Does everyone?(29 Posts)
Does everyone have their potentially new horse vetted? What does it actually cover you for? How much is it to have this done? Is there an alternative to vetting? As in, is it only a vet that can do it? What are they looking for? Thank you
Always have a five star vetting by my own vet. I looked at a super 10 year old gelding a couple of years ago. Tried him, hacked him, very knowledgeable friend tried him too, all good apart from in trot he carried his tail to one side. Reputable seller. Agreed £3,000 subject to vetting. I was present for the vetting. Lots of things wrong with him, including ring bone, probable arthritis, the list went on and on. I walked away.
I think it depends how much your paying - both my sons ponies have been around £1000, and I haven't had them vetted........I had a very experienced horse person with me as a second opinion - I could see they were sound and I just don't think it's worth a 5 stage......also I insure our horses/ponies, so a vetting is not required, and then in all honesty the insurance companies carry the risk.
However for me, I was spending around or above £5000 - I did a 5 stage ....the first 3 I found failed....so I think it depends on the circumstances, what your spending, what your looking for and what you are wanting to do.
Spending no more than £3000. It's for 16 year old dd. Pony club stuff, show jumping bit of xc.
A vetting is a bit like a survey on a house you might be buying - it shows up any issues that can be seen on the day of the vetting. It won't give you a history of the horse nor will it tell you anything that might happen in the future. In my opinion a vetting is not a pass/fail test, it is an information gathering exercise. You need to weigh up whether something the vet finds is something you could or couldn't live with.
There are a lot of factors to consider when you have a horse vetted - how old is it, what are you planning on using it for, what price are you paying for it? I have had a 5 stage vetting done on a horse I paid £9k for over a decade ago. He was young but the cost of the vetting was small compared to the amount he was going to cost me. At the other extreme a didn't have a 10 year old pony I was buying for my daughter vetted as he was not expensive and I did not expect to own him for long enough for him to get old on us, iyswim.
A good vet should ask in advance if there is anything you are concerned about, and will want to know what the horse is to be used for. If you are present you can see what is going on and ask questions as you go. Not every horse needs a full 5 stage. I've just bought a pony that was not fit at all and very fat - nothing to be gained from the exercise section of the vetting so we went for a 2 stage. I have only ever not been present for one vetting. I like to be able to quiz the vet about teeth, feet, etc as we go. Also, the last couple of ponies I've bought have not been vaccinated and I want them done so they can go to PC camp. The vet gives them the first shot then, saving me a visit charge later on.
If you are having a child's pony vetted, ask the vet to take a blood sample too. I've never known anyone dope a pony for a viewing, but it did used to happen and I reckon the fact that most people will take a blood sample these days dissuades anyone who might consider it.
You will struggle to get insurance without a vetting for over £3k.
A 2 stage costs about £175 a 5 stage approx £300. Bloods are extra.
I have always had a new horse vetted, luckily none failed , but I think they buyer up front knowing you intend to vet is a way of ensuring more honest behaviour.
We have only had 2 stages done before for showing. However with our recent pony purchase - which was expensive and we want him to jump - we got a 5 stage with bloods. Worth it to just be sure.
We did have a pony once which failed a 2 stage - slightly lame because according to owner had got caught in a fence - but we then got a second opinion 2 weeks later because we really liked the pony and he passed and never had a problem since with him.
Gosh! So worth it in some cases, but not in others?
Yes. Very much dependant on the horse. You are far less likely to need a small child's pony to be at the very peak of physical health and fitness so long as it is healthy enough to do the job than you are, say, an eventer or point-to-pointer. It is also unlikely to have been subjected to the same physical strains as it's sportier counterparts. A young horse is less likely to have any physical injuries or the long-lasting signs of them, and a vetting cannot predict if it will ever suffer an accidental injury. But a young horse might cost you more and there there is the greater likelihood that you may sell it on at some point, and would want a healthy horse to sell on.
As I said, a vetting is an instantaneous snapshot that the horse you are buying exceeds your minimum healthiness criteria at the moment you have it vetted, nothing more. It's biggest financial value is that it provides you with something to prove to your insurer that your horse was fit when you bought it. If you don't insure the horse (and some of us who have a few of them would rather put the money in their rainy day fund than insure each one for loss and vets fees) then that is not an issue.
Some people never have anything vetted. Some have everything vetted. But it is much more likely that a knowledgable person will make a decision based on the horse in question.
I have to disagree, a vetting is worth it in all cases. Looking after a sick horse you bought for little money costs the same as looking after a sick horse you bought for a lot of money. Can you afford to buy a horse and not insure it for vet's fees? Can you afford to keep a horse with a long term problem, that needs medication or has to be retired? Vetting so give you some protection against such eventualities and reveal problems that no advisor, however competent, can see on the day, e.g. eye problems, heart problems, exercise induced lameness, etc.
