When we went to look at Sydney in Clovis, we could tell that he looked to be sound, and in good health. I asked questions about his last vaccinations, worming, farrier visit, and so on. Debbie Davis, of Sport Equine, is in the business of re-homing horses and has a reputation for honesty. I trusted that her responses were truthful. And of course, the purchase contract allowed for an exam by my own veterinarian.
Once Sydney was home, I put in a call to Dr. Blanton and asked about bringing him in. I gave her my opinion of his soundness and his overall attitude (it's great to have a vet who trusts your judgement and opinion!). SInce she was to be on vacation for two weeks, my job was to monitor him and note any areas of concern. When she returned, I would bring him in for an evaluation.
After observing Sydney for several weeks, a few things did raise little red flags. The first concern was his weight. He was thinner than I like and not very enthusiastic about meal time. Was this an ulcer, painful teeth, or just new horse jitters? I also noticed that the flies were particularly bothersome to him, so I bought a fly sheet along with a fly mask and sprayed him religiously each day. Was that enough? I also kept an eye on the bedsores on his hips and hocks and monitored their rate of healing. Were they getting smaller?
Sydney made the trip to the vet hospital like a pro, unloaded without any fuss, and walked into the examining bay very bravely. Even with another horse having major dental work done, Sydney allowed himself to be led into the stocks without the need for any extra encouragement.
Dr. Blanton listened to my small list of concerns and ordered a fecal test to check for shedding worm eggs and a stool test to check for blood in case of an ulcer. In the meantime, she gave him a physical exam paying close attention to his eyes, ears, and teeth as well as his heart, lungs, and gut. She also examined his legs very carefully, especially the hind with the scarring. Both fecal tests came back negative, and his teeth were in fine shape. Here's an abbreviated video of the exam ...
And one more time ... I love my vet!