A veterinary pre-purchase examination is an essential step in your pathway to buying a horse. Stabler and Howlett recommend a pre-purchase exam be conducted before buying any horse for $4000 or more. The pre-purchase examination is a great way to discover underlying problems that may affect the horse’s ability to perform their intended use.
Note that horses will not be declared sound or unsound, or said to have passed or failed. Pre-purchase exams are an assessment of the horse’s health and temperament at the time of examination and are performed on behalf of the purchaser. The report is issued in confidence to the purchaser.
We perform pre-purchase examinations in accordance with Equine Veterinarians Australia guidelines. The basic 5 step exam takes about 1 hour and includes a thorough physical exam, flexion tests, and examination during and after exercise. Depending on the findings of this exam and the value of the purchase further tests may be undertaken including x-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy and blood tests.
The veterinarian’s job is to neither pass nor fail a horse. It is to provide the purchaser with information regarding existing medical problems and explain the possibility of future problems, especially in the light of the horse’s intended use.