Auction Posts

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Auction Posts

This is a discussion on Auction Posts within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        11-02-2013, 04:51 PM
    Auction Posts

    I saw an older thread on purchasing horses at auctions. I found the subject entertaining, and would like to know if anyone here has recently bought a horse at an auction, how much they paid, and how the horse has turned out. Personally, I love going, have been going on and off since I was in my early 20's, and am now 61. I've never bought a horse at one, but my daughter did 4 months ago, and the experience was a very positive one.

    She bought a 12 yr.old sorrel, 15.3 hand grade qh mare. She paid $300 for her. The only problem they've had with her, is when they first got her, she reared when saddled, but a chiro adjustment fixed that. She was very thin, but is now a beautiful, stocky, anyone can ride horse!!!
    Would love to hear others stories.
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        11-02-2013, 06:37 PM
    Green Broke
    Sort of, my friend bought a mare and I bought it off him shortly after. She was a 4yo TB unraced.

    At the sales she was a bit crazy, she kicked a guy through a fence when he tried to stick a number on her bum. Didn't load, couldn't catch her once she got here.

    She turned out pretty good. Once she'd settled in and was mainly on pasture she was quite calm. She never kicked again. Learned quickly, and when I got on her she was pretty quiet and responsive but very green. Turned out to be a really nice horse.

    I'm selling her though, as I just don't have it in me to work with a horse that green anymore.

    I can see how some people can get great bargains, but it's not for me. I like to ride and handle a horse first, then go away and think about it. It's worth paying more to me so I can do that!
        11-03-2013, 12:00 AM
    Bought two a couple months ago, one a 4yo palomino QH mare for $700, the other a 2yo pinto pony mare for $250. Neither was broke, I bought them as resell projects.

    The pony is a little brat but is coming along great. I'm not doing much with her because she's so young but I've backed her and she was just a hop on and go kinda deal, very easy to work with.

    The pally is super sweet and friendly but a lot nervous about the breaking process, surprisingly. I've been wondering if she's been backed before and had a bad experience, because she's perfect and knows it all except when it comes to getting on her. I'm getting a trainer friend to work with me on starting her just to have someone very knowledgable and experienced to lend a hand. I want her started right and I'm not sure I have yhe ability to do this one on my own.
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        11-03-2013, 01:16 AM
    I used to pick up projects for the summer costing between $50-$300, between 2-4 years old, many times with registration papers. I always bought untrained horses because I figure there's usually a reason someone auctions a trained horse rather than sell the horse normally for a lot more money. I usually picked sad-eyed starved things because they can be very grateful once you feed them, and often they don't have anything truly wrong other than needing groceries and handling. I never bought a serious lameness or illness issue in a young horse, although I did have a couple who turned out mean. Those went back halter broke.

    My dad did occasionally try to buy trained horses at auction without my help, and that didn't work so well.

    My favorite ranch horse was an auction train wreck. He had really pigeon toed feet and several previously broken ribs that continued to hurt him and harbored pockets of infection. None of this was visible during the auction. The pain from the ribs caused him to buck like the devil during warmup, but he was a really good working horse with a job in front of him. He loved working cattle. Never bucked when he had a clear job. To my dismay, the vet couldn't find anything that worked to help his ribs/back, but he seemed fine after warmup and was great as long as you could sit a buck at the beginning. I guess we got our money's worth from him, but I would never have bought him outside an auction, and we paid too much considering the soundness issues.

    Another trained horse he bought was drugged, and turned out to be a terrible rearer and bolter once the drugs wore off. He was truly very dangerous, and almost fell on me.

    I did buy two elderly mares at different times who were wonderful to ride once they had weight on again, but they were older and very skinny, so it seemed clear to me why someone would dump them. Another note, one of these two was sold to me as 10, but she was clearly in her upper teens. There's a lot of that kind of thing with the unpapered ones.

    In summary, great luck for untrained projects, absolutely terrible for quality trained riding horses. If you just want a horse to ride, you're so much better off with a horse you can spend time examining and test riding. If you want a training project that doesn't cost a lot, auctions are great, and you get to transform a neglected horse, which I think is rewarding.

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