Why do I need a vetting ( prepurchase examination )?
Buying a horse can be a long and stressful process. You may try a horse who appears to be ideal only to find it has a problem and is unsuitable for the purpose you intended. The purpose of carrying out a vetting is simply to allow us to make an informed decision about how suitable or not the horse would be for your intended use.
What are the 5 stages and what is the difference between a 2 stage and a 5 stage vetting?
Stage 1: consists of a full physical examination. Each part of the horse is carefully checked. During the check the heart and lungs are checked with a stethoscope, the eyes are checked with an ophthalmoscope,. The head, neck, body and legs are examined for lumps, bumps, swellings or asymmetry. The horse’s age is assessed by oral examination.
Stage 2: the horse is walked and trotted up to assess gait and detect any lameness.
Stage 3: the horse is exercised fully. This is normally done ridden or by lungeing in an arena or suitable grass paddock. The aim here is to assess the horse’s ‘wind’ and further check for any lameness.
Stage 4:the horse is allowed to cool down. The vet may draw the horse for the certificate – this is done to make sure there is no doubt which horse was vetted should there be a dispute at a later date.
Stage 5: Stage 2 is repeated. This is a final check to see if the heavy exercise and subsequent cool down has left the horse stiff or lame.
There are only 2 options for a vetting; a full 5 stage or the 2 stage where only stages 1 and 2 are carried out. If you require only a 2 stage, we would make you aware of the fact that this is not as thorough a vetting as a 5 stage. We would only suggest a 2 stage for youngstock or if it specifically requested by the purchaser.
Should I have bloods taken?
Blood are taken at the vetting. Normally the blood is not tested immediately but is kept in storage. If, in the 6 months post purchase, there is a problem with the horse then the bloods can then be tested for the presence of pain killers, sedatives or other ‘doping’ drugs. Please note that testing the blood incurs a further cost and is not included in the vetting fee.
We would recommend having blood taken from the horse and also informing the vendor in advance that you intend to have blood taken. It does provide you with some insurance against unscrupulous vendors.
What is not checked during a vetting?
Pregnancy checks are not routinely done during a vetting.
What Should I Check When I See The Horse?
Ideally you should do as much as possible with the horse before having a vetting carried out. A brief checklist might include:
1. Ride the horse, including trot and canter work, hacking and flat work
2.Take the horse out in traffic
3. Run your hands over the whole of the horse to feel for any sensitive areas and or lumps or bumps
4. Look at the feet carefully – are they symmetrical and free from cracks?
5. Check the stable for signs of crib-biting, observe for wind sucking and weaving
6. Check the mane and tail for signs of rubbing
7. Check the passport carefully. Does the drawing look like the same horse? Check how many owners the horse has had. If it has been moved around alot ask why
Is a vetting required to obtain insurance cover for my horse?
If you intend to insure the horse we would recommend that you notify the insurance company that the horse has been vetted before you make the final purchase decision. They may wish to see a copy of the vetting report and may decide to put exclusions on the policy based on the vet’s evaluation. Some insurers insist on a prepurchase examination.