Pre-Purchase Exam - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 Old 03-13-2011, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,761
• Horses: 2
Pre-Purchase Exam

So... my mom and I are looking at potentially buying a mare and wanted to do a pre-purchase exam to make sure she is in good health. I had a few questions and I was wondering if someone could help me out.

First, the mare is about three hours away from us so we can't have our own vet do it. Should I ask the owner to contact the vet that she usually uses and set up a pre-purchase exam? Or should we look up a vet in that area on our own and contact them? Should we be there when the exam is performed, or is it enough to give the vet a call afterwards?

Also, what is the typical cost of a pre-purchase exam, and what all does it usually include?

Finally, we were told that this mare had a very minor fracture in one of her hind legs when she was young but that it healed up on its own and she's been sound ever since. Should we still consider having her leg/s xrayed to make sure that everything looks like it should?
Eolith is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 12 Old 03-13-2011, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: northeast Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,203
• Horses: 6
I can't really answer any of your questions, but i would advise you have a vet that you contact do the exam, for all you know the vet the horse's current owner uses is a personal friend and could lie about their findings. I also think it would be a good idea to be there so you can see how the horse reacts and if the vet does find anything she/he can show you exactly what she found rather then trying to explain it later over the phone. If the horse had a fracture i personally would opt for an x-ray just to make sure there are no arthritic changes due to the break. The vet you choose may be able to feel the leg and tell you better if an x-ray should be done.

Sorry i couldn't answer any more of your questions, i haven't ever had a pre-purchase exam done
Rachel1786 is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 03-13-2011, 07:34 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,220
• Horses: 0
I would ask YOUR vet for a recommendation for a good vet in the area and go from there. And I would personally want to be there. I like to see how the horse's responds and be there to talk to the vet in person while he's doing the exam. It's up to you though, I have done exams in other states where I wasn't present and they've been ok.
I think a PPE without xrays is about $250-300ish? Ours include general eval of things like eyes, ears, teeth, heartrate, etc, hoof testers and flexions.
What will you be using your horse for and how old is she? Unless you're only using her for easy trail rides I would definitely get her xrayed! Even if she's sound now i'd be concerned about her future soundness.
upnover is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 03-13-2011, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,761
• Horses: 2
The mare is 11 years old... I'd be using her for casual trail riding and lower/mid level dressage.

I think I will try to be there when they do the exam. Timing is sort of tough though.
Eolith is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 03-13-2011, 07:51 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 384
• Horses: 3
Definetly do a pre-purchase exam. I agree with upnover, you should ask your vet for reccomendations. I would also have the vet who performs it send all x-rays and finding to your vet, so s/he can review them. I wouldn't say you HAVE to be there for the exam, but it's nice to watch to make sure no funny business happens. I was there for the vet check on my mare Wyndemere, because it was done at my barn, but can't be there for Dulcinea's because she's about 7 hours away from me :( . As for price, it all depends are where you are. For Wyndemere's, in MN, it was over $200. For Dulcinea's, in SD, it'll be about $80. It just depends on prices in the horse world in your area. Best of luck!

{Jasper- "Tuki"}{Wyndemere- "Mira"}{Dulcinea- "Dee"}
sixlets is offline  
post #6 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 02:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 803
• Horses: 2
It would be super if they would let you take the horse to your barn so you can see how the horse is outside of it's element as well as let your vet have a look. I would not have the normal vet do a pre-purchase as that can be a conflict of interests.

If they won't let you bring the horse to your own barn/vet for a trial then I'd ask my vet for recommendations. If they don't know the area I would call the nicer tack stores / horsey places and ask who the top 3 vets in the area call and get quotes.

I recently had a pre-purchase done for around $560 without x-rays (horse failed the tendon palpation :(). Another barn-mate had one done for $360 (with additional cost for x-rays) by a vet that was not their normal one.

I didn't have a lot of experience with pre-purchase exams until recently. They include a physical where the vet takes their vitals both at rest and after exercise. A lameness exam is done, tendons are palpated, flexion tests are done on all limbs, eyes, teeth, hooves, reflexes all examined. They did some tests for obvious neurological disorders, listened to their lungs and gut and probably a lot more I don't recall.

It's also very common to add x-rays. For the horse I finally bought x-rays cost about $48 per view and we did four views of each front foot.

