Pre Purchase Exam AKA I Wish I Liked Alcohol

Trainer is seriously the best person I’ve ever met. Just putting that out there.

Friday was an anxious morning as I awaited the time to leave and go see my little A again. Thankfully Trainer was free to come with me which provided much needed company, distraction and grounding throughout. This was my first ever PPE. Neither Gem nor Pete got one when we bought them which ended up working out just fine. However this guy was off the track, young and had a specific purpose ahead of him. I needed to know before I bought him that he would be able to physically do what I was wanting.

First selfie

The vet was well versed in the world of OTTBs and warned me from the start that by purchasing an OTTB I’m already agreeing to some maintenance and wear and tear. The goal of the exam is to make sure there isn’t anything lurking that would be career ending.

I don’t really have the heart to go into all the details. While he was perfectly sound the week prior and in all his sales videos, he lunged off on the RF and LH right out of the barn. Flexions were 3/5 RF with strongly positive heel compression that made the vet concerned for coffin joint or navicular issues. When we went back inside the plan was to start taking X-rays of the RF and if clean move to the LH.

And we stopped at the RF. The navicular showed pretty advanced changes. The vet told me a dozen times that you can’t diagnose navicular from radiographs but that every red flag was being raised and every box was being checked off.

We had a heart to heart. I called Dusty. I told Trainer to give it to me straight. We discussed the fact that he was overdue for new shoes and his feet were not in balance. We discussed the fact that he was sound a week prior.

Then I made the comment “I can’t have a future lame horse at 8 years old.”

And the vet replied “You have a lame horse now at 6 years old. The question is can he be made sound with shoes, os phos etc..”

That hit home.

With tears in my eyes I made the call to say no. Trainer agreed. Sure he was sound last week and he may be sound next week, but do I need a horse right now with all my hopes and dreams laid out on the table that may be sound one day and not the next?

It was heart breaking to drive home with an empty trailer.

It is heart breaking wondering what will happen to this sweet heart of a gelding at 6 years old with 20 years ahead of him and navicular changes in his foot. I know a lot of you have amazing OTTBs and he made me fall in love with the breed but I hate the industry that runs horses too hard too young and destroys them for life. Horses can live into their 30s sound and happy. Look out in my yard and you’ll see a fat, shiny and 100% sound 28 year old Pete and an equally amazing 20 year old Gem.

I’m sad. I loved that little guy. Trainer fell hard for him too. I tried looking at new ads but they all suck and my heart isn’t in it right now. I was so depressed Saturday that I ate ice cream for dinner. Doesn’t sound so odd except I swore off sugar 3 months ago and haven’t touched it since. I was that down.

I still have my scheduled appointment in MD May 11th/12th. That gives me some hope. There will be another horse. Maybe even better than A. I hope he gets a soft landing. I’d give him a forever home as a pasture pet here if they gave him to me. He was that awesome.

Onward I suppose. The Universe can sure suck at times.