The goal of a pre-purchase exam is to provide our client with as much information as possible about the physical condition of a horse at a fixed point in time. The information gathered cannot predict future medical problems, but a pre-purchase exam can find potential problems that may go unnoticed just by riding a horse for a trial period.
Our pre-purchase examinations consist of a systematic evaluation of a horse’s physical condition. More than 110 areas of the horse are examined and documented in our pre-purchase examinations.
We start by looking at the eyes and listening to the heart and lungs. The entire body of the horse is palpated to look for swelling, old injuries, and other abnormalities.
We watch the horse at a walk and a trot to check for symmetry of movement. The horse is also examined on a longe line and under tack where we also listen for any signs of respiratory or cardiac issues that may not be present at rest.
Each limb is flexed for a period of time at a standstill and the horse is trotted away from the veterinarian. These are not scientific tests by any means, and serve only as a clue to examine a specific limb or joint more closely for a potential problem.
Discussion With Buyer
At this point we would discuss our findings with the buyer and determine if any further diagnostic work is needed such as radiographs, ultrasounds, endoscopic examinations, etc.
If you are considering the purchase of a horse a pre-purchase examination can provide a great deal of information to help with the decision. A sample of the report we use for our pre-purchase exams can be found below.