague.

It's not like I can say it's a spavin or some sort of known (condition), and twice yearly injections or similar should keep it in check. His hocks will always have a question mark over them in reality.

It sounds like hunting isn't realistic... But i really don't think he'd be a happy hacker as he can be sharp and would probably find his own fun without a job to do.

Sorry for the rambling.
 

Ditchjumper2

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I disagree with most of the comments..upto a point. A lot of hunters end up being so because they are no longer sound enough to do their day job. B used to be a RC all-rounder and do all teams. However, sidebone meant he was lame when turning right or on hard ground. My vet said hunt him instead which he did for many years into his 20s. Yes he was "managed" but was happy.

However, anyone who took him on are unlikely to pay much and in the horses interests it would be essential to check he is up to the job first. It could mean that some one ends up with a great hunter for little cost or if he is not up to it then pts is best option.
 

Starbucks

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Sorry, it's really complicated to explain, but his (incredibly rare) hock problem is associated with tight turns - straight lines, and jumping on straight lines should in theory be fine. But the in theory bit is the issue clearly :(


I disagree with most of the comments..upto a point. A lot of hunters end up being so because they are no longer sound enough to do their day job. B used to be a RC all-rounder and do all teams. However, sidebone meant he was lame when turning right or on hard ground. My vet said hunt him instead which he did for many years into his 20s. Yes he was "managed" but was happy.

However, anyone who took him on are unlikely to pay much and in the horses interests it would be essential to check he is up to the job first. It could mean that some one ends up with a great hunter for little cost or if he is not up to it then pts is best option.

But that doesn't mean it's sound it just means they don't really look lame because you are not going on a circle or whatever hilights the lameness. Plus they are less likely to care because it's so much more fun!

Not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing, my first pony wasn't 100% sound (in his 20's) but he loved his hunting! But no one is going to buy an unsound horse for hunting, surely?
 

Broodle

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I would be concerned that his hocks are deteriorating rather quickly if he was sound enough to presumably pass a vet 21/2 months ago yet they are now considered to be "shocking" and beyond treatment, so cannot see who would want to take him on, even gifted it would potentially be a risk that he may only last a short time.
If the condition is rare and untreatable then maybe the kindest thing to secure his future would be to pts rather than risk him being buted up and sold on which however well you check out potential homes is a possible scenario which is unfair on him and whoever may end up buying him.

To answer the questions above, he passed a five stage in December (just before I bought him - long story, but kosher), and the issues we've had now apparently arise from the school work we've been doing. He's only ever been very mildly lame and most of that has been down to muscular pain associated with carrying himself oddly to compensate for his hocks. After physio he's sound, though drags his hinds very slightly.

I just can't bring myself to pts an otherwise healthy horse. I suppose loaning is my only realistic option, but it's so risky. Gah! :(
 

Broodle

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I disagree with most of the comments..upto a point. A lot of hunters end up being so because they are no longer sound enough to do their day job. B used to be a RC all-rounder and do all teams. However, sidebone meant he was lame when turning right or on hard ground. My vet said hunt him instead which he did for many years into his 20s. Yes he was "managed" but was happy.

However, anyone who took him on are unlikely to pay much and in the horses interests it would be essential to check he is up to the job first. It could mean that some one ends up with a great hunter for little cost or if he is not up to it then pts is best option.

But that doesn't mean it's sound it just means they don't really look lame because you are not going on a circle or whatever hilights the lameness. Plus they are less likely to care because it's so much more fun!

Not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing, my first pony wasn't 100% sound (in his 20's) but he loved his hunting! But no one is going to buy an unsound horse for hunting, surely?

Thank you both. I wonder if lwvtb might work, with a long trial period. Obviously wrong time of year re hunting tho
 

be positive

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I would try and find a decent loan home for hacking, probably easier and less risk than looking for a hunting home, there are people out there who ride well, will cope with a sharper ride and actually want that rather than a plod, if you are lucky they will commit to him for life, you could gift him after 12 months if you want to, if he comes back and is not sound/ fit to ride or it proves too difficult to find another home you make the tough decision then, that way he gets a chance, someone may get the perfect fun ride they want.
I would also struggle to put down a "healthy" horse but am lucky to have my own land so they can stay here, I currently have one that I took on in similar circumstances and have no idea what to do with him in the future.
 

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As heartbreaking as it might be he is only 7 and his hocks are gunned. Whose to say the next person you pass him onto might not be as considerate as you or as scrupulous and he is medicated and sold on and so forth.

If he were mine and his hocks were this bad at that age then I would do the kind thing for him. Whose to say the person you sell him isn't able to keep him and he has to be sold? There are no absolutes in life and it would be a shame for you to come across and advert for him later on.

I was gutted after finding out a horse I had sold to a dressage/hacking home was back out jumping despite fully disclosing her tendon damage and stressing the need for flat work only. Was even more gutted to learn she had been sold again after the tendon went again. I honestly wish the vet had been more honest with me in the beginning as I wouldn't have rehabbed her I would have just PTS, just never been in the position to buy her back.
 

LizzieRC1313

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Controversial I know but I can see the vets thinking ... It used to be fairly commonplace I think for horses that weren't sound enough to event to be sent to hunting homes. Mark Todd mentions it numerous times in one of his books. I suppose it depends on how lame he is and really you would have to prove he could cope with hunting before you sold him. LWVTB to a hunting/hacking home might work. Really difficult position to be in. Could you consider something like the blood bank for him if he wasn't up to much work?
 

