Calling all hoof experts... Would you buy?

I went to look at a horse today. He’s lovely! Great mover, great mind, great personality, great everything… Except his front hooves were a bit concerning.

His left front has a quarter crack, a vertical bulge that goes from the top of the crack to almost the coronary band, and he has lines all through it… What would cause the bulge? Asked if he ever had an abscess, owner said yes, but he said it was in the other hoof (he could have been mistaken, or we could have heard wrong?).

His right front looks a little bit club footed and also has the lines, but not as bad.

He is 4 years old. Warmblood/Appendix cross. At 3 years old, he was taken out of the big field that he lived in 24/7, and they started feeding him grain and started his under saddle training.

Left front:

Right front:


(Sorry some of the photos have a blue tint… My technology-illiterate mother accidentally turned the filter on before she took all the photos)

Questions -

  1. Do the lines look like growth/nutrition lines from being taken out of the field and started on feed and getting trained? Or do they look like founder lines?
  2. What do you think the bulge above the quarter crack could be?
  3. Does the right foot look club footed to you?
  4. Would any of these issues be a red flag for you? He moves great. Didn’t look lame at all.

My vet will be out to do a pre-purchase exam next week, but until then, if you guys see any glaring red flags (like “that horse definitely looks like he’s foundered!”), then I will just cancel and pass on the horse instead of spend money on a vet check for nothing.

Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

regular maintenance from a good farrier is what he needs

Agreed. He is definitely past due. Do you think it’s just some neglect to his feet that will turn around once he’s on a regular schedule with a farrier, or do you think it’s something worse, that will always have to have the special treatment shoeing, etc.?

His pasterns would concern me more that the feet based on these pictures, to be honest. The feet look neglected but if the X-rays of the feet were good his hooves wouldn’t bother me so much as to scare me off on their own though

I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.
Wonky deep pasterns angles, club foot and funky non-club foot.
Too many problems for me. I wouldn’t want to risk it when I could buy a better footed and legged horse…if I had bred it, I’d get it in work and keep my fingers crossed. But buy? No way.

Thanks for the replies! The more I look at his feet, the more concerned I get, but his mind and movement have me hooked because they were so nice. Ugh. Horse shopping… :wink:

Nope. Wonky feet out in front of his legs. Having two horses with pretty decent feet but some minor issues (one has wussy flat soles with no heels, the other has gorgeous back feet and thick soles, but flat soles up front that bruise if he looks at a rock) have taught me to be very careful what you take on. I have an awesome vet and farrier and both of mine are fairly easily managed, but they both have good conformation, legs, and joints as well.

NO ! … Wouldn’t take him if offered "FOR FREE " ! NO !

NO !

in addition …

wouldn’t take him if he was offered “FOR FREE”

NO ![/B]

I didn’t see a quarter crack, just the toe crack in the left front. The toe crack (and the bulges in the wall growth) is most likely because that foot is clubbed, and the toe is getting stretched out.

This would be a no-go for me.

Yes. There is a great deal going on here. Worrisome for sure.

I took a risk on a young one with similar problems. He is sound, in hard work and has been for years now. ( he x-rayed and flexed great.)

There is another I know with text book beautiful legs and feet. Too bad it limps.

It wouldn’t stop me but it better be a wonderful athlete and priced right.

If you’re smart you don’t buy trouble but it is always a risk no matter how you stack the deck.

I’ve been no help at all! Sorry. I would have the vet look at him if you love everything else and the price is right. Good luck.

P.S: I have a kick @ss farrier. It makes a difference.

Put me down as a no.

Personally, I would see what the vet says. He just looks like he hasn’t had regular farrier maintenance to me and now needs some fixing/TLC.

This coming from someone who just bought a 2 year old with a crushed heel and a right front most people would shy away from. I know she didn’t have regular care (they trimmed her quick before I went to see her but obviously didn’t have regular visits prior to that) but I also know my farrier can fix her. I don’t need her to necessarily have “pretty” hooves, I do need her to have “functional” hooves. She’s young too so I don’t plan on doing anything with her for a year anyway. If she were older/started under saddle and had perfect feet I wouldn’t have been able to afford her.

Your boys sound, nice in every other way (which isn’t always easy to get) so if the price is right then what can it hurt to have a vet opinion? Maybe your farrier would also take a peek at the pic’s and give you his/her opinion?

I HATE his pasterns. it’d be one thing is he was 20 and had a bunch of hard miles on him, but at 3? Even if his feet has been neglected I would want him to be well built enough to where they didn’t look like that.

If you really like the horse, and this is the only thing that’s giving you pause… You could do a PPE, with radiographs of the hoof(s). The vet could then tell you what was happening.

No. No no no.

If you really like the horse, and this is the only thing that’s giving you pause… You could do a PPE, with radiographs of the hoof(s). The vet could then tell you what was happening.[/QUOTE]

This. In the photos of both front feet he appears to have been trimmed. His angles improved but there are still some questions. I would after radiographs see if you can get some thoughts from someone at New Bolton , or anyplace where lameness and feet are a priority. Rood and Riddle also comes to mind.

Thanks for all the opinions! Really appreciate it. I decided to pass on him. Thank you all for saving me money on a vet check! :slight_smile:
So, the searches continues… Sigh. haha

I’ll join the chorus of people saying no, I wouldn’t buy him. There seem to be a lot of things wrong based on just a few photos of his front feet (and we haven’t even seen his back end!). Sometimes horses can defy our expectations, but I don’t see him staying sound in any amount of consistent work.

The crack/bulge on the left front makes me think that he probably had an injury to the coronary band on that foot and now has a permanent defect where the wall grows out. If that were the only problem, it might be workable, but both feet appear undersized and clubby. It is tough to tell from the angle of the photo, but it also appears that he toes in quite a bit, and the pasterns are very long and sloping to the point of being weak. He also appears generally light in bone overall to the extent that I can see in the pictures.

Try the old trick of imagining him as a solid chestnut (or whatever your least favorite color is) and ask yourself if you would still be so interested :slight_smile:

Edited to add: I see you were typing at the same time as me! I think you made a wise decision in terms of anticipated soundness.

[QUOTE=Sticky Situation;7771448]
Try the old trick of imagining him as a solid chestnut (or whatever your least favorite color is) and ask yourself if you would still be so interested :)[/QUOTE]

Funny thing is, grey is my least favorite! :lol:

Glad you passed - those feet are very concerning, thats a significant club foot. Might have been fine - might have been endless vet bills and heart break.