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Your Pre Purchase Exam

Please visit and scroll to the bottom of the first page until you see an article called "Navigating the Pre Purchase Exam". We strongly recommend reading this before you actually have your horse vetted.

Northwest Dressage has a standard procedure for vetting these horses before they are ever purchased and allowed to set foot on American soil! We actually buy these horses ourselves, knowing that indeed they will have to pass yet another vetting here in the U.S. when they are purchased from us. That means we are VERY careful! We have our horses x-rayed in Holland and we actually have two different vets there look at the x-rays. We also have every horse undergo a very strict clinical exam including all flexions, trotting on hard ground etc. We have our vets in Holland perform the clinical exam EXACTLY the same way it is done in the United States. The x-rays are then sent to two or more vets here in the U.S. for their approval as well. If you know much about the whole vetting system in the U.S., then you know there are many different opinions out there. Some vets are very nervous about lawsuits and will never give advice or explain how common (or not) something is or isn't that can be seen on an x-ray. They will just point out what is there. This can be alarming for an inexperienced buyer- other vets (usually the older and more experienced ones) will tell you what they see, what it means to them, what the risks are and aren't and then explain even more. According to the many veterinarians that I have spoken to, and my own experiences, Veterinary medicine, and the pre purchase exam in particular is a highly interpretive enterprise. Northwest Dressage has rarely (if ever?) purchased or sold a horse that has nothing at all to discuss on the x-rays. We send our x-rays to veterinarians all over the country, some of the top veterinarians in the United States , and our success rate is very high. If a veterinarian has an extremely nervous buyer, they will usually find that the safest answer is "no". It is possible, but unlikely, that all of our vets have missed some serious issue (it has yet to happen!) with a horse that will prevent that horse from its intended use as a dressage horse for years to come. All horses, like humans are getting older by the day (!) and certainly in years to come, there will be maintenance issues for the older horses.  If you are confused with the findings in your horses pre purchase exam, your best option is a second opinion, and you can certainly decide not to purchase the horse.

Our goal is happy clients. Happy clients come from good business, but better yet, that perfect match with a horse.  One of the best ways we know to attain that goal is to work very hard to find the quality, soundness and temperament that you are looking for in a horse.


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