Purchasing a horse is a huge decision, as it is both a financial and emotional investment, and the horse will hopefully be your partner for the next 20+ years. This commitment involves not just the initial purchase price, but the yearly cost of ownership, which over the lifetime of the horse will often well exceed the purchase price.
The pre-purchase exam (PPE) is a crucial part of buying a horse, as it as an important tool to help identify existing issues which may prevent the horse from being a suitable partner for its’ intended use. Pre-purchase exams consist of a very thorough physical examination and extensive soundness/lameness exam including flexion tests. Based on these exams, plus other factors, we may also suggest additional testing including radiographs, bloodwork, or endoscopy.
We are happy to provide pre-purchase examinations for out of town buyers, however, because communication is so essential during a PPE, we ask that the buyer be available by phone during the exam.
Here are some tips for the purchase of a horse:
- If at all possible, we always suggest a trial period. This allows more time for you to ride and work with the horse, to make sure that you two are a good fit.
- Before the pre-purchase exam make a list in your head of non-negotiable findings. Every situation is unique, but a list ahead of time can take some subjectivity out of the decision. Some examples of findings that may make you reconsider the purchase include lameness, blindness, cardiac disease, neurologic disease, or cancer, among others.
- Please remember that the purchase exam is not a guarantee of future health or soundness