Pre-Purchase Examinations (Vettings)

By the time you book a pre-purchase examination you will have already chosen the horse you think is the one for you. We realise the importance of choosing the right horse and will carefully assess the veterinary suitability of the horse by following the steps set out in the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) / Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) guidelines.

Pre-purchase examinations consist of the following stages:

Stage One: Clinical Examination

During this stage, usually carried out in the stable, the vet will under-take a thorough examination of the horse from head to toe. This will include assessment of the horse’s conformation.

Stage Two: Walk and trot in hand

The horse is walked and trotted on hard, level ground as well as viewed circling and reversing. Flexion tests are performed on all four limbs in turn. If facilities are available horses are trotted (using a lunge line) on a tight circle on a firm surface.

Stage Three: Exercise phase

The horse is usually ridden and given sufficient exercise to:

  1. Allow assessment of the horse when it has an increase breathing rate and increased heart rate
  2. Allow assessment of the horse’s gait at walk, trot, canter and, if appropriate, gallop.
  3. Allow stage 5 to be carried out.

Stage Four: Period of Rest and re-examination

The horse is allowed to stand quietly for a period. During this time the respiratory and cardiovascular systems may be monitored as they re-turn to their resting levels.

Stage Five: Second trot up

The horse is trotted in hand again to look for any signs of strains or injuries made evident by the exercise and rest stages. Other tests performed at stage 2, such as flexion tests, may be repeated if indicated.

View Vetting FAQs

If you would like to book a vetting or speak to a member of staff about the vetting process do not hesitate to contact the clinic.  If you would prefer to speak to a veterinary surgeon about any points of concern regarding a potential new horse this can also be arranged.