Should I buy a second horse?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Chris Chris 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • Fibonacci25 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0

    I currently have one horse who was my Hunter project, but this summer he became lame. The vet took x-rays of his feet and confirmed there is remodeling in his navicular bone. We are currently still working on getting him sound and happy, but I no longer want him jumping so he can have a long career in dressage. I can never imagine selling him, but I feel like soundness will be a reoccurring factor. The last thing I want to do is push him if he’s a little off and risk causing more damage.

    This leads me into a possible second horse who will be my new hunter prospect. Financially, I am able to make it work (supplemens, shoes, board, training, and therapy for both), and each horse could be worked 4-5 times a week besides the rare weeks I would travel for work. The concern is, I’m still paying off student loans and my car and I know the financially smart thing to do is pay that off aggressively and save. Do I go with my crazy horse lady desire and buy now, or should I hold off until I’m completely debt free?

    neiner neiner
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 12

    As a fellow crazy horse lady, I want to say “go for it!” But I’d advise focusing on finances first in your case…you obviously need a horse to ride, so if you’re worried about overworking your current horse while his soundness issues get resolved, maybe lease? Or ride a friend’s horse a couple days a week? I know that everywhere I boarded, there were always horses not being ridden enough.
    I acquired a second horse two years ago, and while I absolutely do not regret it, I only did it after exhausting all my other options. (I couldn’t find any place I liked to board my horse, so bought a “farm”, then obviously the one could not live alone, and another horse–vs goat, mini, or other herd animal–made the most sense since what if one of them was lame or something? I’d still be able to ride.)
    Being debt-free has always been goal #1 for me, since you never know when life will happen, and being financially conservative enabled me to comfortably have my own farm in my twenties. Sounds like you’re doing just fine with your money and all your existing debt is pretty normal (these days, it seems like everyone I meet has tens of thousands in just credit card debt, which is insane to me), but I’d advise taking a hard look at your priorities…no judgement either way! Good luck, and I hope your boy gets and stays sound and happy (I know that struggle well)!

    "Gentle in what you do; firm in how you do it." -Buck Brannaman

    Chris Chris
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 17

    Sorry for answering a question you didn’t ask, but have you considered taking the shoes off your current horse and getting an experienced barefoot trimmer for his rehab? The most common type of navicular bone “remodeling” is sometimes called a “lollipop” on X-ray and is the result of enlarged blood vessels displacing bone. The reason this occurs is almost always long term hoof trimming that leaves heels too high, most commonly in the front feet which carry about 2/3 of the horse’s weight. This heel/toe imbalance causes blood circulation to become impeded in the toe region which typically grows too slowly, and excessive in the heels (navicular area) where growth becomes too rapid.

    If you find a barefoot trimmer capable of consistently attaining ground parallel COFFIN bones on weight-bearing, the lameness should resolve permanently over time (from months to years depending on the severity of hoof pathology). It’s important that your horse be turned out in the company of other horses “24/7” with access to shelter. If your horse is barefoot lame on hard level ground I’d advise against riding him until he’s sound again, and then start gradually. It’s important to note that in my training as a barefoot trimmer about 15 years ago, it was stressed that this X-ray appearance of the navicular bone may remain even after greatly improved hoof form and function. However, this change in the NB is also not directly involved with lameness, though contracted heels and bars (“navicular syndrome”) certainly are.

    So whether you decide on a second horse or not, if you want to give your current guy the best chance at a long and happy life, try barefoot with a highly recommended trimmer and offer him the most natural equine lifestyle possible (both of which could save you $$$). Hope this helps!

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