So you have decided you want to buy a horse in France, but you have no clue about vetting a horse in France and what it entails. Completely normal! Many clients have reservations about this part of the purchasing process, that is why FHE believes it is important to explain the process in detail. After a horse has been negotiated down to a price that both the seller and buyer are happy with we move to the vetting process. A major difference between Germany/Holland and France is that not all horses in France have been vetted before or have previous x-rays. Therefore, we push to negotiate either that the owner pays for a set of 12 x rays before the full vetting is done or that if the horse does not pass, the owner will pay the vet bill.
We begin the vetting by drawing blood on the horse and sending it to the lab. The horse must be negative for piroplasmosis. In all the horses we have tested we only had two test positive. Although this is a very low percentage, we encourage clients to undergo this test first before doing a full vetting in order to avoid any unnecessary costs. The results can take anywhere from 3-6 days to get back, depending on what day the blood was sent. After we get the OK that the horse is negative we move to the vetting. The normal vetting includes a complete checkup, analyzing the horse’s heart rate, respiration, etc. It also includes lameness tests: flexions, trotting/cantering circles, trotting on a hard surface. These lameness tests are filmed so that everything is transparent for the client. We also ask the client to provide a list of x-rays that their vet wants to have done. If the client does not have a list, we can discuss which x-rays we suggest having done. After the vetting is complete, we translate the report, send over x-rays, and transfer videos.
We use several vets depending on where the horse is located. These are vets we have worked with in the past and are aware of U.S. vettings. Therefore they send everything usually the same day. We also ask that they notify us immediately if anything abnormal comes up during the vetting so we can check with the client whether to proceed or not. As these are not our personal horses, it is important for the clients to remember we are honest and will not push you into a sale that you are not comfortable with. If the horse demonstrates anything that makes you unsure, we will look at other horses and options for you. Our job is to find the right sound horse that you have no hesitation buying! For more details you can check out our services included during the import process.