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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2012
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    Rochester, NY
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    Default Pre-Purchase Exams

    I'm fairly new to sports horses, I got my first Hanoverian last year. So I'm curious how many people require a deposite before they agree to a pre-purchase exam. It seems this is more common then I realized.

    So when I was horse shopping I did pre-purchase exams on three horses without putting a down payment on any of them. In the first case the mare had huge cataracts. The vet was shocked she didn't show any signs of having vision trouble. This seems pretty clear cut with or without a deposit clearly the horse failed the exam.

    The second horse tried to kick the vet during the first flex test on one back foot. She could couldn't do get a good flex on either leg, but her opinion after the first incomplete flex test was there was something not quite right. The vet's opinion was that the mare likely had OCD. The mare didn't have trouble originally picking up her feet so she suspected her extreme reaction was due to pain. The seller called and E-mailed me for two weeks after insisting that the vet didn't really get a good flex test and that they weren't reliable, their farrier said she was fine ect.

    Given this experience if I were to hypothetically be buying another horse, and the seller wanted a down payment, how comfortable would you, as a seller, be adding a clause to the contract saying that if the horse decided the vet should be brained for no good reason the buyer could get their deposite back?

    I know of course that most everyone on this forum is a reputable seller and would being willing to work with the buying if something weird like this happened, however, the farm I was working with had a good reputationd so from the my prospective as I buyer I'd still want to be careful.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2012
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    Fredericksburg, va
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    Default

    Ive never heard of anyone asking for a down payment first. In my experience obviously the buyer is responsible for the costs of the pre-purchase.
    First and foremost about the horse.
    Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    2,364

    Default

    I have once put down a deposit because I wanted the horse off the market until the ppe was completed. I just sold a horse that the buyer put a deposit on for the same reason - she wanted the horse off the market, now showing and did a ppe - horse passed and now just waiting to complete the deal.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 13, 2012
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    Fredericksburg, va
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravestrom View Post
    I have once put down a deposit because I wanted the horse off the market until the ppe was completed. I just sold a horse that the buyer put a deposit on for the same reason - she wanted the horse off the market, now showing and did a ppe - horse passed and now just waiting to complete the deal.
    This I understand!! But, if the horse doesn't pass, do you still lose the deposit?
    First and foremost about the horse.
    Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
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  5. #5
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    Nov. 23, 2006
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    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rosebudranch View Post
    This I understand!! But, if the horse doesn't pass, do you still lose the deposit?
    deposit returned if horse does not pass - I get the purchaser to sign the bill of sale too.



  6. #6
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    Nov. 23, 2006
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    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rosebudranch View Post
    This I understand!! But, if the horse doesn't pass, do you still lose the deposit?
    deposit returned if horse does not pass - I get the purchaser to sign the bill of sale too.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2011
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravestrom View Post
    deposit returned if horse does not pass - I get the purchaser to sign the bill of sale too.
    Can't this get messy? I've only done 1 PPE that the horse actually failed... its hock xrays were scary. Other then that, PPE findings are very subjective, based on who's opinion you're getting, what the intended purpose is, etc. It's not typically as black and white as pass/fail. So theoretically, what if the PPE findings are in the "gray" area?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2012
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    Fredericksburg, va
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSjumper View Post
    Can't this get messy? I've only done 1 PPE that the horse actually failed... its hock xrays were scary. Other then that, PPE findings are very subjective, based on who's opinion you're getting, what the intended purpose is, etc. It's not typically as black and white as pass/fail. So theoretically, what if the PPE findings are in the "gray" area?
    Gooooood point. I rephrase. If horse doesn't pass PPE to your standards and you don't buy horse BECAUSE of the PPE results do you get deposit back?
    First and foremost about the horse.
    Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2012
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSjumper View Post
    Can't this get messy? I've only done 1 PPE that the horse actually failed... its hock xrays were scary. Other then that, PPE findings are very subjective, based on who's opinion you're getting, what the intended purpose is, etc. It's not typically as black and white as pass/fail. So theoretically, what if the PPE findings are in the "gray" area?
    I don't actually think a horse can pass a PPE. The vet I worked with refused to give me an sort of official recommendation. Even about the mare who was likely to go blind.

