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The Pre-Purchase Exam

Just like we would inspect a car before we buy it to make sure that there are no major problems, a pre-purchase examination by your vet is a good way to check that the horse you are considering buying is healthy and sound. The pre-purchase examination involves a thorough physical assessment which may include blood tests. Your vet will also check the horse's gait to look for any signs of lameness. Your vet may also recommend x-rays or other tests to help confirm the horse is sound.

Ultimately, the purpose of the pre-purchase exam is to make sure that the horse is sound for the purpose for which you intend to purchase him or her. It's important to remember that some faults might be completely acceptable. For example, minor flaws that might prevent a horse competing at the highest levels of dressage may have no effect on the horse's abilities to perform as a simple trail horse.