Horses Health Cards N°10. Visit of a horse

After practicing horseback riding for a while, many riders want to acquire a horse. For the lucky ones, and the most financially comfortable, the dream can come true.

But beware, a horse is a demanding animal. It is necessary to take care of it every day, even in bad weather, even if one is tired, etc. Financially, it is an important commitment: besides the costs of "housing", ironwork, feed, etc. ... it is necessary to be able to bear the veterinary expenses, especially in case of hard blow.

To buy a horse, there are several solutions: in a breeding (if you want to compete or breeding, etc ...), in an individual, in a horse club (if you have attached to a horse) Or at horse-dealers. Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. In any case, it is better to be accompanied by someone who knows well the horses (eg his monitor) especially if there is a doubt about the qualities or the health of the horse: there are unfortunately many scams In the sale of horses! Always ask to see the horse out, clean, in motion, and if possible try it.

The papers

The seller must give you the booklet (which contains the origins, the report and the vaccination certificates) and the owner's card. You have to endorse the title, because the horse's booklet does not designate you as owner, it's the card that does it. The instructions for your name to be registered as a new owner are on the documents. This card is also a guarantee that the seller is the owner of the horse.

The purchase visit

It is very important to make a purchase visit by a veterinarian before buying for good the animal. Indeed, the visit can reveal pathologies, or premises of pathologies not immediately detectable (it is obvious that this visit will not be indispensable if you want to buy a club horse of 20 years to put it in the meadow And offer him a beautiful retreat). It must be known that certain pathologies, called redhibitory defects, can make cancel the sale, within a period of 30 days in general.

The veterinarian will first examine the horse at a standstill (conformation, general condition, absence of wounds or lesions visible on the outside, aplombs ...) and check that the description of the booklet corresponds. Then it carries out a complete clinical examination: cardiac auscultation, pulmonary examination, mucosal state, examination of the eyes ... Then comes the time of the static orthopedic examination (stop) which consists of series of tests:

Foot-pinch test (detection of sensitivity or possible navicular disease) joint flexion tests (demonstrating good mobility and absence of pain)
Joint extension tests
- test of mobility of the patella (some horses hang it, they then stuck with the posterior in extension)
Verification of the flexibility of the column, absence of heat at the level of the vertebrae ...
Then the horse is examined in motion: it is the dynamic orthopedic examination. The veterinarian watches him trotting in a straight line on a hard ground (the back and forth), then he repeats the flexions, but keeping each joint flexed 1 min.

The horse immediately starts trotting again. If the pace is the same before and after bending, the test is negative, otherwise it is positive and reveals a problem with the tested joint or neighboring structures.

Then, the horse is seen on a circle, on both hands, on hard ground to detect joint problems, bone or lesions in the foot, and then on soft ground to detect tendon or muscular problems. It is made to make an eight on hard ground and one tests the ball-joints in motion (non-hooking). To do well, it is preferable to make radiographs, at least a minimum: anterior feet (navicular disease), face and profile of the anterior bullets (detection of bone fragments called ships).

It is also recommended to make shots of the hocks (detection of sparrows, ship, osteoarthritis ...). If the horse is found positive to one or more tests, you can refuse the animal, or ask for a deeper diagnosis to find out if the horse would still be suitable for the use you want to have (it will be at your expense) . After all these exams, the veterinarian will give an opinion on the purchase of the horse for your use.