Frequently Asked Questions
- Order Status
- Payment Options
- Promotion Codes
- Return Policies
- What are your general return policies?
- How do I return an item?
- How long will it take to process?
- How will my money be credited to me?
- Footwear. Can I return it?
- Underwear. Can I return it?
- Custom items. Can I return them?
- Semi-Custom items. Can I return them?
- Saddles. Can I try out and return them?
- International Order. Can I return it?
- Outlet Items. Can I return them?
- Horse Blankets. Can I return them?
- Equestrian Collections Warranty
- Why did I get a Store Credit?
- Shipping Information
- What is 1-Way & 2-Way Premium Shipping?
- How are shipping rates calculated?
- Do you ship internationally?
- What are the international rates?
- What are the Canada shipping rates?
- What is rate for Australia/Indonesia?
- What is $200 Free Shipping All About?
- Can I have multiple shipping addresses?
- When will I receive my order?
- Can I expedite a shipment?
- Footwear to return. How do I do that?
- Saddle to return. How do I do that?
- How do I change my shipping address?
- When should I insure my package?
- I won't be home when my package arrives?
- What is a default shipping address?
- Where will my package ship from?
- What about Insurance?
- Are there any customs & duty involved?
- What are Free Shipping Products?
- What is Bongo International?
- What is Express Shopping?
- Can I track my order on line?
- Do I need to create an account to order?
- How do I order?
- How do I add items to my cart?
- How can I remove an item?
- How do I check out?
- Is the ordering process secure?
- What about shipping?
- What about taxes?
- What guarantees do you have?
- What payment methods to you accept?
- When will my order arrive?
- What is Express Shopping?
- What are Blowout Products?
- How does the Myler Bit Rental Work?
- How do I edit my Credit Card?
- Credit Card Problems?
- Contact and Communication
- Recalls and Disclaimers
- Ways to Save
- EC Auctions
- Specials and Coupons
- Fundraising and Sponsorship
More About Equestrian Collections
- About Us
- About our website
- About our products
- About our brands
- About our customers
- Interested in Being One of Our Vendors?
Privacy and Security
- Your Privacy
- Your Security
- Children's Guidelines
Mount Up to Rewards
- Rewards for You
- About Mount Up to Rewards
Tips and Helpful Hints
- Tips for the Rider
- Choosing an Equestrian Sports Bra
- Boots, Boots, Boots - Which to Choose?!
- Riding Helmets & Safety Equipment
- Tips for Choosing a Winter Jacket
- Choosing Schooling Breeches
- Gifts for Your Trainer
- Fall Fashion Season!
- Getting Started: Equipment for Beginners
- About Full Seat Breeches
- Safety Tips for Hunting Season
- What to Wear to Your First Show!
- A-Circuit Trends on a Budget
- Made in the USA
- Fire Safety - Mitigation and Evacuation
- Your Fall Equestrian To-Do List
- Equestrian Undergarments
- Equestrian Fitness
- Tips for Horse
- Ask the Vet, Sallie S. Hyman VMD, DACVIM
- What do I do for an Equine Runny Nose?
- How do I Handle a Vaccine Reaction?
- What About Joint Supplements?
- How Hot is too Hot?
- Barn Biosecurity. Why it matters!
- Thrush. What is it? How do I treat it?
- Equine First Aid. What do I Need?
- Grazing Muzzles and Metabolic Syndrome
- Shoo Fly! Horses vs. Flies ...
- Equine Vital Signs. What's Normal?
- Sheath and Udder Cleaning
- Cribbing. How Do I Make it Stop?
- Saddle Pads. What Kind Should I Buy?
