Pre-Purchase Exam

AEVS takes the pre-purchase exam very seriously. The goal of the pre-purchase examination is not to “pass” or “fail” the horse, nor should it be considered a guarantee of the horse’s future. However, a pre-purchase examination is a very valuable assessment that should be part of your decision to purchase. Below is some information on what to expect with the pre-purchase examination process. The examination involves an in-depth physical exam of all of the body systems and a dynamic movement exam. Purchase examinations may vary, depending on the breed and intended use of the horse. Deciding exactly what should be included in the purchase examination requires good communication between you and our veterinarian.

What to expect:

  • The pre-purchase examination is only conducted at our haul-in facility in Elkins, WV. This ensures that the footing is consistent for our veterinarians and challenging to the horse. Good weather is imperative as much of the exam is conducted outside.
  • The pre-purchase exam includes a very detailed physical exam and a dynamic exam to evaluate the horse’s movement. This portion of the exam includes many flexions, lots of trotting and patience. This portion of the exam generally takes approximately 2 hours. A standardized form is used to document the exam findings and ensure consistency of the examination.
  • Based on results of the physical exam and dynamic exam, we will proceed with further diagnostics. You and/or your trainer may request specific diagnostics regardless of exam findings. Our veterinarian will also make recommendations based on the exam findings. This portion of the exam is variable but may take an additional 2-4 hours, depending on the patient and diagnostics requested.
  • The exam may be stopped at any point where a result is discovered that deems the horse inappropriate for purchase.
  • The pre-purchase examination is NOT a diagnostic exam. Therefore, if a lameness is detected, the source of the lameness may still be undiagnosed.
  • Throughout the examination, the veterinarian will discuss findings with you.
  • A verbal report will be given privately in person or via telephone at the end of the exam if you are not present. A final written report will be mailed within 7 days of the exam. (Delays are often related to Coggin’s results.)

How to prepare:

  • Coordinate and schedule an appointment. It is ideal for the buyer to be present during the examination. It is not necessary for the seller to be present.
  • Complete and return the Pre-Purchase Buyer Information Form PRIOR to the exam appointment.
  • Have the seller complete and return the Pre-Purchase Seller Disclosure PRIOR to the exam appointment.
  • Email a copy of the registration papers, Coggin’s test, medical history and vaccination history to info@alleghenyequine.com PRIOR to the exam appointment. Include any other important documents such as insurance forms.
  • If the horse is an American Quarter Horse, an AQHA 5-panel genetic test is strongly recommended PRIOR to the exam. This can be performed by the seller directly with AQHA and may require several weeks to obtain results. Results of this panel may affect long term performance and breeding decisions of the animal. For more information on the AQHA 5 panel test, please click here.
  • The horse to be examined must be halter broke and handled. A thorough examination cannot be completed on ill-mannered and unbroke horse.