Last edited by Deerly; 03-14-2011 at 02:53 AM.
Deerly is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 459
• Horses: 0
My pre-purchase was about $500 with multiple xrays (no blood work). This was completely worth it for me and gave me peace of mind that I wasn't getting into something I couldn't deal with later. I would suggest choosing the vet you want to do the exam - the seller's vet could potentially be biased or influenced by the seller themselves (although this was not my experience).
MissH is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 01:38 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,888
• Horses: 2
My trainer always asks the seller who their Vet is, just so she can use a different one. If for no other reason than a Vet who is familiar with a horse/seller could potentially miss something because they are going into the situation with an "oh yeah, that horse, she's perfectly fine, I'll just go show the buyer that" where a Vet whose never seen the horse before is going over it with a a fine toothed comb to ensure the seller isn't busy trying to hide anything since they don't know the seller either.

At my trainer's suggestion I went with an extremely large Vet practice that has a teaching hospital for my Vet check last year since we lived hours away from the seller and had no clue on Vets there. We were beyond thrilled, we had an older Vet come out who'd been around the block more than a few times but was also extremely up to date on new treatments and findings as their hospital gets the "my Vet is stumped, this is our last hope" cases. She brought a couple students along with her and we had one very thorough exam.

I paid $800 but had a series of x-rays done on one leg that failed the flexion test and that nearly doubled the original cost. As far as what it covered, pretty much everything. I don't think there was a square inch of my horse that the Vet didn't poke, prod or violate. She had the horse walk, trot, canter on a variety of surfaces, indoor and outdoor, flexion tests, heart rate while resting, working, took his temperature a few times, checked his vision, his teeth, you name it, she did it. She spent about 3 hours total with him. Oh and we did do some bloodwork as one heck of an unspooky under saddle 4yr old, we wanted to ensure that was his temperament not a chemically induced one and we needed blood to obtain a current Coggins any ways.
Delfina is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: In a land far far away, or so I wish.
Posts: 12,825
• Horses: 0
Some vet practices will not do a PPE on a horse that they regularly treat. If they are willing to do one they have to have the owner sign a release. Otherwise there is a conflict of interest.

I would ask your vet for the name of a vet in that area. If your vet does not know anyone ask around to find a vet.

I agree, that you should be there.
This allows you to decide on various things as you go.

I recently had a PPE done. It was $300 for the basic exam and any testing above and beyond that was extra (x-ray, blood work, etc).
If everything is going well you might decide to not do some additional testing, etc.
Alwaysbehind is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 344
• Horses: 1
-Don't use their vet. Look around for another vet in the area or ask your vet for reccommendations

-Be present at time of pre-purchase. If you absolutely cannot be present. Call the vet you are using and tell them EXACTLY what you want done and if the owner of the horse says no to any of the things you want done, pass on the horse

-If you are present, ride the horse before the pre-purchase. THEN make sure the vet draws blood. I've seen way to many times where the owner has given the horse a little Ace or pain medicine to mask a bad behavior or lameness issue while someone is riding the horse. These will show up on a blood test.

-I would reccommend flexion test AND x-rays. I got both done on one of my horses. He didn't do well on the flexion (possibly due to having been in the trailer 4 hours prior) but passed all the x-rays (and they xrayed everything!).

-For pricing, tell the vet what you want and get an estimate!!! When I did a pre-purchase on my horse, the owner brought the horse to my trainers farm me to ride and get the pre purchase. I used my trainers vet as mine was out of town. My vet is always pretty cheap. I think she charged around 400-500 for a vet check WITH x-rays. My trainer told me her vet wasn't too pricey either. WRONG. We paid over $2,000 for the vet check with x-rays. Even my trainer was in shock at how much she charged us.
equineeventer3390 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much does a pre-purchase exam cost?? annaleah Horse Health 4 09-30-2010 07:28 PM
Pre-purchase exam horseluver250 Horse Health 3 08-16-2010 10:16 PM
pre-purchase vet exam? ThinkingOfRiding Horse Health 7 05-05-2010 11:25 PM
Out of State pre-purchase exam appylover31803 Horse Health 11 08-30-2008 10:47 AM
Pre -Purchase Exam Luv 2 Ride Horse Health 14 08-03-2008 05:27 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome