I purchased a filly from Johanna Sutterfield back in 2009. She advertised the horse to be sound and correct on DreamHorse. I trusted her and her breeding establishment and did not get a vet check on the filly at the time of purchase. She was sound when I purchased her, however, over time she became very lame. I was careful with her feeding to make sure she didn't grow too fast as that was a concern pointed out by Johanna and I even contacted her for feeding advice. I had the best hoof trimmers in my area working on her front feet, which became very difficult because as she grew they became completely different. She had one very flat hoof that would grow toe and no heel and the other would grow heel and no toe. They were completely opposite. I know that this had something to do with her lameness, but we had many x-rays done as well. After having four veterinarian opinions and multiple costly vet visits over the course of 2+ years the final conclusion came to be poor conformation as confirmed by all of the veterinarians that worked with her. [continued below]....
..... I was so hopeful to find a solution to the problem. During the time, I had been in some contact with Johanna. She was absolutely of NO HELP whatsoever. She basically told me it sounded like I needed to find a new hoof trimmer. My last e-mail to her explaining more about how the vet and hoof trimmers were working together and it went much further than the hooves, I received no response. I have been a business owner, my family has been business owners my whole life... I would NEVER handle a situation the way she did. If you are going to sell horses for the price I paid, stand by what you are selling. Now I have a horse who I love more than anything that has a poor quality of life in her future. I can't ride her, she is just a pretty pasture pet. I have so much compassion for animals that I will keep her and do what I can to make her comfortable, but I am so saddened by the fact that my hopes to show her and ride her were crushed.
As for anyone who had a similar situation happen I would love for you to contact me. This has been so hard to deal with over the past few years and I hate to know that it has happened to others, however it would be nice to be in contact.
Following is a letter from a highly qualified Veterinarian.
Hi, below is the requested brief summary of her current condition. If you have questions, just let me know. The primary soundness issue at this time appears to be poor front limb conformation. Her pastern angle is too shallow in the left front, and too steep in the right front. Her right front is the more severely affected, and is actually currently in a state of pastern joint subluxation. She has an area of painful soft tissue swelling over her medial right front pastern that could possibly be joint capsule/ligament damage secondary to joint instability, but would require further diagnostics (ultrasound, MRI, etc) to fully diagnose. There were no bone changes observed on radiographs of that region. Interestingly, she is not significantly positive to flexions of either front digit or knee. My main concern at this point is her chronic lameness (she remains lame on both front limbs and from your description she has never been sound) and her failure to show any improvement in soundness with our attempts to correct her pastern angles through hoof trimming. I am concerned that she will never be sound enough for performance, or even riding. If you have questions, please feel free to call Dr. Hunter or myself, Sally Ness DVM