Do X-rays Really Pay Off?

By #TeamDiO Member Alissa Kelly

Over the years I have owned many different horses. If I could go back 10 years and tell my younger, inexperienced self something to take heed to on every horse in the future it would be X-Ray them all head to toe!This may seem pricey but just about every instance I wish I would have taken X-rays sooner I would have saved time and money.If you are purchasing a horse be sure to X-ray them before, if you are getting ready to start a young horse under saddle grab some x rays or if you are having a problem on a horse that’s never been examined be sure to get them done.

Why X-Ray a horse that you want to purchase?

Pictures are worth a thousand words. A horse can be moving great now but X-rays can help you identify a possible problem down the road or something that is already there (like a chip, OCD or Kissing Spines) that hasn’t started to cause an issue, YET.

Why X-Ray a young horse?

I am so thankful I have taken 2-3 year olds to get pictures prior to started heavy riding. Some horses mature/grow faster than others. By looking at bones you can tell whether or not a young horse will be able to handle strenuous work. Sometimes waiting an extra 6 months can help the horse to have more longevity down the road.

Why X-ray a horse devolving a bad habit?

I read an article many years ago that you can’t train through a soundness issue. Many times soreness is not easy to pinpoint and it does not come on until the workload has been increased for an extended period of time. If a horse that has been working great begins to struggle start with some X-Rays then move on to checking for other things at your vets discretion.

"By looking at bones you can tell whether or not a young horse will be able to handle strenuous work."

Sometime an examination and a quick once over by your veterinarian can help you understand areas of concern on the future especially if a horses conformation is not great. By knowing your horses weak spots you can prevent some inflammation and soreness by religiously applying Draw it Out to these areas after strenuous activity. No horse is perfect and they will all have areas they would appreciate some DiO.


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