- Trailering 101
- Saddle Fitting
- To Blanket or Not to Blanket
- Equine Vaccination Basics
- Equine Leg Protection
- Mini Horse Health
- Equine Dental Health
- Stable Vices
- The Prepurchase Examination
- Pain Management
- Draft Horses
- Hay Basics
- Barn Safety
- Calming Supplements
- Cold Weather Riding
- Equine Hoof Abscesses
- Bute and Banamine
- Equine Internal Parasites
- Equine Endurance and Electrolytes
- Burn Injuries
- West Nile
- Cold Weather Care
- Cold Weather Care for the Senior Horse
- Equine Rhinitis Virus
- Equine Ulcers
- Rain Rot
- Fall Hazards: Red Maple Leaf Toxicity
- 2013 AAEP Convention
- "Heaves" What is it?
- Fashion Focus
Super Sponsorship Affiliate Program
- Become a Super Sponsorship Affiliate
- Successful Sponsorship Affiliates are...
- Equestrian Non-Profits
- Equestrian Interest Portals
- Equestrian Community Sites
- Equestrian Dating Sites
- Equestrian Travel Sites
- Boarding & Training Barns
- Equestrian Content & Information Sites
- Equestrian Organization Sites - 1 level
- Equestrian Organization Sites - Multi
- Equestrian Clubs
- Horse Show Sites
- Equestrian Consumer Shows
- Equestrian Directories
- Equestrian Services Sites
- Equestrian College Sites
- How the Program Works for You...
- The Power of Super Sponsorship
- Monthly Payments
- Participation is Easy & Free
- Equestrian Collections Gives
- Eco-Conscious Products
- Save Trees - No Catalogs
Ask the Vet, Sallie S. Hyman VMD, DACVIM: The Prepurchase Examination
The Prepurchase Examination
You’ve spent weeks, months, sometimes even years looking through the “for sale” ads trying to find the perfect horse just for you. He’s beautiful, rides like a dream, everything you wanted and more. Finally, your search has ended. But don’t put him on your trailer just yet. You should never purchase a horse without first doing a prepurchase examination.
A prepurchase examination is just what it sounds like. A veterinarian examines the horse your are interested in before you make the actual purchase to make sure that the horse is healthy and sound at the time of purchase. Skipping the prepurchase examination because the horse is free, inexpensive, or owned by someone you know “so I know he’s doing his job”, is a surefire way to end up with expensive veterinary bills and an unusable horse in the future.
If you are one of the lucky few, the horse of your dreams will be sound and have no problems. Many buyers, and more often, the sellers, fear the prepurchase examination because they feel it is a witch hunt to find something wrong with the horse. That is not true. The purpose of the examination is to find out what issues a horse has and if they will interfere with the horse doing his intended job and if the buyer is in a position to manage those issues. Very few horses, especially those that are competing frequently, are completely sound and many horses need veterinary interventions to keep them sound. That is not something that should automatically be a deal breaker. Again, the prepurchase examination will let you as the buyer know if you are comfortable dealing with whatever issues the horse has. The prepurchase examination cannot tell you if a horse will become lame in the future. It is merely a snapshot in time, on that day, letting you know if he will be suitable for your purposes. Some information your veterinarian gathers may hint at future problems, but, especially in the case of a completely sound horse on the day of purchase, future problems cannot be predicted.
Prepurchase examinations come in all shapes and sizes. A basic prepurchase examination may include just a thorough physical examination and checking the heart, lungs, eye, and gastrointestinal system. More comprehensive examinations include a detailed examination of every body system, a moving examination with flexions to check for soundness, a neurological examination, radiographs, ultrasounds, and nuclear scintigraphy..
Every examination should start with the seller filling out a form detailing the horse’s past medical history, including any lamenesses, illnesses, medications he is currently on, as well as any maintenance treatments, such as joint injections or shock wave treatments that he received and when he last received them.
The most basic examination should consist of listening to the heart/lungs/gastrointestinal system, taking the horse’s temperature, examining his skin/coat, and palpating his legs for any abnormalities.
