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Capriole

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I'm looking for a larger miniature horse or smaller pony to eventually drive.
Recently there has been a 6 yr old ASPC gelding posted on my local CL. I keep looking at his ad and going back and forth on him for several reasons ..... He's a tiny bit taller than I was considering and I was thinking of a more stocky, compact pony, but, what really has me concerned is a more recent picture of him shows him trimmed with long toes.
Older pictures from when he was shown (2017/2018) look like his feet are trimmed correctly.
I don't know how long he's been trimmed leaving his toes that long.
Would it be rude to ask the seller how long he's been trimmed like that?
If it's been years I can't imagine that some damage hasn't occured.
I definitely don't want to be dealing with navicular down the road.
 

JFNM miniatures

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I'm looking for a larger miniature horse or smaller pony to eventually drive.
Recently there has been a 6 yr old ASPC gelding posted on my local CL. I keep looking at his ad and going back and forth on him for several reasons ..... He's a tiny bit taller than I was considering and I was thinking of a more stocky, compact pony, but, what really has me concerned is a more recent picture of him shows him trimmed with long toes.
Older pictures from when he was shown (2017/2018) look like his feet are trimmed correctly.
I don't know how long he's been trimmed leaving his toes that long.
Would it be rude to ask the seller how long he's been trimmed like that?
If it's been years I can't imagine that some damage hasn't occured.
I definitely don't want to be dealing with navicular down the road.
I don't think it would be rude to ask how long he's been trimmed like that or WHY he is being trimmed like that, or if he has any issues with his feet. In fact, it's an excellent question to ask the seller. And it's great that you saw this issue in the pictures.

Like you say, you don't want feet problems, and it's just a normal question to ask when you buy a horse.
You might want to have a pre-buy vet check, especially if you see or hear other things that seem abnormal.
 

Cayuse

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No, not rude to ask the seller about it. Just ask "when was he last trimmed?" and that will open the door to a conversation. How long is long? If you really like him you could always ask for a vet check and maybe have a couple of x-rays done or at least have the vet check with the hoof testers. Navicular usually shows up with an upright hoof conformation and boxy foot.
 

Capriole

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Thank you both for replying...
It's my understanding that leaving their toes long puts strain on the navicular bone (and surrounding structures) which can lead to damage. I don't know how long that would take (I'm sure it depends on other factors as well), his pasterns look a bit long to me, but, I'm used to stockier horses that have shorter pasterns :).
Actually, I figured since he was shown and did well he probably didn't have major conformation flaws that would cause soundness issues later.
It would be horrible if the poor thing ends up having lameness issues due to something that they did intentionally.
Unfortunately, around here low heels and long toes are kind of common...certain people do it because they like the "action" it forces....of course, this is also the land of "dancing" horses 😠
 

Capriole

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Weirdly, there was a miniature horse I was thinking about a month or so ago, and I emailed the seller who said someone had contacted her just before me, but, I could still come and meet him... But, the next morning when I looked for his ad to get her phone number his ad was no longer posted, so I figured he had been sold.
Yesterday, his ad is posted again with some new pictures (they've been saddle training him) and in the new pictures his toes are long too!
That surprised me because they seemed to be into more holistic/ natural horsekeeping.
 

Abby P

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It's hard to know without more information whether it's because there is a problem, because there is a bad trim, or because there is no trimming! Some horses will just grow that way naturally and if left untrimmed, the toes will look longer and longer. Not saying that's a positive attribute but it's usually managed well with timely correct trimming. Also pony feet "snap back" from this more easily than big horse feet since they are bearing less weight.

Navicular can happen with any hoof conformation - since it's more a constellation of symptoms than an actual "disease". I don't think it's terribly common in small ponies and minis but I'm sure it can still happen. I'd be more concerned about metabolic-related issues or just plain neglect. X-rays would tell you a lot. Can you tell in the pics if the toe wall looks straight, or is it dished or ridgy? Pasterns will often look longer/lower when the toes are too long so that appearance is something that can change unless the bone itself is actually long.

Bottom line is that if the feet look OK otherwise and they tell you it's been months since his last trim, I'd probably assume at his age that it's just lack of trimming. But certainly X-rays are very informative if you can swing that.
 

Ryan Johnson

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When I buy a new horse, I usually ask the owner what sort of "Trimming rotation" the horse is currently on. I have a couple that are trimmed every 4 weeks and an older mare that is every 12 weeks.
 

Capriole

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Thank you all for your replies :)!
I'm glad to hear that ponies feet "snap back" quicker...and glad to hear it's not common in ponies/minis.
Maryann...I completely agree!

I may be going to look at the miniature horse this afternoon...
 

Abby P

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Yes - what Maryann said! It's common with gaited horses too, and there is also a myth that racehorses have a longer stride if their toes are longer. No matter what it's not worth the negative consequences to the horse to do this on purpose.

The good news is though that if it's done on purpose, this is a young horse, it's easily reversed most likely.
 

