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I did a PPE on the $450 mare I bought last year. Just a general exam and flex tests, but I'd rather do something than nothing.

In my case I don't have a ton of money to spend and my horses are bought with intention of owning them for life. I'd rather spend $200 now than "save" money to find out I have an unrideable horse shortly after buying. Especially because I'll be "stuck" feeding and caring for it for the next 15-20 years.

ETA - In fact my PPE showed me that my little mare was a monster for the vet. Something that allowed me to talk her price down a little bit. I'd rather know that right away then suddenly find out come spring shots.
 

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We didn't do a PPE on our mare, Delriah. We were told that she was just an old lesson horse with too much 'get up and go' for this particular lesson program. They said she was 24 years old and had a little artheritis. We assumed they were telling us the truth about her, flexed her, rode her around, tacked her up ourselves, etc. She seemed fine so we bought her. She was great, doing everything with plenty of pep- but her legs began stocking up when she was ridden much. We assumed it was the artheritis getting worse and called the vet out 6 months after buying her (we do our own farrier work and shots so there was no need otherwise) because of the legs...turns out that she didn't have artheritis at all, she was low on a few key minerals that help blood circulation. We put her on a suppliment and she was fine. Even worse (and amazing), when the vet checked her mouth- he said 'now I'm not a dentist...but these don't look like twenty year old teeth to me. More like thirty plus!' We located her papers, look her up- and she's not 24...she's 37! She was missing nutriences because her teeth were worn down and she wasn't breaking down her feed correctly. Not only that, but she was a World Champion cutting and reining horse back in her day. She's now 49, STILL only has very minor artheritis, and loves to go for rides.

All of this for what? To tell you that you never know what you're getting into. With a PPE you can tell if a horse is drugged, if they have health problems, and if they do- if they're easily treatable. It's well worth the money.

To tell you that even with video
 

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If you are knowledgeable, you can do flexion tests and use hoof testers on both front and hind limbs. We routinely do this on anything.

Other than that, the reputation of the seller is more important than anything to us. Anyone can give a horse Bute or inject a sore joint or hooves before a trial or an exam and the horse will pass everything that does not need or include x-rays. I've had it happen. A seller's reputation is the most important thing they are selling.

If I were looking at a horse that the seller has had and trained for a good while, I would ask for written permission to ask their Vet about any exams, treatments or calls that were made for that particular horse (including the right to look at any x-rays or have my Vet look at them) and to have my Vet contact their Vet if I have a question. Privacy laws dictate that you must have written permission. Any seller that is reluctant to give permission, is hiding something. Any Vet that is dishonest is putting his/her professional reputation and licensing on the line. I personally have never had one do that.
 

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We didn't do a PPE on our mare, Delriah. We were told that she was just an old lesson horse with too much 'get up and go' for this particular lesson program. They said she was 24 years old and had a little artheritis. We assumed they were telling us the truth about her, flexed her, rode her around, tacked her up ourselves, etc. She seemed fine so we bought her. She was great, doing everything with plenty of pep- but her legs began stocking up when she was ridden much. We assumed it was the artheritis getting worse and called the vet out 6 months after buying her (we do our own farrier work and shots so there was no need otherwise) because of the legs...turns out that she didn't have artheritis at all, she was low on a few key minerals that help blood circulation. We put her on a suppliment and she was fine. Even worse (and amazing), when the vet checked her mouth- he said 'now I'm not a dentist...but these don't look like twenty year old teeth to me. More like thirty plus!' We located her papers, look her up- and she's not 24...she's 37! She was missing nutriences because her teeth were worn down and she wasn't breaking down her feed correctly. Not only that, but she was a World Champion cutting and reining horse back in her day. She's now 49, STILL only has very minor artheritis, and loves to go for rides.

All of this for what? To tell you that you never know what you're getting into. With a PPE you can tell if a horse is drugged, if they have health problems, and if they do- if they're easily treatable. It's well worth the money.

To tell you that even with video
What a great story!! Wow - awesome horse!
 

