About Pre-Purchase Examinations

Pinkham Equine have significant experience in providing both two and five stage pre-purchase examinations, as well as attending thoroughbred and sport horse sales.

Two stage vettings entail a thorough general examination, including the eyes, heart and lungs, as well as observation of the horse walking and trotting in hand and on a circle if possible. Flexion tests may be performed if it is safe to do so. Two-stage vettings are usually reserved for youngsters that are not yet in work, older horses and broodmares. Two stage vettings don't include a strenuous exercise phase and as such, among other things, they may not reveal subtle lameness, some airway issues and certain heart conditions.

A full five stage vetting has the additional exercise phase where the horse is observed under saddle at walk, trot, canter and, if appropriate, gallop. This also allows assessment of the horse when it has an increased breathing effort and an increased heart rate. This is followed by observation of the recovery phase and reassessment of respiratory and cardiovascular parameters as they return to resting levels. The trot up is then repeated to assess the effects of a period of exercise on the horse's soundness. Five stage vettings are recommended for all riding horses and especially competition horses.

Blood sampling is recommended for all vettings. The bloods are stored for 6 months following the vetting and may be tested in the event of a problem arising after purchase.

Additional imaging that may be included in a vetting are x-rays to assess any bony changes and endoscopy to further assess the horse's airway. These are generally requested for high value horses, if the client has a particular concern about the prospective purchase or if changes are found during the vetting that require further investigation.

The aim of a vetting is to not only assess the condition of the horse, but also its suitability for the intended purpose. A thorough discussion with the purchaser as to their intentions for the horse and any concerns they may have is a vital part of the pre-purchase examination process. The aim is to ensure that your new horse is suitable and your purchase results in a successful future together.

Pinkham Equine also offer assessment for insurance purposes, as well as breeding soundness examinations of broodmares and stallions for both sales and insurance criteria.

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