    At least according to Cherry Hill:

    The AAEP suggest "The veterinarian should make no determination and express no opinion as to the suitability of the animal for the purpose intended. This issue is a business judgment that is solely the responsibility of the buyer that he or she should make on the basis of a variety of factors, only one of which is the report provided by the veterinarian."
    http://www.horsekeeping.com/horse_ma...t/vet_exam.htm

    I actually have no idea how that works with regards to a contract. Perhaps someone with more experience in these matter could clarify.

    It sort sounds like either the buyer would have to specify all the conditions that the horse couldn't have to pass the exam or the buyer could decide not to buy the horse after the PPE and get their deposite back for any reason. Neither of these make much sense to me so there must be something I'm missing.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
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    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSjumper View Post
    Can't this get messy? I've only done 1 PPE that the horse actually failed... its hock xrays were scary. Other then that, PPE findings are very subjective, based on who's opinion you're getting, what the intended purpose is, etc. It's not typically as black and white as pass/fail. So theoretically, what if the PPE findings are in the "gray" area?
    I just say pass or fail - it is subjective and that is the wording I use - basically if the horse doesn't have anything that I am not willing to accept. We actually had to get the deposit back because the ppe revealed things that made the horse unacceptable for us but probably would have been fine for someone else - we may have considered the horse anyway but the seller became a nightmare and we just wanted out at that time. We sold a horse based on the same thing - the ppe did not reveal anything that was unacceptable to the purchaser and in fact we had already discussed any issues so the purchaser was well aware.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2008
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    Default

    When I am selling, and a prospective purchaser wants to make a deposit to "hold the horse" pending a satisfactory PPE, I state in the agreement of sale that the deposit of $xxx has been taken, and the sale is subject to a satisfactory PPE, to be completed by a vet of the purchaser's choice, at his expense, within x days of the agreement. If the purchaser is not satisfied with the PPE within that time frame, the contract is null and void and the deposit will be returned forthwith. I also allow a PPE without deposit, providing an answer is given within x days (usually a week to 10 days), after which time the horse is subject to purchase by another party, unless a commitment and purchase funds are received before the deadline..


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2006
    Location
    Quebec (Canada)
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    Default

    I did had a client once who asked to do a PPE (wich is fine) by the vet of his choice (wich is fine too) and so we travelled down there with the filly. They did not x-ray her, but vet found "something" nqr on one of her leg. Her recommanded on the phone to the client to not pursue the purchase of said filly. Client was devastated, she loved the filly (otherwise sound) and we were devastated to come back home with the filly now knowing she "had something nqr". Client asked the vet to send us his report. He did not. He did not sent it by written neither to his own client later! We were about to ask our vet to come and do a full x-ray set etc. But then we had another client for said filly. We told her the whole story (so she can know that it needs to be investigated), offered her the filly for a very interesting lower price and she asked if we can bring the filly to her vet, who is a reknown specialist in horse lameness and legs etc. Filly's legs were there x-rayed under all angles (ankles, knees, stifles, hocks, etc.), even some very light (well done) flex tests were performed... EVERYTHING CAME OUT CLEAN. So end of story: 2nd client got a perfectly healthy filly for a very cheap price. 1st client got screwed by her vet, who was never really capable of explaining on a piece of paper what he tought was nqr... 1st client and I still speak to each other and we are now laughing of this adventure, but no need to say that the vet is on my black list and hers too lol!!

    Today said filly is under saddle, sound and for sale for almost 5x what I sold her as a yearling.

    Now I have any vet who comes to my farm PPE my foals sign an agreement to release, in a written form, anything they find "nqr" to the buyer... And my purchase agreement states that if the sale does not go through, because of a "failed" PPE, we shall receive the reasons in a written form within a week of the PPE date.

    We learn with experience I guess!
    Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
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    8,672

    Default

    I wont put a deposit on a horse before a PPE, I made that mistake a long time ago and it became messy, in the end I caved and bought a horse I didn't want that ended up later with a large chip in his knee. I learned a lot after that and made many mistakes, but I would rather lose a horse than end up wanting to walk away and fighting over deposit money. In the end it was my "fault", but I wanted to walk away and was bullied into buying, the vet was in on the game with the seller as well. FWIW I contacted multiple attorneys and going to court would have cost more than the horse did.

