Anybody ever taken their vet with them to shop for new horse?
I have three horses and nothing sound to ride, so I'm back in the hunt, but very gun-shy at this point due to lameness issues in my horse I've only owned for 18 months. I'm looking at two horses in other states, and am seriously doubting myself to do it alone.
Have any of you ever taken your vet along for the day to look at a horse? I'm talking a two hour plane ride, then maybe an hour drive to the seller's place. We'd do it in one day. Before I even broach the subject I want to know if this is common or would a vet just think I was nuts? I realize I'd be charged for his time, the vet check, and obviously the plane ticket, but still, if it keeps me from buying something that's got hidden (to me) soundness issues, wouldn't it make sense? I had my current horse vetted by a vet I didn't know when I bought him, also from out of state, and can't help but think something was missed and now here I sit, basically horseless.
I would be inclined to look at the horse myself first before asking my vet to take a whole day -- having been on many such trips with my trainer, I know that some can really be disappointing, and I would want to save my vet's trip for when I was really serious about a horse. I usually check with my vet for a recommendation if I'm vetting a horse out of his geographic area, and he has offered to go for me when he hasn't had someone to recommend -- I just never had the opportunity to take him up on it. I also had a horse shipped in to have my own vet do the PPE, but not all sellers are willing to do that.
Yes, I've done it twice. Be prepared to pay through the nose. Not only do you have to compensate the vet for lost business that day, but you have to pay to drag all their equipment with you on the plane if you cannot find a local vet to reciprocate and show up with the equipment you need. If you do find a local vet to help, you'll also pay that vet for their time and the farm call.
Before you decide to do this, see if your own PPE specialist has a relationship with a local clinic where the horse is. If your vet is comfortable with using a local vet, I'd highly advise you do that, unless you're made of money.
I took my vet to look at a horse once, but I was dating her. I don't recommend it. The dating, I mean.
I have taken my farrier with me, though. He's a journeyman - an old pro. To him, it was a pleasant field-trip and he offered Very Good insights. Much cheaper than the vet would have been, probably more fun and just as valuable to me.
Well, I'm going to assume that you're talking about pretty high dollar horses at this point...as such, I do NOT think it's at all silly. Though I think I might be inclined to go this route:
1) watch video (I'm assuming you already have)
2) find a vet local to the horse who can take rads and send copies to your vet.
3) have your vet interpret the rads.
4) if your vet passes the horse on PPE, THEN go fly on out and ride horse. If something is questionable and vet has questions, go from there. Get video of you riding horse or working horse. Pay vet and/or farrier to look at that as well.
I don't think it's crazy to want to take your vet with you...but the truth is, anyone can take the rads--as long as they can take good ones, all you really need your vet to do is look at them.
Flex tests and such have generally become irrelevant per AAEP guidelines due to variation between execution of the test. So...aside from a physical/dental exam, there's really no reason YOUR vet would need to be there other than to take rads...it really wouldn't be practical because you'd have to use some other vet's equipment anyway....
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
I've taken the farrier. Very nice horse that was being sold inexpensively because of hoof/shoe issues. My guess was that the owner didn't want to pay a lot for a good shoe job, and that my farrier was better. He was a great horse, and I still have him though he's now retired.
Is your vet a lameness expert or just a general vet? If they are a lameness expert, maybe, but IMO find a trainer with a good eye for lameness issues and bring them instead. Most good trainers have a better eye for lameness in regards to intended use of the horse and what is being caused by poor riding/training (what can be fixed) than vets do.
To bring a trainer along on a buying trip standard costs are all travel expenses (flights, hotels, meals) covered plus a 10% agent's fee.