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  • DIY PPEs

    There is enough knowledge out there and enough cheap horses out there that it sometimes make sense to forego a DVM PPE.

    How do y'all do it?

    One I did a while ago involved:

    Looking hard at the conformation

    Watching the horse at all three gaits

    Walking and trotting in hand

    Some twisting of the knees

    Flexion tests

    Would you guys also rasp off some hoof on a barefoot horse to see the thickness of the hoof wall?

    Anything else?
    Last edited by mvp; Nov. 10, 2011, 03:43 PM. Reason: I can spell until I care... then I can't.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  • #2
    When my boyfriend bought his new horse, he refused to do a PPE, so I gathered what I had watched from my PPE's as well as read over reports and put together my own "PPE".

    Looked at confo, watched w, t, c and basic flexions were all I did.

    Horse was actually off when my boyfriend tried him, but he liked the horse anyway, so he bought him against my advice. Now he has a lame horse half the time. Ohhh well.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


    • #3
      *I* would never let a potential buyer do a flexion test on my horse, unless they were also a vet. Ever

      It's too easy to do it wrong and actually damage something.
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • #4
        Originally posted by JB View Post
        *I* would never let a potential buyer do a flexion test on my horse, unless they were also a vet. Ever

        It's too easy to do it wrong and actually damage something.
        Ageeed! I actually require a minimal ppe on all horses I sell after one buyer did a post-purchase and supposedly found a heart murmur (stethoscope only, never received any info from the vet) and cancelled her check (and kept the horse) wanting to renegotiate at half the price.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by JB View Post
          *I* would never let a potential buyer do a flexion test on my horse, unless they were also a vet. Ever

          It's too easy to do it wrong and actually damage something.
          Yeah, I'd let the owner do the "heavy lifting" of the flexion test if they wished. That would actually be better for me-- I'd like to be a pure spectator.

          I think you can make sound horses look more lame than they are with them. But I'd hope a flexion test couldn't actually break the 1,000#-er. I'm not omniscient, but I have never seen damage done by a flexion test. Have you? If so, what part broke?
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • #6
            I have never had a PPE done on any horse I have bought. I don't pay big money though. I watch the horse being ridden ( if old enough) and observe how it moves and reacts to saddling and being ridden. I ride it then. I go over its legs very carefully also. If it is a youngster I watch it move freely. The only time I have ever had a problem is with a gelding I bought from a friend. He had awful feet, but was sound and ridable. After 2 years she bought him back because I didn't want to move him to our new place with hard , hard ground. I knew it would be impossible for him being barefoot all winter.


            • #7
              Originally posted by flyracing View Post
              Ageeed! I actually require a minimal ppe on all horses I sell after one buyer did a post-purchase and supposedly found a heart murmur (stethoscope only, never received any info from the vet) and cancelled her check (and kept the horse) wanting to renegotiate at half the price.

              That is why I always insist on cash money. If you can write a check you can get the cash Or horse doesn't leave till the check clears.


              • #8
                Beyond observing conformation, legs and condition I trotted the horse on a lunge line in both directions. Would be nice to do that on hard ground too (but it was dark out so we stayed indoors).

                Also checked to see if he naturally picked up the correct lead on the lunge cantering. Cross cantering, wrong lead, etc. can show lameness.

                As far as buying a horse goes, I want to see it from the moment they go out to halter it in the pasture, tack up, get on, they ride it first, then me, etc.

                I have never flexed someone else's horse, that's all I need is them saying I "made him trot off lame."
                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                • #9
                  I always do PPE exams now, but I typical do a pre-PPE myself to see if it's worth paying the vet, to also observe things so I have specific questions to ask the vet.

                  All I really do is watch all 3 gaits on the lungeline, ask the horse to be walked back and forth in hand at the walk and trot, then do a few coordination/neuro tests like tight circles, backing up, and walking up and down hill.

                  Honestly, I bought my pony after watching the way she used her hind end going down hill and backing up (as well as at all 3 gaits).
                  On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                  • #10
                    I am not comfortable evaluating heart, lung and eyes so I always do a PPE with a vet as it cost just as much to keep an unhealthy horse as a healthy one. It does not matter if the horse is inexpensive as we all know the cost of the horse is not just the cost of the horse.

                    I am comfortable watching the horse move and feeling it undersaddle so after passing that with me, I call the vet.
                    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


                    • Original Poster

                      For feet-- do y'all just look at the size or do you try to figure out how thick the hoof wall is/how thick the soles are? Do you eye-ball them or want to rasp off enough to see the white line?
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat


                      • #12
                        I've done a makeshift PPE on a young horse. Probably one of my dumber ideas, as I'm hardly an expert horseman.

