Would never do it. Way too many people I know had horses show up with major issues. I might be okay with not being there for the PPE after I had personally seen the horse and gone through my own "tests" in person so I could discuss very specific things with the vet on the phone.
This would not be site un-seen. I would go try the horse, but fly back and Vet the horse after I left. Or should I just go ahead and make flight and hotel arrangements to stay a day longer IN CASE I like the horse. Its an expensive flight even when booked 3 weeks in advance so last minute flight back would be VERY pricey.
Depends on the amount of $$, the seller and the horse. I've bought quite a few sight unseen and have had mostly good experiences and gotten what I paid for. However, I did have one seller try a bait and switch as she substituted a different mare for the vetting than the one I was buying. Fortunately, the savy vet I retained for the vetting was suspicious and took photos. If I am concerned about the stated height of the horse, I always have the vet measure the horse. Some people are just in denial about their horse's actual height; and others just don't know how to properly measure them. I've gotten pretty good at getting a feel for sellers who are sketchy and are just trying to get a sale at any price; and those who are innately honest and straight forward. I have used the farm vet when I feel very comfortable about the purchase and the seller, and the PPE is just a formality. Otherwise, if a vet school or well-known clinic is within reasonable distance to the seller will ask that it be done there. Good luck.
I would set it up so you're staying the extra day and there for the PPE. I just sold a horse this way, and I was very uncomfortable initially. I was very honest and gave everything I could about the horse, but couldn't believe someone would look at a horse a buy it. We emailed back and forth a lot and I told her as much as I possibly could, I had a lot of videos, we talked on the phone, and I gave her people who knew the horse to talk to so they could feel like I was being very honest. It worked out really well.
The buyer and trainer came and tried the horse, stayed overnight and did the PPE exam the next day with a vet the trainer knew, and left with the horse the next day.
If you're going to do this and you like the horse enough to fly there, go ahead and stay the next day. It will make you more secure if you like the horse, and even if you don't, one extra day shouldn't make a huge difference.
But just be sure the vet you want for the PPE has the time blocked off (and negotiate a cancellation fee ahead of time with the vet if you try the horse and decide not to get a PPE.)
In my one horse-buying experience, I made two trips a few weeks apart, but no one else was looking at the horse so I didn't need to worry about her being bought out from under me. It did take me several days to get a PPE appointment set up, in between the first and second trips.
I have no problem with this as long as I can pick the vet. I have used suggestions from friends and from COTH forum members to find the right vet and have done this for many horses. Only once was there a problem and that was a case where the only vet in the area turned out to be incompetent. I now will not buy horses from areas without a good vet, but I know good vets in many places. Interestingly, if I am serious about the horse after seeing video and talking with seller, I have often had the PPE done before going to see/try the horse (if I do that at all). I figure if I see the horse and it fails PPE, I am out both travel and vet expense, but if it fails PPE before I see it, I save the travel expense and don't get excited about a horse that doesn't vet. Here is what I fax to the vet before the PPE:
TO: Vet name
FROM: MY NAME
Pre-purchase examination request
INTENDED USE: Eventing (potentially through the upper levels)
Horse has been described as a x year old, 16.x hand off the track TB gelding, described as currently sound and in good condition in light work. I have not seen the horse in person, but have seen photos and video footage.
Please do the following:
1) General physical. If possible, could you also measure height? Check heart rate, respiration, eyes, ears, nose, mouth/teeth and general physical exam and neurological/coordination exam. No need to scope unless something in physical exam suggests the need for it.
2) Gaits, hoof testers and flexion. Please check for any paddling, winging, interference, etc at walk, trot and canter. Check soundness (on both soft and hard surface, straight line and circle if available). Hoof testers and flexion for all legs. Any osselets, bows, splints? Where and of what condition? Any conformation of the legs, back or joints that would lead you to believe horse would not hold up in upper level work, as well as your general assessment of build and gaits for upper level work.
3) Radiographs if horse passes 1 and 2 (I’m hoping you have digital that can be sent to my vet as well). If any lameness on flexion or other concern, please call me before going on with x-rays. Front feet navicular shots including sufficient views to check for ringbone/sidebone, and hocks, including both the medial oblique and the lateral oblique. If there is something in the physical that makes you doubt suitability of horse for intended use, please call me before taking x-rays.
