I have been looking for a nice quiet gelding for trail riding for at least 6 months. A few days ago I looked at a gelding that has a wonderful temperment, is very willing and responsive, and is just what I have been looking for. There is one problem though. He has what I believe is called 'parrot mouth', with the upper teeth overlapping the lower teeth. How concerned should I be about this fault? Is it enough reason to keep on looking for another horse? I am concerned that he will have problems eventually (he is only 4 now) with eating. Should I take a chance on him? I have not scheduled a pre-purchase vet check yet because I didn't want to waste time and money if this is a serious flaw. What do you think?
Apart from the feed issue, though, parrot mouth shouldn't present a problem of any kind. You already know that you like the horse -- why not buy him? It's a flaw you can live with, and although it would be unacceptable in a BREEDING animal, you are looking for a RIDING animal -- and he's a gelding anyway. ;-)
Have the pre-purchase exam, and talk to your vet about this horse's long-term care. There are a lot of flaws that would cause me to "write off" a riding horse prospect, but parrot mouth certainly isn't one of them. Good luck!
Back to top.
Jessica Jahiel's HORSE-SENSE is a free, subscriber-supported electronic Q&A email newsletter which deals with all aspects of horses, their management, riding, and training. For more information, please visit www.horse-sense.org
Please visit Jessica Jahiel: Holistic Horsemanship® [www.jessicajahiel.com] for more information on Jessica Jahiel's clinics, video lessons, phone consultations, books, articles, columns, and expert witness and litigation consultant services.