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Pre-purchase exam

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  • Pre-purchase exam

    So I am all for having a pre-purchase exam done on a horse before buying however, in the situation I'm in I'm not sure if it's needed. I'm possibly buying a 3 yr old OTTB (maybe 4 depending when in '08 he was actually born) but he only has 2 starts. So since he's so young and he wasn't heavily raced I'm not sure if it's absolutely necessary to have an exam done because I feel like there isn't going to be anything significantly wrong with him. I am getting him for a 2 week trial first so I'm not buying him sight unseen. He is blind in one eye but the girl who has him now says it doesn't effect him and he has no medical issues associated with it. I'm not really sure if it's from an injury or something he was born with but I'm going to dig around a little bit and see if I can get in touch with his breeder or past trainer. But that's the only thing that makes me wonder if I should have an exam done on him. What do you guys think?

  • #2
    Always do a PPE. You NEVER know what there is to be found. Even the most sound and healthy horse can have something hidden within.
    Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!

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    • #3
      If he is supposed to be anything other than an unridden companion horse, I would get a prepurchase exam.

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      • #4
        A 4 year old (and he is four regardless of when in 2008 he was born) with only 2 races concerns me way more than a 4 year old with 10 starts (demonstrating he can at least stay sound enough to race more than 1x a year). Only 2 races can also be a good thing if it's related to the owners finances or something, but I would NEVER take the owners/trainer's word for it I would do a basic ppe at minimum (which includes more than just lameness- think heart murmur, developing pneumonia, blindness in one eye, ect. that might not be clearly seen even by a fairly experienced horse person.) if the horse is a resale, then xrays are a must to.

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        • #5
          Always do a PPE.

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          • #6
            He may have only raced twice but he trained a lot more than that.

            Do a PPE.
            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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            • #7
              I will always pre-purchase.

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              • #8
                Always a PPE!
                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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                • #9
                  He only raced twice. Because he couldn't stay sound enough to run more often?
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home

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                  • #10
                    Do a PPE. The only thing to lose is the money spent on it and it could give you knowledge that will save you a lot more money down the road. I will never not PPE, even on a free horse, ever again.
                    Pam's Pony Place

                    Pam's Pony Ponderings

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                    • #11
                      I would do a PPE on any horse, but what constitutes a PPE can vary hugely! If you have a good vet out to look the horse over, are sure that its race record is not due to a spotty soundness history, and the horse is well-conformed with clean legs and looks like it's built for its intended job, you could probably skip the 50 X-rays a lot of people do. I usually am not too interested in results of flexion tests in a young horse. But I would want to know about its eye and in fact I'd probably reject a horse with only one eye since there are literally hundreds of them out there with two.
                      Click here before you buy.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                        I would do a PPE on any horse, but what constitutes a PPE can vary hugely! If you have a good vet out to look the horse over, are sure that its race record is not due to a spotty soundness history, and the horse is well-conformed with clean legs and looks like it's built for its intended job, you could probably skip the 50 X-rays a lot of people do. I usually am not too interested in results of flexion tests in a young horse. But I would want to know about its eye and in fact I'd probably reject a horse with only one eye since there are literally hundreds of them out there with two.
                        totally agree with this! I was looking at horse last fall, had been leasing him for a month so was pretty sure there wasn't anything major wrong with him, did the PPE just because I do PPEs. I was thinking very simple, basic ( not so expensive) but....vet suggested pics and I agreed AND it turns out he has OCD. I bought him anyway, but I know what I'm in for. In my case, I just wanted a nice trail guy, but he goes English, western, jumps, etc and someone planning to do more with him would likely have passed (because there are a lot of nice horses that do NOT have OCD).

                        One of my others just had his eye removed, I think I would agree that of course, as he is already mine, he has a job forever with me (pasture mower) but unless I was looking for a nice (cheap/free) pasture ornament/companion I don't think I'd BUY one with one eye.

                        Still vote in favor of PPE!!

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                        • #13
                          What is in a basic ppe?

                          My 4 year old is getting vetted on Wednesday.

                          I figured they will check eyes, heart, etc and then do flexions?

                          Then maybe X-ray front feet?

                          Just not sure what the norm is for a young horse that hasn't done much.