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She's now 49, STILL only has very minor artheritis, and loves to go for rides.

That's incredible!!! :shock: And really cool that she is still doing so well at her age!!

I actually had the opposite with my gelding. Had the vet check his teeth and he is only 8, but was sold to me as a 10 year old grade. :D
 

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haha, well that's a good thing, right? He's got plenty of years ahead of him! xD

and yes, we're very lucky to have her, and amazed by her ability to stay as spry as our younger 11, 7, and 16 year old lesson horses. If you ask me, she's in even better shape than our 28 year old!
 

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PLEASE get a PPE, xrays ideally if you plan on jumping this horse.

I paid just over $3000 for a thoroughbred straight off the track last year, he was absolutely beautiful. Built like a warmblood, uphill, stunning hock and knee action, and extraordinarily quiet and trainable.
I had a general vet check done, he flexioned sound as a bell and vet loved him.

6 months later, of VERY gentle work, lots of walking, bringing him up to fitness, I had him ready to go out to his first official dressage competition. A week before the comp, he started to behave differently. Getting quite grumpy under saddle, biting when he was groomed etc. Very unlike him. But didn't seem to be lame. I gave him some time off, got his saddle checked, teeth done, farrier out and had the pysio give him a once over. No one picked anything wrong, and said he was just being a 'typical' tb.

On the lunge, I was starting to pick up hints of unsoundness in one of his hind legs. I took him to our local equine hospital where he had nerve blocks and xrays, and found he had a bone spur and severe arthritic changes in his hock.

12 months later, he is still unsound for work despite my paying an absolute fortune on treatments. I am now looking at having him put to sleep in the next few weeks as he is not looking so good in the paddock now.


Long story, but this has left me absolutely heartbroken as Hugo is such a brilliantly talented horse with the most fantastic temperament that I have had the pleasure of coming across.

Because of this, I have just had a PPE done on my new 9 month old colt, he is costing me a fortune as it is, but I had full xrays done to be sure that his joints were all healthy at this young age.

The initial outlay of cost for the PPE might be significant... but when you then have to spend nearly $10 000 on vet trips, treatments etc. when it could have been avoided is devostating. I will NEVER buy a horse without xrays again, it's just not worth the risk
 

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I would reccomend one.. my friend bought a 3 year old ottb. She wasn't a racer because she "wasn't fast enough" got her info looked up her races and everything seemed solid. She paid 600 for the horse. Only to discover 6 months later she grinds her teeth at a canter and has her ears back. Called the vet and chiropractor. Got her adjusted and had to call the vet again to check her legs/feet. It was discovered that she had an injury to her knee and couldn't flex it all the way. It was determined that's what was bothering her. A huge issue for a horse she wanted to be a jumper. She also discovered after she switched stables that her horse had foundered. If she had foundered while owned I don't know. But she ended up practically giving her away. She had spent a good 1000 at least between xrays, chiropractor and a sepcialized farrier. Didn't even own the horse for a year.
I didn't get a prepurchase exam on my gelding because it was a spur the moment call from the barn owner to "come look at this horse" I rode him and bought him. Now we've discovered his front right hoof is just almost touching on grade 1 club foot. Would the vet have seen it? Hard to say. I would have still bought him though. I fell in love with his personality. I paid 750 for my gelding. I think its really a depending thing. But if I were buying a horse with the I tent of a jumper. I would feel better getting the prepurchase. My friend had ridden the mare she bought for 2 weeks before buying her and she didn't grind her teeth then... you could be yourself yourself a lot of money.
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I would for sure! Again like people say, it could save a lot of heartache and money down the line.

A friend of mine took a horse from a yard, paid up front and signed contract on the agreement if he failed vet check he could be returned. He looked as sound as a pound from the ground, but failed the flexion test on one hind leg... turns out he has an old stress fracture there. You can never be too sure. She's had to go to court to return the horse as the previous owner wouldn't take it back, even with xrays.

Especially if you want the horse for jumping, get the check done. If your vet seems a bit hmmm about one leg, or two legs, get them x rayed for arthritis, even young horses get it, and navicular.