    Most of the vettings I have had done that vet HAS passed or failed the horse to me. I had a vet tell me I should buy a horse I absolutely should NOT have bought, I have had vets tell me to walk away for my own good and I was incredibly thankful they did so, and most recently I had a vet tell me that in his opinion I was not going to find a horse any more sturdy and sound than what he was looking at. I always get a report in writing and provide the seller with the entire vet findings and lab work and xrays if I have them, whether the horse passes or fails.

    I understand a seller wanting a deposit first, but I wont do it after having dealt with crazy sellers similar to the OP.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2002
    Location
    Waterford, VA USA
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    Default

    I don't ask for a deposit but insist on having the PPE done at our local equine hospital (Morven Park) and will trailer the horse there for the client. Morven Park is a teaching hospital and has some of the best vets and equipment in the country, however, their rates for PPE are most of the time less than what the average vet charges.

    The reason I do this is because I have listened to way too many incompetent vets over the years and am not willing to put up with stupid announcements like NQR, or the different and sometimes very wrong ways to do flexion tests. I had one vet tell the client that the horse had OCD just from the way it walked (!!!), never mind that she didn't have an x-ray machine and recommended the horse be shipped to Morven Park for that. Another brilliant vet told his assistant to expose the x-rays (not digital) to the light in order to "erase" the previous image (!!!) and then flunked the horse based on what he saw on those slides. The same horse had perfect x-rays when they were taken at the hospital two days later.

    So my advice is to not pay a deposit unless you know you can get it back when the horse doesn't vet out, and to find a competent vet that you can trust.

    Good luck!
    Siegi Belz
    www.stalleuropa.com
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2008
    Location
    Maryland USA
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    1,194

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    This is one of the few times that Siegi B. and I actually disagree. Not about using Morven Park (Marion Dupont Equine Med Ctr) which is and extension full service Hospital of VA Tech. They are great to use, but almost 2 hours away.

    I will not let you vet my horse without a deposit. A ppe is just that, a pre purchase exam. The exam is not to find something to lower the price, its not to tell you if the horse can be a GP jumper, its to make sure there isn't something that will prevent the horse from doing the job it is intended for. I have stopped ppe in the middle and paid the vet out of my own pocket because of incompetance. Some vets think they are being paid to find something. These vets prevent people from getting good horses. I have had buyers drop out of a purchase due to an x-ray and sent those x-rays to our Olympic team vet who said that it was nothing to worry about. I have sent x-rays to another purchaser's vet and had them say there was nothing to worry about. At the end of the day it is subjective, but placing a deposit makes you emotionally commit to purchasing the horse, as theat should be the intent. If for what ever reason, your vet or one that was chosen (must be approved by me first) suggest not moving forward, then I return your deposit in full with in 1 week. Simple as that. If the vet does not see any concerns then you have 5 business days to pay the balance or you forfeit your deposit. In the event a payment arrangement was made in advance then the first payment would be due to enanct the contract.

    I have never had a problem with one single buyer or potential buyer. A few that were annoyed I held a ppe up because I didn't have the deposit, but even they were fine after the fact. Every PPE I held up led to a final purchase of the horse. Its good business.

    Tim
    Sparling Rock Holsteiners
    www.sparlingrock.com


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2003
    Location
    Mayerthorpe, AB
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    2,000

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    I don't require a deposit for a PPE just a credit card on file with the vet before we proceed. On the horses I have purchased I have never done a deposit prior to vetting either.
    Cindy's Warmbloods
    www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy's Warmbloods View Post
    I don't require a deposit for a PPE just a credit card on file with the vet before we proceed. On the horses I have purchased I have never done a deposit prior to vetting either.
    Reading the replies I would imagine so much depends on who the sellers and buyers are. If you are a "BNB" selling young horses as a business to "BNT" and everyone involved is looking at the transaction first and foremost as a business transaction, I can understand why contracts and deposits and whatnot would be very important to you.

    People who have few horses and view them as pets first probably look at things a little differently. I have sold 2 horses in the last few years, they went on trial and I will take both back for the rest of their lives. I don't want anyone to feel "stuck" with a horse or pony they don't want, and I still love both of them as my pets. I could never imagine forcing someone into buying a horse of mine because of a contractual obligation! Also, because I only ever own one at a time I never again want to feel pressured or forced to buy a horse that my gut simply says "don't buy" at any point of the process.