                        Watched the horse move, WTC, watched him being handled in the barn, I felt his legs, looked him over for glaring conformation faults, he had good feet with good sole concavity, seemed to have a decent disposition. No vices. He was priced pretty cheap.

                        Guess it could have turned out badly but there it is. Must have gotten lucky.
                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                        -Rudyard Kipling


                        • #13
                          I could not imagine ever taking a rasp to prospective purchase horse. One shallow swipe, the horse is off the next day (or week) and then its *my* fault because I tinkered with the feet.

                          I would never alter one fiber on a horse that wasn't mine, or I didn't have express permission to do so on.

                          I am far far far from a pro and I have much much much to still learn, but I personally feel confident enough, for my own humble purposes, to look at a foot with no more than a hoofpick and brush and answer the questions I'd be asking myself. I also know that feet can change. Drastically.

                          Of the several horses I've owned, I've never had a ppe, I trust my own eyes and ears for lameness, again for my own humble purposes, I do not profess expertise. In the same breath, I currently own two lame horses. One is aged and has two injuries gone arthritic from freak incidents. The other, broken withers and a bone spavin. A ppe might have caught the bone spavin, otoh I knew better buying a cowhocked horse but liked him well enough that I did it anyhow.
                          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                          • #14
                            I have and would always do a PPE, even for a free or cheap horse. I'd rather pay the money for the exam than end up with more expensive medical bills down the road.


                            • #15
                              I have always had them done. That said, I did buy my friends horse this summer without the vet ppe. She has had him 3 plus years and I have known him all along. He is sound, happy, and I know what he has done in his life. ( he is 6, she got him straight from the track).


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JB View Post
                                *I* would never let a potential buyer do a flexion test on my horse, unless they were also a vet. Ever

                                It's too easy to do it wrong and actually damage something.
                                Same here.
                                A basic PPE with a vet with no Xrays is cheap. But if they find a problem, at least the option to Xray is there.


                                • #17
                                  my girlfriend told me she doesn't do PPE's unless the horse is over $6000.

                                  I did a PPE on a mare that I was purchasing for $3500. Wasn't much of one and I sold her later due to attitude.

                                  that said, I am considering a horse, but might be able to do a trial for 3 months and due to this horse's prior occupation - jumping, I WILL get x-rays of front feet.


                                  • #18
                                    If you can't afford to pay a vet for the most basic of PPEs for your intended purpose, you probably can't afford to buy the horse. The true cost of any horse is not the purchase price but the upkeep.
                                    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
                                      If you can't afford to pay a vet for the most basic of PPEs for your intended purpose, you probably can't afford to buy the horse. The true cost of any horse is not the purchase price but the upkeep.
                                      I disagree.

                                      EVERY TIME a buyer looks at a horse they are doing a "PPE." They are looking at the horse to see if it will match some need they have. If the buyer is experienced then their eye will be better than a newbie. The difference is the experience.

                                      Most experienced people can call a horse with problems. Problems will show up in rheumy eyes or a poor coat or an altered gait or a sketchy temperament or an overall "hangdog" look." Or some combination of these. Or something else entirely. You don't need a vet to say, "this is a problem." You may need a vet to say "this is what the problem is." So from the "get go" it's what the buyer is seeking that is the key.

                                      Generally, I don't buy using horses with problems unless I have made the decision that the value in the horse outweighs the problems.* Brood stock is a bit different. If the individual horse has an issue but the blood lines are good and there's a production history then I might buy it. In any event I’m going in knowing that there might be a problem. If I’m unsure of my ability to analyze the problem I’ll get some help.

                                      I would NEVER allow a layman to do any sort of “flexion” or other manipulation of a horse I was selling. I would NEVER ask to do such a thing myself as I’m not qualified to do so. I don’t practice veterinary medicine without a license.

                                      Perhaps the main driver behind a lot of PPEs is how the buyer will view ownership. If they see the horse as a “lifetime commitment” then a PPE is probably a Very Good Idea. If they don’t then it may or may not be a needless expense. But at the end of the day there is no “school answer.”


                                      *Or, back in my "rescue" days, I was doing a Good Deed.
                                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                                      • #20
                                        I paid $125 for 3/4 of a PPE on a free horse...best money I ever spent, as that horse was crippled on a front knee on flexion :-) He did not go home with me...