I don't know about anyone else here, but I honestly couldn't afford a walking vets bill and a riding horse on top of that.

Better safe than sorry!
 

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I didn't do PPE on mine (didn't even know about it :) ), and I do think it was dumb (although I hardly can imagine one done on completely unhandled horses). If I'd buy a horse today I'd definitely pay for it. So yes, my advice would be just that - "do it".
 

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This is just my opinion, but you said you can't afford a PPE, and I think If you cant afford one yet you need to wait until you can before you get a horse, and have some money put away for vet bills as they will come, like every one else has experienced, we have had our fair share at spending thousands and thousand at the vet clinic. Just something to think about.
 

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Kayty, sorry to hear how hugo is doing. My thoughts are with you.
Thank you pw, means a lot. I've been quite a wreck over the last few weeks. Just can't bring myself to do it yet because he's such a special horse to me. He was going quite well a few months ago and I was considering bringing him back into light work. I don't have anything to ride at the moment so would have loved to even just trail ride him. But he's gone bad again, in the wet weather we've been having his unstable hock is making him more prone to injury. He's been getting bad muscles spasms over his back and through his hindquarters which my vet has advised is a result of the hock injury and general racehorse wear and tear.
He is on bute and anti imflams for now until I can bring myself to give my vet he go ahead. I have arranged with my partner to organise it for me, so that one day I'll come home from work and Hugo just won't be there. I'm usually pretty tough when it comes to these things, and I'm the first to say 'its just a horse, when they're gone they're gone, they don't know any different'. But I am just so attached to this boy that I am struggling terribly to make the call.

Sorry... going off track - I guess mine is just another good reason to get at the very least, a very thorough general vet check and xrays of the main joints. It'll save you the immense heart ache and financial burden that I'm going through now. Almost AU$10 000 and 15 months of trying every treatment under the sun later, and I am now facing having him PTS anyway.

Save yourself to pain of it, a few hundred dollars is nothing in comparisson to ongoing treatment for a pre-existing and permanent injury
 

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I didn't read all of the responses, but I have to say a PPE would definitely be a positive asset to purchasing a horse. At the very least you could possibly avert a lot of issues or feel more confident in the decision to buy. That being said, a PPE is a far cry from a "guarantee" and can start adding up in extra expenses in the event of multiple horses. I know many people who have purchased without one (in fact at least here its more of the norm not to) including myself with no issues at all. It is a higher risk but its at the buyers discretion, and there is nothing wrong with that. However I don't understand why people would bypass a PPE on a horse because of a low price tag. Doesn't vet care cost the same whether your horse was 300$ or 30k?
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Yeah, you are right. It's just that we're not loaded with money (lol) and I know that PPEs can get expensive, especially if you get x-rays. Just a general exam of the vet looking him over really isn't worth it since he couldn't see problems deep down. I don't know...I'd rather take the risk then spend the money.
They could do a flexion test cheaply and that could tell you alot. My friend was selling a 25K horse and he passed everything but the flexion test. I think alot of it would depend on the price of the horse. It could seem sound because it could have been given some drugs.
 

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Personally, I think it depends on what you're going to use the horse for and it's purchase price. I didn't do a PPE on my gelding, because it would have cost more than he did. It just wasn't worth it for me.

For my mare, I'm considering a basic exam just to rule out anything big. She's 16 years old, a retired racehorse and an ex-broodmare. I can only imagine what issues she might have, and I'd like to ease my mind a little bit. That said, she's going to cost me just under $1000 including the hauling fee and I plan to buy her regardless. So, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I've already made up my mind to buy her because she's such a special horse to me, so I'm having a hard time justifying a $300+ PPE. Even if she turns out to be walk/trot sound only, that would be fine.
 

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As someone above suggested, don't buy the horse until you have saved enough money to pay for the PPE.

I think you should get as much info about the horse as you possibly can if you are serious about bringing him home. Horses depend on us to provide them with food, water, shelter etc. Taking on a new horse is a big commitment and you should be well informed. Good Luck :)
 
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