First I am so very sorry for your loss. It took me a year to be able to think about another horse after I lost my Arab/Saddlebred that had been with me for 29 years. I wish you the best in finding your next heart horse
You just missed the gaited auction up in Kentucky. I want to say it was in Lexington but, I'm not sure.
An acquaintance that has a boarding stable and gives lessons, came home with a registered Spotted TWH and a registered Chocolate KMSHA. Both had their papers and both were under $500; actually I think the TWH was only $200
She is not an aggressive rider and feels the KMSHA can start being a lesson horse as soon as she settles into her new environment.
The TWH needs a little polish and training but is gentle and very willing and eager to learn.
She posted pictures on my local forum. Both horses were great condition.
I can check with her to see if that auction has a web site, if you're interested and want to wait for the next sale.
Point-being, if you're horse savvy and willing to go on instinct, like this lady did, there are gaited auctions that are ethical.