Capriole

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I did go look.... and put a deposit down on him... and to be completely honest I'm having second thoughts :(

I really liked him when I first saw his ad and was very disappointed when I thought he had been sold (he hadn't, she never showed up...ad expired and the seller didn't realize it) anyway, turns out he was a rescue, very scared and distrustful of people...he's a lot better now...still a bit wary of people he doesn't know, but very sweet. The problem is he has a fallen crest :(
(Now that I know I can see it in one of the pictures, but, in all the rest it's not noticable).
It's not something I've ever had to deal with and didn't even think of it....I was trying to remember what little I had read about it and was thinking that it had something to do with diet/care (or lack of) and was mainly cosmetic, and may be improved. So I was willing to deal with it.
After researching it, apparently it can either be a genetic thing with the Nauchal ligament or due to injury/misuse....or an indication of metabolic disease, which is obviously the one that has me concerned (went through laminitis with my sister in law and her horse).
I haven't taken possession of him yet...so I'm thinking I'm going to have to contact the seller and see if I can send a vet over to check him.
I do really like him, but, not sure about taking on a major issue.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Oh, dear. Anything metabolic is a red flag. Did the hooves show clues? I would also be leery of the skittish personality. Sometimes they are just born with a crazy wire in the brain. We tend to think that behavior is all the result of abuse, but sometimes they are abused because they are born crazy.
There are other horses out there that need homes also; but, if you decide to take him, he would certainly be a learning experience for you.
 

JFNM miniatures

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I did go look.... and put a deposit down on him... and to be completely honest I'm having second thoughts :(

I really liked him when I first saw his ad and was very disappointed when I thought he had been sold (he hadn't, she never showed up...ad expired and the seller didn't realize it) anyway, turns out he was a rescue, very scared and distrustful of people...he's a lot better now...still a bit wary of people he doesn't know, but very sweet. The problem is he has a fallen crest :(
(Now that I know I can see it in one of the pictures, but, in all the rest it's not noticable).
It's not something I've ever had to deal with and didn't even think of it....I was trying to remember what little I had read about it and was thinking that it had something to do with diet/care (or lack of) and was mainly cosmetic, and may be improved. So I was willing to deal with it.
After researching it, apparently it can either be a genetic thing with the Nauchal ligament or due to injury/misuse....or an indication of metabolic disease, which is obviously the one that has me concerned (went through laminitis with my sister in law and her horse).
I haven't taken possession of him yet...so I'm thinking I'm going to have to contact the seller and see if I can send a vet over to check him.
I do really like him, but, not sure about taking on a major issue.
If its a truly fallen crest (it really droops to a side, with the appearance of a deformed neck), then there is little that can be done about it to restore it completely. However, if it is slightly drooped, or very cresty, there are things that can be done to stop it from falling completely... There are things that could be done like neck sweating, lots of exercise, fiber foods, avoiding sugars, soaking hay, limiting pasture, and keeping the mane as light as possible, or switching it to the other side.

But as you say, it can be a sign of metabolic disease... and while the horse may not have had laminitis yet, if his crest is because of his metabolism, then there is a strong chance of him foundering at some point of his life, especially in his later years. And I 100% agree with Marsha Cassada. Metabolic is RED flag. Maybe his hoof length has something to do with it.

BTW do you know what kind of lifestyle he currently has ? Is he put to pasture ? What is he fed ? Is he regularly trained and how is he trained ?
 

Cayuse

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Second thoughts can be normal. If you really like him go ahead and have him vetted. Be there and observe how he is with the vet, his behavior with them could give you some clues about his nature. About the crest, I had one with a moderately fallen crest (somewhat droopy) and it came back to normal.
 

MerMaeve

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Second thoughts can be normal. If you really like him go ahead and have him vetted. Be there and observe how he is with the vet, his behavior with them could give you some clues about his nature. About the crest, I had one with a moderately fallen crest (somewhat droopy) and it came back to normal.
What did you do to get it back to normal? Our Magic is cresty..... you can PM me if you want. :)
 

Capriole

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Thank you so much everyone for the responses :)

His hooves don't look like they show any signs to me (ridges or anything like that...It would be so nice if we could post ad pictures here...oh well)

Apparently his hooves were worse when she got him (she actually pointed out his long toes) and the farrier is getting them back into shape slowly (once again, looking closer at the ad pictures, he is standing in loose sand in most of them) That's one of the reasons I wouldn't be able to get him for a couple of weeks, he has a farrier appointment coming up and the seller felt more comfortable having him do the next trimming since he's been taking care of him from the beginning.

He's on a 21/2 acre dry lot with other horses, mini horses and ponies and goats. They are all free fed with slow feeders, alfalfa and grass hay. They have been working with him, liberty training and most recently getting him used to a saddle, but he hasn't been ridden yet.

His crest is definitely leaning to the side...I couldn't tell from the pictures, his neck looks normal from the left side...his mane isn't real long or heavy, but it covers it on the right side.
If it was just cosmetic it wouldn't be a problem....I would still try to improve it as much as possible, but not really a big deal.
A metabolic issue on the other hand is very serious, especially since I don't have horse property and would be boarding him....so couldn't guarantee I would have 100% control over his care.

The seller is very .... tactful, when she answered my first email she said he hadn't been in a very loving home before........when I went to see him she told me that she had reason to believe (due to something the person that had him at the time said) he had been gelded without anesthesia! She said at first no one could get close to his hind end .... he still is a little wary about that, he was nervous but didn't resist having any of his feet handled.

When I handled him he was nervous at first, but still did what I asked and after he got used to me he just stood next to me and dozed (or he might just have been bored :) ).

I truly believe the seller loves him and wants what is best for him (she just texted me asking me other questions about where he would be living, etc.) She said a vet check was welcome, so I don't expect there will be any problem with that......I do like him a lot, but, I would rather he go to someone else that can guarantee they can monitor him as closely as necessary if he does have metabolic issues ( or would be prone to them).

I wonder if there's a DNA test that could tell if it was a genetic condition? The fallen crest, that is.
 

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