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                          • #14
                            Not sure if you plan to just have fun with this horse or compete. If showing formally, sometimes the rules REQUIRE horse to have good vision in BOTH eyes. Something to consider, because it limits the uses he can have in recognized competition.

                            I would probably turn him down just because he only had one eye. Not sure how recently he lost the eye, but often such horses develop one-sided muscling and issues over time. Not bad things, but they try to use the one eye to cover both sides and don't always go evenly.

                            If horse is VERY cheap, price of the PPE with pictures, may be a bigger expense than the price! We had a person interested in a horse of ours, but they wanted a $1000 discount so they could pay the PPE with that money!! That was going to be one HECK of a PPE! I said no, no discounts. How much of a PPE you want done is at your own expense. Young horse who had not done any work except getting trained to ride. They knew that, but still wanted to go crazy on a PPE.

                            A modest PPE won't break the bank, some Xrays of crucial joints, still will tell you a lot. You can blow the money at the Vet's on extensive PPE or have MORE money to shop for a better quality animal.

                            Sorry, I wouldn't buy a one-eyed horse for a bigger price. Very low, almost nothing, I would try him out. We turned down a free, one-eyed horse once. Lovely girl, but unwilling to get a horse we couldn't take out to compete. Rules were clear on BOTH eyes having good vision then.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Desert Topaz View Post
                              Do a PPE. The only thing to lose is the money spent on it and it could give you knowledge that will save you a lot more money down the road. I will never not PPE, even on a free horse, ever again.
                              I learned the hard way as well. ALWAYS do a PPE. It can save you some heartache in the end.

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                              • #16
                                even if you are buying a youngster, an unraced horse, a horse you have known its whole life, if you plan on buying the horse even if it has everything wrong with it, always a PPE

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                  He only raced twice. Because he couldn't stay sound enough to run more often?
                                  ^ THIS. I'd immediately be wondering why a race horse was only raced twice. Even if he was slow, I'd bet they'd try him at least in a few lower-stakes runs before "retiring" him. Also, to even have been raced once he would have been sent out for heaps of exercise jogs and morning runs. An actual race is nothing compared to the work they get beforehand. GET THE PPE. Cost of a PPE is nothing compared to the cost of vet bills for the rest of his potentially unsound life...

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Samotis View Post
                                    My 4 year old is getting vetted on Wednesday.

                                    I figured they will check eyes, heart, etc and then do flexions?

                                    Then maybe X-ray front feet?

                                    Just not sure what the norm is for a young horse that hasn't done much.

                                    teeth, ears, lungs before and after exercise, some tail yanking & other stuff to check neuro signs, external urogenital parts, limbs for pulse & bumps, body condition...

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                                    • #19
                                      Count me in for another who learned the hard way!

                                      I will NEVER buy a horse without a PPE now. I do the general exam, flex tests, he checks their lungs & heart with a stethoscope. Checks teeth & temperature.

                                      My QH gelding that I have now I did do x-rays on his front feet. His left front had a slight roundness near the outisde wall, almost like a clubby appearance but not quite. He passed the hoof testers with flying colors, but after discussing with the vet, I decided to do x-rays to be certain [see above where I learned the hard way once before...it involved feet!]

                                      The x-rays showed like a concave "pocket" a very small one on that outside wall. Horse was sound on it during the exam, was sound when I trail ride him barefoot, and after discussing this with the vet, I felt comfortable buying him as is.

                                      The PPE is worth the couple hundred, even if you decide not to buy the horse. Think of the few hundred as a drop in the bucket compared to the lifetime care of a horse that had a problem that could've been discovered by a PPE!
                                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                                      • #20
                                        PPE as in ALWAYS. With at least flexions, minimal set of xrays (or more), vital signs, teeth, confirm age, check back, etc. Drug tests if there's any doubt.

                                        PPEs will save you $$$ and heartache in the long run.

                                        A few hundred dollars on a PPE could save you many thousands of dollars later!!! I would never go without. Especially with an OTTB because they're often over-worked at the track. Same with a horse in heavy competition. A baby that's ONLY been sitting in a field might get less of a work-up but I'd still do a basic PPE even then.
                                        Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

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