Starbucks

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Controversial I know but I can see the vets thinking ... It used to be fairly commonplace I think for horses that weren't sound enough to event to be sent to hunting homes. Mark Todd mentions it numerous times in one of his books. I suppose it depends on how lame he is and really you would have to prove he could cope with hunting before you sold him. LWVTB to a hunting/hacking home might work. Really difficult position to be in. Could you consider something like the blood bank for him if he wasn't up to much work?

Mark Todd was probable talking about 3/4* horses not an allrounder.

I think it does depend who you hunt with but where I (used to) hunt would completely not be suitable for a horse that wasn't upto being an general all rounder.

Maybe OPs vet went with a very steady away hunt. I dunno I just don't think it would be advisable.
 

honetpot

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Controversial I know but I can see the vets thinking ... It used to be fairly commonplace I think for horses that weren't sound enough to event to be sent to hunting homes. Mark Todd mentions it numerous times in one of his books. I suppose it depends on how lame he is and really you would have to prove he could cope with hunting before you sold him. LWVTB to a hunting/hacking home might work. Really difficult position to be in. Could you consider something like the blood bank for him if he wasn't up to much work?
People are obsessed with going round in circles in schools, and lunging often in circles which causes constant strain wear and tear. I would like to say who sees horses naturally going round in circles, but having watched to young ones spend most of the afternoon chasing each other in circles I won't.
I hunted a horse with navicular on no bute, he was a good showjumper but had LOU because of lameness so I got him as a hack and rode him for many years with no problems. I got a lovely horse who in normal circumstances I could not have afforded.
I would try and find him a low level PC/hunting home, where the chances are he will get a knowledgeable home, if poor confirmation was a guide to a working life half the ponies a PC would not be there.
 

budatiger

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have you considered loaning to a hacking/endurance home. There are many more than competent and responsible people out there whose preference is low level endurance. Probably ideal conditioning for a horse with poor hocks, rarely are tight turns an issue, and at lower level there is less impetuous to speed around on poor terrain. The natives tend to be sure footed and seem to enjoy the mental stimulation of new places etc. Just a thought.
 

LizzieRC1313

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Mark Todd was probable talking about 3/4* horses not an allrounder.

I think it does depend who you hunt with but where I (used to) hunt would completely not be suitable for a horse that wasn't upto being an general all rounder.

Maybe OPs vet went with a very steady away hunt. I dunno I just don't think it would be advisable.

I can't see it makes any difference - no longer sound enough to do school work so was sent hunting. they weren't just lame when they were doing 4* activities and fine otherwise, they were lame and deemed unlikely to come back so were sent hunting.

If the horse is sound out hacking I do think it's worth seeing if he could cope hunting. If he was sound in all three paces hacking I'm sure you would be able to find some sort of home/job for him. If not I'd look at the blood bank. Better that than written off and PTS. (Although not saying I disagree with that as a last resort - much better that than lame, buted up and passed from pillar to post)
 

acorn92x

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have you considered loaning to a hacking/endurance home. There are many more than competent and responsible people out there whose preference is low level endurance. Probably ideal conditioning for a horse with poor hocks, rarely are tight turns an issue, and at lower level there is less impetuous to speed around on poor terrain. The natives tend to be sure footed and seem to enjoy the mental stimulation of new places etc. Just a thought.

I would absolutely second this. There is no way I would send this horse to a hunting home given the problem that he has.
 

Broodle

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Thank you all so much for your comments - you've given me lots of food for thought. In a rush now but just wanted to say a quick thank you x
 

ihatework

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I can't see it makes any difference - no longer sound enough to do school work so was sent hunting. they weren't just lame when they were doing 4* activities and fine otherwise, they were lame and deemed unlikely to come back so were sent hunting.

If the horse is sound out hacking I do think it's worth seeing if he could cope hunting. If he was sound in all three paces hacking I'm sure you would be able to find some sort of home/job for him. If not I'd look at the blood bank. Better that than written off and PTS. (Although not saying I disagree with that as a last resort - much better that than lame, buted up and passed from pillar to post)

There is a difference! The margins of soundness for performance at top level eventing are completely different to lower level competition. The cost to keep these horses at that level is often huge. Completely different league retiring a 3/4* horse to hunting than retiring a RC allrounder because it can't stay sound.
 

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What is the official (written) diagnosis? Have you had the report back from when the vet saw him?
 

Pigeon

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There is a difference! The margins of soundness for performance at top level eventing are completely different to lower level competition. The cost to keep these horses at that level is often huge. Completely different league retiring a 3/4* horse to hunting than retiring a RC allrounder because it can't stay sound.

Yeah I agree. I doubt many of our (us lot on the forum's) horses would pass the trot up at Badminton, but they are fine for RC level work.

OP - I think you need to ask your vet for a written report, and maybe email that to a specialist for a second opinion.
 

FfionWinnie

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I don't think you will be able to sell him unless he is utterly outstanding and very cheap and you get very lucky and find someone offering a good home who will take the chance on him.

If it comes to a decision between shoot or keep you may as well loan out and if successful great and if not then you reconsider your options again?

How was the issue diagnosed, were the hocks better after medication? Is the vet sure it's the hocks and they aren't a secondary problem from the muscular stiffness (query muscle myopathy, hocks and sacro issues are often secondary).
 
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