A true prepurchase examination will consist of a thorough physical examination and a moving examination with limb flexions to check for lameness. During the physical examination the following systems should be checked:
1. Skin/hair coat/lymph nodes—also check for any scars from prior surgery
2. Cardiovascular system—should be checked prior to and after exercise
3. Respiratory system—should be checked prior to and after exercise.
4. Gastrointestinal system
5. Eyes—should be examined with an ophthalmoscope
6. Teeth, oral cavity—will help to age horse as well
8. Urogential system—especially if animal will/may be used for breeding
9. Nervous system—complete neurological examination
10. Musculoskeletal system—hoof test all four feet and observe shape and quality of hoof. Note if barefoot or shod and type of shoe. Palpate limbs for splints, pain, tendon/ligament abnormalities. Palpate back for soreness. Flex neck and back. Watch horse walk and trot in a straight line and in a circle in both directions on a firm surface. Repeat on a soft surface if possible. Do flexion exams of front and hind limbs to check for lameness that might be exacerbated by stressing the joint. In some cases in may be helpful for your veterinarian to see the horse being ridden as well.
Radiographs of the major joints of the limbs are usually performed to check for any abnormalities. The areas most frequently radiographed include: The front feet, all 4 fetlocks, the hocks, the stifles, the carpi, the neck and the back. Radiographs can tell you if arthritis, degenerative joint disease, OCD lesions, or mineralization in soft tissues is present.
After the examination is complete, additional diagnostics may be performed to further evaluate the horse. These include upper airway endoscopy, ultrasound of any areas of concern in soft tissue structures, diagnostic nerve blocks to isolate the area of lameness if present, and nuclear scintigraphy.
How much or how little you choose to do will depend on several factors, however, no horse should be purchased without your veterinarian seeing it for at least the most basic of examinations. Ideally, every horse would have a full exam and full set of radiographs.
These factors include:
1. The age of the horse. Weanlings and yearlings can usually be purchased with just a basic examination. Ocular problems, such as cataracts or retinal abnormalities, heart murmurs or dysrhythmias, umbilical hernias, and angular limb deformities can be picked up on a basic examination. Two-Five year olds should have a complete examination with a full set of radiographs to look for OCD lesions. Horses older than 5 should have a complete examination and full set of radiographs. You may choose to focus radiographs just on any areas of concern if your budget is limited. Aged horses should have a complete physical examination to make sure they are physically safe for any activity, especially if they are going to be used as beginner horses for children.
2. Yours or resale. Is this going to be a resale horse or one for your own use. A resale prospect should have a complete examination and radiographs to make sure that you are not surprised by anything when a potential buyer does their prepurchase exam. A horse for your personal use will ideally have a full exam and radiographs, but if your budget is limited, you may pick and choose some of the diagnostics.
3. Use of horse. A horse that is going to be used as a leadline pony will not need as extensive an examination as a horse that is going to be used as a grand prix show jumper. All horses should have a good physical examination. A horse that is currently in full work and competing and is expected to continue to compete should get a full exam and radiographs. This also applies to a horse doing a lower level than what will eventually be expected of him.
The prepurchase examination is a way to know what the health status is of the horse you are buying. It is not a pass/fail venture. It is a roadmap to know where your horse stands from a health and lameness perspective and what you will need to know and do to keep him going for your purposes. The prepurchase examination is a worthwhile investment when choosing your new horse and should be calculated into your budget. Even a free horse is worth getting an examination done on. Those few hundred dollars you spend now may help to save you thousands of dollars and lost riding time in the future. Knowledge is power, and by knowing what you are buying, you will be able to enjoy your new horse with few surprises.
Congratulations on your new horse. Now you can worry about other things, like what color blanket to get him!
- Company Info
- About Equestrian Collections
- About our Website
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- Customer Testimonials
- Rewards Program
- Join the Mount Up to Rewards Program
- Rewards for You
- Affiliate Program
- Become an Equestrian Collections Affiliate
- Sponsorships & Fundraising
- My Account
- Order Tracking
- Returns and Exchanges
- Shipping Info
- We Care
- Eco-Conscious Products
- No Paper Catalogs - Save Trees