Vetting and Buying a Horse
There are two levels of vetting – 2 and 5 stage. There are times when the purchaser, for various reasons such as getting insurance cover for a horse, may require only a 2 Stage vetting but a full 5 Stage vetting is the best standard pre-purchase examination as it gives the purchaser a full and complete picture of a chosen horse and an accurate assessment on which to base a decision to purchase.
2 Stage Vetting consists of the following, taking approximately one hour to complete:
- Initial examination in the stable of the horse’s eyes, heart, lungs, skin, mouth and musculoskeletal system. As well as general observation of demeanor and conformation etc
- The Vendors are asked to declare any previous clinical problems, vices or management issues.
- Examination then takes place outside to observe the whole horse on concrete in hand at walk and trot in a straight line.
- Flexion tests and lunging on a soft and a hard surface in a circle
- Blood sample for storage
Cost of 2 Stage £188.40 plus visit charge – this depends on where the address is that horse is being vetted at. With all 2 Stage vettings the Purchaser MUST sign a disclaimer requesting ‘Limited Prior to Purchase Examination’ in the event that not everything shows up on a 2 Stage vetting.
5 Stage Vetting (this will take 2 hours) consists of all of the stages carried out for the 2 Stage plus:
- Examination during strenuous exercise (ridden) which includes all the gaits in circles and straight lines.
- Allowing horse to cool down and assessing any abnormalities during this time
- A final trot up, turning and backing up of the horse with possible repeat flexion tests.
Cost of 5 Stage £284.40 plus visit charge – this depends on where the address is that horse is being vetted at.
- At both the 2 or 5 Stage Vetting a blood sample will be taken. This is then sent off for storage for future medication analysis if required.
- It is recommended that the Purchaser is present at the time of the examination of the horse
- The Passport MUST be made available to the Vet at the time of the examination (it is illegal to sell a horse without a passport nor can the purchaser move the horse from the yard without the passport)
- The horse will need to be stabled overnight or at least 3 hours before the vetting starts (if only seen straight out of a field, it makes it hard to assess that the horse is not going to be stiff when first comes out of a box after a period of rest)
- The history of the horse will be revealed to the purchaser (if known)
- The Vet carrying out the examination is working for the purchaser, not the vendor, on the day of the vetting
Facilities required for the vetting:-
- A dark stable to examine the eyes
- Hard, level trot up area
- Firm lunge area (will also require a lunge rein)
- Tack, rider and area suitable for strenuous exercise (5 stage only)
Also, with either Stage Vetting, (for an additional cost) x-rays can be taken if requested by the Purchaser.