WWYD: Close to a unicorn but....bone chip

There is no way I would look at a horse with a bone chip in the coffin. I certainly would never buy one. The horse may actually be fine now, but if it ever bothers the horse, removal has a poor prognosis and is usually not recommended.

Chips other places may not bother me much, but this would be a hard no.


OK, I love my farrier and think he is one of the best I’ve ever used but I can’t say I would trust his judgment based on an anecdotal account of a bone chip that may or may not exist.

You have three options here:

  • You drive the three hours to see the horse, before X-rays, and then, maybe you hate him and can sleep soundly knowing you didn’t miss out on your horse of a lifetime.
  • You somehow get your hands on the existing X-rays or have a vet of your choosing X-ray the horse before you go try him.
  • You decide any of it is too big of a risk and you walk away.

Personally? For me, #1 is the obvious solution. Take an objective ground-person. Worst case, you don’t like the horse and you’ve wasted a day and some gas money. That’s part of horse shopping. Best case, you love him and should feel well-equipped to invest in your own proper PPE. Consider yourself lucky that the trainer has been this upfront so far—not all of them are.


Yes indeed: The person who paid to have the x-rays taken owns ‘em. The vet’s office usually has them on file with the horse’s records so unless the payer/owner is anal (like me) and downloads her horses’ x-rays, the owner goes back to the vet’s office and releases the x-rays to a named party. The vet’s office does not own the images in the sense that they get to decide to whom they get released or even to sell them to anyone.

Usually, however, a buyer who wishes to re-negotiate a lower price based on bad x-rays is asked by the seller to produce and share those. The seller then typically has her vet read them. That’s why I assumed the seller had a copy of the rads to share.


Boy oh boy I understand the fear of not making a common sense decision if you fall in love with the horse. None of my horses were purchased with common sense. :rofl:

A big factor for me would be your knowledge of farriery and your access to quality farrier care. Coffin bone issues are going to be dependent on how well the feet are managed. Bad farrier work is practically ubiquitous in the horse world. How close are you to a university with a podiatry program?

If your farrier is already saying no, that’s not a good sign for how this will all work out in the long run.

With that said, you don’t ride x-rays. If the the horse isn’t haven’t any issues now, this may not even be an issue. The lousy thing about PPEs is the are only a small part of the picture and no one has a crystal ball.

Personally, if I was in the same situation, I’d probably go look at the horse if I really loved everything else about him. (I’d also probably be an idiot and talk myself into buying him even if it was a bad decision, so take this with a grain of salt)

1 Like