Performance horses are athletes, and can have soreness issues that are not bad enough to cause an obvious lameness. In these instances, the performance of the animal may be reduced, although they are still capable of doing their jobs. For this reason, it is recommended to have a complete lameness and physical exam, which is referred to as a performance evaluation, several times throughout the year, and is particularly helpful prior to competitive events so that performance can be optimized. The take home point of the performance evaluation is to not wait until an obvious problem exists before scheduling a visit. By being proactive in your equine athletes competitive career, potentially career ending injuries and problems can be caught early and addressed.