As I have started on this journey of looking at young prospects I am learning more and more about things that I can and cannot accept on a pre purchase exams. I don’t think that PPE’s are really pass/fail at this point but rather what can I live with? A vet can find something wrong with pretty much any horse. The PPE in my mind is to help me make the most educated decision about whether or not a horse will be able to do the job that I want.
With Annie I opted to do a fairly expensive PPE but not the most expensive by any means. The examining vet noted that she flexed slightly positive on an ankle so we took images. Luckily the joint was clear and we decided to move forward. She was also very foot sore and had some really atrocious angles so we opted to get images to make sure that there wasn’t anything more serious going on. Not perfect but close enough and the rest is history from there.
When you are looking at a young horse with no career it is hard to say if something found on a PPE will cause issues when the horse has a job and starts working. It’s not the same as doing a PPE on a horse that has been doing the job you want for years with no lameness. While I am not 100% sure what this horses job will be I want something that has the potential ability for the Low AO’s or approx. 1.2M? What are things that might prohibit a horse from doing that job… Well these are the things that I have seen so far…While a bone chip might not be problematic large bone chips can cause further damage to surrounding structures. While removal can help with the further damage it is possible that with large chips there will be significant arthritis. While I was really really interested in this horse due to its bloodlines I am not willing to import something that needs surgery and will likely have issues before it has even had a job. So I moved on… I then found a super well bred horse in the states. I was incredibly excited and like an idiot set up a PPE and drove to see it with the trailer on a 14+hours round trip. Multiple vet opinions later I passed on said horse because the risk of a problem was even higher than that of the horse with the large ankle chip. You would think that with young horses (under 3yo) it would be easier to find a relatively blank slate but apparently that is not the case.
I get that a vet can find something wrong with any horse but 2/3 I have not had great luck with small superficial issues being what crops up. What happened with the other you might ask? Well I accepted things found on preliminary vetting – shared with me by the owner – made an offer that was accepted… and then it was sold out from under me… I guess that is life. Something better will crop up eventually.
What are things that you have passed on during a PPE? Are there things that you accept no problem? How much does the age of the horse affect your decision?