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Service Information

  • Vettings

    Our experienced equine vets carry out pre-purchase examinations of horses.

    We routinely ‘vet’ horses in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire as well as travelling further afield to carry out pre-purchase examinations for existing clients at an agreed rate.

    Both two and five stage pre-purchase examination prices are excluding VAT, VDS bloods and mileage.

    Please see below to find out what the different stages consist of.

    STAGE 1: Preliminary examination

    The first stage in any vetting consists of a thorough examination of the horse to assess appearance and condition. This includes checking the limbs, feet, skin and back for any abnormalities, checking the eyes, ears and teeth (for age identification purposes only), plus auscultation of (listening to) the resting heart.

    STAGE 2: Walk and trot up

    In the second stage the horse is walked and trotted in a straight line to and from the vet on hard, level ground to detect abnormalities in gait and action. Flexion tests are then performed on all four limbs, followed by the horse/pony being lunged on both a soft and hard circle.

    STAGE 3: Exercise phase

    After the horse/pony has been lunged it is then given sufficient exercise to make the horse breathe deeply and rapidly. The horse/pony is worked in walk, trot and canter on both reins, before being made to work harder to further elevate the heart rate and breathing rate. If the horse is backed, this phase is preferably conducted under saddle. The process increases the horse’s heart rate, so abnormalities are more easily detected, and the breathing rate, allowing any unusual breathing sounds to be heard. It also tires the horse so strains or injuries may be revealed by stiffness or lameness after a rest period.

    STAGE 4: Period of rest and recovery

    The horse is untacked and allowed to stand quietly; the heart and respiratory rate are checked as they return to resting levels and stage 1 is repeated.

    STAGE 5: Final walk and trot up

    The horse is walked and trotted once more, turned sharply and backed up in order to reveal abnormalities exacerbated by strenuous exercise. Flexion tests are usually repeated and the vet may wish to see the animal lunged on a soft and hard circle again.


    Radiographs of your prospective purchase can be taken on request.

    Our mobile digital radiography system enables x-rays to be viewed at the yard within seconds of taking the exposure.

    Why not read Alice’s orthopaedic blog on the predictive value of pre-sale radiographs in young horses.

    We offer vetting x rays at a preferential rate, please phone reception for prices.


    Simply call us on either 01327 811007 or 01788 523000 (Onley) to speak to a member of our team about booking an appointment.

    Upon calling up to book your vetting we do ask that you call up with the following information as this allows us to fill out the initial paperwork.

    • Your details including contact telephone number and email address.
    • The full name and address of the person whom owns the horse; regardless if the horse is being sold to you through a third party.
    • The address of where the horse is currently stabled,  preferably with a postcode as this lets us calculate an exact mileage charge. This is not needed if the horse is being brought into the clinic.
    • All the details of the horse such as the passport name, age, height, colour and breed.

    In most cases we are able to fit a vetting in for the same week, however it is always best to book in advance as much as possible. We always try our best to meet all your requirements such as day and a preferred vet, however in cases where you wish for the horse to be vetted within a short time scale such as 24 hours, this isn’t always possible.

    To discuss your requirements and to have any questions regarding pre-purchase examinations answered, please contact reception.

    Please note that payment for the vetting is needed prior to the appointment. If, however, you have paid and for unforeseen circumstances you have to cancel you will be refunded in full.*

    Once the vetting process is complete and the horse passes, you will receive a copy of the vetting certificate in approximately 48 hours via email. The original copy of the paperwork is posted out to you and you should receive it within a few working days.

    If the vet has already made their way to the yard before you have cancelled the appointment you may be charged with the quoted mileage fee.