As a sport horse trainer in Oregon, I’ve had a variety of horses come and go through my barn. Some of them have been sound and some have had soundness issues.
Diagnosing a lame horse can be a challenge. Is it joint related or soft tissue? Of course, having a vet who’s really good at diagnosing is a big plus. X-rays and ultrasounds are sometimes a must to figure out what the real problem is and it’s severity.
All of this being said, how important is it to get a pre-purchase exam before buying your next horse? A thorough exam can be expensive, 1-2 thousand dollars. But is that money better spent up front to find out that your potential “next horse” has serious, long-term soundness problems? In Motion Sport Horses thinks so. Considering the alternative could be your “next horse” could have soundness issues , which may or may not be treatable. Now your financially and emotionally vested in a horse that is unsuitable for your goals.
Even though there is more expense to having pre-purchase examinations completed, it is advisable to budget them into the purchase price of your “next horse”. The upfront cost could save you both headache and heartache in the long run.