Would you buy a horse who had stifle surgery?

HollysMum

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Hi. I am coming back into horses after a 10 year break, and have found a lovely cob. She is 14yrs old, and 14hh. She is perfect in everyway for me, however a year ago she had keyhole surgery on both stifles. I have been assured she hasn't been lame, but I am worried once I purchase her, I will have nothing but trouble. The seller did mention that sometimes her hind legs "stick" a little, but she "sorts herself out". I have spoken to the vet who operated on her, and said she has had no further treatment since 2012, other than routine vaccinations etc. The vet did say arthritis is likely as she ages, and may need further treatment (bute) in the future. I also can't get insurance for her either. Do I take this mare on and take the risk? Any advice would be great. Thanks.
 

PaddyMonty

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In a word NO.
You will have enough challenges coming back to horses after a 10 year break. Constantly worrying about your horse breaking is something else you just dont need. From what the vet said its not a case of will things go wrong, more a case of how long before they do.
 

Goldenstar

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Extremely hard call.
If the horse is perfect in every way I would consider it .
Unless you intend it's work load to be higher than it is now that would make me very wary.
The horse is likely to get arthritis as are most horses if you buy them at that age , you buy a horse at that age and managing issues are part and parcel of what will happen in a few years .
You would need to embrace that in a few years the horse is likely to be difficult if not impossible to sell and all that entails .
Buying all horses is a gamble but buying this sort of a horse is a bigger one.
Be sure to get a vetting because you need to know that there's nothing else lurking as well and get bloods taken .
And be sure you can afford to cover the vets costs yourself I don't insure I save monthly into a disaster fund and fund everything else teeth vaccs minor call outs as they come .
If you can use the same vet as the vendor it would be worth while as he knows the case.
I would be very sure to find out why the vendor is selling and check it stacks up could be it's more of an issue than they are letting on .
The price must reflect the risk you are taking .
 

Darremi

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I would advise against buying a horse with such serious physical problems. At that age (14) is only going to get worse as arthritis sets in.

Plenty more fish in the sea. Keep horse hunting and you will find a lovely sound cob.
 

Darremi

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Extremely hard call.
If the horse is perfect in every way I would consider it .
Unless you intend it's work load to be higher than it is now that would make me very wary.
The horse is likely to get arthritis as are most horses if you buy them at that age , you buy a horse at that age and managing issues are part and parcel of what will happen in a few years .
You would need to embrace that in a few years the horse is likely to be difficult if not impossible to sell and all that entails .
Buying all horses is a gamble but buying this sort of a horse is a bigger one.
Be sure to get a vetting because you need to know that there's nothing else lurking as well and get bloods taken .
And be sure you can afford to cover the vets costs yourself I don't insure I save monthly into a disaster fund and fund everything else teeth vaccs minor call outs as they come .
If you can use the same vet as the vendor it would be worth while as he knows the case.
I would be very sure to find out why the vendor is selling and check it stacks up could be it's more of an issue than they are letting on .
The price must reflect the risk you are taking .

If you get any horse vetted I would advise against using the seller's vet!! There is a risk of bias and/or collusion. Always get an independent vet.
 

Arizahn

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Extremely hard call.
If the horse is perfect in every way I would consider it .
Unless you intend it's work load to be higher than it is now that would make me very wary.
The horse is likely to get arthritis as are most horses if you buy them at that age , you buy a horse at that age and managing issues are part and parcel of what will happen in a few years .
You would need to embrace that in a few years the horse is likely to be difficult if not impossible to sell and all that entails .
Buying all horses is a gamble but buying this sort of a horse is a bigger one.
Be sure to get a vetting because you need to know that there's nothing else lurking as well and get bloods taken .
And be sure you can afford to cover the vets costs yourself I don't insure I save monthly into a disaster fund and fund everything else teeth vaccs minor call outs as they come .
If you can use the same vet as the vendor it would be worth while as he knows the case.
I would be very sure to find out why the vendor is selling and check it stacks up could be it's more of an issue than they are letting on .
The price must reflect the risk you are taking .

I agree with this.

Be honest - as a returning rider, will you actually be doing more work than this mare is capable of, or will you be pottering about relearning everything and needing a quiet kind horse that will look after you? It could work out well, with you getting to build yourself back up and the mare being able to take things easy. But of course if you are going to be out competing within six months then no, she wouldn't suit. I would say that if you buy her then saving to cover future care is wise, and always allow for the worst case scenario too (PTS and disposal fund).

Mine suffered a hairline fracture of the stifle the day after he arrived on our then yard. We had to move yard to have access to restricted turnout for his recovery period, and then move again once he came sound to have normal turnout for a young horse. Plus all of the vet costs! And he isn't even two yet...

I am clearly stuck with him for life, to judge by some of these responses, just as well I love him! :D
 

HollysMum

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Thank you everyone. Some really good advice here. Think I will walk away from her, as lovely as she is. She is having lot's of people riding her at the moment as the owner is unable too, she is jumping and hunting too ...... like some of you have said, it's not the "if it goes wrong" ... its "when". Oh well ..... I had better get back to looking for that perfect small cob for me!
 

soulfull

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I think you are making the right decision. So much can go wrong without buying one with known problems. There is nothing to say that at some point vendor has used a different vet when the problem reoccurred. Not saying they have just pointing out one of the possibilities

Good luck finding another one. There are loads out there.
Do bear in mind that horses quickly become 'more' to us than when we start out. Ie if someone had told me I would want to do more than plod around the countryside when I first started I would have laughed at them.
 

STRIKER

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my cob had stifle surgery, hit by a motorbike before i bought him, i bought him when he was in his last month of 6 months box rest, his surgery is perfectly healed but he does have bone spavin in both hocks now which is arthritis, but he is grand and is on no drugs
 
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