Pre-purchase Examination

When buying a horse, purchasers often ask for an “Equine Pre-Purchase Examination”. This is designed to identify pre-existing conditions which may influence the horse’s future performance. Abnormalities may be detected, recorded and explained for the benefit of both the buyer and seller.

The Stage of Examination refers to the depth of examination.

  1. Preliminary examination at rest (involves a full clinical examination)
  2. Examination during walking, trotting, turning and backing (includes flexion tests and trotting on a circle)
  3. Examination during and immediately after strenuous exercise (includes getting the heart and respiratory rates up to check for abnormal noise or heart rhythm issues, checking for lameness/ abnormalities under saddle)
  4. Examination during the period after exercise (Checking on recovery of vital signs)
  5. The final examination during walking, trotting, turning and backing (checking for any lameness brought on by exercise)
Additional diagnostic procedures such as joint x-rays or tendon scans can be requested as part of the examination or following the Pre-purchase examination.

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