The 2019 Retired Racehorse Project's Thoroughbred Makeover, held at the Kentucky Horse Park in October, hosted a series of workshops and seminars geared toward Thoroughbred owners and enthusiasts. One of these educational opportunities focused on pre-purchase exams (PPE) for off-track Thoroughbreds.
Sponsored by the University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs, featured speakers were Dr. Emma Adam, assistant professor at the Gluck Equine Research Center, Dr. Liz Barrett of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, and Dr. Shannon Reed of the Ohio State University, reports The Horse.
All three panelists agreed that while a full PPE, which can include $3,500 worth of radiographs, may be unnecessary, some form of exam can help new owners better understand their horses. Additionally, if the horse is a resale project, it's important to be aware that the next buyer may be prepared to do a more in-depth exam on a more-expensive horse, so knowing ahead of time what surprises may be in store is helpful
The information a PPE relays can also offer guidance on how to retrain the OTTB. This could include offering time off because of a nagging injury or jumping right into retraining. A basic PPE will include the veterinarian feeling the horse's legs, taking his temperature, pulse and respiration, listening to his lungs and watching the horse jog. This basic exam will catch the majority of problems that may be an issue for most amateur riders, says Reed.
Though Thoroughbreds are generalized as having bad feet, none of the panelists was overly concerned about a horse's hooves; as they are ever-evolving, they can be more-readily repaired and managed than some other issues.
Arthritis was also not a major concern among the panelists. As most OTTBs are young, they are more resilient, says Adam. Additionally, she cautions not to rely too heavily on flexion results, which are subjective. Though useful, they are but a small piece of the horse's history.
Read more at The Horse.
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