Saturday, June 30, 2012

Help... I have a question about Ringbone

The Owner's photograph of this eleven year old half Arab/ half QH mare

UPDATE:  The offer fell through due to the owner selling her to someone else.  I guess it wasn't meant to be.  So, I'm still looking.  

I am considering purchasing this beautifully sweet eleven year old half Arabian, half QH mare.  She is a fantastic height for me (15 h) and is sensible and a wonderful trail horse.  I enjoyed my visit with her and she lives close enough that my vet (the one I trust explicitly) will be able to do the pre-purchase exam.  I detected no lameness in her and the owner said she has owned her for 2 -1/2 years and never has this horse been lame.  She does wear shoes on the front feet and did when she bought her.

The owner was up front with me and said she has ringbone, and did when she bought her.  I am sure she told me, but I can't remember if she told me it was "low" or "high".  "HERE" is a brief explanation of what this is from "Holistic Hoof and Horsecare". has a great post about ringbone "HERE" which include three videos that do a great job explaining this condition.

I have yet to hear back from the owner with specifics to questions I had after getting home and reading about this.  I also will have my vet take a look at her as I know it depends where it is located and what is the cause (conformation, bad shoeing, wear and tear, an accident...)

I do not expect you to make my decision for me... I will do that upon advice from my vet and further looking into it myself.

My question to you reading this post is ... Do you have experience with ringbone and what would you do the same or differently?

If you have anything to add or say, please feel free to do so.  I appreciate your thoughts and input.


Dom said...

Ringbone is a dealbreaker for me, regardless of low or high. She's lovely, but I would walk away.

Ian said...

No experience with ringbone, but lots with a big quarter horse bred with undersized feet.I am suspicious about front feet being shod. This is a way to treat both ringbone, but also too much weight on the front feet. Any sign of front hooves cracking or split?

I would certainly ask specific questions of your vet of other causes, and specifically too much horse for the size of the feet.

Stay objective, and let the vet do his thing. The last thing that you want is a pasture ornament down the road!

I solved the small hoof problem on my horse by trimming back the toe to take the pressure off the front of the hoof.

Good luck!

sally said...

I'm afraid I have had no experience with ringbone so am of little use for input, but if you have a wonderful vet who you trust I'd let them make the decision. Ringbone aside she sure is pretty

Anonymous said...

Ask your vet. Horses with ringbone can vary from completely sound to completely unsound - it all depends - and unsoundness can develop over time. X-rays might be helpful. I had a horse with high ringbone on one front foot who was never unsound a day in his life - and he lived to 30. On the other hand, there is a lady at my barn whose horse has ringbone and is almost unrideable in his early teens. I'd be very, very careful.

Looks and sounds like a very nice horse, but you don't want a very nice horse that you can't ride unless you're looking to buy a pasture ornament.

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

Thank the seller kindly for her time and walk away.

makemineadraft said...

I bought Gali knowing that he had ringbone. In his xrays, it was very mild and peri-articular, meaning it wasn't on the joint. For what I wanted to do, and because I adored him and he was perfect for me at the time, I purchased him anyway.

Since then (March 2008), he's usually been sound. His first lameness was in May 2011, and lasted through the summer. I got xrays again at that time, and his ringbone had gotten a lot, lot worse. However, I was able to get him sound again with some supplements (herbal and joint supplements). Since then, he had one two and a half week stint of lameness (which I think was something else, but it totally may have been ringbone) and one week long stint (definitely ringbone).

Honestly, though, I've lucked out. I've been able to keep him barefoot (during his first long lameness I tried half round shoes but ended up going back to barefoot) and happy. I also don't have huge riding goals and I always have other riding horses to use, so when he's off it sucks, but it's not like it's a huge setback for me at any time. However, in the future I'll be walking away from any horse with an issue like this, just because there are SO many sound horses out there looking for homes, and the ringbone WILL show up at some point. I've been lucky in the placement and the progression of Gali's ringbone, but I'm positive I'm an exception.

Janine said...

Sorry, deal breaker for me as well. But I am sure like you said, your vet and all your thoughts will help you through this process:) Good luck!

Margaret said...

Thank you ALL for your input. I spoke with my vet and he said I will get answers all across the board as this is very specific to each horse and its circumstances. I'm willing to have a pre-purchase exam complete with xrays and make my decision based upon that. I will keep you informed. Thank you.

Any further comments are welcomed as I am doing all I can to learn about this. But first I have to find out where it is located and how far progressed it is. An xray is the only way to find out.

Anonymous said...

I've had so many leg problems the past few years that I would never buy a horse that has even the possibility of a future leg problem. Ringbone in my experience is a high risk, even if the horse is sound now. I also agree with makemineadraft, she is a lovely horse, but there are so many horses out there looking for homes that have clean legs.

horse care online courses said...

Hello Margaret, ringbone is a type of osteoarthritis in the pastern or coffin joint where inflammation and small bony spurs form.
It's almost impossible to predict the outcome for a horse with ringbone, some stay sound with careful management and medication, some have periods of lameness but can still do light work, whilst others eventually have to be put down due to the joint fusing.
Horses with ringbone will fail a pre-purchase vet examination.
You won't be able to take insurance out to cover treatment of ringbone and should you decide to sell the horse you will have difficulties.
Having said that as long as you are aware of what you might be getting into and can afford the eventual veterinary care the horse might still be the right one for you.

Val said...

The best advice that I can give is to get a pre-purchase exam, but with an arthritic-type condition, there is a sizable risk. If you only want to trailride the horse and would be okay with treating her if the problem flared up, then she might be for you. If you are serious about taking lessons on her or doing any sort of training, then you probably should walk away. She is lovely and a great age, which makes me question why the owner wants to part with her. It is true to be careful of small feet.

Sorry, Margaret. She would look cute with Oberon.

Margaret said...

Thank you all for your input! Seems the owner decided to put her "back on the market" before I could contact my vet on Monday to schedule an exam. She sold the mare on Monday, even though I had given her a check to hold for the amount wanted...

Oh well, wasn't meant to be.

horse care online courses said...

Oh that's horrid but like you say it wasn't meant to be. Good luck with the horse hunting.

Janine said...

That's sure weird. But I agree, I guess, it was meant to be like this.

smazourek said...

Pretty as she is, you're better off. It'd have to be a pretty special horse for me to overlook the ringbone. Unless I was looking for a pasture companion only.