equine veterinary services

10 Things To Remember When Getting A New Horse

Getting a new horse!? The long search is finally over, and the anticipation and excitement are almost too much to handle! Your EquidDoc veterinarians are equally excited for you, but we want you to remember some things to keep you, your new horse and current horses safe, healthy and abiding by the rules.  Here are 10 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN GETTING A NEW HORSE:

    1. Prepurchase exam – Sure, we say this a lot, but it’s important to know what you’re buying, rescuing, or retiring!
    2. Coggins – Did you know you need a coggins within 6 months for sale/purchase of a horse in Massachusetts or within 12 months for a horse coming from out of state?
    3. Health certificate – A health certificate is required for horses traveling across state lines and must be issued by a veterinarian who has examined the horse within 10 days of the certificate being issued and is only valid for 30 days.
    4. Quarantine Please protect your current horses by placing your new horse in a quarantine area at least 1 football field away from other horses for 21 days.
    5. Vaccine records – Know what specific vaccines the horse has received in the past 12 months since different regions of the country utilize different vaccine schedules due to seasonality and exposure risks. If they are not up to date call and discuss with your veterinarian about the best time to vaccinate.  The time immediately before and after travel can be stressful on the immune system!
    6. Medical history – Do they have a history of previous surgeries? Colic? Laminitis? Any major injury? Osteoarthritis treatment and maintenance?
    7. Routine medications – Are they receiving any daily medications?  
    8. Feed – As we all know, slow and gradual feed changes are best. If possible, purchase some of the hay/grain from their facility to help with this transition.
    9. Date of last farrier visit Is the horse usually shod or barefoot?
    10. Travel history – Determine the length of time they’ve been at the current location and the type of facility the horse is being shipped from and by whom they are being shipped; this information can help determine the details of a quarantine plan to protect everyone.


There’s so much to know about a new horse, but these 10 things should help get you and your new equid off to a great start! Questions? Call the best equine veterinary services EquidDoc 508-885-4205 or office@equiddocvet.com