Vettings or pre-purchase examinations can be performed by our vets at the yard where your potential new horse is based, or here at our clinic.

It is up to the purchaser to decide which vetting they require, and this is usually dependent on the value of the horse and the use for which it is intended. If you intend to insure the horse, it is also advisable to check with your insurer which vetting they may require to provide your chosen cover.

We undertake pre-purchase examinations (vettings) on all types of horses.

The full five stage examination consists of:

  • Stage one: preliminary examination –This is the methodical examination of the animal’s body to assess general appearance and condition.  It includes examination of the teeth, the resting heart, the eyes by ophthalmoscope, the skin, the limbs and feet, and flexion of the limb joints to reveal pain or limitation of movement.
  • Stage two: trotting up – The animal is walked and trotted on hard, level ground in order to detect gross abnormalities of gait and action.
  • Stage three: strenuous exercise – The animal is given sufficient strenuous exercise (one) to make it breathe deeply and rapidly so that any unusual breathing sounds may be heard; (two) to increase the action of the heart so that abnormalities may be more easily detected; and (three) to tire the animal so that strains or injuries may be revealed by stiffness or lameness after a period of rest.
  • Stage four: a period of rest – The horse is allowed to stand quietly for a period. During this time the breathing and heart are checked as they return to their resting levels.
  • Stage five: the second trot and foot examination – The horse is walked and trotted again and turned sharply on the hard circle, in order to reveal abnormalities exacerbated by the strenuous exercise stage.

A part-vetting consists of stages one and two. This is a cheaper alternative to a full five stage exam but the examination is obviously more limited.

To arrange for one of our vets to perform a vetting on a prospective new horse, please call our reception team, who will be more than happy to arrange it for you.