How important is it to have a horse vetted?
have been pre-exercised or have been turned out until prospective owners arrive to view.
Other parts of the PPE can be extremely helpful for checking that paperwork is legitimate, true and correct. The microchip is scanned and information crossmatched with other documents including the passport. One key part of the check is the dental examination, as this provides information about the horse’s age. It helps ensure that the purchaser is not about to buy a horse wildly younger or older than what they’ve been led to believe.
Even a 2 stage PPE does so much more than what we’ve thus far described; including a full clinical examination and assessment of the heart and lungs, at rest at least. It is the 5 stage PPE however, that gives a far more in-depth overview of the horse’s health status; since this clinical exam is completed both before and (importantly) after exercise. Any horse who will be expected to exert themselves in their new home should be checked for lung and heart function after exercise, for obvious reasons.
PPEs aren’t PASS/FAIL so what’s the point?
Like people, horses develop minor ailments, get themselves into scrapes, sustain injuries, have scars etc. This doesn’t necessarily render them unable to live full, fun, even competitive lives. Once again though, it is about information gathering and taking the time to discuss any ‘failures’ or negative findings with a vet. This is to determine whether this particular horse is likely to meet your needs without exerting pain or discomfort upon them in doing so.
What is the insurer’s take on it?
Some insurance companies favour customers who have had their horse vetted and this may even manifest as discounts on premiums. Some impose a waiting period for unvetted horses. This means that what owners can claim for is limited until after a predetermined period of time. This is an attempt to ensure that insurance companies are only providing policies for those who definitely have a reasonable bill of health. It is also worth noting that any pre-existing illnesses or injuries, discovered at the PPE, are unlikely to be covered by future insurance policies. However, these conditions are unlikely to go unnoticed by the insurer in any case; since they will ask for a full veterinary history of the horse. This includes from all vets with whom the horse has been registered prior to the new owner purchasing it. It is likely that these conditions will be detailed in the notes.
For the most part we recommend a thorough 5 stage PPE by your own vet; or at least an independent one. We urge prospective buyers to view the associated fees as an investment. After all, it could prevent them from losing a great deal more money in the event that their new horse is unable to fulfil their intended job.