Originally published at GoHorseShow.com here >>

The weather is getting warmer (well, in some parts of the country) and show season is right around the corner. Many people are still shopping for their next equine partner and making those last minute purchasing decisions. While it is always fun to purchase a new horse, many buyers get caught up in the excitement and forget the importance of conducting a comprehensive pre-purchase exam.

By following some of the important considerations listed below, a buyer can be more assured that their new equine partner is suited for their intended use with no unpleasant surprises later on.

1- Is the veterinarian performing the exam free of conflict? Make sure that the vet you choose has not performed any work for the Seller and not subject to any possible influence from the Seller or his agents. Of course it is always best to use your regular veterinarian if possible, but if that is not an option, ask your vet for recommendations for a qualified vet in the area where the pre-purchase exam is being conducted.

2- Even if you use your regular vet, it is still possible for him to have a conflict of interest with the Seller. Although not recommended, if you decide to use your vet despite the conflict, make sure the vet is willing to sign a disclosure of the conflict and that he guarantees to perform the pre-purchase exam in your best interests.

3- Is the veterinarian qualified to evaluate the particular breed of horse, and does he understand the type of riding and showing the horse will be used for? The vet should be informed of the amount you intend to pay for the horse and at what level you expect to compete. This understanding is critical when determining if the horse is suitable for your intended use.

4- Is the vet accessible within a reasonable time after the exam to discuss the results to share the x-rays with you and your vet? Is the vet willing and able to effectively communicate the findings of the exam and to provide an opinion in regards to your intended use in a written report?

5- Is the Seller willing to provide all veterinary records for the horse while in their possession for you and your vet to review before purchase?

6- Is the Seller willing to disclose in writing of any treatments, surgeries, or medications and supplements the horse has had while in their possession?

7- Is the Seller willing to represent that horse is not under the influence of any medication at the time of the pre-purchase exam, and allow the vet to take a blood sample?

8- Have you informed the Seller of your intended use of the horse, and is the Seller willing to represent that the horse is suitable for such use?

While this list is not exhaustive, it’s a good place to start to make sure the most important issues are covered during a pre-purchase exam and that the Seller has disclosed all known issues relating to the horse and made certain representations and warranties relied upon by you, the Buyer. A thorough pre-purchase exam paired with a well-written equine purchase agreement will offer the best protection and hopefully avoid any headaches down the road.

Carrie Russom Quraishi has been active in the equine industry for many years. She is a member of AQHA, NSBA, and NRHA and is an AQHA World Champion and multiple AQHA national high point champion. Based in Frisco, Texas, the Quraishi Law Firm strives to bring strategic solutions to the unique needs of the equine community. Carrie can be reached at (972) 731-4337 or via email at carrie@quraishilaw.com

This article does not constitute legal advice. When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable attorney.