4) Don’t need any drug tests, or blood work except a coggins if the horse does not have one for 2011. If any vaccinations are not current (WEE, EEE, Rabies, Potomac, Strangles, Flu/Rhino, West Nile), please administer and create record of administration for me provided everything else on the exam is clean. If all is clean, please also create a health certificate for transport to xxxxx. (this last clause only if I am buying the horse for sure - not for horses that I have not made a decision on)
The seller is Jane Doe at xx Stables. The address listed on their website is xxx and the phone number there is xxx.
Please feel to call me if you need additional information before proceeding or during the exam
I can be reached:
xxx (cell) best firstname.lastname@example.org
My billing address is: xxx.
Scubed, as an owner of a horse nearly killed by a substituting vet when he miss read "no vaccinations" for "all vaccinations", please do not request a srange vet to administer vaccinations to a horse you don't own just because you might come ride it.
A better option might be to ask the owner if there are current records and request a copy. When you don't own the horse you don't have the right to make decisions beyond the scope of the ppe.
Op, all of my horses have had their ppe's after I've left. I've had no issues, but am very careful with selecting the vet.
I have clarified. I do ask for current records, but I will not transport a horse I have decided to purchase without current vaccinations. I would obviously never have vaccinations administered to a horse that I was not definitely buying without speaking to the owner. I have paid for vaccinations for horses that I have not bought with the owners approval (they did not do some vaccinations because horse did not travel off property and they were saving money, but were happy to have them done).
I've done it before but only in a case where I did a TON of research in advance on the horse and the owners and had a pretty good idea what I was getting. HOWEVER, I did have my own vet look over the results of the PPE including rads.
6 months later and I can say that things have turned out well. I wouldn't advise it in every situation though. If I had seen any red flags or concerns during the process of visiting and trying the horse, I don't think I would done a PPE without being there.
I bought a horse sight unseen from out of state. BUT I bought him from a breeder and had done a ton of research on the Stallion. The Connemara world is really small and while the breeders weren't terribly well known, nobody had anything bad to say about them at all.
I had them take him to a University Vet Hospital for the vetting. Breeder dropped him off and went to work. The vets were on the phone to me, recommended a 2nd set of X-rays (Stifle). He passed with flying colors.
He is the Best Horse Ever.
Not a course of action I would recommend to anybody. It was VERY stressful. But I was looking for a specific type of horse and bloodline at a low price. Even with the shipping and vetting, I came in under budget.
Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!
my suggestion would be to have someone video the ENTIRE PPE. or, given modern technology - i would want to watch it live via the internet if possible. if this is done then i would also want an open line to the vet while it is ongoing. if not then i still would want the video shipped over nite (or uploaded) and then i would want to questions the vet once i saw the video.
Perfectly fine with it. My vet has a great network of vets around the country, and I've never had a problem with communication of any kind, either before, during or after the exam. I have my vet review radiographs and he's there to discuss anything of the slightest concern.
The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry www.reflectionsonriding.com
I am speaking mostly as a seller, although I have bought horses sight unseen as well (pics or videos only).
In 14 yrs I have only had one buyer who felt the horse was badly/incorrectly represented -- this is o/o dozens and dozens of horses.
As a buyer, I've never felt like I've been "gypped" -- mostly I've bought breeding stock though. So when it comes to a PPE I've been very specific about what I want to vet to check.
The one time I would never purchase this way is for a riding horse (rather obviously)....no matter what another person tells you, the "fit" between rider & horse is most important and there is no way to tell if that fit fits unless you climb on.
Now, if you are concerned that the seller may be misrepresenting the horse's soundness, then by all means use another vet or have your rep there......
PS After reading your post where you mention you have seen/ridden the horse already, I think by now you should have a good "feel" for the integrity of the Seller.
I'm sure you know what I mean.
If you feel "iffy" about he/she, then have a rep there. If you feel this person is trustworthy, then I wouldn't worry about it. At some point you need to just go forward unless there are red flags/alarms, etc. Unless you are very young I'm sure you have enough Life Experience to "alert" at the Devious.