So I'm looking at buying this really cute little reining horse. When I say cute, I don't mean teddy bear cute, of course. He's bred well (son of Skeets Peppy by Hollywood Jac 68), well trained and has a pretty good mind. He's got a few NRHA dollars under his saddle as well. He's been out to pasture for a few months and just needs to be brought back. I rode him all day while the owners (friends of ours) needed help working cattle, and he was a blast!
Anyways, the only thing that has caught my attention are his feet. He's shod all the way around (no slide plates because they do so much other stuff with him). No corrective shoeing or anything like that. They said he's been shod all his life and when they took the shoes off, he was tender (as to be expected, he needs them toughened up - no big deal) so they've just left him shod. All of their other horses are shod all the way around. But the problem I see is that there are several horizontal rings that look approximately 6-8 months old (the current owners bought him in February 2010, so it aligns with that time). The rings are ribbed, and are parallel to the ground. They do NOT curve towards the toe like i've seen in laminitic horses. There doesn't appear to be any noticable dishing, although the ribs tend to go inwards instead of being raised. Does that even make sense :) ? There is no heat and the horse is not visibly lame. Although, I have noticed he tends to drag his front feet when he walks, and occasionally trips with unlevel terrain. This didin't seem to happen at other gaits. I'm not sure if the two "symptoms" are related, but i think he's just a little lazy. He seems otherwise healthy. No cresty neck, he'll probably fill out a little bit with regular feed and exercise (since he's been on pasture for a few months), but like I said, he appears healthy and happy.
I'm getting my farrier to look at him on Wednesday afternoon, and he deals with a lot of corrective shoeing and laminitic hroses, but I want to get everyone's opinion and experiences. Mainly, I'm so anxious I can barely sleep because I like this horse a lot, but I'm not buying him if there is a problem. I need answers! LOL The horse is currently on pasture and is being fed 12% pelleted feed. I don't think they are feeding him a lot since he's on pasture right now.
What are everyone's thoughts and experiences with what's commonly known as grass, stress or fever rings??