De-nerving and Navicular

I am currently considering purchasing a 17 year old gelding for my daughter. The owner tells me the horse has Navicular Disease in both front feet and was denerved in both as well. The horse is a great kids horse, and we'd be using him for Fun Shows as well as light ...I am currently considering purchasing a 17 year old gelding for my daughter. The owner tells me the horse has Navicular Disease in both front feet and was denerved in both as well. The horse is a great kids horse, and we'd be using him for Fun Shows as well as light ...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Dear Dr. Lowder:

I am currently considering purchasing a 17 year old gelding for my daughter. The owner tells me the horse has Navicular Disease in both front feet and was denerved in both as well. The horse is a great kids horse, and we’d be using him for Fun Shows as well as light trail riding. He is also 80% blind in an eye (and has been since he was 3 yrs old and was able to continue jumping, etc.). My first question is his price….the owner is asking $1500 for him which I feel is steep considering his issues (we live in Missouri if that helps with pricing). Do you think his price should be more negotiable? Also, if the nerves do grow back, is it true he cannot be denerved again? I don’t even want to proceed with a vet check and x-rays, and my gut tells me to pass on him, but he’d truly be a great horse for my daughter. Such a hard decision! What do you think?

Thanks!
Linda

Linda,

You have to remember that any horse that is "nerved" does not feel the sole of the hoof (depending upon how high up the surgery was done) and would require daily monitoring of his front hooves to make sure that he does not develop any problems. The lost of eye sight concerns me too. What is the cause of eye sight lost? I would negotiate on price. Remember you are not getting a horse for the long haul but maybe a few years.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder