Our experienced team of equine vets regularly perform pre-purchase examinations throughout the South-East. If you would like to book a pre-purchase vetting, please complete our online form or contact your nearest branch.
Please complete the form below if you would like to request a vetting. We will be in touch within one working day.
As we all know, the purchase of any horse involves a degree of risk both with regard to the horse’s performance and health status.
The veterinary examination is a thorough examination of the chosen horse to identify and assess those factors of a veterinary nature that may affect the horse’s suitability for its intended use.
The aim is to identify, assess and quantify the degree of risk so that an informed decision can be made whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
The examination is not designed to guarantee that a horse will remain sound for the remainder of its career but to give an assessment of any forseeable problems.
We would recommend that you thoroughly assess the horse in conjunction with your trainer or an experienced friend with regard to suitability.
The standard (5 stage) vetting
This takes approximately 1 to 2 hours and comprises the following stages;
This is a general physical and manual examination from top to toe including checking eyes, teeth including age, heart & lungs and legs. The horse’s identification is checked with the passport and microchip.
The horse is stood square on level ground prior to walking and trotting in hand, backing up and circling. Flexion tests would usually be performed at this point and the horse may be lunged on a hard and soft surface to show up any subtle problems.
The horse is tacked up and ridden for this phase which is designed to check for soundness, heart and breathing. Depending upon the intended use, horses are usually walked, trotted and cantered on each rein and may be galloped or jumped.
This is a recovery phase where the horse may stiffen up if there are any problems.
The horse is trotted up in hand again to detect any problems which may have become apparent following exercise. Flexion tests and lungeing may be repeated. A blood sample would usually be taken for storage which can be tested for the presence of pain-killers or sedatives.
The examination is then summarised in a written report which may be needed for insurance purposes.
A limited (2 stage) vetting
This takes approximately 45 mins to 1 hour and includes stages 1 & 2 of the 5 stage procedure.
This examination is only carried out after you have discussed the limitations of this procedure with one of our equine team and we do require written agreement from you that you have requested a limited examination.
Please check with your insurance company upon their vetting requirements for insuring your horse. Requirements do vary between companies and also depends upon the value of the horse, intended use and level of cover chosen. Some insurers may require further tests eg X-rays.
What does the vetting not include?
Mares are not examined for pregnancy
The horse’s height is not assessed. If the height is important for the purchase, then either the horse/pony should have a JMB height certificate or you will need to arrange an official JMB measuring.
Warranties for good to box/shoe/clip or vices etc are a private matter between the buyer and seller.