Later, when the confused and disappointed potential buyer returned the horse from the trial, the owner had an experienced vet take X-rays, who described them as some of the “cleanest” he’d ever seen.
DO: Research and select an experienced, reliable veterinarian to perform your pre-purchase exam.
DON’T: Rely on convenience. If you’re unsure of a veterinarian’s qualifications, you’re guaranteed to be unsure of exam results, too.
“If the contents of the [pre-purchase exam] are to be used as a bargaining tool, I think it’s important to reveal the actual vet report to the seller to back up one's claims that the [exam] revealed a problem,” said Forums user and dressage enthusiast Dr. Lori Vogt, who encountered difficulty when a potential buyer refused to share exam records.
Vogt’s 12-year-old, third level gelding had performed admirably in a trial ride, so Vogt was surprised when the buyer came back with an offer substantially below asking price, claiming pre-navicular changes were evident in the horse’s X-rays.
“She was not willing to show me the [X-rays], and then when I wouldn't lower the price, she wanted me to pay for the report,” said Vogt, who had seen no evidence to make her believe her horse was unsound.
“A few months later she called me back and offered close to my asking [price], but I had already sold the horse. Even if I hadn't, I didn't want to deal with her again,” said Vogt, noting that for his eventual buyer, the horse vetted clean.
DO: Discuss access to exam records in advance. “I always have a vetting disclosure agreement in place beforehand, and generally I have the horse’s old X-rays and reports available,” said Stewart.
DON’T: Raise a red flag and risk the seller’s trust (and your access to the horse) by refusing to share critical information.
Check back next Wednesday, Aug. 31, for the last installment in our Etiquette Of Horse Shopping series!