    But I respect those that treat the process differently.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2012
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    Fredericksburg, va
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    I did had a client once who asked to do a PPE (wich is fine) by the vet of his choice (wich is fine too) and so we travelled down there with the filly. They did not x-ray her, but vet found "something" nqr on one of her leg. Her recommanded on the phone to the client to not pursue the purchase of said filly. Client was devastated, she loved the filly (otherwise sound) and we were devastated to come back home with the filly now knowing she "had something nqr". Client asked the vet to send us his report. He did not. He did not sent it by written neither to his own client later! We were about to ask our vet to come and do a full x-ray set etc. But then we had another client for said filly. We told her the whole story (so she can know that it needs to be investigated), offered her the filly for a very interesting lower price and she asked if we can bring the filly to her vet, who is a reknown specialist in horse lameness and legs etc. Filly's legs were there x-rayed under all angles (ankles, knees, stifles, hocks, etc.), even some very light (well done) flex tests were performed... EVERYTHING CAME OUT CLEAN. So end of story: 2nd client got a perfectly healthy filly for a very cheap price. 1st client got screwed by her vet, who was never really capable of explaining on a piece of paper what he tought was nqr... 1st client and I still speak to each other and we are now laughing of this adventure, but no need to say that the vet is on my black list and hers too lol!!

    Today said filly is under saddle, sound and for sale for almost 5x what I sold her as a yearling.

    Now I have any vet who comes to my farm PPE my foals sign an agreement to release, in a written form, anything they find "nqr" to the buyer... And my purchase agreement states that if the sale does not go through, because of a "failed" PPE, we shall receive the reasons in a written form within a week of the PPE date.

    We learn with experience I guess!
    I was curious if anyone else does this, as I hope to have a small breeding and sales operation in the future, is this recommended (X-ray flex etc) in written form from a reputable vet on file to show prospective owners? I feel it shows that you are willing to invest the money into your horses to ensure that you are selling quality sound horses. Do buyers view it this way or do they usually have their own PPE done anyway?
    First and foremost about the horse.
    Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2010
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    1,590

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    My sales contract includes this clause:

    If Buyer exercises the option to review the horse’s health by veterinary examination by (X date), and is not satisfied with the horse’s health and soundness based on the results of such exam, the sale is void.

    It goes on to state the deposit is returned, blah, blah, blah. I have had only ONE prospective buyer balk at such a contract and a deposit. OTOH, I've heard several stories of horses being sold out from under people (in some cases, after they've paid for PPE or travel to see the horse), so a deposit (and sales contract) protects the BUYER just as well as it protects the SELLER!

    Yes, I've refunded deposits and I've also had a minor issue come up in a PPE that was not "satisfactory" to one buyer, and were totally acceptable to another buyer.

    My guess, you'll find about a 50/50 split on whether a deposit is required or not. And if you ask further, you'll hear more sad stories about horses sold out from under people (with no deposit placed) then you will about deposits not returned due to a bad PPE.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 15, 2010
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    Seigi and RyTim bring up one very good point - not all vets are competent! And some vets seem to think PPE is all about trying to "fail" the horse. A PPE is to determine the horse's health and soundness TODAY. Not whether it will be sound tomorrow or a year from now - no vet can predict that. The horse with perfect xrays and perfect flexions can break a leg tomorrow.

    I've dealt with a few doozy vets in PPEs - and have learned that one vet's opinion is not the gospel truth. I had one vet predict OCD based on palpation - I rushed my filly to the local expert and had xrays done - cleanest he'd ever seen. I had another vet find a tiny, cold splint (by ultrasound) and predict filly needs at least 6 weeks off, then shock wave therapy (which she could provide). Horse is perfectly sound and has a small, cold splint that is causing no problems! ANother who xrayed a yearling and decided it had possible OCD. A year later, xrays are perfect. So my advice - don't be afraid to pay for a 2nd opinion!

    I have reached the point where I don't require certain vets, but I won't haul a sales horse out to a vet unless it is one that I know does a good job. So if they want "their" special vet, they pay for that vet to travel to my place. And I will set limits - for example no flexions on yearlings and weanlings. And if you are going to xray a weanling or yearling, fine, but don't expect a lower sales price because something showed up that "Might" be an issue - yearlings are so growthy, xrays are often not useful.


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