"OMG! I've found the perfect horse!" Love at first sight? Yeah, we've all been there...
However, before you hand over payment and sign a purchase agreement, we highly recommend a pre-purchase exam. Bear in mind that the pre-purchase exam won't predict the future — it's just a snapshot of the horse's health on the particular day your veterinarian visits. It may or may not provide a strict "pass or fail" guideline, but may help you be a more informed buyer.
No horse is perfect, and given an unlimited budget for extensive diagnostic tests, your veterinarian would be sure to find some flaw. But you needn't spend a fortune to determine if your dream horse is sound and serviceable for the life and job you have in mind for him or her. And while you might spend more for the pre-purchase exam than for the purchase of a "bargain" horse, remember that this early investment might save you money in the long run if we do find a major issue. Be sure to discuss your pre-purchase exam budget and objectives with us when you make the appointment so we can help you decide what range of tests is appropriate.
Coordinate the pre-purchase exam timing with the seller or agent so they have enough time to discontinue any medication that might alter the exam results. Asking the seller to provide the veterinarian with any previous history and imaging is also highly recommended as this can aide in interpretation of findings from the pre-purchase exam.
Remember that we're working for you, the buyer, not for the seller. You will own the rights to any information we gather including all findings, radiographs or lab results, and we will not share that information with the seller or agent without your express permission.
Download and print our Horse Conformation Poster
If your new horse is coming from out of state or from another country, be sure you know the Travel requirements...