Also a vetting is an examination of that particular horse for the specified purpose. No one expects a older horse destined to be a sedate hack to respond to the same tests as a young horse aiming at a competition future in eventing.
Totally agree with Booboo. Buying a horse is the cheap part..
I suggest you call you insurers first - tell them the price of the pony and what you intend to do with it and they will probably suggest what "Stage" vetting you'll need to arrange with your vet. If the pony lives a long way away you may want to contact a vet near to the pony to do the inspection but you may also prefer to get an independent one from the vendor's vet.
Just FYI taking bloods will give you some back up if things go wrong. Particularly if you think the horse may have been sedated..
Be aware that a 16 year old pony is likely to at least fail the flexion test part of the vetting. So, essentially fail a vetting.
Depends on cost. We've just bought a 21 y/old who was fat, unfit and quite grumpy to be honest. I suspected Cushing's too (he's tested negative). £1k. I did know his owners and I had seen him ridden enough to see how responsive and easy he was though. He just needed work.
Regular work, weight loss, having a bond with one particular person (DD) and making sure he's kept up to date with dentist, farrier, physio, worming and all, you wouldn't recognise him. A true school master of a pony to ride, said with honesty. Fast though, lord knows how fast he was at 10
I am by no means the expert, but a lot of friends are, and say his movements are clean and smooth, no hint of stiffness.
We've been lucky though. We haven't in the past. Maybe have the vetting, for the sake of a few hundred quid?
Sorry but again I have to disagree. A fit 16yo competition pony should have no problem passing a flexion test administered by a competent vet. If a pony has made it to that age and has been competing with no problems, chances are he is in good health and able to do the job.
No problem. It's just something that my own vet (equine specialist) did actually specifically say when we were looking last time. He also said it wouldn't bother him in the slightest, if he were buying as an individual himself (indeed he has 3 oldies, non of whom did).
We chose not to buy a specific pony, as she had arthritic tendencies too, in addition.
i am surprised that this was general advice given to you. I can see why in a specific case where a pony is 100% even lunged on the hard but takes two short steps after the flexion that you would chose to interpret this as clinically insignificant, but it's odd general advice to expect middle aged ponies to be lame. Are you sure he didn't mean that at that age 1-2 dodgy steps are acceptable for a pass? I fail to see how anyone would happily part with money when a specific flexion made a specific leg lame all the way down the line.
I think his point was that, in his opinion, many vets might, understandably, choose to fail a horse/pony on the dodgy steps, if giving a professional opinion that might be challenged. And that he would choose to look as a whole personally.
Anyway, thread derail. Good luck OP.
Never have, and luckily have never had cause to regret it. However, that's not to say I wouldn't in the future, it would depend on individual cases. Current dhorse was only 2 years old when we bought him and obviously sound with no blemishes, also we had him at our place for a few weeks after paying a deposit as the seller was going into hospital, so if he'd been on bute or anything it would have had time to wear off before we coughed up the rest of the money! I think in a case like that it was a risk worth taking.
My sister is currently looking for something a bit older so will probably have it vetted as there will be more scope for hidden problems.
I paid £3500 last June for a horse who passed a 5 stage vetting. After 5 weeks of ownership he developed severe head shaking syndrome - cost £5k in vets bills on insurance. Finally got him back into work for 4 weeks before he threw me off quite dramatically and was diagnosed with ulcers - we now have a second insurance claim in. Not sure I'll bother next time.
It's a gamble either way but if I were buying a horse from a stranger I'd get it vetted. I'd had dhorse on loan for 4 months before I got him so didn't bother. One vet was perturbed by this but his current vet didn't seem worried. He was 12 at the time, 4 years ago.
I'm an equine vet. I'd suggest (of course! ) that you have any prospective purchase vetted. If I undertake to examine a horse for you, I am your advocate, I am Hercule Poirot investigating this animal to see if it can do what you want it to do for you. As well as that, I'm a experienced pair of fresh eyes and I will go above and beyond the five stage exam in terms of advising you if you wish.
I would point out that the concept of "failing" a vetting is not quite as you might think - it's not black and white. Certain conditions or features of an animal make it more or less suitable for different careers.
But DonttouchthatLarry's post points out, perhaps unconsciously, the limitations of a vetting. It does not predict, in most cases, what will happen 5 weeks or 5 months or 5 years in the future. It does not, nor could it possibly, predict the future development of internal conditions such as gastric ulceration, and if the client is going to be disappointed about that, then that's unrealistic.
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